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About Egg Yolks

Feb 5, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose


Egg yolks are the sunshine of baking. Golden, beautiful, and full of flavor. They also are very effective in emulsifying and thickening creams and batters.

There are three things that are very important to know about egg yolks:

1) More and more often, the proportion of yolk to white is less than it has been over the past decades. This means that a recipe dependent on many yolks in order to set or have the proper consistency may be significantly short on yolks if you go by just the specified number. I've found, occasionally, that when I measure or weigh 6 yolks I need to add as many as 3 more to have the needed amount. So be sure either to measure or weigh the yolks. I list them on every recipe and if you're using other people's that don't, make a little index card with measurements or weights to put up in your kitchen as a reminder.

2) If egg yolks are combined with sugar and allowed to sit they will crust over, dry out on the surface, and result in lumps in the cooked or baked product. If you need to separate eggs ahead of using them, either spray the yolks with nonstick cooking spray or if using oil in the recipe that will be added together with the yolks, simply store the yolks in the container with the oil.

3) If you have extra yolks and are not in the mood to make lemon curd! you can freeze them but only if you stir in some sugar which will maintain their texture. Be sure to mark on the container how much sugar you added so you can subtract it from the recipe when you're ready to bake with them. I use 1/2 teaspoon sugar per yolk which is enough to keep them from being sticky when defrosted.


Hi Michelle,
We always weigh out our egg yolks as we have seen that a carton of eggs (averaging 50 grams/egg) can have egg yolks weighing as little as 12 grams and as much as 20 grams. Our standard weight for an egg yolk is 18.6 grams (1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon).This is why in "The Baking Bible", we have stated a range of egg yolks for recipes requiring 2 or more egg yolks.
If you do not want to weigh your egg yolks, we suggest that you see what volumes you get for several large and jumbo egg yolks. From your results you can decide whether you want to use extra large egg yolks or jumbo, if you prefer to use them over large egg yolks.
We have seen over the past few years that large eggs in the United States have noticeably smaller yolks. Lots of angel food cakes from frozen, left over egg whites.
Rose & Woody


I think this answered my question about a recipe calling for large eggs yolks. If it does, should I stick to the recipe and use the large or can I use extra large or jumbo (we always use jumbo at home). By this article, I'm assuming I can continue using the jumbo yolks like I have been doing for years.


Helen S. Fletcher
Helen S. Fletcher
12/12/2015 07:18 PM

Having owned a professional bakery for 23 years and now a pastry chef at a 4 star, 4 diamond restaurant, I can tell you we used egg yolks and egg whites that were frozen. The egg yolks were frozen with 10 percent sugar and worked perfectly in baking, curds and anything else.


Paula, the sugar is for the yolks, not the whites.


Paula (Salad in a Jar)
Paula (Salad in a Jar)
04/17/2011 09:10 PM

Did not know about adding sugar to freeze egg whites. Will give it a try the next time I go on an angel food cake binge.


Donna Linnane
Donna Linnane
03/ 1/2011 04:32 PM

Rose, thank you so much for the tip about freezing egg yolks. I've been using frozen yolks for a couple of years, and they work okay, but they're pretty solid when I thaw them - this will surely help!


Olawale Taiwo
Olawale Taiwo
02/ 8/2011 10:19 AM

Hello Rose, I recently bumped on this egg yolk preservation tip also in Maida Heatter Cake Book.




julie--i'm so glad you mentioned this as i found the same thing to be true and i've been buying jumbo eggs!


A great point to emphasize!

I've noticed that with yolks being smaller and whites larger, classic chiffon cakes can use extra-large eggs with no leftover whites or yolks.


i thought of the sun as well when i cropped it to look so big.


Great reminders and a beautiful photo - just like the sun!


exactly so Wm!



Thank you; you have confirmed what I thought I have observed. This also means that fewer whites, than a recipe calls for, are needed. Right?




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