little do we know that so much thought is behind the 2 step mixing method. this method is easier and faster, but the benefits are deeper. ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Pumpkin Cake (page 125), as well as most all oil and butter cakes on the book, uses the 2 step mixing method.
the 3 step mixing method reads obviously longer. this is also known as the creaming method. the first step is creaming the butter with the sugar. the second and third steps are adding liquid ingredients in parts alternating with flour in parts. most people juggle between over mixing or uniformly mixing ingredients. if you overwork the flour on the 3 step method, your cake will be tough. a cake becomes tough when flour has been overworked in the contact with liquids (a process called gluten formation).
overworking the flour in the 2 step method is impossible. flour never touches liquids directly. flour is first mixed with part of the butter or other fats, thus becoming water proof. mixing the flour in 2 steps rather than in 3, also helps all ingredients incorporate more uniformly.