Everyone needs a fast basic butter cake recipe in their collection. A yellow butter cake is so handy and versatile. From the simple butter cake recipe, you can build in different flavour variations like chocolate, orange or lemon. The flavour of the butter cake is mild enough to suit most flavours of frosting and fillings too.

Butter cakes are perfect to dress up or down depending on the event. Add sprinkles and bright frosting for a kid’s birthday cake or layer them with sophisticated fillings for an adult’s special occasion cake.

What makes this easy butter cake recipe even better is that it’s mixed in just one bowl. Hooray! This is the cake recipe I use inside my decorated birthday cake tutorials. Bookmark this recipe for a future date if you need to whip up a cake in a hurry.


Makes: one 20 – 23cm cake           Difficulty: Easy



  • 20 – 23 cm cake tin
  • Stand mixer / Electric mixer
  • Oven thermometer
  • Kitchen scales
  • Kitchen timer
  • Spatula


  • 125g (4.4 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 275g (9.7 oz) Caster Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 large Eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 150g (5.3 oz) Plain Flour
  • 75g (2.7 oz) Self Raising Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda
  • 125ml (4.2 fl oz) Full Cream Milk, room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350F). Line the base of the cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with non-stick spray.
  • Add the softened butter, sugar and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Whisk them together until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until thick and smooth. (It’s ok if the batter looks curdled).
  • Add the plain flour, self-raising flour, bicarbonate soda and milk. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes until the batter is pale, smooth and fluffy.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared cake tin. Smooth the top.
  • Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place cake tin on the middle rack of the oven. Bake 50-60 minutes. The cake is done when the top is golden brown, the top springs back when lightly touched, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. The cake will start to come away from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove cake from the oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool.



  • Ensure your eggs, butter and milk are at room temperature before using. If not, the cake batter curdles at the “creaming” stage when you add the eggs. It’s not a big deal if it does curdle, but that’s why.
  • Unfrosted cake can be frozen. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.