CAKES - Other Cakes

Butter Cake (Low Sugar, Soft and Fluffy)

March 24, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Soft Butter Cake

Soft Butter Cake

Soft Butter Cake

I adapted my Pandan Butter Cake Recipe to bake this Low Sugar, Soft and Fluffy Butter Cake.  The egg separation method is adapted from the famous "Mrs Ng Butter Cake recipe".  I used a separated egg method because it yields a very fine and soft cake.

It is advisable to read the following notes before baking.  


Using room temperature butter will prevent the cake from being dense.  When the recipe requires room temperature butter it refers to a soft and pliable butter. The butter should not look shinny or greasy. It should still be cool to touch and not warm.  During the creaming stage of butter and sugar, the mixing will create air pockets in the butter and this will result in a soft and fluffy cake.

If the butter is too warm it will not create the desired air pockets and this will result in a dense cake.  Conversely if the butter is too cold, the butter won't expand easily and is also unable to create the desired air pocket s for a fluffy texture. Ideally, the butter needs to be soft and pliable but still cool to the touch.

Creaming Butter and Sugar
The beating process (butter, sugar and egg) has to be done slowly at a low medium speed and never more than a medium speed to prevent a dense cake.  The slow speed needs to be maintained when the flour is added. The flour needs to be mixed at a low speed as a high speed would develop additional gluten that will cause the cake to rise in the oven, but sink as soon as you remove it from oven. The sinking causes the cake to be dense. In short, over creaming will make your cake dense too.  Sources from here.

Oven temperature and Baking Time
Do note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven. 

It would be good to use an oven thermometer when baking. This will help you understand and know the actual temperature you are baking at. The actual temperature in the oven may not be the same as the oven’s setting.  Leave the thermometer on the same rack where you place your baking.

I usually bake cakes with top and bottom heats setting.  I don’t encourage baking cakes with fan-forced mode as this setting uses a fan to circulate the hot air for quick baking or cooking at high temperature and may result in cracks on the cake.  However, if fan mode is used, it is recommended to reduce the temperature setting by about 20C if using a fan-forced mode.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.


Yield: 7 inch round cake

250g butter (room temperature)
75g icing sugar (I used organic brown sugar and blended into powder)
5 egg yolks (large size egg - 60g, room temperature)
60g full cream milk
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract

230g cake flour or low protein flour
1 tsp baking powder or double action baking powder
¼  tsp salt

5 egg white (large size egg - 60g, room temperature)
65g icing sugar (I used organic brown sugar and blended into powder)
¼ tsp cream of tartar

7 inch round pan
(You may also use 8 inch round pan or 7 inch square baking pan)

(Please watch the video at the bottom "Pandan Butter Cake" for reference)
  1. Allow butter to come to room temperature before use.  Approximately 30 - 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 170C.  Grease and line the base of baking pan with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl.  Add in salt and keep aside.
  4. Separate egg whites from the yolks.
  5. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer till light and fluffy at low medium speed for 10 minutes.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  6. Add in egg yolk one at a time and also vanilla paste/extract,  beat until well combined at medium low speed.  Add in half of the flour mixture, beat to combine.  Then add in 60g milk and mix till incorporated.  Add in balance of the flour mixture and mix well.  Lastly, mix with spatula until well combined.  I used very low speed once I added in the flour.  Set aside.
  7. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg white until frothy before adding cream of tartar and continue to beat until foamy. Gradually add in sugar and whisk until it just reached firm peaks. The peak will hold and fold back slightly when you turn your whisk upside down.  The meringue is glossy and the ribbon lines stay.  
  8. Fold in the meringue into butter batter with spatula in 3 batches.  Fold gently until well incorporated.  
  9. Knock the mixing bowl on the counter few times to release any air bubbles.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Skim the top gently with spatula while pouring to break the air bubbles.  Knock the cake pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 55 - 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  This cake is taller so I baked slightly longer. Bake for about 50 minutes for 8 inch round pan or 7 inch square pan.
  12. Remove cake from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing cake from the pan.  

Creaming Butter, Sugar and Egg Yolks


Combining Buttered Batter with Meringue


  1. 1. What speed do you use when beating the egg whites?
    2. My oven is with fan at the right side so what temperature do I use?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe.

      1. I started with speed 2 and slowly turn to speed 4 for KA.
      2. I am not too sure about your oven. Please read the notes on top and maybe will help. However, you need to play around until you get the correct temperature that suit your oven.

      Cheers :)

  2. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I've tried this today and my cake sank and become dense and "moist". Could this be from the creaming process? I've tried to bake many times (other similar recipe) and it turns out to be the same sank and dense cake. I hope you could give me some tips yo try out. Thanks.

    1. Hi Charmaine,

      Thanks for trying this recipe and sorry to hear that your cake sank and dense.

      Did you read the General Notes on the above recipe that I shared?

      Yes,it could be the creaming process for dense cake. Try not to hurry to cream the butter and sugar at high speed. Please try low to medium speed for about 10 mins. Butter must be at room temperature as I described.

      It could be also the oven temperature maybe too low or high. If your cake rose very fast than it could be your oven temperature is too high. Outside is cook but inside is not fully set yet. So, your cake sank when you take out from the oven. If the oven temperature is too low then then inside is not fully set and it sank when you take out from oven.

      I hope it help.

      Cheers :)

  3. Pretty smooth top! I have never able to achieve smooth top for butter cake. How did you achieve? I compared your recipe with Mrs SK Ng's, it's quite similar except you use more egg white (+1) and reduce almost 30% of the sugar. As yours is low sugar, I don't like cake to be too plain or too sweet (I find Mrs NG's version is too sweet too), do you think increase 15% to you recipe will be sweet enough?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe.
      I tried to bake at lower temperature for longer period. I baked at 170C (top and bottom heat) for 55 to 60 minutes. It works for me to prevent the cake from getting big cracks. However, each individual oven is different. Please adjust accordingly to your oven and monitor closely during baking.

      Sorry, I can't give you the exact answer of the sweetness. The level of sweetness is individual preference. I find the amount of sugar I used is enough sweet for me. Maybe you should try to increase 15% and see how.

      Cheers and happy baking.

    2. Thank you so much for your quick response :)

    3. Most welcome and happy baking :)

  4. Perfect recipe! My parents love butter cake but they always complain my usual recipe is too sweet. Tried out this one and the sweetness level is perfect. I like that it uses 5 eggs and incorporates the egg separation method - gives me a larger cake than usual, and it's softer and fluffier. It was quite fun using the blender to turn brown sugar into icing sugar, I never tried that before and to my amazement I could whip up an egg white meringue with it! I will need to increase the temperature or bake it 5 minutes longer than the stated time because I did feel the cake came out a bit soggy at the base, but that's a problem with my own oven settings and not your recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi, thanks for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. It is good to know that you and your parents like it. My family like this cake too. I don't feel guilty of eating extra pieces

      My pleasure to share and stay safe.

      Cheers :)

  5. Hello,
    Do you use salted or unsalted butter?
    Thank you

    1. Hi, Thanks for reading this post. I used salted butter.

      Cheers :)


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