Saturday, September 17, 2011

Butter Cake

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Please visit here for this weekend's postings.

Sometimes I want a plain, simple cake. Not carrot cake, or sour cream chocolate cake, or zucchini cake - just an old-fashioned butter cake. And this one is the best. Most of us have the ingredients on the shelf - flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk. You can put it together in no time. Easy peasy. The batter looks like this,

and less than an hour later, voila! this.

You may leave it unfrosted or use a buttercream frosting, either plain or chocolate.

Butter Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup milk

I sifted the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.

Then I turned on the KitchenAid and let it stir the butter for a while, and then added the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
I added the milk and dry ingredients alternately.

I baked it in a greased 9-inch round pan, in a preheated 350┬║ F. oven for 45-55 minutes.

That's it. Competition for cake mixes? You bet. Plus you put in the ingredients. No trans-fats or unpronounceables here. Basic, easy, delicious. Who could ask for more? Not me.

Since I've never used a cake mix, I thought I'd offer a comparison of an easy homemade cake and a cake mix cake.

I subscribe to the old adage, 'you are what you eat.' I figure we've just got one body and one life, so why not put only good things into the body to hopefully give us a longer, healthier life.


  1. Well you took the words right out of my mouth! When you see how easy it is to make a good cake, you have to wonder about cake mixes. It's just as fast to bake from scratch.

  2. Beth, that was my little mission in the post. I hope it shows a new baker, or a baker from mixes, how really easy and more healthful, let alone delicious it is to bake a cake.

  3. I don't make cakes often but when I do I'd rather make a good old-fashioned cake from scratch. I think they taste much better than that packaged stuff. What I like about your cake is that is makes just the one pan. For the two of us, we don't need the jumbo 9 x 13" or a double layered cake. I'm going to give it a try.

  4. Margot, I was just thinking about you this morning, and wondering when you'd be back at your blog. And now I see you are back. I've missed you! You will love this cake. It is perfect for two!!

  5. oh, I so wish I had a slice of that at the moment....

  6. Hey Nan!
    Our weather in Georgia has cooled down enough to turn on the oven so I'm making this tonight (I'll just use rice flour mixed with corn starch though and make it gluten free!) Won't my husband be happy when he comes home from work and smells this cake?

  7. Kay, I'll be very interested in how the rice flour worked.

  8. Great, so easy and it looks fantastic. Will give this one a try next time I want something yummy and quick!

  9. Rikki, I'll be interested to hear how you like it.

  10. Nan,
    I made your cake recipe except I used 3/4 cup rice flour and 3/4 cup cornstarch instead of the wheat flour. I also added 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum, which some folks can't tolerate but my hubby seems okay with it. Can you believe that I left out the baking powder!! It's good anyway...almost like a poundcake texture. It looked so good I had to take a photo of it. You see, lots of times, if I see a simple recipe, I can almost always make it gluten free! Hooray! I made something yummy today! Thank you, you inspire me so.

  11. This is my husband's favorite kind of cake. For his birthdays, he always request a "plain old yellow cake with chocolate frosting." I'll have to whip this up for him and see how he likes it. I'll bet he loves it!

    Word verification: shertom (read as "sure tom!")

  12. mom use to make a similar cake and I haven't thought about it since she passed away.....thanks Nan

  13. I really need to get my oven fixed! I must confess that I don't really do cakes from scratch. It doesn't look that hard though!

  14. I have to admit that I resort to cake/brownie mixes often. There's no excuse, really - these homemade treats can be really simple to make, and the results are so much better (and to your point, what we're eating is so much better for us!).

    Thanks for sharing your simple butter cake recipe.

  15. You have brought back memories of my childhood birthday cakes. My mom always baked a yellow cake, from scratch, for our birthdays. Her recipe was similar to yours, but, made two layers and she always used cake flour. I like that yours makes one layer, Nan. With ingredients always on hand, this looks easy and just the right size.

  16. Looks truly easy enough for me to make - only that, at the moment, I have neither eggs nor milk at home. And we have indeed just that one body - once we've "managed" to ruin that one, there won't be another one. Therefore, I take full responsibility for my own health, and have done quite well for the past decade, being fitter now at 43 than when I was 30.

  17. I said good bye to cake mixes a long time ago :) It is so easy to bake from scratch and tastes much better than those store bought mixes :) No more mixes for me!

  18. I've been using cake mixes in recipes too much lately, I'll look forward to trying this :)


  19. Kay, I'm really happy it could be adapted!

    Les, very funny word verification. :<) Rod will love this cake, I'm positive.

    Diane, I would bet this is an old recipe that has been made often. Do you have your mother's?

    Marg, it isn't a bit hard. I promise. In fact, it is so good, it might be worth calling the repair person today!

    Dawn, it really couldn't have been easier. Let me know if you make it sometime, okay?

    Penny, it was a perfect size for us to eat in two days, with a few pieces given away to our daughter and her boyfriend down the road! The flour I always use is King Arthur organic all-purpose. I tried cake flour a few months ago, and the cake wasn't as good. Go figure.

    Good for you, Librarian!!! It's all that walking to the allotment. :<)

    Uniflame, you are so right. The taste is great and honestly not more difficult.

    Niki, it's a delicious recipe to begin with!

  20. That looks similar to the basic cake I used to make but I never used so much milk. I'm definitely going to try this one - I like that it just makes the one pan, too - we don't eat very much cake and a double layer tends to go stale before we finish it.

  21. Geranium Cat, this is a perfect cake for a couple or three people. And it is SO good.

  22. Mmmmmm....Even though my mom was a better cook than most of my friends' moms (making spaghetti sauce from scratch in our 1960s WASP town), I grew up thinking that using a cake mix WAS making cakes from scratch! LOL

    It was only as in my thirties that I began to clue in and start to make REAL cakes. No comparison...

  23. I just made butter cake cupcakes from scratch and they are very moist and it was so easy to do. So much better than a box mix. This looks very good!

  24. That recipe is quite similar to an "old faithful" of mine and the photos are making me hungry for cake!
    I've never used a cake mix either. Baking from scratch is the way I was brought up, and besides it's so much fun....

  25. I think simplest cakes are probably my favorite. This sounds lovely :D

  26. Beth, do you use papers when you make cupcakes? I don't make cupcakes nearly often enough. Thanks for the reminder.

    Margaret, it is fun. And I love cake. This one is great for two people.

    Girlichef, it's delicious. I like a cake to be used up in a couple days so this one worked out well for us, with a little sharing.

  27. Hey Nan!
    I loved the cake that I made so very much. May I please write about it on my blog (giving you credit, of course?!) and let folks know how I made it gluten free?
    Next time, I'll remember the baking powder, but I like it just the way it turned out. Maybe it was a lucky mistake! Let me know if it is okay!

  28. Oh my gosh, of course it's alright Kay!! I'm pleased it worked.

  29. That looks incredibly delicious! I like that you put icing on top - I think every cake, no matter how simple, should have icing :)

  30. Trish, I'm fond of frosting, myself. :<)


I'll answer your comments as soon as I possibly can. Please do come back if you've asked a question.
Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.