The first cake I ever baked was so bad that I have erased detailed memories of it. What I do remember is my friends laughing because when they bit into it, they could bite into the sugar in the cake (I had not creamed it enough). Suffice to say, it was not my best effort.
I’ve baked a lot of cakes since that time. And thankfully, I wasn’t deterred by that negative outcome. I love baking and always find the whole process very relaxing (many a term paper has been put off to bake—ask all my dorm friends at East-West Center). Even though I’ve gotten to like cooking as well, my first love is baking. Every time my “Fine Cooking” magazine arrives, I almost always find myself reading and marking the baking bits to try more than the cooking stuff.
The sad news is that I’m now a diabetic which cuts down a lot on my baking. I mostly bake now only when I have friends over or I have a church event with lots of people to pass out my bakes to. Today, however, I was caught in a little bit of nostalgia. I was remembering a time when I used to bake this butter cake very often . I baked it so often that I had the recipe memorized! So even though I don’t really have a reason to bake, I decided my kids needed a treat.
The recipe was handed to me from my third aunt on my mother’s side (she was a superb baker and one day I want to go back to Singapore to sit at her feet and learn all her tricks). It is very simple and very buttery. . .
Third Aunt’s Butter Cake
- 500 g butter (softened at room temp)
- 400 g sugar
- 8 eggs (I know this seems like a lot but we used to use 9-10 eggs so really, I’ve cut it down already)
- 400 g self-raising flour (use 1 t baking powder, ½ t baking soda, and ½ t salt with regular AP flour if you don’t have self-raising flour)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp butter essence (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar till fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat at medium speed. Scrape down after every two eggs. It will look as though the mixture curdled when you’ve finished adding all the eggs. That’s alright—it will come back together when you add the flour.
- Add vanilla essence and butter essence and mix well.
- Slow speed to low and slowly incorporate the flour.
- Pour batter into two loaf pans or one bundt pan or regular sheet pan (I used a bundt this time).
- Bake for about 1 hour or until skewer comes clean when inserted into center of cake.
Note: I modified the recipe for this bake. This time, I added the zest from two oranges and a tsp of orange flavor instead of the vanilla and butter essences. Otherwise, everything else was the same.