Golden Butter Cake

En-Ming Hsu and Amber Eisler

Moist, tender, and buttery, this is a simple cake that doesn't need much in the way of adornment. Filled with a thin layer of marmalade, it can be covered with buttercream; or simply serve it single-layer style, topped with chocolate or caramel sauce. This recipe first made its debut at the King Arthur Baking School when we teamed up with renowned pastry chef/teacher En-Ming Hsu to develop it for a class. It's been a favorite ever since.

15 mins
20 to 24 mins
35 mins
two 8" round layers
Golden Butter Cake


  1. Note: Before you begin, have all ingredients (except the cream) at room temperature (about 68°F-70°F).

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter (or spray with pan spray) two 8" round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment and butter the paper. Dust with flour and set aside.

  3. Blend together the flour and baking powder, and sift them. Set the mixture aside.

  4. Whip the cold heavy or whipping cream until soft peaks form. Set it aside.

  5. Beat the butter until it's smooth; a stand mixer makes this task easy.

  6. Gradually add the sugar, salt, and vanilla, beating for about 5 minutes once everything has been added. The mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.

  7. Crack the eggs into a bowl, and whisk them to blend whites with yolks.

  8. With the mixer going, gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture, adding 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sifted flour mixture towards the end of adding the eggs if the mixture starts to separate/curdle.

  9. Add the flour mixture, beating briefly to combine.

  10. Using a spatula, fold in the whipped cream by hand.

  11. Divide the stiff batter between the two cake pans, leveling the surface. Tap the pans 3 or 4 times on the table to expel any large bubbles.

  12. Bake the cakes for 20 to 24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

  13. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes before loosening the edges and inverting them onto a rack. Cool completely.

  14. The cakes are best finished and eaten on the same day, but they hold up very well for up to 2 days at room temperature, well-wrapped. The cakes may be stored frozen, well wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month.

  15. When ready to serve, frost/finish as desired.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Ready to frost your cake? Check out all the recipes you have to choose from, including buttercream, whipped ganache, cream cheese frosting, and more. See them all in our blog post, A breakdown of (almost) every cake frosting.