food 4 tots

Basic butter cake

butter cake, basic butter cake, cake


Butter cake is the first cake I learnt to bake during my high school years. It was also the easiest and fastest cake to bake that I know of at that time. I still remember that I would wait till my mother took her afternoon nap to do the baking as it was the best time to “invade” her kitchen. By the time she woke up, there would be no traces of mess I created and the cake was already inside the oven. . From what I can recall, none of the butter cakes I baked came close to my expectation. Somehow, somewhere, something would surely go wrong. Nevertheless, I still love baking this cake over and over again whenever I had the urge to do baking. Maybe it was the baking process that I enjoyed the most. Since I left home (for both studies and work), I had no opportunity to bake this butter cake anymore.


A couple of years ago, I came to know that my mother-in-law was a big fan for butter cake. I promised myself that I would bake one for her if I got an oven and the right baking utensils. Time passed and nothing was done. Promise still remains a promise. During her recent stay with us last month, I made good my promise and baked this cake for her. It may not be the best butter cake in town, but she loved it so much. Now I can happily strike off this long outstanding item from my to-bake list.


Butter cake, cake


This recipe was adapted from Agnes Chan’s cookbook  (蓝赛珍,轻轻松松学烘焙)which provides photos showing detailed step-by-step procedures in baking this cake. I find it very helpful as it makes my baking much more easier. However, in my first attempt, although the texture was soft, the cake turned out to be a little bit dry. As for its taste, it came out slightly plain as I used unsalted butter and omitted the salt during the process. As what I read from the internet, self-raising flour contained salt. So I suspected the shortage of salt could be the main cause of these two problems.


On my second attempt, I added a bit of salt and reduced the amount of flour used. I also paid extra attention to the mixing and baking process. This time the end product turned out to be very soft and moist. It also got the buttery smell, and yet did not give one a heavy feeling when eaten. However, it tasted slightly sweeter to my liking. What completely surprised me was the feedback I got from my friend whom I gave half of my loaf, as I did in my first attempt. She told me that both her daughters finished the cake in split seconds leaving only one slice for her to taste. Although the cake done in second attempt was sweeter, they found the taste as simply fantastic and suited their taste buds as well. Besides them, my family also enjoyed eating this cake. But I will not consider it as “The Ultimate” butter cake. (Am I setting the bar for my expectation far too high? ). It doesn’t matter anyway as it is still the “best” recipe I had tried and tested so far, and much better compared to the ones I had baked during my high school days.


Butter cake, cake


Well, I shall leave it to you to be the judge of this recipe. Meanwhile, I will continue to “fine tune” it to get closer to my expectation of “The Ultimate” butter cake. So, what’s your favourite butter cake recipe? Please share with me! I love to hear from you.
To all the mothers (including myself) and mother-to-be out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!


Who had tried and tested my recipe?

Rasa Malaysia
Bits of Taste
Diary of Faithy, The Baker
Taste of Home
Kurious, Kitteh, Kooks!


>>>> Click on PAGE 2 BELOW for Basic Butter Cake recipe and step-by-step photos…………………..

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  1. sweetlife says:

    I’m glad you kept your promise, the cake looks great, I love the step by step and the last pic where you leveled the cake, great tip


  2. Your basic butter cake looks truly good. Basic is usually better.

  3. mycookinghut says:

    I love butter cake. Let me tell you a secret – I like to dunk butter cake in a black tea.. 🙂

  4. Ooh yum butter cake! Sounds amazing!

  5. The first cake I baked was also this simple butter cake. It might be an entrance gate for every baker with some satisfactions.
    Salt is the magic ingredient to bring out the real flavour of foods. It’s a must to sprinkle some salt in baking cakes.
    I’d also like to mix in some cake flour into it, producing very soft and light texture. 🙂

  6. Alice says:

    Butter cake is my family all time favourite! Love this version and all the step-by-step tutorial, very handy! 🙂

  7. Little Inbox says:

    This is my favorite, like the butter smell and how moist the cake is.

  8. Nothing beats basic. Basic butter cake, basic chocolate cake, basic everything is good. 🙂 That’s why I went basic for my own birthday cake! LOL. Lovely texture!

  9. Joanne says:

    This butter cake looks delicious. The crumb is just perfect. I can see why your mom wanted so badly for you to make it for her! She must have been so happy.

    • food-4tots says:

      Joanne: Thanks for your sweet words! Actually, my mother-in-law didn’t request for this cake. I just feel so bad that I never keep my promise. Yeah, she enjoyed eating my cake. 😉

  10. noobcook says:

    hehe I think you just made your mama really happy and proud of u! The cake looks fluffy and yummy =)

  11. jo says:

    Gorgeous butter cake. I think most of us when first venturing into the baking world would have done a butter cake as well .. I know I did. However some butter cakes don’t taste so nice but this one you’ve made looks absolutely moist. I would love to try out this recipe one day. Lovely pictures.

  12. Seriously the slices of cake looks great to me. This indeed is a nice recipe with much friendly details and notes.

  13. Hooi says:

    Butter cake is my favorite, will try you recipe soon. For most the butter cakes i baked, the surface is cracked and become a slight dome shape, do you know why ? Yours look so nice and flat.

    • food-4tots says:

      Hooi: The crack may be due to the baking temperature and the beating process. My cake had a dome shape too. To level your cake, you can refer to the tip I mentioned in page 2.

  14. I’ve baked a few cakes but have never tried a butter cake before! This looks real good – esp the last pix. Well done!

  15. anncoo says:

    I love butter cake too! Looks perfect!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you 😉

  16. Pei-Lin says:

    Hey, I’d be OVERDOSED WITH HAPPINESS with a simple, plain butter cake like this … Seriously! (Pss … Somehow, the butter cake also looks like Kasutera to me …)

    I know, it does get onto my nerve with mom around as I’m messing the kitchen up … That’s why, having been able to taste what freedom is like … I’m dreaming of building my own nest — with a fully equipped kitchen someday! It’s nice to be independent.

    But well … A HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to you!! Take a day off from working on that Big Day, yea? Hahaha!

    • food-4tots says:

      Pei Lin: Thanks for your sweet words!! Hey, I think you’re right! I just noticed that. Hahaha! It’s good to be independent. That’s what I did. A fully equipped kitchen is also my wish too. Thanks for the wishes! Unfortunately it’s not possible to take a day off tomorrow as my hubby is away. 🙁

  17. My mum loves butter cake. I had a butter cake for my wedding and I think she ate it all! Happy Mother’s Day!

  18. Dora says:

    These look moist and soft!

    I love to have them. 🙂

  19. Lovely cake. “Happy Mother’s Day”.

  20. MaryMoh says:

    I wonder who can resist a good butter cake. My children will finish it in seconds too. Yours look very moist and delicious. I don;t eat very sweet so I usually cut down on the sugar.

    • food-4tots says:

      Mary Moh: Thanks for your compliment. Actually I had cut down the sugar from 250g – 200g. Maybe I need to use 180g in my next attempt. 😉

  21. tigerfish says:

    A basic entry cake? Ok. Just the one for me to make someday…

  22. Jason Wong says:

    My beloved mom used to bake them to distribute for Chinese New Year our old electric oven.

    The buttery aroma and the reach flavours still lingers in my memories.

  23. I made this today for Mother’s Day, and it was absolutely heavenly!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    ~Kurious Kitteh

  24. […] really felt the love today, and enjoyed time with your family.  I made my mom a butter cake using this recipe (which I absolutely recommend.  You need to make this RIGHT NOW.), and I don’t think […]

  25. Your cake reminds me of the cakes my granmother used to make for us; I love its simplicity and the photos showcase it beautifully.

  26. I am so glad to hear your kept your promise. This is a cake that sure brighten up the day for all mothers!

    • food-4tots says:

      Ellie: Yeah, I will terribly bad for not keeping my promise. I’m glad I did it! Not only mothers, I think it will be a good one for this coming Father’s Day too! 😉

  27. LCOM says:

    Your butter cake sure looks moist and delicious. I like basic butter cake.

  28. Butter cake is one of those recipes that I keep searching for a better and better one, sort of like fried chicken.

    I love butter cake and will try your recipe next week. It looks very moist and buttery, the one I have been using from Joy of Baking is a little dry, I love it super-duper buttery and oily! 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Bee (RM): Yeah, it is not easy to find the “Ultimate” butter cake that suits our palate. Everyone has his/ her preference. Hope to get your feedback after trying out my recipe. 😉

      • I made it already and loved it. It’s very very buttery and oily, which I love! I added some raisins, too. This recipe is definitely better than that ones I was using from Joy of Baking. 🙂

        I will make them again and will take pictures next time and link to you!

        • food-4tots says:

          Bee (RM): That was great! Thanks for being the judge of this recipe. Glad you loved it. Can’t wait to see your post. Thanks in advance for the link back. 😉

  29. Your cake looks excellent! And I love that all the ingredients are things you’ll usually find at home. Love love recipes like that =) I just made a choc cake like that too.. didn’t have to make an extra trip to the supermarket yay!

    • food-4tots says:

      Clare (Mrs Multitasker): Thanks for your sweet comment. Just check your blog. Your choc cake looks divine! I got to try it out one day. 😉

  30. evelyn says:

    My first attempt is an orange cake and it turned out quite moist. On the last mixing, I use hand instead of machine to prevent over-mixed. I guess thats why you said it’s dry..

  31. Dominique says:

    I followed your recipe step by step and just polished off my third piece with my 3 year old! Thankyou for the recipe! The cake turned out perfectly!! (hmm.. how are we going to fit in dinner?!)

  32. […] and am pleased with it, but it’s a tad dry. I love my butter cake really buttery. So, when I read this post on Food-4Tots, I knew that I had to give the recipe a try. It was adapted from a Chinese baking […]

  33. tats says:

    May I use butter instead of unsalted one? If yes, how much salt should I use? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Tats: Yes, you can try butter provided it is salted (please read the label). If so, then no salt is needed. As different brand uses different amount of salt, the taste may vary. Hope it helps and happy trying! 😉

  34. Bonnie says:

    The Very first cake I made as a child (@ all of 7 yrs old and completely from scratch) was Betty Crocker’s Bonnie Butter Cake (I kind of liked the name:) It turned out beautifully! from then on I always go back to that cake, as I still have the original cookbook. We didn’t have butter in the house very often so I usually used margarine and I tend to like it better that way – more buttery flavor…who knew? 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Bonnie: Wow! You’re really a talented chef! Yeah, margarine was used by my family too when I was a child. The margarine smell brings back lots of fond memories to me. 😉

  35. faithy says:

    I googled for butter cake recipe and found yours and yours sounded so wonderful and i tried it, and true enough, it is really good. I am going to link your page to my blog post.

  36. faithy says:

    i click too!..i want to say thank you for sharing!

  37. sundrops260899 says:


    I tried this over the weekend and it tasted really great! However, the cake lost it’s moistness after leaving it overnight and tasted dry and hard. Any advice on how I can avoid this in future?

    • food-4tots says:

      Sundrops260899: I think the cake was baked for too long. Did you follow the recipe closely? If possible, send me a photo. It is quite difficult for me to tell. 😉

  38. wow your butter cake looks soo yummy!! I’m sure it tastes great too..yeah I find that different people have different preferences for the texture of butter mom is rather fussy and she likes the coarser textured ones..

  39. Cheezy says:

    Hi, can I substitute the flour with self -raising flour?

    • food-4tots says:

      Cheezy: Yes, you can but the combination of ingredients will not be the same as it doesn’t require baking powder. I haven’t tried with self-raising flour but I can share the original recipe (which uses SR flour) with you. Let me know if you want.:)

  40. Cascadian says:

    EEk! I just made this and it curdled!! I read your fix…going to try it now…crossing fingers or my 2 little girls will not be happy 😛

  41. Michelle Ooi says:

    i just tried out this recipe 2 days ago, and it turn out great!!! so happy~ first time did it and it is a success!!! thanks for the recipe~~

  42. akkema says:

    hi, i would like to try this recipe but if i don’t have the double action baking powder, how much normal baking powder should i put? or should i substitute it with something else? it does look yummy 🙂

  43. dentistmom says:

    i am yet to start baking!!i love reading ur recipes and getting inspired..
    just waiting for my oven to arrive this week,this would be my first cake cos i loved it so much..thnx:)

  44. dentistmom says:

    hi again..i did bake this butter cake..and yummm..was what my hubby said!!
    only thing that bothered me was..the cake was absolutely dry,almost crumbling into powder on little pressure when cold..did i goof up at some step?

    • food-4tots says:

      Dentistmom: Thanks for your kind feedback and glad that it suits your hubby’s palate. As for the problem you faced, can it be that you have over-baked the cake or the temperature was too high? Just my wild guess. It will be better if you can provide me with a photo. 😉

  45. New at baking says:

    Thanks for sharing the receipe. Will this batter make enough for a 1kg cake?


    • food-4tots says:

      New at baking: You’re welcome! That’s a good question!! I’m not very sure about that. But the final cake will fit into a 22cm square baking tin (with approx 5cm height). Hope this helps! 😉

  46. dentistmom says:

    i guess you are right..i did overbake the cake..shall give it another try soon and will click the pic too:)

  47. cammie says:

    i would like to try your recipe. What is double action baking powder? Can i replaced it normal baking powder?

  48. Dear food-4tots

    I baked butter according to your recipes and brought it to the church. Everyone gave the thumbs-up and cake finished in no time. They said cake was moist and sweetness just nice. FYI, this was the first butter cake I baked and I am a beginner of baking. But your step by step teaching is indeed very helpful and successful.

    Thank you so much for the recipe. God bless you for your unselfish sharing.

    BTW, do you have Kaya Butter Cake recipes to share?

    Appreciate and many thanks again for your recipes. I love reading your blog.

    Priscilla Poh

    • food-4tots says:

      Priscilla: It’s my pleasure to share. I’m so glad to know that my recipe suits your church friends’ palate. Thank you very much for your kind feedback and wonderful compliment. I’m so flattered!! So sorry that I don’t have KBC recipe for the time being. Once again, thanks for your kind support. 😉

  49. wei li says:


    Just wondering, could i use cake flour instead? Would this give the cake a fluffy yet moist texture? Because i do not want my cake to be too moist and dense.


    • food-4tots says:

      Wei Li: Sorry, I’m not sure of the outcome as I haven’t tried it out. Maybe you can try substituting 30% plain flour with cake flour. Just my personal opinion. I will be glad if you can share your feedback with me later on. Thanks!

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