(Part two of the best butter cake series)

I thought I know everything about baking butter cake a few years ago.

During one of the baking session, I fumbled.

The cakes were dense, with cracked top and uneven rising.

The result was not only disappointing but embarrassed to divulge to my guests with high expectation.

After the disastrous incidence, I spend the next few years fine-tuning the formula, looking into minute details of mixing, temperature control, ingredients, etc.

Finally, I can now boast my butter cake is luscious, tender, with a delicate flavor and velvety texture. Most importantly, the formula guarantees to yield a consistent result. No more lumps, cracks, large pits and coarse texture like before.

I thought it is time to share my baking experience with everyone. And that is the reason to write this complete guide to bake the butter cake.

My greatest satisfaction is to know that this guide can help you to bake an excellent butter cake.

Why do I write about butter cake instead of other types of cake?

First, it is the easiest cake to learn, and with a large margin of error. Secondly, I have learned so much through failure and success and want to show you the mistakes and tricks that I have picked up throughout the years.

Read the part one of How to Make the Best Butter Cake to understand how to choose the ingredients and the rationale of setting up the recipe.

 

Please note that I am writing from the perspective of a non-pastry chef. This guide will save you all the hard work of finding the answers to the questions about baking butter cake and avoid most of the common mistakes.

Let’s look at how to make the best butter cake right away.

I have divided this guide into eight steps:
Step 1- Cream the butter and sugar
Step 2- Prepare the dry ingredients
Step 3- Measure the wet ingredients
Step 4- Add the egg and milk to the batter
Step 5- Add the dry ingredients
Step 6- Scaling and panning
Step 7- Baking temperatures and the duration
Step 8- How to keep the butter cake

butter cakes

Watch this video- the summary of how to make the best butter cake.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more into. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Step 1- Cream the butter and sugar

I start the process with mixing the sugar and butter together.

Textbooks and cookbooks refer this as the creaming process because the combination looks like cream. The texture of butter cake made in this way is velvety and soft. I tried to use other methods, but the texture is denser than what I prefer.

You can learn more about other mixing techniques in an authoritative book called Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslen [1].

How to get it done?

creaming butter cake
Creaming butter and sugar together

Creaming is the method to beat the sugar and butter together to form a homogeneous batter. Air bubbles will trap in the mixture during the process. The tiny air bubbles expand during baking to form the light, airy, fluffy and soft texture of the cake. [2]

Cut the butter into 1cm slices and place them in the mixer bowl. I will wait until the butter softens before adding sugar. Soft butter is more efficient to trap the small air bubbles when it combines with sugar, which is important to develop the volume of the cake.

The mixing speed affects the outcome significantly. High speed is more efficient to trap air bubbles and therefore forms a more creamy and fluffy texture. On the other hand, low speed requires a longer time to achieve the same result, and at times may even fail to whip up a smooth texture.

The type of mixer attachment also affects the outcome of the butter-sugar mixture. I always use the wire whisk to cream the butter and sugar. Choosing the wrong attachment and you will doom to disaster in creaming.

If you have not own one yet, you can get a mixer, one with versatile attachment set includes traditional beaters, whisk and dough hooks.

While dough hook is best for making bread, flat edge beater is useful to make the biscuit dough. You can read more about the different types of wire whisk, dough hook and flat edge beater in this article. [3]

How long should I mix it?

creaming butter and sugar
Creaming completed- creamy and fluffy

It should be between three to six minutes.

Get a reliable digital timer so that you will not forget to switch off the mixer. This little kitchen gizmo is handy when you are away from your kitchen or cooking a few items at the same time.

I like the timer that features an LCD with easy-to-read numbers, with the loud beeping sound, and either can clip-on, stands, or magnetically attaches for your convenience.

The mixing time depends on the quantity of the batter, the speed of mixing and the shape of the wire whisk. Visual observation is the most reliable method to decide when to stop mixing.

Stop when the batter becomes very light and fluffy, and the color turns from the initial bright yellow to pale yellow. The texture should now look like whipped cream.

Fortunately, there is no issue to mix longer than require. Therefore, it is a good practice to mix a bit longer to ensure it is light and fluffy.

Key points:

  1. Start mixing the sugar with butter only when the butter is soft enough.
  2. Use high speed to mix.
  3. Use a wire whisk to mix.
  4. Mix until the color turns to pale yellow, with the texture, resemble whipped cream.

 

Step 2- Prepare the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder)

I mix the flour, baking powder and salt together while waiting for the butter to soften.

This step is essentially a no-brainer. However, I would like to mention about the necessity of sieving the flour as I see it.

There are contradicting opinions on the issue of sieving the flour. The rationale is sieving can remove lumps and impurities. It also aerates the flour and makes it easier to incorporate into the wet ingredients. Sieving the dry ingredients together also helps the baking powder and salt distribute evenly.

But I do not sieve the flour.

The flour I order from a trusted local flour mill is clean and free from lumps. I find that cakes made from sieved and unserved flour are identical.

I wonder whether my supplier sends me the pre-sieved flour without letting me know.

Therefore, I just mix the flour with salt and baking powder with a whisk before adding it to the wet ingredients. I do this to minimize the time required to combine with the batter, which will discuss in detail in Step 5.

Note: If your flour is not pre-sieved, please sieve with a flour sifter to prevent the flour to become lumpy.

Key points:

  1. Sieve the flour with a flour sifter only if it is lumpy.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together.

Step 3- Measure the wet ingredients (eggs, milk)

eggs for butter cake
Crack all the eggs in a bowl

I use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients. I have converted all the measurements from cups and liters to grams. While this may not be important, I find that this is the best way to work in the kitchen. This method simplifies the recipe and gets away the possible confusion among gram, liters, cups, and tablespoons.

I use gram as the single unit of measurement in my kitchen. It boosts efficiency and minimizes human errors among my kitchen staffs.

I crack all the eggs into a large bowl and milk in another. It doesn't matter whether both are mixed them together. I separate them just to make sure if I pour too much milk, I can still salvage the extra if they are in separate bowls

Key point:

  1. Use electronic measuring machine to measure dry and wet ingredients for accuracy and convenience.

Step 4- Add the eggs and milk to the batter of butter and sugar

Creaming is the most important part of the cake making proccess. I fumbled before because I was impatient. The cake lose volume when I added the milk and eggs before the butter and sugar mixture becomes fluffy and light.

Therefore, it is crucial to mix until the color turns to pale yellow, with the texture resemble whipped cream before adding the liquid ingredients.

I mix in the eggs and milk at high speed. Some cookbooks suggest to add the egg alternately with milk and pour into the butter mixture a little at a time. The purpose is to let part of the eggs well combined first before adding the next lot to ensure it is well absorbed.

I pour ALL the eggs into the batter followed by milk a minute later. As long as I continue mixing it at a higher speed, the egg and milk will eventually combine well with the batter.

The idea of pouring all the eggs in one go into the mixing bowl is not in line with the recommendation from most of the cookbook and baking experts. I am working in a kitchen with minimum manpower and looking for a method that is efficient. This method works well and saves time.

What about the attachment of the mixer and the speed?

Attachments for the mixer
From right: wire whisk, flat blade and dough hook

Mix with high speed with the wire whisk, just like for butter and sugar. It does not mix well with the flat edge beater at low speed, which I did try before. High-speed mixing aerates the mixture further to add volume to the structure, which is paramount for a light and smooth butter cake.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing. Continue mixing until it becomes homogeneous.

I usually do not set the timer to remind me when to stop mixing.

The time varies with the mixing speed, the amount of the mixture and types of the whisk.

Therefore, the best way to decide when to stop mixing is to by observing the color and texture. Stop mixing once the mixture becomes curd-like and pale yellow. It takes between three to five minutes.

Key points:

  1. Use high speed to mix.
  2. Use wire whisk for mixing.
  3. Pour all the egg and milk into the batter while keeping the mixer running.
  4. Use a spatula to scrape off any ingredients stick on the side of the mixer.
  5. Mix until it is light, fluffy, creamy and become pale yellow.

Step 5- Add the dry ingredients

It is time to add the dry ingredients when the batter becomes homogenous, light, fluffy, curd-like and pale yellow,

Gluten forms when the flour mixed with liquid can toughen the cake. I was paranoid about the formation of gluten when I made butter cakes years ago. In fact, there were times my cake were under mixed, with tiny lumps of unmixed flour left in the cake. Ever since then, I had struggled with the problem but eventually, I found the solution.

The trick is to mix until no more visible lumps in the shortest possible time.

This is how I do it:

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder together before adding to the batter. Since the dry ingredients are well combined, I can shorten the time of mixing without worrying about the uneven distribution of the dry ingredients.
Use the wire whisk to mix. The attachment has multiple wires and is very efficient in mixing, thus shorten the time required.
Pour all the flour into the batter in one action. The time required is shorter than by adding it in batches.
Scrape down the side of the mixing bowl.
Mix on the slowest speed to minimize gluten formation.
Stop immediately once the batter is homogenous and free from lumps.

Overmixed cake is tougher and may form noticeable pits and holes (think of bread). The cake can crack, and develop long tunnels in extreme cases. [5].

Since I am making a batch of four cakes, it is labor intensive to do it manually. However, you can use a hand held wire whisk if you just make one at a time.

Key points:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients before adding to the batter.
  2. Pour all the ingredients into the batter in one action.
  3. Use slow speed to mix.
  4. Use a wire whisk to mix.

Step 6- Scaling and panning

Fill up the baking pans and start baking is nothing technical, but I have a list of tips and tricks for you to make it super easy and efficient.

Scaling and panning can sometimes be a little messy, so you may consider using your apron. There are plenty of choice for women apron all the time, but now men's apron is easily available too.

I used 8-inches (20cm) square cake pans. Each cake is 1.3kg before baking. Net weight after the cake cool down completely is 1.1kg.

Tips:

  1. Prepare the baking pans before making the cake to bake it without any delay.
  2. Pan with removable (or loose) bottom is ideal as you can remove the cake easily by inverting it.
  3. Always apply some oil to the sides and the base of the pan.
  4. Place a piece of baking paper on the base of the pan. The paper will secure to the surface by the oil. The size of the paper should be the exact size or slightly smaller than the base. If the paper is too big, the edge of the paper will curl up, resulting in a slightly rounded bottom edge.
  5. Also, make sure the paper is flat because the folds may stick into the batter. I have difficulties to remove it from the cake without damaging it.
  6. Weigh the batter on an electronic weighing scale. This method is the most convenient way to ensure the weight of all the cakes is identical. You do not have to do this when you make one cake, but it is handy to have an electronic kitchen scale.
  7. Give the cake pan several sharp raps on the table to free any large trapped air bubbles. Tap to smoothen the batter. The small unevenness will disappear when the temperature rises in the oven. Bake immediately.

Step 7- Baking temperatures and the duration

fresh butter cake
Freshly baked butter cake

I usually preheat the oven until the internal temperature became stable.

I have used both domestic and the commercial oven. The small convection oven is equally good to bake a high-quality butter cake.

Whichever oven you use, always use a pair of oven mitts when you place and remove the cakes from the oven for your safety.

The temperatures and times for baking butter cake can vary from oven to oven. The temperatures mentioned in the recipe is only a rough guide.

This variation is due to the size and position of the elements of the oven, which affect the time and temperature required.

For instance, I am using a gas oven with two rows of straight burners. One is on top, and the other one at the bottom runs from left to right across the center. I have a small electric oven with U-shape upper and lower elements. The cakes baked in these ovens turn out to be different in color and volume with the identical time and temperature setting.

Heat distribution has more time to distribute evenly in the larger oven before reaching the cake surface. On the contrary, heat elements for the smaller oven are closer to the cake, and hence the variation of temperature at different parts of the oven can be quite significant.

Bear in mind that the temperature shown on the control panel of the oven may not be the actual temperature. That is exactly why I may not getting the desired result even though I follow hundred percent of the recipe.

The best way is checking the color of the cake visually when it comes to deciding the doneness of the cake.

Here is how I do it

I will set the timer ten minutes earlier than the targeted baking time. The cake should become slightly brown and set firmly. It is safe to open the oven door to check the doneness without affecting the quality. Continue to bake for another ten minutes if the color has not reached the expected tone.

I only use the oven that I am familiar with, especially when I want to bake cakes for important occasions.

If you bake more than one cake, do not let the pans touch each other in the oven. Leave at least 3 cm in between to enable proper air circulation to ensure the cakes rise evenly.

After baking, remove the cake and cool at room temperature for a few minutes until you can hold the pan with your hands.

Since butter cakes are rich in oil, there is no need to run a knife around the sides. Invert and drop the cake onto a cake board and loosen the detachable base by tapping it lightly. The cake will fall into the cake board gently.

Key points:

  1. The actual internal temperature of different ovens is different although the setting is identical.
  2. Use only your trusted oven.
  3. Preheat the oven. Use a pan with removable base. Apply oil to the baking pan.
  4. Make sure the size of the baking paper is the same as the base or slightly smaller.
  5. Leave 3cm in between pans in the oven,
  6. Check the color of the cake visually to decide the actual baking time required.

Step 8- How to keep butter cakes fresh

The flavor of a freshly baked butter cake is irresistible, and that is why we say ‘sell like hot cakes.' However, there will be situations you need to keep it for a few days or even weeks.

Can butter cake stay fresh for an extended period?

Butter cake can stay fresh in the refrigerator (4°C) for three to four days. I will keep the butter cake in the freezer if it is for more than a week. Here is the method I use:

Steps:

  1. Let the butter cake cool completely after baking.
  2. Place the cake on a cake board, put each cake in a plastic bag. Loosely seal the bag with cellophane tape.
  3. Place the bag of cake into another plastic bag. Store the cake in a plastic container or a cake box.
  4. Keep them in the freezer.
  5. Remove the cake from the freezer a day before serving.
  6. Let the cake defrost at room temperature with the double layer of plastic bags unopened.
  7. When the temperature rises to above freezing point (0°C), remove the bags and place it into the chiller.
butter cakes recipe
4.92 from 24 votes
Butter cake recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 
This is a simple rich butter cake recipe.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: butter cake
Servings: 1 cake
Calories: 480 kcal
Author: KP Kwan
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Remove the butter from the chiller and let it soften.
  2. Mix the butter and castor sugar together by creaming method. Mix with a wire whisk at high speed until fluffy, light, creamy and become pale yellow.
  3. Add the eggs into the butter and sugar batter. Mix for a minute.
  4. Add the milk and mix again until the mixture is homogenous and curd-like.
  5. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix at low speed. Do not overmix.
  7. Preheat the oven.
  8. Apply oil to the cake pan.
  9. Place a piece of baking paper in the pan with removable base.
  10. Pour the batter into the pan.
  11. Give the pan several sharp raps.
  12. Bake at 170°C, both top and bottom temperatures for 60 minutes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Fit for 8-inch square baking pan or 9-inch square cake pan.   You will get a cake with the height about 2.5-in at the center and 2-inch at the edge.

Nutrition Facts
Butter cake recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 480 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 46%
Sodium 0.4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 47g 16%
Sugars 25g
Protein 7g 14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.


Conclusion

Making butter cake is both science and art. I hope this practical guide will help you to bake a perfect butter cake that you want. Any recommendations, comments, corrections, and questions are welcome. Please shout out in the comments column below.

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Useful references for baking butter cake

1 Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslen (7th edition)
2 On food and cooking, the science and lore of the kitchen- Harold McGee
3 http://www.partselect.ca/Resources/KitchenAid-For-Christmas.aspx
4 http://www.thekitchn.com/is-sifting-flour-for-baked-goods-really-necessary-213894
5 http://oureverydaylife.com/long-mix-flour-baking-cake-30711.html

butter cake recipe

 

butter cake recipe pin

    111 replies to "Complete guide- How to make the best butter cake (8 simple steps)"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply any questions and comments as soon as possible.

      • Nur Nadiah

        Hi, can I know the amount/quantity of each ingredient that you used? Thank you!

        • KP Kwan

          Hi Nadiah,
          The butter cake recipe with the amount is in the article. You can find it towards the end, after all the explanation.

          Thanks,

          KP Kwan

      • Koh

        Hi, kp kwan.I follow all step …but dunno why my butter cake still Got like cake is not rising at bottom.thx

        • KP Kwan

          Hi Koh,

          Thanks for reaching out for the butter cake.
          I know it may be difficult to follow the recipe as there are too many reasons for having a no fully risen cake. Since I am not there in person, I try to think of what might cause it and list soon as follow. Hope you might be able to spot out the reason.

          Base on what I know, the causes of the butter cake does not rise properly can be:
          1. Temperature is too low. The temperature as indicated on the oven might not be accurate. I have two ovens which have an actual temperature different from one to another. (I use an external thermometer to verify both.). If that is the case, try to add five to ten degrees next time when you bake it.
          2. Insufficient mixing. Mixing the butter, sugar, and egg will never be too long. Try mixing it until very fluffy and light help to raise the cake properly.
          3. Too little sugar. That is what I encounter before, and the cake turned out to have uncooked layers. But if you follow the recipe than this should not be the case.

          Hope this is useful to you.

      • Lin

        Hi Mr Kwan,

        I’m going to try your butter cake recipe but using two-thirds of the quantity, that is, 220g unsalted butter, 160g sugar, 200g flour, etc. However, instead of 220g butter, can I increase it to 250g for a more flavourful buttery taste? Just to be sure, with the reduced measure, I would need 200g eggs and 30g milk – this should translate to 4 medium eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk, right?

        I would also appreciate it if you could also advise me on the dimensions of the baking tin to use for this cake size. Thanks for much!

        • KP Kwan

          I set up the butter cake recipe by following a +/- 20% rule. This means if the flour is 100%, then the butter should be at max 120 %, and liquid (egg plus milk) at max 120%.

          If I make a cake with 200g flour, I will use butter not more than 120% of 200g i.e. 240g. Similarly, the amount of liquid will be maxed at 240g too. Translated to 200g of egg plus 40 of milk maximum. Salt and baking powder should be 1% of flour i.e. 4g each.

          Any amount that is more (or less) than 20% of the flour is out of my comfort zone, as I need to make more testing to verify the stability and the texture of the cake.

          If you want to use 250g butter for more flavor, go for it and do let me know the outcome.

          I use the 8-inch square tin for the cake in the recipe. Since your is smaller, use the 6-inch square tin if you have.

          Thanks,

          KP Kwan

          • Lin

            Thanks so much for your reply and the useful tips and advice. I must say that I enjoyed reading your detailed but clear explanation about the butter cake in your website!

            • KP Kwan

              You are welcome, Lin. Wishing you all the success to make the butter cake.

    • s

      Hi KP Kwan. Your pictures look good. Did you happen to mention the size of the pan you used for the cake?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi S,
        I use 8-inch square cake pans. Weight before baking is 1.3kg and after baking is 1.1kg.
        I have added this information at the beginning of Step 6 in the guide.
        Thanks,
        KP Kwan

    • Gee

      Hi! If I were to use 8″ pan what will be the height?

      • KP Kwan

        The highest point of the butter cake is about 4 to 5 cm in the middle after baking.

    • Jin Fong

      Hi,

      Can I heat the butter melt into liquid and then beat them using wire whisk?

      Instead of beating butter with sugar, can I use egg to beat with sugar, is the texture is the same?

      Thanks.

      • KP Kwan

        I suggest you do not melt the butter. Here is the reason:

        The mixing method in this recipe is called creaming method. During the incorporation process, the friction between the crystalline sugar and the butter will form small air cells. Therefore, the batter will become light and fluffy and the volume increase.

        Butter that is too warm will not hold as much air and give as much volume as at room temperature (best at 21°C). As a result, the cake will become denser.

        If you make sponge cake or chiffon cake, you need to beat the eggs until the volume is triple and add the melted butter to it later. However, the amount of butter should be much less. This way is called whipping method which is not suitable for butter cake with high-fat content.

    • Regine

      You wrote–>I used 8-inches (20cm) square cake pans. Each cake is 1.3kg before baking. Net weight after the cake cool down completely is 1.1kg.

      Does this mean that this recipe gives more than one 8 inch square cake pan? If yes, how many square pans? I see you wrte each cake is 1.3kg before baking. Does this include weight of the pan?
      Thanks!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Regine,

        The recipe is for one cake only. The weight does not include the cake pan.

        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

    • Hacna

      Hi, how many eggs did you used for this recipe. I just used six, coz each weight almost 50g.

      • KP Kwan

        Dear Hacna,
        I used six eggs, each 50g, exactly just like what you did.
        Hope you enjoy the butter cake.
        KP Kwan

    • Hamizah

      Hi Kwan

      I noticed you didn’t add in any vanilla. Is it ok to add in? Thanks

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Hamizah,

        You can add vanilla to the butter cake. You do not need to change the formula.

        I did not use vanilla because I like the flavor of butter and want the butter flavor to stand out. The exclusion is just my preference.

        Hope this helps 🙂

        KP Kwan

    • Yuwadee Nswd

      Cake flour is just only the flour for baking cake, not be all purposed, right?
      I ever made other recipes for butter cakes , am not sure what its wrong..its come out good but a bit dried, not be moist and buttery as your recipe.
      I will try next time, thanks for sharing

      • KP Kwan

        Dear Yuwadee,
        You can get the ‘all purpose flour’ to make butter cake. It is interchangeable with ‘cake flour’.
        If my cake come out a bit dry, I will likely try the following;
        1. Increase the sugar content. Sugar act as softener.
        2. Increase the amount of butter used, which help to make it softer.
        3. Increase the amount of liquid (egg, milk, juice) but not more than 1.2x of the weight of the flour.

        If you find the above is too complex, just reduce the amount of flour will do. It should work.

        Hope this helps.

        KP Kwan

    • shin

      hi KP. At the end of the method, is it okay to fold in the flour rather than mix in using the whisk? i have tried a recipe which uses the method like yours and it turns out the cake is hard. Just like what you mention about the gluten. Will folding in the flour makes any difference? Thanks in advance.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Shin,

        It is OK to just fold in the flour.
        In fact, if you make one cake, it is better to fold in, rather than to use the whisk. That will assure to minimize the formation of gluten.
        Since I make four cakes each time, it is more practical (and less tired) to using the whisk.

        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

    • Mary

      Wow!quite helpful. I often have problem in getting a uniform blend when mixing the butter,sugar and egg.Any helpful tips,please.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Mary,
        Here are my additional tips for you:
        1. Cut the butter, bring it to room temperature or until very soft before start mixing with the sugar.
        2. Always use caster or granulated (find) sugar.
        3. Mix the butter and sugar until VERY fluffy (like soft ice cream) before adding milk and eggs.
        4. Mix with high speed has a better result.
        5. Do not afraid of mixing it for too long. I never encounter the problem with after mixing.

        Hope this helps.

        KP Kwan

    • kenniceangle

      Wow, Thanks to share your recipe.your step by step instructions are helpful by starter.

      • KP Kwan

        You are welcome!

    • Annie

      Hi KP, thx for this very yummy butter cake.I baked this very yummy cake when I was in.secondary school. All love it especially my beloved dad & grandma. Unfortunately i lost my recipe book when I shifted home. And I have been looking for it many years. Tried many recipes none is like school day’s. I finally found yours. Taste just like before. Yum..Thx so much. God bless.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Annie,
        So glad to know that you like the butter cake.
        Have a great day.
        KP Kwan

        • Annie

          Thanks KP. I baked both marble & a chocolate version. They taste great too!

          • KP Kwan

            Wonderful!

        • Annie

          It’s the best butter cake in the world!

          • KP Kwan

            Thanks for your kind words 🙂

        • Annie

          Even my hubby who doesn’t like cakes LOVE your butter cake! Thx again!

          • KP Kwan

            Hi Annie,

            You can use this recipe as the foundation of many variations of butter cakes.
            I mean you can add nuts, chocolates or even add frosting.

            Happy baking.

            KP Kwan

            • Annie

              thx KP. I added dried cranberries,so yummy

            • KP Kwan

              It is a nice twist on the butter recipe.

    • Prya

      could you please convert recipe measurements into cups and tsp, thanks so much

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Prya,

        Here is the conversion. In future, you can get the conversation from any internet free tools.

        However, I suggest you purchase a digital weighing scale for your kitchen. It is much more accurate and convenient.

        330g (1.45 cups) of good quality unsalted butter
        240g (1.2 cups) of caster sugar
        300g (6 medium size eggs )of eggs
        45g (3 tablespoons) of milk
        300g (2.4 cups) of cake flour
        3g (3/4 teaspoon) of salt
        3g (3/4 teaspoon) of baking powder

        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

    • Sheila

      Hi KP Kwan,

      I really like your method and explanations. We are vegetarian so I cannot use eggs. I have recently discovered an amazing substitute called AQUAFABA (you can search this on the internet) which can be sourced by discarding chickpea soaking water and then saving the water used to cook the chickpeas and reducing it and chilling it in the refrigerator until it becomes the consistency of eggs (the chickpeas can be used for other recipes). I recently used this egg white replacement to make amazing and delicious eggless meringues as the aquafaba could be whipped up to make soft white peaks, but probably took longer to whip than egg whites.

      For general recipes, the suggested substitution is to use 3Tblsp aquafaba to replace 1 whole egg and 2Tblsp aquafaba to replace 1 egg white. I realise based on your method, the quantity is questionable as it will depend on the size/weight of the hen’s eggs, so some experimentation will be necessary on my part. However, with respect to the method, is it possible to separately whisk the aquafaba to form soft peaks and to either fold the milk and aquafaba into the butter/sugar cream or to use the mixer to combine the milk/eggs with the butter/sugar cream?

      Thank you.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Sheila,

        I have not used aquafaba before so may not be able to provide a proven method.

        The reason to beat the butter and sugar together is to make it very fluffy and trap the air inside, so the cake will become light and fluffy due to the expansion of air while baking. I believe after you beat the aquafaba it will be light as meringues, so if I am you, I will likely fold in the meringue.

        But bear in mind butter is of animal origin. If you substitute with any vegetarian oil, the formula will have butter and eggs substituted, which are the primary ingredients. I am afraid you need to test and rebuild the recipe from scratch. However, I hope some of the techniques I mention in the article is helpful to you.

        KP Kwan

        • Sheila

          Thanks so much KP Kwan for your prompt response. We are not vegan just vegetarian so butter and milk will not be a problem, just the eggs. I will try your recipe and simply substitute the aquafaba for the eggs and whisk it separately and fold in with the milk into the butter/sugar cream. I am going to try your coconut panna cotta now, but substitute agar agar powder for the gelatin. I also plan to try some of your meat dishes using faux meat as substitute.

          I live in Australia, but when I visit Malaysia, where is your restaurant – I would love to come and try your authentic cuisine, or at least tell some of my relatives who live there.

          • KP Kwan

            I live in Kuala Lumpur. Usually, I do not link this blog to my restaurant/cafe as my reader are all over the world. If you are in Kuala Lumpur, you are welcome to my cafe. Here is the link: http://bakeroni.com/

    • mariska

      I would suggest you edit the recipe with regards to a cup, tbs and ts. The grams can get overwhelming. With all of the conversion, I accidentally used 30 grams of baking powder in stead of 3! I know it was clumsy of me, but looking up the gram conversion of every ingredient gets overwhelming.

      Thank you for the great recipe though.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Mariska,
        I have updated the butter cake recipes with both gram and cup/tbsp/tsp. Hope it makes it easier for your reference.
        However, if you are working in the kitchen a lot, I do suggest you get a kitchen weighing machine, with one gram accuracy.
        I find that it is so much efficient and accurate. The recipes in my cafe are all by grammage, but I do understand cups and spoons are still more commonly used.
        Hope you make this wonderful cake again.

        KP Kwan
        KP Kwan

    • Lily

      Hi KP Kwan

      I have baked this 2 days ago, very soft and nice. My concern is, can I reduce the sugar? And how much shld I reduce?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Lily,

        This question is tough for many people and me too.

        You may notice that the ration of flour to sugar in my recipe is every 100g flour I use 80g sugar.

        I find that this is the minimum amount of sugar to ensure the stability of the cake. I have tried to use 70g or 60g sugar for every 100g of flour. However, the butter cake sometimes turns out to have some thin layers, about half cm, which does not fully expand. I mean this part of the cake is compact and not fluffy. I am not sure why and have searched all the resources I can from internet and books but unable to get the answer. It does not always happen though.

        Therefore I set my ‘safe’ recipe at the amount of sugar.

        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

    • Belinda

      Hi KP Kwan,

      Just want to let you know that your butter cake recipe was really awesome. I have made it twice already and it turned out so yummy deliciously nice.

      I have tried many butter cake recipes and it didn’t turn out as nice. Thanks for the tips and easy to follow instructions. This is a recipe for sure to

      keep.

    • Belinda

      Hi KP Kwan,

      Just like to let you know that your butter cake recipe was really awesome. I made it twice already and it turned out so very yummy deliciously nice.

      Everyone loves it. Thanks for the clear instructions and tips. A recipe to keep.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Belinda,
        Happy to know that the butter cake turns out well.

        KP Kwan

    • Serwah

      Hi, why is the butter more than the flour. Won’t the cake be soggy?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Serwah,
        The cake will not be soggy in this formula. As a general guideline, the upper limit of butter is 1.2x of the flour, which is what I use in this recipe.
        This amount of butter will give a richer flavor to the cake.

        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

    • Karen

      Thank you Mr Kwan for putting in the time and effort to write such a detailed guide. My dad’s favourite cake is butter cake. It reminds him of his childhood because he came from a poor background and butter cake was such a luxury at that time. I tried your recipe today and even though the result was not perfect, I am still happy because this is my 1st time trying and I believe it is a very promising recipe. The sweetness and buttery flavour was just right. My batter was not as fluid as yours but I believe this is attributed to the flour used and perhaps environment. Next time, I will use my own judgment instead of following the recipe strictly. Thank you so much! I will definitely give it another try.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Karen,

        Thank you so much for your comment.
        I am glad that you have tried the recipe. Since there are many reasons for the less fluid batter, it is difficult for me to point out the reason to you. One thing I learn through the year is the butter must be soft enough to make it fluffy and light. I always took out the butter from the refrigerator and waited until it is soft before beating it with the sugar. Wait until it is fluffy and add the eggs. There is always safer to beat longer to trap more air.

        Hope you will get a better result next time.

        KP Kwan

    • Mae

      I love it texture wise I didn’t quite get as nice but That’s my issue to sort… overall it’s fantastic definitely nail my craving for butter cake!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Mae,
        Thank for trying out the butter cake recipe.
        Temperature, ingredients, baking duration and mixing all play a part.
        Glad that you like the texture and keep it up.

        KP Kwan

    • Irene

      Hi KP Kwan
      Accidentally stumble your recipe and gave it a try yesterday.
      Decreased the sugar and add cocoa powder and coffee. Turn out the cake is moist and super yummy.
      Thank you for sharing your recipe and tips as well. Definitely a recipe to keep.

      .

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Irene,
        Thank you so much for trying my recipe. This recipe is quite basic, so you can make changes as you like. I focus more on the techniques of making butter cake rather than a complicated formula.
        Congratulation on your success and glad that my article helps.

        KP Kwan

    • Rose

      Hi KP,
      Your BC recipe looks awesome and I’m going to try it today. However, I have two questions:
      1. Is the 300 g eggs with or without shells?
      2. Due to allergy issues, I’d like to replace the cows milk with almond milk. Will there significant changes in texture using cowsmilk?
      Rose

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Rose,

        The amount of egg in the butter cake recipe is without the shell. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so that is why using the kitchen scale for almost everything.

        KP Kwan

    • Rose

      Sorry KP, I meant will there be significant changes using ALMOND MILK?
      Rose

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Rose,

        I have not used almond milk for butter cake, but the mount is much less than the rest, so I should not have any significant changes to the cake. Just substitute the cow milk with almond milk the exact amount. Let me know the result after you make it.

        Thanks.

        KP Kwan

    • hedwig

      thx for the step bystep recipe. Can i know which butter touse either the salted or unsalted butter? Tq

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Hedwig,

        I use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, ignore the salt in the recipe will do.

        KP Kwan

    • Ruma Singh

      Thanks for sharing such a great information here.If you want to explore some wine blog then you can visit http://rumasingh.com/2017/04/21/decoding-the-indian-wine-drinker/

    • Wan Farzana

      Thanks for the tips! But can I ask you a question?
      Is the size of pans matter to this vanilla cake? What if this recipe I use round pan with 6 inches?

      Thanks 🙂

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Wan Farzana,
        The size of the cake I used is 8×8 square. It is therefore 64 inches square. If you use 6 inches round, it will be πr square, i.e., 3.14x3x3=28.

        That works put to be 28/64, i.e. = 43% smaller in volume than the 8×8 square. You may want to make half of the amount of my recipe, or just fill up two six inch round pan.

        You may want to shorten the baking time for this smaller cake.

        Hope this is useful.

        KP Kwan

    • Winnie Tan

      thanks for the recipe.
      1. However once I noticed that the surface of the cake seemed wet on the following day. What could be wrong?
      2. Once I used plain flour and the texture turned out more dry. Is it the flour or liquid issue?
      Thanks!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Winnie,
        1. I do notice that not only for this but other cakes too. I do not know that exact answer, but I wrap it in a plastic sheet which helps to stay fresh. Double wrap in plastic bags and keep in the freezer if you do not intend to eat now, It can stay fresh for weeks.
        2. Which type of flour did you use before using plain flour? I have used the normal cake flour (of different brands), and it does not make any difference. If you want to make it moist, you can increase the butter and increase the milk by ten percent, or both,
        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

    • Mae

      Ive made it 3 times and majority say is good.
      Till recently one of my friend suggested need to separate the egg.. anyone tried this way? Any difference? I can only imagine it’ll be like Japanese cheese cake.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Mae,
        I have not tried this way so far. Separate the egg and make meringue will further raise the volume. I am eager to know what will turn out. Let me know if you ever make one 🙂 It should be a super fluffy butter cake, albeit with a different texture.

        KP Kwan

    • Công Huyền Tôn Nữ Như Hảo

      Hi KP Kwan!
      To me, you’ re really awsome, thank you very much. I did the first wonderful butter cake yesterday. It ‘s very delicious! Althout my surface cake was crack but I also loved it. I thinked the reason was temperature, wasn’t it? Thanks a lot!

      • KP Kwan

        Thank you so much to try my recipe, and it works!
        Ther are two reasons. First, you are right that temperature may be too high. Try to reduce top temperature and bake slightly longer. Secondly, too little liquid. But if you use my recipe then it contains milk and egg, which should be wet enough.

    • Công Huyền Tôn Nữ Như Hảo

      Hi, KP Kwan

      Thanks for your reply!
      I didn’t change anything your recipe so I thought temperature was the main reason. Next time, I hope it’ll better, oh no, I’m sure ! Thank you so much!

      • KP Kwan

        You are welcome. We learn from each other!

    • Vera Harvey

      Hi I would like to no can I used this recipe for a 12inch cake 2inch cake pan

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Vera,
        Yes, you can. The formula is for 8-inch pan so if you do so; you need to make a larger amount. My rough calculation it should be double the amount of my recipe. The baking time may need to increase for a bigger cake. Take a look at 60 minutes to see if it has cooked and changed color. If not, increase another ten or fifteen minutes.

        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

    • Keerti

      Hi KP,

      The receipe is very good and i tried it too.It was delicious.But i have one question

      If i want to use oil instead of butter so how much quantity should i take for 100gm flour?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Keerti,
        You can use the same amount of butter, oil or margarine.
        Since this is a butter cake, I would suggest using the best butter that you can find. You will expect a different flavor once you substitute with another type of oil. However, you will never know what will turn out if you do not try it. That is why we all love to explore different ways to improvise the recipe. I hope it will turn out well.
        KP Kwan

    • wuga

      Hi KO,

      Mine cracked terribly and uneven rising, I use 1/4 of your recipe for an 8 inch one, any clue? Temperature is constant 170’C.

      • wuga33 it

        Is it due to overmixed during the last step (dry ingredient), due to uneven I mixed for five mins at slowest speed.

        • KP Kwan

          Hi Wuga,
          Reduce the final mixing time is a good idea. Once it is mixed, stop immediately.

          KP Kwan

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Wuga,
        The recipe in this article is best for an 8-inch square cake tin. If you use only 1/4 of the recipe, the height of the cake will be likely 1/4 compare to if you use the full amount in the recipe. Hence, the heigh is reduced drastically, and heat will reach each part of the cake much faster. It will likely overbake the cake and cause cracking.

        I suggest you can try to follow the full recipe with the 8-inch square cake tin. You can use a 6-inch square tin for half the amount in the recipe. In both cases, the surface: volume ratio is smaller and the chances of cracking will be much reduced. If you use half the amount of this recipe, you may need to reduce the baking time (with the same temperature) since it will cook faster.

        If the problem persists, try to check the butter cake in the over ten minutes before the time that you set. If you see that it start to crack, reduce the top temperature by ten-degree celsius, and continue to finish the baking.

        Hope this works 🙂
        KP Kwan

    • WM Lau

      Love all your explanations to your recipes. I was looking for steamed cakes, fat goh (Chinese prosperity cake) recipes, wondering if you’ve tested any, and could your share your experiences, eg: what makes fat goh ‘smile’.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Lau,
        Fat Goh 發糕 is a completely different recipe which I have not tested before. I may give it a test as it is within the scope of what I am developing.

        Thanks,

        KP Kwan

        • WM Lau

          :-), looking forward to your experiments.

    • Nivedita Edwankar

      it was fantastic. First time my cake turned out so well. But i used half the quantity. It was delicious. Can you share some other cake recipies also? Looking forward to your response
      Thanks

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Nivedita,
        Thank you for trying out the butter cake recipe. I do have another recipe- Chiffon Cake which I publish a few months ago. You can find it on my blog too.
        KP Kwan

    • JasT

      Hi KP,

      I tried this recipe but kept getting a cracked TOP ! I placed my cake on the lower rack of the oven and lower the heat to 160 deg. My oven thermometer reads 160 deg too. Do you know why ?

      – Jas

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Jas,
        There are two main reasons why butter cake cracks:
        1. Too dry. The liquid (egg, milk, juice) is too little.
        2. Too hot.
        I assume you are using the same recipe in this article. It is quite a wet formula, so if you are following this, this shouldn’t be the reason.
        Temperature is the possible culprit. The temperature indicator of most of the oven is unreliable. Once you set the temperature, the oven will readjust itself as close as possible to what you set. The problem is most likely due to where temperature probe is placed in the oven. The cake is located in the middle of the oven, which is not where the temperature sensor is located. Therefore, the temperature of the oven will never be the actual temperature reaching the surface of the cake.
        Furthermore, the setting of the oven may not be accurate. I have two identical ovens which do not give the same result.
        My suggestion is to reduce further the top temperature. You can bake it over 60 minutes if required, which will not cause any problem.
        Bear in mind once you got it right that is the setting for THAT oven. You have to test all over again if you another oven.
        Hope this info is useful to you.

        All the best.

        KP Kwan

        • JasT

          Hi KP,

          Tks for your reply.

          I will try again coz my final batter is slightly thicker than what I see in your video.

          Can I ask which part of the cake do u place it in the oven ? Middle or lower rack ?

          – JasT

          • KP Kwan

            Hi JasT,
            I am using a large (commercial oven) that does not have the tray to hang in the middle. So I have to put in on the ‘flour’ of the oven. But I do have the top bottom temperature setting separately.
            If you use a small oven, it is safer not to place the cake near to the top element.
            Hope you will bake a beautiful cake.
            Thanks,
            KP Kwan

    • Ellie

      KP

      Theres a few blog i have to copy handwritten coz its too precious to lost it. Yours is one of them. Ive obtained all the crucial info from the comment section. Since 8 in square pan area is 64 inches square. Means i can use this recipe for my 9 inches round pan. 3.14×4.5.4.5=63.5 in square. Thats a birthday cake i need to make for this weekend. My previous buttercake recipe is unreliable. It was dense.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Ellie,
        Yes, your calculation is correct. Fit for 8-inch square baking pan or 9-inch square cake pan.   You will get a cake with the height about 2.5-in at the center and 2-inch at the edge. I’ve added this information at the bottom of the recipe.
        Wishing you (or the birthday boy/girl) a wonderful birthday.
        KP Kwan

    • Ninna

      Hi,
      Can I use regular brown sugar instead of castor sugar?
      Also what is the exact oven setting to use. I get confused with top heat, bottom heat ,circulation, convection n convention. As you can see im new to baking. Thanks.

      • KP Kwan

        You can use brown sugar. Try to get the fine brown sugar as it works better. Most of the oven has two heat sources,one at the top and the other one at the bottom. I use a commercial oven but it works fine with any small oven. It should have one heat element on top and the other one at the bottom.

    • Man Eng

      Hi KP Kwan,
      Like to ask can I use molasses sugar and reduce the amount too, to replace castor sugar? If can reduce how much is advisable so do not affect the texture of the cake? As family member is on sugar control. Please advise thanks!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Man Eng,
        I never use molasses for this recipe so far, but as long as you cream the butter and sugar until very fluffy, it should be OK.
        As for reducing the amount of sugar, you will expect the cake will not be so soft and tender, as sugar act as softener. It is a trade off between tenderness and sweetness sometimes, which you need to make a decision
        KP Kwan

    • Nur Hafizah

      Hi KP Kwan,

      Since using bigger oven (56L rubine 8functions conventional oven), my butter cake has never been perfect.. It always became dense.. I tried use with fan it became dense, dry n burnt some sides, then without fan just top n bottom heat it became dense too. . My oven has 5 levels, should i puy the tray nearer to the bottom or just at d middle? 2ndly, if i mix using kitchen aid mixer should i use the highest speed because it seemed too fast.. Tq in advance

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Nur,
        1. I use high speed for my cake which turns out better than low speed. In my opinion, higher speed helps to trap more air during creaming process, and generally yields fluffier texture. One thing I notice is that it hardly gets overmix. I will go for high speed and longer time until it is really light and fluffy. Hope more air trapped within the butter /sugar helps to eliminate the dense problem.
        2. Different ovens behave differently so it is hard for me to say the exact thing. Mine is a commercial gas oven with top and bottom heat without fan. It works well with the temperature and timing as in the recipe.
        KP Kwan

    • Zhazan

      Hi KP Kwan
      Can I bake a cake in a steam oven?

      Thank you

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Zhazan,
        I am using a commercial oven without steam for all my cakes. I have to say that I am not sure about this. If you do know about it or have tried it, please share your experience with my readers.
        KP Kwan

    • YangWL

      Love the detailed explanation to every step. After not getting it right for so many times despite attending classes as well, I am glad I hv found a recipe as detailed and as well explained as yours. Better than attending but a baking class. Thank you so much for the recipe.
      By the way, can I ask what butter do you use?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Yang,
        I use SCS or sometimes Anchor brand butter. These are the brands available in Malaysia, where I live. You can use any brand, but use unsalted butter and add the salt by yourself. You can have full control of the saltiness this way.

        Thanks for following my butter cake recipe. Wish you all the success.

        KP Kwan

    • Lin

      Hi Mr Kwan,

      I’m going to try your butter cake recipe but using two-thirds of the quantity, that is, 220g unsalted butter, 160g sugar, 200g flour, etc. However, instead of 220g butter, can I increase it to 250g for a more flavourful buttery taste? Just to be sure, with the new measure, I would need 200g eggs and 30g milk – this should translate to 4 medium eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk, right?

      I would also appreciate it if you could also advise me on the dimensions of the baking tin to use for this cake size. Thanks for much!

    • […] you like this recipe, take a look at our butter cake recipe, green tea chiffon cake recipe, and Japanese cheesecake recipe.  There are some noteworthy tips […]

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    • Jasmine

      Thank you so much, i did it. It was great. Fantastic tips.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Jasmine,
        Thank you for following my butter cake recipe and wish you all the success in baking.
        KP Kwan

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