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Butter Cake (Plain or with Almonds) Recipe

Monday, October 04, 2010 | Labels: , , |

Updates:  I baked the butter cake again, this time in a loaf pan and while I prefer the loaf version, my mom prefers cakes baked in the round tin.  The loaf version was denser so it is really up to you which you prefer.  Both turn out delicious though.  In terms of cracking, the loaf version usually results in less cracking.  I updated this post with some of my brand new photos which I also prefer :D.

I will have to say 'thumbs up' to this butter cake recipe.  When I saw LK of Food For Tots' featuring her basic butter cake recipe, I knew I had to give it a try and am I glad I did.  Although I'm not much of a sweet tooth, I adore plain cakes, with butter cake being one of them - I love to dunk my butter cakes into my coffee and I think the texture of this butter cake was perfect for that.  I only tweaked the recipe a tiny bit by adding less milk and butter, and just for fun I also used some of the batter for some almond cupcakes since I had some almond flakes handy.  They were quite delicious but I still preferred the plain butter cake more. 

Butter cake at Tea Time...

This cake rises really well and look at the gorgeous golden brown top of the cake.  You can also easily make this cake without breaking out your cake mixer.  After all, people of the past produced excellent butter cakes too right (?) without any 'kitchen-aid'!


Did you know that apparently the best way to see if your batter has the right consistency or not is that if it does, the batter should drop from your spoon on the count of 1, 2, 3?

Butter Cake at Tea Time....

You can definitely do so much with this basic butter cake recipe, you can easily make a marble cake by dividing the batter into half and adding some cocoa powder into one portion of the batter or add some chopped up maraschino cherries for added colour and texture.  My mom is a rather picky eater of cakes and she really loved this one - I think this reminded us of the good old butter cakes sold in old Chinese shops that did not have an artificially fine texture but yet moist and most importantly delicious!

Here's my little variation, almond cupcakes


Last but not least, thank you LK for being so patient with my numerous questions!


4 eggs, room temperature
227 grams butter, well softened (soften in microwave at 5 second bursts if you're like me and forgot to take the butter out way in advance)
1 1/2 cups of flour (spoon flour and level off, do not thump the measuring cup to 'settle' the flour)
2 tsps baking powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsps whole milk
1/2 tsp salt


1.  Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) and grease/ line your baking pans.  Sift the flour and baking powder and together - this is to ensure they combine well.  Add in the salt and mix well.  Set aside.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow and light.  Do not pour in the sugar all at once as you will 'drown' the butter.  You should beat the butter and sugar till fluffy.

3.  Now for the eggs, it is preferable to break each egg into a separate bowl before mixing with your batter just in case you have some bad eggs on your hands!  Break each egg in separately, mixing well after each addition.  Add in vanilla essence and mix well.

Note:  I placed some of the batter separately in another bowl as I wanted to make some almond cupcakes before using the vanilla essence.  I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond essence instead.

4.  Don't worry if your batter looks curdly at this point - the flour will smooth it out.  Finally, add in the flour mixture in 3 portions, mixing well after each addition.  Remember to scrape down your bowl with a large spatula to ensure even mixing.  Add in the milk tablespoon by tablespoon - use the 'spoon test' and see if your batter falls easily from your spoon after the count of 1, 2 and 3 (it worked for me).

5.  Now that your batter is ready,  you can just bake a plain butter cake in a 9 inch round pan or 9 inch loaf pan or pour batter into whatever shaped pans you would like. Note: pour only up to a bit less than two-thirds of your pans to avoid overflowing.  Remember we used two teaspoons of baking powder.  I still recall once I poured in too much batter and I had a great time cleaning the oven!

6.  Bake your cake (s) for about 45-60 minutes (30 minutes if making cupcakes).  Check for doneness with a wooden skewer or toothpick - insert in center of cake, if it comes out clean - the cake is done.  Do not overbake to avoid dryness.

7.  Cool in pan for about 10 minutes on a wire rack before turning out. 

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Food For Tots said...

Both your cake and cupcakes look incredibly delicious! The texture is so smooth and well risen! Better than mine. So glad that your mom loves it. I will definitely try out your almond cupcake soon. ;)

PeterH said...

Both the butter cake and the almond cupcakes look delicious.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Another lovely heirloom type recipe!

pigpigscorner said...

Nothing beats a good plain butter cake! Looks extremely moist!

Christine@Christine's Recipes said...

The simple butter cake is always the winner in my family. Love your variation with almonds on top, adding more flavour and texture. Thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

I love butter cakes, and m
veri choosy too..Yours is what i want...Yummy..

noobcook said...

both yours and lk's versions look delicious. your almond cupcake is very cute too. great job!

Anonymous said...

this recipe makes two layers, yes?

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

^ the batter should easily fill 2 4 inch mini round pans but that will make very tall layers! You could probably make 2 short layers if you use 8 inch pans. Hope that helps. Or you could bake in one pan and cut the layers yourself though it's probably more of a hassle?

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

LK - you're too humble!

Peter, Shirley, PPC, Wiffy, Christine - thanks so much for your kind words :)

Christine, the almond cupcakes were a last minute idea hehe

Anon 1 - I'm glad you like this kind of butter cake :)

tigerfish said...

I remembered this butter cake from FoodForTots since I commented at that time that butter cake should be my basic starter cake if I really do start baking some cakes? Till today, have baked none :(

TasteHongKong said...

Your 'little' variation looks great! Let me count next time : ), thanks for sharing the tip.
LK's butter cake recipe is indeed a keeper.

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

TF - yes this is a very easy cake to bake! and def yummy :)

THK - thanks :) I love LK's butter cake recipe!

Anonymous said...

Baked this recipe and added some cranberries for the x'mas season celebration. Turned out awesome. Very moist and buttery. Thanks.

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

^ thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you liked the recipe :D

Technicolor Kitchen said...

I loooove simple cakes like this one! They're a breeze to make and taste delicious. Yours turned out very tender, I can see it from the photo!

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Thanks TK, yes this is my go-to recipe for butter/ pound cake now :)

Lucy said...

I loved this cake, it was delicious!
I'm from UK and I have never heard of a 'butter' cake
but I love the texture of the cake compared to an average sponge.
many thanks, (:

Lucy1808 said...

May I know how much 227 gms of butter wld be in liquid form? I'm thinking of using olive oil instead as I don't take butter. Thanks!

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

hi, it should be about 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces..but I have never tried making this with olive oil so I think the texture is going to be markedly different. You could try substituting with margarine instead?

Lucy1808 said...

More questions: you say preheat oven to180 degrees.. but what heat shld I bake cake at? Also, what does T stand for? U mentioned table spoon in your instructions but does that apply to the salt too?

OK, I've baked one cake using agak-agak method but would appreciate further enlightenment for new attempts.

I used olive oil (no thanks to margarine; worse than butter); the cake wasn't too heavy. After all, when butter melts, it too becomes oil :lol:

Anonymous said...

Hi, do you have any tips to prevent a crackly top and achieve a flat surface? Thank you!!

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