What does adding an extra egg yolk do to a cake?


Kurt Olsen

This is the fourth of seven “Cake Batter” lessons. We’ve been using the traditional “quatre quarts” pound cake recipe as a tool to understand the baking science of cake batter. This essay will look at eggs, which are another element in cake batter.

Six forks each with a bite of cake at the end against a gray background. Shows how in Cake batter eggs make a huge difference

The same recipe with different quantities of eggs, yolks, and whites.

In the 3rd class We looked at flour, one of the cake structure-builders. We discovered that low protein, chlorinated cake flour made a light and soft cake. It’s time to learn about eggs, the other structure-builder for cake batter.

Please visit the to learn more about the composition and science of eggs as an ingredient. Baking Ingredients – Eggs page. This session will concentrate on eggs in pound cake batter.

Two slices of cake on a white background. Text overlay shows how in cake batter eggs make a huge difference

The texture of the cake was enhanced by whipping the egg whites in the pound cake mixture.

The Function of Eggs in Cake Batter:

The primary function of eggs in a cake batter is to provide structure in the form of proteins from both the yolk and the white. The protein coagulates as the cake bakes and, along with the starch from the flour, forms the cake crumb.

So, what does any of this have to do with our pound cake recipe? It means we can alter the cake significantly by manipulating the number of eggs, yolks and whites in the batter.

What Egg yolks do in cake batter

The yolk provides protein as well as fat, taste, and emulsifying lecithin. Because emulsifiers keep water and fat together, adding more egg yolks to the batter allows it to contain more liquid and, as a result, more sugar. This helps create a moister and sweeter cake that will still bake up with a good structure rather than falling into a gooey mass.

What Egg whites do in cake batter

When separated from the yolks and whipped to a foam, egg whites can be used to leaven a cake. Whipping egg whites produces the same results as boiling whites- the proteins unfold, reattach and trap water Because the whipped whites are already partly “baked,” they don’t add as much to the cake’s structure.

In my testing, I discovered that when the whites were beaten and folded into the batter, a cake created with the same amount of yolks and whites had a softer texture.

If you find your cake recipe tends to be on the dry side, try swapping out some of the egg whites for extra yolks. If you find your cake has a poor structure or is gummy, you can add some extra whites. Would you want to lighten the texture without using extra baking powder? Separate the whites, beat them, and fold them into the batter.

Testing different amounts of eggs in cake batter:

I wanted to see how changing the number of yolks and whites in our pound cake recipe would affect the final product. So I made six cakes, each with a different quantity of yolks and whites.

I used 8 oz of each of the other components (butter, sugar, and flour). Though I varied the number of yolks and whites, I kept the total weight of eggs for each test at 8 oz.

I separated the eggs for the final two testing, beat the whites with 2 oz of sugar, and folded them into the mixture before baking.

There is no “correct” answer as to which scenario is preferable. It comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. However, understanding how to utilize eggs to modify recipes is a useful skill for any baker.

You can learn how I utilized this knowledge to make a fantastic White Cake Recipe from my Vanilla Butter Cake Recipe.

a chart showing various amounts of eggs in a cake batter and the results

Six slices of cake on a white background. Text overlay explains the cake batter egg volume in each cake.

Our next “Cake Batter” workshop will focus on the sweet stuff. sugar!

When we’ve exhausted all of the ingredients for this “cake batter” course, we’ll use what we’ve learned to make Pound Cake Perfection. In This thorough guide on making a superb cake recipe You’ll discover the refined pound cake recipe as well as a wealth of information to assist you in adapting and creating your own cake recipes.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

For more information or to make comments and suggestions, please contact:
Kurt Olsen
Dairy Development Coordinator, Missouri Department of Agriculture
Phone: (573) 291-5704
E-mail: [email protected]