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Why Do You Mix Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients Separately?

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Hi Bold Bakers!

I am often asked “Why do you Mix Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients Separately?” Even the best bakers get ahead of themselves, working in the order of recipe ingredients. You might think if all the measurements are correct you can just throw it all in the same bowl and mix, but it isn’t true. Baking is a science, but it’s not anything like rocket science. It really is important that you mix your dry ingredients all together in one bowl, your wet in another bowl, and then you can whisk all together.

Why do you mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately when baking?

The general rule of baking, whether it be cookie dough, cake mix or pancake batter, is as follows: dry ingredients should be combined together thoroughly in one bowl BEFORE adding liquids.

Liquid ingredients should ALWAYS be mixed separately before they’ve been added to the dry ingredients.

Mixing the dry ingredients by themselves means you will evenly disperse the raising agents, spices, sugar etc throughout which is important for an even batter.

The Reason Behind It?

Over mixing batters and dough will toughen and strengthen the gluten in the flour. Doing this to the gluten will yield you tougher baked goods, not a light and tender bake, like you want.

Mixing the dry ingredients together first, and then doing the same with the wet ingredients, means that once you combine the two, you will have to do very little mixing. The less you mix the flour the less gluten has a chance to develop meaning you end up with a  fluffier and light end product.

A perfect example is Pancake Batter. It is so very important that you don’t over mix pancake batter. You want those thick, fluffy pancakes right? then resist the urge to keep mixing until you have all the lumps out.  Lumps are ok, they will work themselves out in the resting period so don’t worry about them. If you are worried about over mixing then I say aim to under mix and you will probably have the perfect batter. Trust me, leave the lumps be.

The Results?

This method of mixing everything separately will yield you the best results and a more even texture in your baking.

When in doubt, just remember these tips, and you will find you can always achieve your desired texture, allowing you to be a far more consistent baker.

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  1. Martha Linus on September 18, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Where do all liquid ingredients like liquid milk, Cake softener, flavours, alcoholic preservatives e.t.c goes to in cake mixture. Is it the butter and sugar bowl or the egg bowl?

    Thanks for your quick response.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2019 at 4:14 am

      Hi Martha,
      this is recipe dependent. Some cake recipes, sponges, for instance, use a creaming method where the butter and sugar are creamed before the addition of the eggs, then the dry ingredients. See this one as an example: (
      Others are fat-free sponges where the eggs and sugar are whipped to incorporate the air, then the flour is added.
      More dense bakes like brownies tend to have the dry ingredients ready, the wet ingredients, usually using oil as one of the liquids and the fat, the eggs, and any milk are added to the dry.
      No general rule, it depends on the recipe, how the air is incorporated, or if the air is an element of the recipe, back to brownies and blondies which are meant to be dense and fudgy.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Jamuna rani on January 19, 2019 at 6:27 am

    What is the difference between powdered yeast and granaule yeast
    Which one is best for bread

    • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2019 at 7:59 pm

      Both will work, i like granulated, which is dry active. This just ferments faster.

  3. E on November 18, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    A lot of the time my wet and dry ingredients won’t combined well as they are too dry…. I end up over mixing and my muffins won’t rise …. what can I do to prevent this?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 4:06 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, this can be an issue. The best tip I can give you is to add 3/4 of the liquids in one go, then see how much more it will take. It really depends on where you live, the type of flour, humidity etc. It is easier to add it than to take it out, but adding 3/4 in one lot will prevent you over mixing in.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. ChristineAlphonse on May 21, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I am from Cairo, Egypt. I need an easy to make recipe for pan cake syrup that does not require maple. Can you help please?

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on May 22, 2018 at 1:24 am

      Hi Christine,

      Thats a tricky one because even if you are to make it at home you need a maple flavoring. I unfortunately don’t have a recipe for it.

      Maybe try and buy maple syrup or flavoring online.

  5. Amna on November 30, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I just figured. It was because I used homemade glucose syrup and it was not as thick in consistency as we get from the store.

  6. Hamsi on November 29, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Hope you are doing good.
    I have a general basic question. How does one decide on how much baking powder or baking soda is required for baking cake or cookies?

    Thanks & Regards,

    • Hamsi on November 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Adding to my there any calculation on how much each one is needed based on the quantity??

      • Gemma Stafford on November 30, 2017 at 5:51 am

        Yes Hamsi, you nailed it!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 30, 2017 at 5:50 am

      Hi Hamsi,

      A recipe is a math equation. So the amount of racing agents is based on the amount of the other ingredients you put in.

      Always follow the amount I say because it is precise.

      Happy Baking,

  7. Zia on November 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Gemma, I was wondering about the lumps. If I leave some of them (in a cake batter), will those be little dry spots/pockets where they didn’t get any moisture on them? (After the cake is baked)
    Thank you so much, I’m learning quite a bit on your site.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2017 at 1:21 am

      Hi Zia,
      I really do not discriminate, I use what ever I have to hand, and I always have a bottle of white vinegar of some sort.
      When I say ‘do not over mix’ I mean do not beat the life out of the batter so that the gluten in the flour has been developed, which will toughen the cake.
      For pancakes this is particularly important, though resting the batter before cooking will help to relax it.
      For a cake, you mix the wet into the dry until the wet is incorporated. Not big lumps of flour, just barely incorporated.
      There is a figure of eight movement around the bowl and through the batter which is worth mastering. It works very well to get the batter right.
      It is all practice, and learning from the results.
      I hope this helps, carry on baking,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Monica Madan on November 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks dearo for the nice tip. I also want to try ur fondant recipe but pls can u suggest me what to use instead of eggs? And what type of colours should be used to colour the fondant. Gel colours or nirmal liquid colours.

  9. Amna on November 14, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Hello Gemma

    I have been following ypur recipies for quite a long time now. Thanks for this information!

    I just have a question regarding your traditional fondant recipie. I followed everything but it turned out to be inelastic and broke. It was kind of like a texture of batter. I tried adding more sugar but it did not work. I also added more glycerine and gluco syrup to make it elastic but to no avail.
    Please help me out here

    • Gemma Stafford on November 14, 2017 at 4:46 am

      Hi there,
      If you altered this recipe in any way you will not get a good result. fondant is a tricky thing!
      I am not sure what went wrong for you, and I cannot figure it out. If the texture was like batter are you saying it was too wet? If it was not elastic, then it was dry.
      Do let me know, others have managed this recipe well,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Amna on November 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

        I just figured. It was because I used homemade glucose syrup and it was not as thick in consistency as we get from the store.

  10. Chaitra Niwaskar on November 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    That was really helpful thankyou so much for sharing this

    • Gemma Stafford on November 14, 2017 at 5:08 am

      Hi there,
      Thank you for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Naima on November 12, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for the explanation

    • Gemma Stafford on November 13, 2017 at 1:54 am

      Thank you Karen for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

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