Even since I started to bake again (after a 15-year hiatus), I have quite enjoyed making pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year, and different flavours of my favourite Basque burnt cheesecake, my mummy has been hinting that I should bake a butter cake. We love butter cake. It was our regular breakfast when we were young and we always buy it from the nearby bakery. I remembered it was always very moist, buttery and very sweet and we’ll dip it into milo or milk tea. Ever since my parent has the three highs, we cut down on the consumption of sugar in our family meals, and become very conscious about eating healthier choices of food.
Thus obviously in this butter cake recipe, I’ve chosen to use Stevia sweetener to replace sugar and also used a reduced amount of it. This recipe uses the creaming method whereby the butter and sugar is first beaten together until they are lightened in colour and turn fluffy, before adding the eggs, and finally alternating the dry and liquid ingredients into the batter. I find that it results in cakes that are more moist and dense, which is perfect for this butter cake. However there are tonnes of recipes out there that uses the sponge cake method whereby you beat the egg white until soft peaks form, then add in the egg yolk and sugar mixture and the flour. Honestly I find the sponge method (for example the famous Mrs Ng old fashioned butter cake) a little tedious, having to beat the egg white and egg yolks separately. Yup I am lazy in this aspect.
In terms of equipment, I used my Kenwood food mixer with a paddle attachment which is a breeze when it comes to mixing cake. Alternatively you can use a handheld electric mixer which works great.
Ways to enjoy the butter cake
- Eat it with a cup of nice milo, milk tea or hot coffee in the morning as breakfast – I prefer strong black espresso. It really brings out the buttery flavours of the cake.
- Top with some cream cheese frosting or peanut butter. OMG that cream cheese frosting is my favourite ever!
- Or just eat it on its own. I’ll sometimes make this with cute animal moulds so it’s more fun to enjoy it with the kids in my family.
Tips for baking
- I tried a couple of different butter, sugar, egg, flour proportions, this version came out to be the best in terms of softness, moisture and the rich butter taste.
- Choice of butter plays a part. I used the Lurpak unsalted butter in this recipe and would much prefer this brand. Butter from Europe is a much better choice, IMHO, as it’s churned to achieve at least an 82% butterfat content according to the EU standard. Higher butterfat content makes creamier and richer baked products. You can of course use salted butter and just omit salt in the recipe.
- Do not overmix the batter after adding in the flour, over mixing produces a tough cake and releases more gluten.
- In this recipe, the height of the butter cake is about 1-inch with the 9-inch square pan that I used. I have used a loaf pan before and always ended up with a cracked top, plus having to bake it longer as the bottom is still wet from the stick test, resulting in a tough cake. I complained about it to mummy and she said, just use a pan with larger surface so you bake the cake thinner. Such wisdom and common sense!
- Baking time for a 9-inch square pan is about 25-30 minutes. For cup cakes or smaller cake moulds (like the animal moulds I used), it takes about 12-15 minutes.
- The best way to test if the cake is done is by inserting a skewer or chopstick and if it comes out clean, it’s good. A second test is to gently press the surface of the cake, if it springs back, it’s good to go.
- The butter, eggs and milk should be at room temperature so that the batter mixes and bakes evenly.
- Be sure to beat the butter and sugar for the full 4-5 minutes to create volume and lightness, which gives the cake height and a tender crumb.
How to store the butter cake
The butter cake is really soft and springy when it’s first baked out of the oven. I usually keep it in an air-tight container and leave it on the countertop for 3-4 days, it’ll be kept fresh and soft this way.
If kept in the fridge, store it in an air-tight container and it should last about 7-8 days. Just a note of caution, the cake turns harder if stored this way, my mummy would then steam it for a few minutes to make it soft again.
Pin now, bake later
Watch how to bake the butter cake on YouTube
Butter Cake, Moist Old Fashioned Recipe
- 200 g plain flour or all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 170 g unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 150 g Stevia sweetener or sugar, add up to 225g
- 2 medium eggs about 60g with shell
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 170 ml fresh milk I used lactose-free milk
- Preheat oven at 170C / 338F with top and bottom heating with fan setting.
- Coat a cake pan (I used a 9-inch square cake pan) with butter from the butter wrapper, dust with plain flour and knock off the excess plain flour. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 200g plain flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp fine salt.200 g plain flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp fine salt
- Cream 170g unsalted butter in a food mixer with paddle attachment on high speed.170 g unsalted butter
- Gradually add 150g Stevia sweetener (or sugar, you can opt to increase the sugar volume up to 225g) and mix until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.150 g Stevia sweetener
- Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium low speed until incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing.2 medium eggs
- Add 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract and mix on medium until incorporated.1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift 200g plain flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp fine salt into the batter in 3 rounds, alternating with 170ml fresh milk.The sequence will be: dry ingredients > milk > dry ingredients > milk > dry ingredients.Mix on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated each round. Do not overmix. Beat until no signs of flour. Scrape the sides and bottoms of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing.200 g plain flour, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp fine salt, 170 ml fresh milk
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and level the top with a rubber spatula. Tap a few times on the table and use a chopstick or toothpick to swirl around the batter to release any air bubbles.
- Bake at 170C / 338F for about 25-30 minutes. If you are using an oven without fan, you may need to bake it for about 35-45 minutes. Test for doneness by using a chopstick or toothpick to insert into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is ready. Test again by gently poking the surface of the cake with your finger, if it is springy, you can remove the cake from the oven.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes on a cooling rack before removing it from the pan. Enjoy!
This recipe is shared with Fiesta Friday.