The Magical 3 Minutes

By Val | Gluten Free

May 19
The Magical 3 Minutes | Baking Help from The Recipe Box

Every wondered what the secret was to a good sponge cake, one that is light and delicate?

You know that phrase used is every sponge based recipe ‘ cream / beat for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy’?

It’s there for a reason. It makes a world of difference to you cakes. Way more than you would ever think. Regular cakes benefit from this but the difference it will make to your gluten free cake is amazing. If you are looking for the holy grail of light fluffy gluten free sponges, this could be your missing piece. This is what will get you a good gluten free sponge.


Yes, really. But first off, hands up if you know what light and fluffy means?

Go with me here, let me, quickly, go through the sciencey bit. When you cream your butter or margarine with the sugar, the sugar cuts into the butter, creating little air pockets. The more you cream the more of these little pockets appear. This adds volume to the butter and sugar, making it look fluffy, and the extra air dilutes the colour of your butter or margarine, making it look lighter.

So, that explains the light and fluffy, but how does that impact on the finished cake?

Creaming or beating your butter or margarine for 3 minutes leads to the lightest of gluten free sponges | The Recipe Box

The Magic Happens In The Oven

I’m often blown away by the magic that happens while a cake is in the oven, but this time it makes perfect sense. Air expands in heat, so when you put your well creamed cake into the oven, the cake that‘s full of little air pockets, you can guess what happens. These little air pockets all expand, making the cake rise in a superb fashion, and giving it an amazing light and delicate crumb.

Here Is The Problem

You will be surprised at how long 3 minutes actually is, especially when you are just stood there moving an electric user around a bowl.

Test yourself. Next time you bake a cake, put a stop watch on when you start creaming and stop it when you think you are at three minutes. (obviously make sure the stop watch is turned away from you). I will put money on it that you are around the 2 minute mark, if not a little under. That minute you are missing, is vital. It is enough to make a difference. 3 minutes is the minimum you should do, feel free to do it for 4 or 5. I actually saw a recipe the other day that suggested 7 minutes. I feel an experiment coming on.

3 Minutes Is Longer Than You Think

When I’m creaming my ingredients I always put a timer on, or I do it for the length of a song on the radio. The majority of songs are 3 1/2 minutes long.

3 Minute (Ish) songs include:

  • Going Underground by The Jam
  • Wannabe by The Spice Girls
  • Daydream Believer by The Monkees
  • Honky Tock Women by The Rolling Stones
  • Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
  • God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

Simple Things

I found when I started baking that the simplest of things can make massive difference to your cakes. The 3 minutes of creaming might be something that you have always skipped over, but I promise you, once you have done it once you will never skip over it again. The result is amazing.

Have I got your curiosity going? The best cake to confirm this is a Victoria Sponge. You can grab yourself a copy of our recipe in our Community Freebies classroom. There is a gluten free and a dairy free and a vegan one.

Have you join our online baking club yet? It’s over on Facebook and its so much more than just questions and answers. It’s like a ‘real’ baking club except you can go in your p.j’s!

Happy Baking

Val x