ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Apple-Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake (page 49) uses the 2-step mixing method. there is no creaming of the butter and sugar, instead: all dry ingredients are whisked, then butter is added, then liquids added in two parts. the advantages of the 2-step mixing method: easier to execute, tender melt in your mouth cake, and there is no danger of over-mixing.
HOWEVER, it is imperative the butter be at the correct temperature: between 65-75 oF.
because i live in hawaii and always thought my weather is too warm (little did i know that our weather is mild!!!!!! our summers never go over 90!), i was using the butter at 60 oF, thinking by the time i am done mixing, butter will quickly overheat. WRONG was i. using the butter at 60 oF creates dense bottom cakes (look at some of my first cakes on this project, including the wedding cake previews). the solution (the correct way from the beginning) is to use butter at 70 oF, or even at 75 oF!
i have something else to share. i save time, and i obtain the same perfect results. with the 2-step mixing method, i measure all the dry ingredients ahead of time. sometimes months in advance! measure and whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda if any) and store airtight (baking powder activates with humidity).
store at room temp for up to 1 week, refrigerated for up to 1 month, or frozen for up to 1 year! be sure to keep the container airtight during thawing (keep it closed), otherwise humidity will rush in and damage the baking powder. thawing can be done in the refrigerator, in a cooler, or straight to room temperature, but do not open the container till room temp has reached.
more so, i often like to add the butter, too! not mixed in, but just sitting on top of the flour mix. store it the same way, but either refrigerated or frozen. when i thaw the flour mix with butter, i wait till the BOTTOM of the bowl is about 70 oF, this tells me the butter is at the perfect temperature.