Batter Curdling

Decorating By suzied Updated 30 Nov 2013 , 8:53pm by envoi

suzied Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 2:09am
post #1 of 13

can some one tell me why....... when i beat my butter and sugar (approx 8mins) keep adding my eggs one at a time (2min intervals) after about the 5th egg, the batter keeps curdling. I like to bake my cakes from scratch. I use a kenwood chef. i beat the eggs on no. 3 for 2mins each. where am i going wrong. please help me if you can, i feeling down..... thanks.

12 replies
pmarks0 Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 2:36am
post #2 of 13

Are you using a paddle or a wisk attachment? I find that if I use a paddle when making batter of any kind, that it creams the sugar and butter but it gets pressed against the side of the bowl so that when I add the eggs, they don't really get mixed in and sort of sit on top of the butter/sugar mixture . I switch to the wisk attachment and use a spatula to wipe everything off the sides and then mix it all together. I also don't do it on a slow speed either. But I also find that at some point, there it does look as if curdled if there is more liquid (egg) than the butter/sugar mixture is able to absorb. I think it may be a matter of how long you are mixing it all together. Maybe you need to go longer?

Karema Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 2:38am
post #3 of 13

This happens to me as well. I don't it affects the end results. I know that in my batter that is like that I mix the sugar and butter for about 10 minutes then I add eggs one at a time. Sometimes it curdles but it fixes it self when I add some of the dry ingrediants and then my liquid. I always end with dry just for that reason. It looks smoothe and it bakes up fine.

suzied Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 12:11pm
post #4 of 13

Pmarks0 .... I am using the Kbeater (paddle) shall give the whisk a try. thanks.

Karema..... thanks. thats true sometimes it fixes and sometimes it doesnt. i was wondering whether i am adding the eggs to soon (2mins intervals). I make ribbon and chocolate cakes mostly.

leah_s Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 12:37pm
post #5 of 13

It's not "curdled." which would involve some type of acid reaction. Once you put the dry ingredients in, as stated above, the batter will smooth out. Nothing to worry about.

amusedparrot Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 1:38pm
post #6 of 13

Like most people have said when you get the dry ingredients in it will start to smooth out. If you are really worried take a tablespoon or two from your dry mix and put that in first. That should smooth it out before you add in the rest of the dry ingredients.

xinue Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 1:47pm
post #7 of 13

The batter is not curdling.
As you are mixing the eggs in, you are making an emulsion (fat + liquid) at the begining it will look just fine, but after you have added a few eggs it might have that curdled look. That means that the emulsion is breaking.
In a cake batter is not that important, I find that it has a little impact on the texture of my cakes, so if you want to avoid it from happening, just make sure all the ingredients are at room temp, or if your recipe calls for a lot of eggs, you can break them and mix them over a double boiler to warm, this helps the emulsion process.
You can also save a breaked emulsion, warming a part of the milk content of the recipe and add it to the batter. The heat will make part of the butter melt and make it more easy to emlusify. Keep adding the flour and milk as you woul normaly do.

bobwonderbuns Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 1:49pm
post #8 of 13

I made a cream cheese pound cake the other day and the exact same thing happened. Once I added the flour mixture, all was well. No worries! icon_biggrin.gif

cakesage Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 2:07pm
post #9 of 13

All ingredients at room temperature and you will have no problem.

mistresslucille Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 3:58pm
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by amusedparrot

Like most people have said when you get the dry ingredients in it will start to smooth out. If you are really worried take a tablespoon or two from your dry mix and put that in first. That should smooth it out before you add in the rest of the dry ingredients.

This! When I'm doing a cake that requires this method I weigh/sift all the dry ingredients first so if it starts looking 'curdled' I can just add a bit of the flour and keep it all together. Though as others have said, it really shouldn't affect the end product anyway - it's just my preference to do it this way!

planetsomsom Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 10:09pm
post #11 of 13

it's not as complicated as it's made out to be... the emulsion explanation is correct but it's just a matter of having too much liquid. Butter can only handle so much, and when adding too many eggs at once, the butter is going to start rejecting all that extra water.

That's why most recipes say to alternate between eggs/milk and flour. I usually ignore that because it's extra steps, but once you add the flour in, it will absorb that extra moisture and voila! no more curdling.

suzied Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 11:33pm
post #12 of 13

Thanks everyone for your positive comments. Sorry i forgot to mention that i use margarine not butter (flora)

Room temperature and too much liquid could be the culprits, or could it be the margarine. i keep weighing my eggs and very often when its 30gms more, i will still add it in. I should start buying larger eggs.For my ribbon cakes i use equal quantities of ingredients, eg. 500g flour, 500 caster sugar,500 eggs 500 margarine, and 1C milk, 2tsp vanilla, When the curdled effect forms, once i add the flour and milk it looks good (smooth), but i notice it affect the texture of the cake at times. Anyway have taken all your advice on board. Where would i be with "CC" Bless you all.

envoi Posted 30 Nov 2013 , 8:53pm
post #13 of 13


Hints and Tips: Curdled Cake Batter

Wraggamuffins Baking Hints and TipsIf your cake batter happens to curdle as you're mixing it, there's no need to throw it out and start again. 

Simply borrow some flour from your measured amount (as per your recipe) and add a spoonful at a time (mixing on a low speed so as not to stretch the flour), until the mixture combines into a smooth batter again.  Continue to add your flour as per the instructions and bake away!

To prevent the curdling make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing.  The butter shouldn't be cold; always beat the sugar and butter until fluffy before adding the rest of the ingredients.  Don't overbeat the mixture, and add your eggs one at a time, beating them slightly beforehand.  The milk should also be at room temperature; cold milk can cause curdling so try heating it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds if you forget to take it out the fridge in time.

Happy baking!

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