Tish Boyle’s Basic White Butter Cake

by Shirley@Køkken on March 2, 2013 · 19 comments

in cake, Cookbook, Pastries, Sweets

Tish Boyle's White Butter Cake

As the last pineapple tart gets depleted from the ubiquitous red lidded plastic tub, it becomes official, Chinese New Year is over. There will be some who are still working off the CNY left overs but for me, I am eager to stash away my pineapple tart molds and return to something more fundamental. When you are sick and tired of eating the sweet fare day after day for almost a month, you yearn for something more basic, something from good old Tish Boyle’s cake bible.

It doesn’t surprise me at all when I instinctively reached out for Tish Boyle – after all, I have had happy results with her various pound cake recipes. As I perused over this recipe, I couldn’t understand why I had not tried this before. It is extremely basic and can definitely become the base of many interesting variations to follow. I am always delighted when I discover a good basic recipe which I can potentially work into a cup cake or a frosted layer cake just like Isabella’s Lemon Meringue Cupcake base and Alex Goh’s Jam Topping Sponge Cake base. This one is unique for me as it falls somewhere in between the spectrum of a pound and a sponge cake. With the use of unbeaten egg white, the cake turns out lighter than your typical butter cake but considerably more fulfilling in texture than the airy sponge.

Yielding the fine crumbed cake that I have come to associate so easily with Tish Boyle’s recipe , this one turned out to be even more velvety than the Plainly Perfect Sponge Cake.

The clean white finish makes this a perfect base for layering and frosting. Imagine how pretty this would look in a white on white frosted wedding layer cake!

I am certain you will see me use more of this in my future cake postings. For now, I encourage you to give this a try and am sure you will be as delighted as I have been with it.

5.0 from 4 reviews

Tish Boyle’s Basic White Butter Cake

Recipe type: Cake, Sweets

  • 31/2 cups (325g) sifted cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (227g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (300g) granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites (about 150g)
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup (320ml) whole milk

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350F or 175C.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of 2 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour. (You can use any cake mold but beware -this cake bakes best as a thin layer. Baking it to full height in a 9-inch or 6-inch pan will require longer baking time and you will get a browned cake)
  3. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter at medium high speed until creamy (30seconds). Add sugar and continue to beat at high speed until light . (about 2 mins)
  5. Reduce speed to low and add in egg whites one at a time and mix until homogenous.
  6. Add in lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix well.
  7. Add the flour mixture in alternating with milk. (add flour in 3 additions and milk in 2 additions)
  8. Divide the cake batter evenly into the 2 9 inch cake tins and smooth the tops.
  9. Bake the cake for 25 to 30mins until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
  10. ( You can also bake them in cup cake liners or muffin pans- they will work with the baking timing suggested above to yield a snowy white cake.)


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 T March 3, 2013

How could anyone resist something like this bet these are awesome toasted may I ask where you got this cup cake mold?


2 Shirley@Køkken March 3, 2013

Hi T, this is a silicone mold that I believe I bought from Hong Kong but I think Phoon Huat in Singapore should also have it…


3 Jeannie March 3, 2013

Hi Shirley I love this…so gorgeous! 6 egg whites only 75g? Very little huh? I have a whole tub in my freezer! I can make a few of this cake with it! Lol!


4 Shirley@Køkken March 3, 2013

Hey Jeannie- sorry about this. It should be 150g – I halved the recipe and the number stuck in my mind….. Thanks for catching this. I should really get a proof reader!


5 janine March 3, 2013

I’ve the same query as Jeannie – I think there’s a typo and it should be 175g right? I’ve lots of egg whites to deplete and this looks like just the recipe! :]


6 Shirley@Køkken March 3, 2013

Janine- indeed it was a typo. It should be 150g…


7 Joyti March 4, 2013

Its nice to see you back :-)
The cake looks delicious. Love the molded shape – so unique.


8 Marysol March 5, 2013

The recipe seems simple enough, but it was your delicious photos that lured me in.
By the way, the cake mold is one I hadn’t seen before, but the effect is wonderful!


9 Viveka March 15, 2013

How beautiful … as always and this is something I would love to .. do and eat.
You’re absolutely fantastic with your recipe. Just love to land here.


10 Dina March 19, 2013

these look like the perfect buttery bites!


11 Suja Md April 18, 2013

Wow!! I cannot take my eye out of the butter cake..Its a great feast for the eyes…Love the molds too..


12 Juan Juan May 12, 2013

Dear Shirley,

May I know roughly how many cupcakes half a recipe makes?
Thanks! :)


13 Shirley@Køkken June 10, 2013

Hi Juan Juan – Sorry for the late response. I had been on the road for the last month. It is difficult to determine how many cupcakes 1/2 a recipe would make… depending on the size of the cup cake liners you are using, I would say you can expect 6-8…


14 dennis weaver July 16, 2013

Do you think this recipe would work well for a Roulade / roll up cake? it looks pretty yummy.


15 Shirley@Køkken July 16, 2013

Hi Dennis, Usually a roulade works better with a sponge… I am a little concerned that they may be a little too heavy for rolling…. but you can give it a try… :)


16 April October 7, 2013

These look incredible. I am dedicated to a healthy lifestyle so they are not something I would consume on a regular basis, but every year I enter a cake into a buche de noel competition. I’ve tried several recipes, but I’ve never come across a good sponge cake recipe that isn’t too airy and angel-food-cake like for my taste. This sounds perfect, but doesn’t look ideal for rolling into a log… in your opinion, do you think attempting a roll cake with this recipe would be disastrous? Thank you!


17 Shirley@Køkken October 13, 2013

Hi April – I think this may be too heavy for rolling. You will do better with a sponge cake… something like this…http://www.atkokken.com/2012/02/25/coffee-swiss-roll/


18 Mrs O October 7, 2013

Hi. Just made this recipe into cupcakes using liners. They are awesome. 10 stars. I used the metric measurement. Thanks for sharing.


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