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A cake with pink icing on a round cake tray

The Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting

The ultimate classic butter cake recipe with buttercream frosting... the perfect cake for birthdays, school lunch box treats, cake stall fundraisers or delicious morning teas. 
5 from 19 votes
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Course: Cakes
Cuisine: Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 serves
Calories: 414kcal

Equipment

  • Beaters, stand-mixer or Thermomix
  • Oven

Ingredients

  • 200 g unsalted butter softened
  • 200 g caster sugar superfine sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g self raising flour

For the buttercream frosting

  • 185 g butter softened
  • 2 ¼ cups (300g) icing sugar mixture see notes
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 drop pink food colouring

Instructions

Conventional Method

  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
  • Grease and line a round 20cm cake tin with baking paper and set aside. 
  • Place the butter, caster sugar, salt and vanilla extract into a bowl. Beat together with a stand-mixer or hand-held beaters until pale and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Slowly add the eggs (one at a time) while continuing to beat through until completely combined. 
  • Sift in the self raising flour and stir with a spoon until just combined (don't over-mix).
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tested with a skewer (see notes). 
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tray for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the icing, beat the butter in a bowl until pale and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Slowly add the icing sugar mixture, milk, vanilla extract and food colouring and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Spread the buttercream frosting over the cooled cake and serve.
  • Keep any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. 

Thermomix Method

  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius (fan-forced). Grease and line a round 20cm cake tin with baking paper and set aside. 
  • Place sugar and butter into the TM bowl and and mix for 15 seconds, Speed 5.
  • Add the eggs, salt, vanilla extract and self-raising flour and mix for 15 seconds, Speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula, then mix for a further 10 seconds, Speed 5.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tested with a skewer (see notes). 
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tray for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the icing, place the icing sugar into the TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds on Speed 9.
  • Add the butter, milk, vanilla extract and food colouring to the bowl. Mix for 30 seconds on Speed 4.
  • Spread the buttercream frosting over the cooled cake and serve.
  • Keep any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. 

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
Unsalted butter – it’s best to use unsalted butter as you can then control the amount of salt you add to the cake. However, you can use salted butter if you prefer (and omit the extra salt)
Caster sugarotherwise known as superfine or ultra-fine sugar. This is a very fine sugar (much finer than granulated sugar) that dissolves when creamed together with the butter. 
Homemade self-raising flour - if you don’t have self-raising flour, you can make your own by adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to every 1 cup of plain flour and sifting together. 
Icing sugar mixture - Icing sugar mixture has a little bit of cornflour added to it which stops it from getting lumps. Icing sugar mixture sets softer than pure icing sugar (which sets hard!). I recommend using icing sugar mixture when making buttercream as it results in a smooth, soft, creamy and spreadable frosting. 
Tips for making buttercream - beat the butter until it’s completely pale, soft and creamy – this will take approximately 5 minutes. Stop every minute or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Sift the icing sugar mixture to avoid any lumps. Add 1-2 drops of food colouring if you would like your buttercream to be coloured. 
Tips for making butter cake - use butter (not margarine) as butter contains more fat which keeps cakes moist when baked. Beat the butter and sugar together thoroughly as this allows air to enter the ingredients. Beat the cream and butter for approximately 5 minutes. Beat between each addition of the eggs. Don't beat the mixture once you've added the flour - just gently fold it through with a spoon.
How to check if the cake is cooked - start checking if it’s ready approximately 10 minutes before the recipe states. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
If you find that your cake is browning too much in the oven - simply place a sheet of foil loosely over the top and continue cooking. 
Storing butter cake - A butter cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days (it’s also fine to leave a butter cake frosted with buttercream at room temperature for 3 days).  Alternatively you can freeze an un-iced butter cake for up to 2 months (wrap in plastic wrap and then cover in two layers of foil). Do not store butter cake in the fridge as it will dry out.

Nutrition

Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 661IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg