Friday, November 20, 2009

Moist Butter Cake

When I was a kid, I looked forward to the last day of school with eager anticipation. Now that I am a mom, I look forward to it even more! Woo hoo! No more frenzied mornings, rushing, sending, fetching, sending, fetching, nagging.

Finally, freedom!

As a gesture of thanks, I prepared some gifts for the teachers. Late last night though, I decided to add on a cake on impulse. I took the easiest route and baked a simple Butter Cake - the most 'neutral' choice of cake ... and the simplest one to make.

I have seen in blogs, what some moms baked for their children's teachers, and they are spectacular! Gorgeous cupcakes, complete with fondant, frosting, the works! My cake really pales in comparison. But what I lack in aesthetics, I try to make up in taste.

I always use this Butter Cake recipe. It works for me. For sure, there are countless Butter Cake recipes out there that are tried and tested and taste super. But for me, this recipe stays. It yields a moist, buttery cake that is not too oily and heavy. Just the way I like it.



My (not-so-secret) ingredient is a splash of cognac. It makes the cake come alive and gives it its ooomph. But even without, the cake is lovely.

I sliced the cake this morning and packed them into individual plastic containers, which I had lined. My god, they looked so hideous! Like I had "ta pau-ed" them from some obscure bakery. Hardly presentable, tsk tsk.

A quick search in my cupboard and I found some ribbons. Ah, that will do! At least, this looks better, no?



And then I hurried off to make my special deliveries. Happy school holidays, parents and children!

Recipe

- 195g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 170g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g sugar (I use slightly less, about 200g)
- 1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 tbsp whole milk
Optional (but it is a must for me): Add a splash of cognac if you have some in the house!

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Butter and line a 9-inch cake pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy for about about 2 minutes.

4. Beat in egg, egg yolk, cognac and vanilla until well-combined.

5. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk.

6. Switch mixer to medium and beat for 10 to 15 seconds, just until batter appears uniform.

7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula or knife.

8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it a skewer comes out clean.

9. Leave to rest in pan for 5 minutes before serving.


These are all the shots I managed to get this morning. Sorry! In a hurry!

77 comments:

  1. Another Singaporean blogger! Hi there! You have a pretty blog! I'll be sure I come by often!

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  2. Nice touch with the ribbon!

    I'm sure the teachers would love it!

    Take care!

    Alice

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  3. 简单的黄油蛋糕,但它装饰后,看起来那么好,我很喜欢这个红丝带,我没有看到这点,什么样的商店,我应该找得到这样的剪彩呢?
    hahaha的你在学校假期的自由,但对我来说,我希望他们能上学,而不是,所以我可以更快地完成我的作品的W / O他们打扰我,hehehe ..

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  4. C'est un bien beau gâteau que tu me fais découvrir!
    Bonne journée, Doria

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  5. In a different life, with a different wife, I was married to a school teacher... you know that these rarely are eaten by the teacher, cause they brought them home to the husbands. one of the few perks of being married to her was the goodies the mom's made.

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  6. Gosh! We had the same idea! I baked a butter cake for my daughter's teacher as well! I added Grand Marnier! haha.

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  7. hahaha, yeah whenever food is packed in plastic containers it looks like ta pau-ed, so now I keep boxes in stock. But the ribbon really changed the looks of it already :) and the cake looks very moist. from what I can see through the plastic container lah that is :P

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  8. I love the little design on top too..We like our butter cake also Ju..I think I shall add cognac also..

    Yes.. pretty pretty w/ the bow:) And I am sure every piece was exquisitely sliced..Happy end of school to you!!

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  9. Im sure ur daughter's teacher wld love that little gift of cake.The ribbon wld tell her that it was special. :)) really sweet.

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  10. The butter cake looks fabulously moist, fluffy and delicious.

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  11. Please stop doing so wonderfull cake, tu me mets l'eau à la bouche !
    Your daughter's teacher is very lucky !
    Have a nice evening

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  12. A very presentable gift for the teachers. You're thoughtful person :)

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  13. Wow che meraviglia, mi devo ripetere sei bravissima in cucina e soprattuto nei dolci.
    Buon fine settimana Daniela.

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  14. Looks moist !! Are those for me in the box? Oh ... thank you so much! ;)

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  15. You are killing me with these cakes! It's like you are singlehandedly creating a voracious sweet tooth in me. Stop it! No, please don't. They're too pretty - I want to see more.

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  16. The cognac will definitely make your cake come alive...Erh, got some leftover ar ?

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  17. That looks so good. My sweet tooth is loving this and the way you've tied it up with a ribbon is just perfect! Off to look at your past posts, I've been away too long.
    Happy weekend!
    ~Tracie

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  18. Hi The Little Teochew,
    I came across your blog through Petitchef and I fell in love with it immediately. You have a wonderful blog of sharing. Each post is so wonderfully updated and posted. I just love them. Btw, I've added you in my blog too! I love all your bakes and cooks! Thank you for all your sharings! :)

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  19. Love the gesture of baking something for the teachers. Also love your 'last day of school' comment...made me chuckle.

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  20. I love that cake, probably because its splash of Cognac, I guess ... ;o))
    Have a very nice sunday with your family
    Hélène

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  21. Oh wow! This looks simple and moist. The way I like it. And it isn't too sweet or oily which is perfect.

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  22. The ribbon is a great idea, but I think your cake itself is also appealing enough to make the teachers happy. I'm a teacher and I would be so happy to be given such a cake by a considerate mom like you.
    Cognac is a great idea! I will absolutely use it next time.

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  23. Love your recipes, they make me homesick ;P

    Also, you have received an award! Head to www.theninjareview.com/2009/11/please-like-me to see how awesome you are.

    So hungry now la~

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  24. What a great story behind this beautiful butter cake! Lucky teachers!!

    Aaaaah,....MMMMMMM,...

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  25. hello little teochew
    yes your cake is wonderfully moist ! I would bite it !!
    cheers from Paris France !
    Pierre

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  26. I wish I was your children's teacher! I must be in the wrong profession.

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  27. A very nice gesture :) We still have 3 weeks of school before the long summer holiday. I am still thinking of what to bake for my daughter's teacher. Love your signature splash of cognac :)

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  28. Yum! I was a teacher...does that count?

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  29. Sometimes a simple cake is all it takes to make your appreciation felt! Nice cake you have!!!

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  30. what lovely presentation! Very kind thoughts for teachers. I was a teacher before & it's always so warming to be appreciated by pupils and parents. Butter cake is always my family favourite. I've just made one yesterday to share with friends.

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  31. Un très beau gâteau. Je note la recette pour le tester. A bientôt.

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  32. They were made with love and tied with a red ribbon...doesn't get any better than that! Enjoy having the kids home. Each day is sweeter than the last.

    Diane

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  33. Je viens de découvrir votre blog et j'en suis heureuse des recettes qui semblent tellement appétissantes.

    Passez une belle journée.
    Josée

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  34. Awww how sweet of you to give that to the teachers! I'm sure they appreciated it, with or without the ribbon :)

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  35. Hello...I bet the Teachers love having your Children!!!! found you via Nana's blog..and have just copied your Moist cake recipe. Ribbons make everything Better!!! xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  36. hi little nonya, how do you make the cross cross pattern on top of the cake? my cake always crack when i bake them! :( please advice.

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  37. Dear Ju, I'll be making this cake soon. :) My family would love it!

    Your avid reader,
    Pris.

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  38. hi! just a question, perhaps a stupid one. but when do i add the splash of cognac? or do i just add into the cake when the cake is done baking?

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  39. angel: Not a stupid question at all! I usually add in when beating the eggs.

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  40. Hi. Is it possible to use this recipe for individual small aluminium trays? Thanks!

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  41. Hi, just only 1 egg + 1 egg yolk?

    delia

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  42. Hi, recipie was really good! My cake did not rise like yours, is it something I did wrong?

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  43. Hi Ju, are you sure you used 12 tbsps of whole milk? 12 tbsps is a lot, almost equivalent to 9 eggs. Could it be 1-2 tbsps instead? Pls do let me know.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    GONG XI FA CAI!! ^^

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  44. Ms Moon: Gong Xi Fa Cai!!! Of course, I am absolutely sure. I just made this AGAIN last night! Haha :) If it's 1-2 tbsps, you will get a cake as hard as a rock!! The weight of the milk should be about 170g (about 12 tbsps). :) That's why it's so moist.

    PS: If 1 large egg = 60g with shell. 12 tbsps can't possibly be equivalent to 9 eggs! ;)

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  45. Oh dear! I got my math wrong. I thought 1 tbsp is 45ml. 1 tbsp is actually 15ml. I actually made it with my 45ml calculation.. Haha... my cake is 3 times more moist than yours... LOL... it became a kueh! LOL...

    Have a sweet Valentine's day too! ^^

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  46. Hi Ju,

    Thanks for this recipe. Worked really well - moist, buttery and not too heavy. I redueced the sugar to 180g and the sweetness is just nice for me. Added in walnuts too! :)

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  47. Hi Ju,
    I wonder why u r using (unsalted butter+salt) instead of using salted butter for this cake?

    Mei

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  48. Mei: Oh, I hate salted butter for baking. The amount of salt varies from brand to brand, so you can't control how much salt goes into the cake. When you use unsalted butter, you know exactly how much salt is in your cake/cookies/tarts/french toast. Maybe my tastebuds are sensitive, but the few times I used salted butter, I swear there was a slight sourish tinge which really spoilt the taste. Especially for pineapple tarts. From then on, I stuck to unsalted butter.

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  49. How do you get that beautiful criss-cross pattern on the top of your cake?

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  50. Anon: When you invert the cake onto a cooking rack, it will automatically get that criss cross pattern. :)

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  51. Ohhh Thank you so much :)

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  52. Hi Ju, appreciate you could advise which type/brand of whole milk are used? Thanks much.

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  53. Anon: I use Farmhouse fresh milk. But you can also use Magnolia, Marigold, Meiji etc. As long as it's plain white milk. :)

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  54. Hi Ju, can you use this cake and decorate it with fondant?

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  55. Hi ju, I have made this and linked to u. :)

    However mine is not v successful, it has some wet areas. Hopefully the next bake will be better.

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  56. i have made many butter cakes (as i love butter cakes) and this is THE BEST Butter cake i have ever made ! I added 1 TBsp of Rum and used 150g of sugar and it turned out perfect. It stayed soft and fluffy the next day and didnt harden into rock like other butter cakes. I am impressed. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe :)

    Limmi

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  57. Hi, how do u make that design on the top of the cake?

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  58. Limmi: Good to know! :)

    Anon: That's the imprint caused when the cake is cooling down on the cooling rack.

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  59. Hi Ju,I just came across ur blog. which brand butter do u usually use??

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  60. Anon: I buy my butter from Phoon Huat (they have a brand from Argentina and another from Australia), usually 6 to 8 slabs each time. As long as it's pure butter and unsalted, I am good. ;)

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  61. Hi! I tried baking this butter cake but the middle of the cake rose more and cracked!
    Can you give me some tips to achieve a pretty flat and even top like yours? The cake is very delicious! Thank you!

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  62. mine also cracked !! But the texture & taste was great !

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  63. Hi Ju, Love your blog. Just wondering, when to add the cognac? Add in batter or splash after it comes out of oven? Thanks Ju.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I forgot that step! You should add it when you're adding the eggs. :)

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  64. hey ju... love your blog and can't wait to try a new recipe every weekend when i have the time to bake! my cake cracked on the top...and came out a lil burnt cos i left it for another 4-5mins more as the skewer still came out wet. what could have gone wrong when i used 190 degrees... do you usually use top bottom or fan heat? and should the cake be placed in middle rack or bottom rack? thanks!

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    1. Thanks. I am assuming you used the right sized tin ... I don't think you did anything wrong ... it could be the temperature of the oven itself is not accurate (I am guessing). One way to counter the burnt top if you have to bake longer than expected is to cover it loosely with aluminium foil. I usually do that towards the 2nd half of baking if I see that that top is browning. To answer your question, I always bake at the middle rack. :) Keep baking! :)

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  65. hi hi, thanks for your prompt reply... you're right, i used a 8-inch tin cos i din have a 9 inch one! :) will use the tip of the aluminium foil...will keep baking until i acheieve the cake like yours!! :) btw,my oven is new, so temp should be quite accurate! :) do you use top bottom or fan heat?

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    Replies
    1. My oven doesn't have any other functions except "timer" and "temperature". Lol.

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  66. hello, your cake looks really good! ;) just wondering, can i use a square tin and what size should it be?

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  67. Hi ju!
    If i don't have milk lying around, is it okay to use cream as a substitute?

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  68. Hi,

    The taste of this recipe is beautiful. However, I've tried this recipe twice but it did not rise like yours. It has a very dense texture at the lower layer of the cake (kinda uncook). Do you have any idea what might be the problem here?

    Did you beat the sugar and butter until fluffy and slight creamy colour? Or just 2 minutes is enough?

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  69. Looks yummy!! And the recipe doesn't look too complicated

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  70. Hi ju

    This is really the best butter cake recipe that I had tried so far... tks for sharing... love ure blog too.... (",)

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  71. Just 1 egg and 1 egg yolk? Most butter cakes use about 4 eggs. Will this affect the texture of the cake?

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  72. I tried your recipe today and it was marvellous!! Hubs n i finished the 1st batch (i only used 4.5in baking pan) within seconds!! Thk u so much for sharing. God bless!

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