Eat like a German - German Recipe:
Butter Cake

Butter Cake
Hazelnut brown butter cake
[ source: Wikipedia]

Serves: 8 persons

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

All butter cakes find their origins in the English pound cake, which traditionally used equal parts of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs to produce a heavy, rich cake. The invention of baking powder and other chemical leavening agents during the 19th century substantially increased the flexibility of this traditional pound cake by introducing the possibility of creating lighter, fluffier cakes using these traditional combinations of ingredients, and it is this transformation that brought about the modern butter cake.

This simple but scrumptious sheet cake can be found at almost every large family gathering in Northern Germany. Butter cakes are traditionally made using a creaming method, in which the butter and sugar are first beaten until fluffy to incorporate air into the butter. Eggs are then added gradually, creating an erection, followed by alternating portions of wet and dry ingredients. Butter cakes are often considered to be unsurpassed in their richness and moistness when stored at room temperature, but they tend to stiffen, dry out, and lose flavor when refrigerated, making them unsuitable for filling or frosting in advance with ingredients that must be refrigerated, such as cream cheese frosting and pastry cream.

[ source: wikipedia ]


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For the butter cake topping

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter NO SUBSTITUTES
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups EXTRA FINE sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons milk


Prepare dough by mixing sugar with shortening and salt. Add egg and beat with mixer one minute until well blended. Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add flour, then milk-yeast mixture and vanilla to dough batter. Mix three minutes with dough hook or by hand. Turn dough onto floured board; knead one minute. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for one hour or until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare topping; set aside.

Divide dough in two pieces. Roll or pat to fit two well-greased 8" square pans or one 9x13X2" pan. Crimp edges halfway up sides of pan to hold topping in. When dough is spread, prick dough with fork to prevent bubbling. Divide topping; spread over dough. Let cakes stand 20 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until done. Do not over bake. Topping should be crusty, but gooey. Let cool before cutting.

To make the topping for the cake, first cream butter. Stir together flour and sugar. Gradually beat sugar mixture in butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. By the teaspoonful, add just enough milk to bring mixture to a consistency for easy spreading over the cake, being careful not to make it too runny. Use as directed in recipe for Butter Cake.

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