You’ve likely seen room temperature eggs listed in the ingredients for various baking recipes. And maybe you’ve followed those instructions, but maybe you haven’t. Does it really even matter? The answer is that it depends.

For most baked goods— cookies, brownies, quick breads, and even some cakes— using eggs straight from the fridge will not make a noticeable difference in the overall product. Although, using cold eggs will reduce the temperature of the batter and dough, and your baked good will likely require a few more minutes in the oven than if you had used room temperature eggs.

Where room temperature eggs really matter is in recipes where the eggs are whipped to incorporate air into the batter. Examples include pound cake, angel food cake, and chiffon cakes. Warmer eggs whip to higher volume than cold eggs, resulting in lighter and more tender cake. For recipes like these, it’s best to let the eggs sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using them, or follow the instructions below.

How to quickly get eggs to room temperature

If you do have a recipe that requires room temperature eggs, you can get them to room temperature quickly by placing them in a small bowl and covering the eggs with hot (not boiling) tap water. Let them sit for 5 minutes before proceeding.