food 4 tots

Basic butter cake

Butter cake, cake



Source: Adapted and modified from Agnes Chang’s Baking Make Easy (蓝赛珍,轻轻松松学烘焙)

Make: 1 x 22cm square baking tin

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g plain flour/ all purpose flour
2 tsp double action baking powder
180-200g castor sugar
4 eggs
½ tsp salt
4 tbsp fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Butter cake, cake


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. (Best to preheat for 15 mins)
  2. Lightly grease a 22cm square baking tin with melted butter or oil and line it with grease-proof paper.
  3. Mix plain flour and baking powder together and sieve. Add in salt and mix well. Set aside.
  4. Use low speed to mix butter and sugar until well combined. Change to medium speed and beat until light and pale in yellow. (Note: Sugar has not dissolved yet).
  5. Add in the first egg. Beat well after each addition of egg until creamy.
  6. Scrape down the sides for even mixing.
  7. Add in vanilla essence and mix well.
  8. Divide flour into three portions, use lowest speed to mix in flour. Scrape down sides for even mixing.
  9. Finally, add milk bit by bit.
  10. Pour the mixture into the greased baking tin. Shake it lightly to distribute cake mixture evenly.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked. If a toothpick/skewer comes out clean, it is done.
  12. Remove it from the oven and leave the cake in the tin to cool on the wire rack for another 5 minutes.
  13. Best to serve warm.


  1. When adding egg, use low speed to mix until well combined and then change to medium speed.
  2. If the eggs are added to the sugar-fat mixture too quickly, it will cause the mixture to curdle (or separate). If this happens, add 1-2 tbsp of plain flour and mix well.
  3. Break egg into a bowl before adding into the cake mixture. This is to prevent any spoil egg from ruining the whole cake mixture.
  4. If the cake turns brown too quickly, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil towards the last 15 minutes.
  5. If you want to level your cake, place another cooling rack on top of the cake tin. Hold both the cooling racks tightly with the cake tin in between and turn it upside down. Press the center lightly and turn it back again.
  6. The baking time and oven temperatures vary depending on the types of oven, so use your own judgment to experiment.

step by step, basic butter cake

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  1. Chloe says:

    Haha it turned out great! The taste and texture is absolutely delicious. Not sure why it sanked a little though, but that didn’t bother me at all coz my husband said it was the perfect butter cake. Thanks again for your recipe!!!

  2. PY says:


    I tried your recipe but my cake did not rise much (it is less than 4cm thick). Also, mine took only 30 minutes and the skewer came out clean.Do you know what my cake did not rise much?


    • food-4tots says:

      PY: Did you use the same size of baking tin as mine? Is your cake fully cooked? When you cut it, is there any dampness/ wetness inside it?

      • PY says:

        Yes I used a 8″ square tin and baked at 180 degree, mid-tray. I do feel it was more moist than other recipe I tried although it also did not raised as much in previous attempts. Is this a sign that it is not fully cooked? If so, is it still edible?

        What you do suggest I try/change the next time?

  3. Aditi says:

    I came across this wonderful recipe through Rasa malaysia and I have tried with perfect results, I want to add walnuts to the batter…can you please suggest how do i go about it?

  4. […] to make basic butter cake  Source: food4totsPreparation time: 20 minsCooking time: 45 […]

  5. Tracy says:

    Hi, I just tried your receipe yesterday and the taste was very good! I only have ard 200g butter left and used cake flour; everything reduced abit here and there and took some dough to mix with cocoa powder and becomes marble cake. Everyone loves the taste – soft and light!

    Thank you!

  6. Sharon D. says:

    I tried this yesterday – too heavenly! This recipe is for keeps! 😀

  7. lena says:

    Is there any way we can substitute the 2 tsp double action baking powder?


  8. Hui woon says:

    If I were to bake two butter cake, can I just double the ingredients? Thanks.

  9. jo says:

    hi, can I know what’s the ideal weight of the eggs for this recipe? ty

  10. jo says:

    may I know what’s the ideal weight of the eggs ? ty

  11. Ellis says:

    Can I use vanilla extract instead of essence?

  12. […] make this butter cake (recipe adapted from Food-4tots) – to munch on when doing the “ugh” sorta […]

  13. Chirag Dua says:

    How you are managing this blog, I got the blog when i was searching butter cake, Thanks for providing ingredients and method, easy way you give us..

  14. pinky says:

    I tried your recipe but substituted sour cream for the milk. It turned out really moist. I then tweaked it the next time I baked it by using rum and vanilla to make it into a rum cake.

    I love how the recipe is really just good enough for one pan specially during those times when you just want to bake for a small group. Other recipes call for 2-3 cups of flour which at times leave me with several pans of cake that take weeks to consume. So now, I want to try using your recipe for a chocolate cake version! Let’s see how it will come out 🙂

    Thank you very much!

  15. Karen says:

    I tried this recipe and everyone loved it.

  16. Vera says:

    Just made this and my family loves it. 🙂

  17. Beulah says:

    Hi, I’ve made this cake many times and it THE best!! Works out great everytime and we simply love it! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  18. Ling says:

    I have just made one and it was fantastic! But a bit curious why mine eas not at equal level.

  19. Ceo38 says:

    Hi hi, I’ve baked your this butter cake recipe a few times and it’s heavenly. May I know if I can substitute the milk by using coconut milk instead? Am also thinking of adding a bit of pandan paste/essence instead of vanilla essence. Will that be ok? And can I use cake flour instead? Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks a lot

    • food-4tots says:

      Ceo38: Thanks for your wonderful feedback! Sorry, I haven’t tried all these substitutions. For pandan essesnce and cake flour, it sounds feasible to me. However, I’m not sure about coconut milk. 🙂

  20. Gmourra says:

    Tried this and Love it , Ive been looking for a recipe for my nieces wedding and this is the one I will use, wish me luck, first wedding cake . Thank you so much for sharing, everyone loved it, easy to bake , the only difference for me was the cook time which is obviously due to my oven, otherwise it was great.

  21. Jeya says:

    Hi, if I were to make a round cake can I use 8inch round tin or it should be 9inch?

    • food-4tots says:

      Jeya: Sure, you can use 8 inch. The baking time may be varied (longer) as it will yield thicker cake. If the cake turns brown too fast, cover with a piece of aluminium foil and continue baking until it’s cooked. 🙂

  22. RG says:

    Hi, food-4tots

    Good day to you

    I’m a beginner to learn how to bake:)

    This is my 1st time make the butter cake follow Rasa Malaysia. I’m confuse 2 sticks butter that mean 2 log of 225g butter?

    The temp 190c that mean I need to heat up the oven 1st?

    Sorry asking this basic quention 😉

    Thank you

    • food-4tots says:

      RG: I’m sorry that I haven’t tried RM’s recipe. If you like, you can take look at my butter cake recipe – For baking, you need to preheat your oven (meaning to allow the heat to reach the desired temperature before baking) before putting your batter in. Please note that different ovens have different temperature setting. Hope it clears your doubt. 🙂

  23. MLV says:

    Hi Food-4tots,

    I only picked up the hobby at baking a few months ago. This was the first time that my cake turned out light, fluffy and delicious.My friends and family love this butter cake.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  24. Kins says:

    Hei! I tried this recipe but in half. The result is great but my cake sunk a little. Any idea where I went wrong?

    • food-4tots says:

      Kins: Thanks for the feedback. There are many underlying factors that may affect end results. One possible reason may due to your oven temperature. Every oven has its own internal temperature. So you need to experiment it. Hope I have answered your query.

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