It’s all in the mixing
Congratulations to reader Ellen M., who was the first to chime in with this correct — and succinct —response to the Joe Pastry “Spot the Difference” challenge:
Most of the recipes for cakes that I have found call for creaming the butter and sugar till light, then adding dry and liquid ingredients alternately. This one mixes the butter and dry ingredients first then adds liquid. When I tried it, the batter was a lot thicker than what I was used to in other recipes, but the cake was nice and moist.
I have to admit I was impressed by how many responses I got, and how many correct ones there were. In which vein I want to give honorable mention to Anna over at Life’s Too Short for Mediocre Chocolate for providing far and away the most detailed answer. I’ll get into some of those details myself, and the relative merits of the Berenbaum “two-stage” or “reverse creaming” method, later in the day.