Yes, you’ve read that right. Buttercake. Cause this cake is all about butter. (Of which I’m a big fan, I can eat a good salted butter just like that.)
Now, I do realise many of you might think that buttercake sounds way too fat to be nice. Maybe I can reassure you by saying that Dutch buttercake reportedly is pretty similar to the French Gâteau Breton, which probably sounds more appealing. Well, what can I say? We Dutch just have a thing for nasty names for food.
Now we don’t call it buttercake for no reason, it does contain a big amount of butter. So you’ll find it is pretty heavy and that just a small piece will do. And because the butter is the key ingredient, it’s very important to use the best quality of (unsalted) butter you can find. It can literally make (or break…) the cake.
It is pretty simple to make and you can use a fork or knife to get the distinctive grid on top. Famous Dutch bakery Holtkamp (I’ve used the recipe from their fantastic book De Banketbakker) advises to egg wash the cake twice before baking, so it gets that nice golden colour. The grid is actually a trick to make sure the egg wash ‘sticks’ to the top of the cake.
Recipe taken from the book De Banketbakker by Cees Holtkamp.
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 300 gr (1 + 1/3 cup) of good quality unsalted butter
- 200 gr (7/8 cup) of castor sugar*
- pinch of salt
- 300 gr (3 cups) of all purpose flour
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- Mix the butter with the sugar and the salt
- Mix in the flour until you have a cohesive dough
- Wrap in cling film and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour
- Press the dough in your butter cake mould** after the hour rest,
- Brush with egg and leave to rest for half an hour
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (390 F)
- Brush with egg for a second time and use a fork or the blunt side of a knife to make a grid
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden
- Let cool down before taking it out of the mould
- If you can find it (might be hard outside of the Netherlands) you can use 100 gr of ‘witte basterdsuiker’ and 100 gr of castor sugar
** In the Netherlands they sell special moulds for butter cake, but any small (about 24 cm) round form will do.