Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek)

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Butter cake (Boterkoek) is a traditional Dutch flat cake that contains mostly butter (hence the name…) and flour. The cake is usually made in a special, round, butter cake pan, however, you can also use a spring form or a brownie pan. The cake is made with a dough rather than a batter so I guess you could also call it a pie.

Butter cake is moist with a crispy edge. My favorite part of the butter cake are the crispy edges. A butter cake can only be called butter cake if real butter is involved. This recipe contains a lot of butter so when indulging in this delicious treat, make sure to only take a small piece at a time.

Where’s the almond flavor?

I recently made an interesting discovery. In the Facebook group ‘Dutch Recipes in English‘ I’ve met many people with Dutch heritage and most, if not all of those that I’ve seen in the group mention almond extract as a flavoring their mom used for butter cake. I did a quick search for this recipe on other English sites and see that almond extract is used there as well.  I though it was interesting cause in my recipe as well as all the Dutch recipes I’ve researched, including one of one of the old school pastry master of the Netherlands,  there’s either no flavoring at all or just some vanilla sugar and/or lemon zest. The butter cake is sometimes decorated with sliced almond though. I’m curious to find out now how this subtle difference in one ingredient occurred. That said, I think a little bit of almond extract would work perfectly in this recipe as well. That’s why I’ve added it as a suggestion in the recipe. A special thanks to the members of the group for bringing this to my attention. It’s made my recipe even more complete!

How To Make Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek)

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 01

The make the Dutch butter cake (boterkoek), you’ll need butter, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla sugar, lemon zest and just one egg (that second egg shouldn’t have been in the photo…). The full list of ingredients, including quantities, can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 02

Add sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, lemon zest and butter to a bowl and use a dough hook to mix the sugar with the butter. Mix until the sugar is just incorporated.

You can actually make this by hand as well. A mixer isn’t necessarily needed, I’ve made this recipe by hand many times. 

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 03

When the sugar and butter are incorporated (make sure not to over mix it), lightly whisk the egg and add about 2/3 of the egg to the butter.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 04

And add all of the flour.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 05

Mix until a dough starts to form.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 06

Once the dough is formed, take it out of the bowl and if needed, lightly knead it on a floured work surface. The dough will be very soft, so don’t knead too much, usually 30 seconds to form the dough and check if everything is incorporated is enough.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 07

Take the dough and wrap it in clingfilm. Flatten the dough to help it cool faster. Leave the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 08

I used my mom’s old, special butter cake pan to make the cake. As you can see it has a handy little slider in it to help loosen the cake from the bottom once it’s done. If you don’t have a butter cake pan, you can use a spring form or brownie pan to make the cake in. Just make sure to grease and line the pan with baking paper before putting the dough in.
I have found similar pans called ‘easy release cake pans‘ on Amazon.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 09

Press the dough into your cake pan.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 10

If needed use a piece of baking paper to smooth out the dough more easily.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 11

Take a fork and run the back of the fork on the dough to create a pattern.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 12

Use the remaining egg to brush the top of the butter cake. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, till golden.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 13

The cake will have a lovely golden crust.

 

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) Recipe | Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. | https://www.cakieshq.com | Step 14

Cut the Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) into small triangle pieces or little cubes and serve. A little piece will go a long way with this cake.

 

Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. #recipe #dutchrecipe

 

Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in. #recipe #dutchrecipe

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Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek)
Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in.
Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in.
Votes: 59
Rating: 4.08
You:
Rate this recipe!
Cuisine Dutch
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Tools
Cuisine Dutch
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Tools
Dutch butter cake (boterkoek) is a traditional moist, flat cake with crispy edges. Butter cake (boterkoek) is a delicious Dutch treat to indulge in.
Votes: 59
Rating: 4.08
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Add sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, lemon zest and butter to a bowl and use a dough hook to mix the sugar with the butter. Till the sugar is just incorporated.
  2. When the sugar and butter are incorporated (make sure not to over mix it), lightly whisk the egg and add about 2/3 of the egg to the butter and add all of the flour. Mix until a dough starts to form.
  3. Once the dough is formed, take it out of the bowl and if needed, lightly knead it on a floured work surface. The dough will be very soft, so don't knead too much, usually 30 seconds to form the dough and check if everything is incorporated is enough.
  4. Take the dough and wrap it in clingfilm. Flatten the dough to help it cool faster. Leave the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350Β°F/175Β°C. Grease a butter cake pan. If you don't have a butter cake pan, grease and line a brownie pan or spring form with baking paper.
  6. Press the dough into your cake pan. If needed put a piece of baking paper on top of the dough to smooth out the dough more easily.
  7. Take a fork and run the back of the fork on the dough to create a pattern.Β  Use the remaining egg to brush the top of the butter cake.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, till golden.
  9. Leave to cool completely. To serve, cut small triangle pieces or little cubes.
Recipe Notes

Please note that the cup measurements in this recipe are approximate. I have added cups for those that prefer using cups. The recipe is most accurate using weights measurements.

  • Caster sugar is a fine sugar (it's not powdered/icing sugar), if you don't have a fine sugar available, you can use granulated sugar
  • If you don't have vanilla sugar, you can substitute it with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • You can make vanilla sugar easily yourself by following the vanilla sugar recipe on the site.
  • You can garnish the butter cake with sliced almonds. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top of the butter cake before baking.
  • If you would like the butter cake with a stronger almond flavor you substitute the vanilla and lemon with 1 teaspoon of almond extract.
  • You can make this recipe by hand as well. A mixer isn't necessarily needed, I've made this recipe by hand many times.
  • Due to the vast amount of butter that's in the cake, when the cake comes out of the oven it'll be soft initially. Once the cake cools down it should firm up due to the butter cooling down again.

48 comments

  1. Margie
    24 July 2020

    Don’t you need to use baking powder?

    1. 24 July 2020

      No, this is a dense cake, no leavening is needed for this.

  2. john spijkers
    20 May 2020

    Hi Rachel! I like your page and have used it several times for either making a recipe you posted or to get some ideas. Today, I want to make this Boterkoek, but I have several concerns regarding the weight/cup measurements you posted.
    For the castor sugar (powdered sugar, icing sugar) you say 250 grams = 1 cup. Not according to my food scale, which I have properly calibrated. 250 grams is about 1 1/3 cup, maybe even a cup and a half.
    For the flour you say 250 grams = 2 cups. It isn’t. It’s about 1 and a half cups.
    I’m going to use equal amounts and go according to the gram counts you provided.
    Just wanted you to know.

    1. 20 May 2020

      Hi John,
      Thanks for reaching out, I’m happy to hear that you’re enjoying my site. When it comes to caster sugar, I mean a fine sugar, not a powdered/icing sugar. That’s perhaps why the weight is off. In the Netherlands you would using a sugar called “basterdsuiker” but that’s not available in most other countries. If you don’t have fine sugar, you can use granulated sugar, I will edit the recipe card to include this information to avoid any confusion in the future.
      Also, the metrics will always be more accurate versus the volume. I hope the boterkoek works out for you!

      1. john spijkers
        21 May 2020

        Hi Rachel!

        Thanks for clearing that up for me. I used powdered sugar and it came out ok for the first time I made it. Will buy some fine sugar (called superfine sugar in Canada) and use that from here on in.

  3. Orly Zeelon
    18 April 2020

    I am Orly from Israel and I used to live in Bremen Germany.
    So, once a month for a nice Saturday cultural stroll we used to drive to Groningen and walk around for a change of air, Go to the market and of course go to the supermarket to get some good food; usually we also visited the local Albert Heijn from which we bought the butter cake.

    I had the taste of the BoterKoek in my mind for years and decided today that I am going to look for the recipe. I too thought it contained almonds and this is because the texture slightly reminds of the marzipan like almond filling of french tarts.

    The recipe looks absolutely easy to make and you thought about everything. One question, usually I put more than a pinch of salt- will it make a big difference?

    Another question is about Stroopwaffles; that too is a local treat, where can you get the waffle to make small waffles.
    Thank you.

    1. 20 April 2020

      Hi Orly,

      You can add a little more salt if that’s too your liking.
      As or where to get the waffle iron, that depends on where you live and which one you’re looking for. If you’re looking for an old iron you’ll have to look in thrift stores. I use a Pizelle maker, you would have to look online or in stores near your area to see where you can buy one.

  4. Pascale DelJanovan
    23 December 2019

    The difference in yes or no almond extract or almond paste could have something to do with the region the boterkoek is from. Even though our country is very small, you will find many differences between regions when looking at food.

    1. 28 December 2019

      That could be, I haven’t met anyone in the Netherlands yet regarding the almond flavoring though. I do know that there can be boterkoek filled with almond paste or ginger or decorated with almond slices, but never just with almond flavoring, I’ve only come across people with Dutch heritage living abroad that mention that. But who knows maybe I’ll meet someone in the Netherlands one day that does the same :). Either way, I think it makes a nice addition to the boterkoek. I always like it when people add their own twist to recipes πŸ˜€

  5. Ischa Hicks
    23 December 2019

    I have made this many times but it is more like a dry cake and not moist. I have not been leaving the dough in the fridge before baking so could that be the problem?

    1. 28 December 2019

      Could be, the cooler dough will take longer to heat up. Every oven is different, perhaps you could try to leave the cake in the oven a little shorter. The cake can be slightly underdone.

  6. Cindy
    21 December 2019

    I made this and baked it for 25 minutes. It was not firm at all, so I baked it another 10 minutes. I took it out of the oven but it is still very soft. I will have to see if it firms up. What do you think I did wrong?

    1. 21 December 2019

      Hi Cindy, due to the vast amount of butter that’s in the cake, when the cake comes out of the oven it’ll be soft initially. Once the cake cools down it should firm up due to the butter cooling down again. I’ll add this as an extra note to the recipe.

  7. Allen V
    4 June 2019

    Just confirming: the recipe uses unsalted butter?

    1. 5 June 2019

      Yes, I always use unsalted butter

  8. Tina
    31 March 2019

    What is the size of the baking pan?

    1. Rachel (Cakies)
      2 April 2019

      Hi Tina, you’ll need a 9 inch (24 cm) baking pan.

  9. Todd
    7 February 2019

    I used to make this as a kid and the first steps before adding the flour were done on the stove on low heat and you have to wisk the egg in really fast and then quickly add the flour before the egg cooks. No mixer needed….

    1. 8 February 2019

      You can indeed make this recipe without a mixer easily as well. I’ve made it by hand many times and I’ve used a mixer. I’ve never made it on the stove though, that sounds interesting, I might try it as well πŸ˜€

  10. Shelley Campbell
    12 December 2018

    Hello – do you think this recipe would work if you rolled it out thinner and cut cookie shapes into it? Not traditionally boterkoek, I know, but I’m wondering if it would work as a shortbread alternative for Christmas. Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. 13 December 2018

      Hi Shelley, I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it could work.

  11. Tanja in Ireland
    11 December 2018

    I’ve a gas cooker googled the equivalent of 350degrees to gas mark 4 but took almost an hour to cook at this temperature? just waiting for it to cool to see how it tastes while I’m making croquette!! Yum yum

  12. Anja
    18 November 2018

    I have made botterkoek many times and the only way I knew how to make it is exactly as you said 250 grams each the flour, sugar and butter and because the gram weight of each one is different in size is why it works so well. My Mom used to add almond spice in the middle and we loved it so much. My daughter and I were just talking about it today. Time to make one.

    1. 20 November 2018

      I’m glad to hear the recipe brought back some nice memories πŸ™‚

  13. Delaine Dunn
    7 November 2018

    Is a dough hook necessary? I don’t have one.

    1. 11 November 2018

      Hi Delaine,

      You don’t need to use a dough hook at all if you don’t have one. I have often made this cake by hand, not using any machine at all πŸ™‚

  14. 24 October 2018

    “The recipe is most accurate using weights measurements.” So why don’t you publish the weight of flour?

    1. Rachel (Cakies)
      28 October 2018

      Hi Doug,
      The weight measurements (250 grams flour) are listed in the ingredients list in the recipe card.
      I don’t know why it wasn’t visible before, but it is visible now πŸ™‚
      Thanks for letting me know you couldn’t see the measurements.
      – Rachel

  15. Rita B
    17 October 2018

    I add an almond paste center filling. Put a layer of dough, then layer of almond paste mixed with an egg and some sugar, and add top layer of dough.

    1. 18 October 2018

      A filled boterkoek is delicious as well!

  16. sasha
    4 October 2018

    rachel, i am from amsterdam, the cradle of the -originally jewish – boterkoek. your recipe is spot-on and you are very right in your assumption that no almond flavour should be added. there are 3 varieties of boterkoek: the plain one, like you describe, the ‘filled’ one that has a filling of almond paste and the ginger one, that has slices of confectioned ginger in and on it.

    i moved to france and i will also start making my own..

    1. 5 October 2018

      Hi Sasha,
      Thanks for the compliment, I’m from Amsterdam myself as well. I actually forgot about the ginger version, thanks for reminding me, another recipe for me to create! πŸ˜€

  17. The Book of Food
    24 September 2018

    I just made it, it’s deadly good !

    1. 25 September 2018

      I’m glad you like it πŸ™‚

  18. Kors van Kreuningen
    14 September 2018

    Do you need to use UNSALTED BUTTER? My mother made boterkoek in Holland and in Canada without the Canadian salted butter.

    1. 15 September 2018

      Hi Kors,
      Yes, I always use unsalted butter, just like your mom, unless stated otherwise.

  19. Ariadne van den Hof
    13 September 2018

    Hi. I never use almond extract in my boterkoek, but people here (in London) tend to think that boterkoek tastes of almonds. No idea why.
    My mum taught me to use a spoon to flatten the boterkoek. Wet the back of a spoon with a bit of cold water and then run over the top of the batter to flatten and straighten it (you may need to wet the spoon more than once).
    Finally, while you say that the recipe mostly contains butter, you put twice as much flour in as butter. I always use a recipe that uses equal parts of butter, sugar (not including the vanillesuiker) and flour.

    1. 14 September 2018

      Thanks for the tip of wetting the spoon to flatten the boterkoek πŸ™‚

    2. Donita-Catherine Cassell-Cooper (My moeder was a van der Wouden.)
      2 May 2019

      Ariadne, when you say equal measures do you mean by cup measurement or by weight measurement?

      Thank you. πŸ™‚

  20. ANNA KLIJN RAGER
    11 September 2018

    I AM FROM SITTARD LIMBURG LOVE ALL THE RECIPES

    1. 13 September 2018

      Hi Anna,
      I’m happy to hear you love the recipes πŸ˜€

    2. Beth Friesen
      23 December 2019

      I am from Brunssum, Limburg, went to school in Sittard, Sociale Akademie en this is my first boterkoek. Wish me luck.

      1. 28 December 2019

        Good luck, I hope it came out delicious πŸ™‚

  21. Tammy Manshanden
    20 March 2018

    i add the almond extract and substitute almond flour (ground almonds) for one of the regular flours. Very almondy flavour

    1. 26 March 2018

      Your version sounds delicious as well.

  22. Wilhelmina Schuring Vander Zouwen
    26 January 2018

    Have made this in fact my grandson had made and brought me 1 and told me how easy it was.

    1. Rachel (Cakies)
      29 January 2018

      So nice to hear that you and your grandson enjoyed the recipe πŸ™‚ hopefully I can create some more recipes for you to enjoy.

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