Photo by: Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

Best Butter Cake

This recipe for buttery cake layers can be used with a variety of frostings. For an impressive presentation, slice each layer horizontally to make a beautiful four-layer dessert.

  • Yield: Makes one 8-in. cake, serving 16


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • none About 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 none large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

2. Butter and flour 2 round 8-in. cake pans. Divide batter evenly between pans.

3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Cool cakes 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

Make ahead: Up to 2 days, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.


Total time does not include 40 minutes cooling time.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 361none
  • Calories from fat: 45%
  • Protein: 3.8g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrate: 48g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 253mg
  • Cholesterol: 84mg

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Best Butter Cake Recipe