Everyone needs a good butter cake recipe in their repertoire, and this now is mine. It is simple but rich, plain but oh-so-good. While a slice or two is wonderful say topped with roasted apricots, plucked warm from the tree and drizzled with honey, or with a dollop of tart stewed rhubarb, mostly I love these little cakes — made in my mini-loaf tins — just slightly warm and ‘as is’, with a cup of tea.
It is tempting here to pontificate on the value of baking with good-quality ingredients: creamy Tasmanian butter and super-large rich eggs from my mother’s happy hens. And yes, that holds true.
But, a confession … I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now when all I had to hand was soy milk, not milk-milk nor sour cream — and lite soy milk at that (I have it for my breakfast muesli). That breaks all the baking rules, right? But you know what? It worked just as well as the times I used full-fat sour cream. I couldn’t taste any difference; the cakes were just as rich and moist and I-think-I-need-another-one.
I must also reveal that once I misread the recipe and added three cups of flour, not two. Luckily I realised this before I folded that last cup in — so I upended the bowl and shook out as much as I could, then flicked off any remaining with my silicone pastry brush! I got most of it out, and added just a touch more (soy) milk to be on the safe side. As you can imagine, I am reading recipes very carefully now.
So this really is the best butter cake — no matter what you do to it.
The best butter cakeAdapted from an Australian Womens Weekly recipe, torn from the June 2013 edition. The recipe specified a 20cm round cake tin, but I’ve been using my mini-loaf tin (8 holes) and a couple of sturdy cupcake papers for whatever doesn’t fit.
- Prep your chosen baking tin and preheat the oven to 180.
- Cream 250 gm soft butter with 1 cup sugar and 1 tspn vanilla paste (I have also used the vanilla syrup-with-speckles) til wonderfully soft and creamy.
- Beat in 3 large eggs.
- Using a wooden spoon, fold in 2 cups SR flour and a pinch of salt.
- Then fold thru 125mls milk (or other dairy, or dairy substitute).
- Dollop into your baking tin and bake. I baked my smaller cakes for 20-25 minutes; the recipe specified 50-60 for a single large one. Once cooked, cool on a rack before turning out. Enjoy.