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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Press the dough into your cake pan.
If needed use a piece of baking paper to smooth out the dough more easily.
Take a fork and run the back of the fork on the dough to create a pattern.
Use the remaining egg to brush the top of the butter cake. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, till golden.
The cake will have a lovely golden crust.
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.