My fool-proof recipe for easy, delicious, and moist butter cake. The very first cake I learned to make. And out of all the cakes, I’ve eaten this butter cake still remains in number one place.
Butter cake is very popular in Sri Lanka as a tea time sweet. And it’s an essential in Sri Lankan new year food table nowadays. The very first time I made this cake is also for a new year celebration. I was very young and we didn’t even have an oven. I remember beating sugar and butter with a wooden spoon taking turns with someone else. And sometimes sugar doesn’t dissolve very well so we end up having a syrupy wet bottom. Oh but we still loved it. On the positive side, I learned a lot through the mistakes.
The classic version of butter cake has a set weight ratio of 1 sugar: 1 butter: 1 flour :1 eggs. This means if you use 250g of butter you’re going to use the same amount of sugar, flour, and eggs by weight.
The cake recipe you see here is my adapted version of the classic butter cake. True and tested many times. I add a bit more sugar than the classic recipe. I also add an extra egg yolk and milk for moisture and flavor. To get the best flavors out you need that extra bit of sugar.
Some important tips (must read):
- Butter has to be at room temperature or around 65F. It doesn’t have to come to the exact room temperature. But it shouldn’t be colder. When you press the butter with a finger and it leaves an indent then your butter is ready to use. If you wait until the butter is too soft, you’d have a hard time creaming your butter and sugar to a fluffy texture.
- The geometric shape of the sugar granules helps to whip the butter to make a soft fluffy cream/mixture. I use a bit more sugar than the classic recipe as we serve it plain without any frosting. And this extra bit of sugar complements the extra fat I add to the recipe via milk and egg yolk.
- The eggs have to be at room temperature. The proteins in the egg whites make the structure of the cake and fats in the yolk adds flavor and moisture. If you add cold eggs to the room temperature sugar and butter cool down and become lumpy again. These lumps make large holes in the cake when it bakes. You can plan and leave the eggs out on the counter until they come to room temperature. Or put them into a bowl of warm water and leave for about 30mins.
- Make sure not to use your beater when you add flour to the batter. Beating activates the gluten in your flour and makes the cake dry and chewy. Use a spatula to fold the batter. Do not over mix.
- Sift your baking powder, salt, and flour together. It helps to remove all the lumps. And it also distributes baking powder evenly throughout the cake and helps to make an even crumb structure.
- Preheat your oven for at least 20mins before you bake your cake even your oven indicates that it has heated. Most of the time takes more time than your oven indicates to heat up all the elements and air to the required temperature.
- Not all the ovens are properly calibrated. Some ovens overheat and some ovens underheat. Use an oven thermometer to determine if your oven heats up correctly. For example, when I set my oven to 350F it always heats up to 375F. I use an oven thermometer to find out the correct temperature. (Read this article I found that would explain it better)
- If your oven is overheated your cake can crack in the middle. Same way if your oven is under-heated or if you opened the door before it’s done (at least in the first 20 – 25 mins) the middle of the cake can sink.
- Make sure to take the cake out from the pan when it’s baked. Otherwise, the cake would dry out from the heat. Wait until it cools down to cut and serve.
If you love moist baked goodies, check out my banana bread recipe too.
If you love this easy moist butter cake recipe or if you have any questions please leave me feedback in the comment section below. I love to hear from you.
Here are the products and equipment I use (affiliated links):