Our friend butter. Did you know butter has three functions in cake recipes. First, butter helps to make cakes light and delicate by holding air bubbles in suspension. These air bubbles are produced by leaveing agents such as eggs, baking powder or baking soda. Second, butter helps to make cakes tender by coating the protein in the flour and limiting gluten formation. Third, butter helps to make a cake flavorful by transporting rich flavors. Stick margarine and vegetable shortening have similar characteristics but fewer flavors. Vegetable shortening is aerated, so it can help create tenderness;but a margarine spread that is soft at room temperature is not a good butter substitute.
And that’s good to know!