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Baking with Farm-Fresh Eggs

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2010

Is it true that freshly laid eggs have different baking properties than older supermarket eggs?

Because egg whites thin with age, some bakers theorize that the weakened proteins of eggs even a few weeks old can stretch more than those from just-laid eggs, leading to cakes that rise higher and have a softer, more tender texture than cakes made with the freshest eggs.

To test this theory, we made our Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake with 7-week-old supermarket eggs (we determined their age by the date on the carton) and eggs from a Vermont farm laid a few days before. Any differences we found were slight. The cake made with store-bought eggs dissolved a little more quickly on the tongue, and the cake made with the farm-fresh eggs was a little more “toothsome.” But only a few tasters actually detected these variations in texture. Did one cake rise higher than the other? No.

The bottom line: Don’t pass up farm-fresh eggs in hopes of baking a better cake—age doesn’t matter. Besides, you’re probably just as likely to scramble or fry your eggs, dishes where freshness truly matters.