If you love butter cake but wish the texture could be light and fluffy as a sponge cake, please try this delightful butter cake adapted from a recipe posted in wendyinkk.blogspot.com called "Mrs. NgSK Vanilla ButterCake." Wendy, who is from Malaysia, says that she used to eat a really good buttercake that this lady called Mrs. NgSK from church used to bring, and one day she asked for the recipe which the lady surprisingly shared with her. Many other food bloggers have adopted her cake, and I think most if not all may be from Asia (which i think is known for their light cakes). So now I am sharing it with you my fellow Food52ers; but I have modified the recipe by replacing the self rising flour it asks for with all purpose flour and baking powder, and converting from grams to cup. I sometimes do this recipe using my scale; and on other occasions I use the cup measurements. Both deliver an excellent cake. I don't think you will find a better butter cake than this one because it is buttery in your mouth yet light and fluffy. Please do use the exact size of pan that is required, an 8 inch square cake pan; and, ideally, of a light not dark color. —Regine
sticks of good quality unsalted butter (16 tbsp or 8 oz or 227 grams)
Large eggs, room temperature
Sugar, divided (1/4 cup + 3/4 cup) or 50 grams + 150 grams
1 and 1/2 cups
all purpose flour (or 200 grams). My favorite is Pillsbury bleached all purpose flour. Do not use cake flour.
2 and 1/4 teaspoons
Whole milk (60 ml), room temperature
Pure vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons
Grated lime, lemon, or orange zest but this is optional
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 335F degrees.
Spray an 8 inch metal square pan. Please use exactly what it says and preferably a light color pan. If you don't have one, invest in one. You will not regret it.
Separate egg whites from yolk. Beat egg whites until soft peaks and gradually add the 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar and beat until stiff. Set aside and transfer to another bowl if you need the same bowl to cream the butter.
Cream butter and the 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar until and fluffy. Be patient. It may take 5-10 minutes. Add the vanilla and zest if using. You can even add some cardamom or nutmeg if you so desire. Then add eggs yolks gradually beating for a few seconds after each addition. Put half the flour (which you mixed with the baking powder, and stirred with a fork for about 1 minute to aerate it) and mix on low speed. Do not overmix.
Add 1/2 the milk, mix for a few seconds, then the other half, mix for a few seconds, then the remaining flour.
Put half the egg white and mix on low speed, then fold the rest into the cake batter using a spatula. Be patient. It may take you quite a few turns of the bowl to fold egg whites into flour so don't be discouraged. I've been there so I know. My trick is to turn the bowl as I fold. What I do is to do a "quarter turn" of the bowl (as if I am turning bowl from a zero minute position to a 15 minute position) and fold; then turn bowl to a 30 minute position and fold; turn bowl to a 45 minute position and fold; turn bowl to a zero minute position and fold. Repeat the turning of the bowl and folding until all egg white is well incorporated into bowl. Google the art of folding if needed.
Pour batter into pan and level it with spatula.
Bake for 45 minutes at 335F degrees and then 9 minutes at 300F degrees. Please do this exactly. A skewer inserted into middle of cake will/should come out clean. You will see that the cake has risen to the very top of the pan but the surface remains flat (don't worry if you see a few bubbles).
Let cool on rack for 15-30 minutes then invert on a plate and turn it again onto rack or serving plate. I like to wait till the day after to eat it but you don't have to. But let it cool for a couple of hours before serving.
You will find that the cake is so light that it almost melts in your mouth. Sprinkle top with some powdered sugar if you want, and serve with coffee/tea, as snack or dessert.
NOTE: When using measuring cups for flour and sugar, please do not dip the cup directly into the flour or sugar sack or container. Instead, spoon it into the measuring cup and then scrape off excess with a straight edge. Also, please note that my cup measurements are rounded but you should still have the same outcome than if you weigh the ingredients.