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. If you want to go the extra mile though, fill it with a thin layer of marmalade and cover it with buttercream. To make a simpler cake, serve it single-layer style, topped with chocolate ganache 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 - select to zoom
Golden Butter Cake - select to zoom
Golden Butter Cake - select to zoom
Golden Butter Cake - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Lightly grease two 8" round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment and grease the paper. Set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set it aside. 

  4. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy or whipping cream until soft peaks form. (For best results, avoid ultra-pasteurized cream, if possible; plain pasteurized cream whips up better.) Set it aside.

  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment or in a large bowl working with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until it's smooth.

  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 then beat them gently until homogenous.

  8. With the mixer going, gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture. Add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the 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 flexible spatula, gently 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 or paring knife 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, for up to 1 month.

  15. When ready to serve, frost/finish as desired. Italian buttercream is an ideal pairing.

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.