One-bowl butter cake

Use this easy butter cake as-is or as a base for a birthday cake. It's as easy as a packet mix, and tastier!
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1H 5M

You will get better results with this one bowl butter cake recipe if you have all ingredients at room temperature as they will combine better. Butter must be room temperature. You can get away with cold eggs and milk if you want.




Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a deep 20cm round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.


Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat on low speed until ingredients are combined. Then beat on medium speed until mixture is just smooth and changed in colour; do not over-beat. Spread mixture into prepared pan; smooth surface. Gently tap the cake pan on a work surface to remove any air pockets.


Bake cake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; turn top-side up, onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

Remove the milk 15 minutes before baking or microwave for a few seconds just to remove the chill.

Test Kitchen tip

How to make butter cake

To bring refrigerated eggs to room temperature quickly, place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes to bring them to room temperature.

It doesn’t matter in which order the ingredients are added to the bowl, but make sure the butter is soft, but not melted, before adding other ingredients. If the butter is beginning to lose its shape or is melted the cake will be heavy.

Once you have the ingredients in the bowl, go ahead with making the cake; do not leave them standing in the bowl.

When mixing, use a low speed (or ingredients will fly out of the bowl) and scrape the mixture with a spatula into the path of the beaters. Once all the ingredients are mixed, gradually increase the speed to about medium and continue to beat and scrape the mixture towards the beaters until the mixture appears to be smooth and or well mixed and slightly changed in colour. The total mixing time will be about 2 minutes.

It is best to use caster sugar for a one bowl cake as it gives a slightly finer texture than ordinary white sugar; do not attempt to dissolve the sugar during the beating process.

If you have forgotten to remove the butter from the fridge, don’t be tempted to put it in the microwave. Instead grate it using the coarse side of a box grater and wait 10 minutes before using it.

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