Want to learn how to make the softest butter (or margarine) cake?

Everyone and their grandmother has made this recipe, but this is really the best of them all. With just a few tweaks to the traditional recipe, you can get the softest, yummiest butter cake. Why settle for the rest when you can make the best?

This recipe has been in my repertoire for about 10 years. One fine morning in school, my friend Sumaiya asked me if I would like to try her butter cake recipe because she knew I loved to bake. I said yes, and the rest, as they, is history. There are very few recipes that I haven’t felt the need to tweak or look for alternatives, that too over such a long period of time, and this is definitely one of them!

One bite and you will fall in love too. The phrase melt-in-your-mouth is rarely used to describe cakes, but if it were, it would be for this one. It is so good that I dare you to make it and stop eating after just one slice!

Ok, enough gushing, let’s get on with the recipe.

What are the ingredients needed to make the Softest Butter Cake with Margarine?
  • 250g margarine,
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated white sugar,
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour/maida,
  • 4 tsp baking powder,
  • 4 large eggs,
  • 1/2 cup milk,
  • 3 tsp vanilla essence
Frequently Asked Questions

I get a lot of questions regarding this recipe. Here are some of the most common ones:

Why are the measurements different to what we’re used to?

Yes, a typical tea cake recipe has equal quantities of butter, sugar, and flour – but this is no typical cake. I really can’t explain the logic behind it; this is the recipe as it was given to me and I’ve never felt the need to dissect it.

But won’t this cake be too sweet?

The answer is a resounding NO! I’m not a fan of overly-sweet desserts myself, so trust me when I say that this has the perfect sweetness (even slightly mild to those who have a raging sweet tooth).

Can I use butter instead of margarine?

Yes, absolutely! If you are using unsalted butter, make sure to add a pinch of salt into the flour before adding it to the cake batter.

How to make a Classic Butter Cake at home?

This recipe requires the use of an electric beater, either a stand-mixer or a handheld beater is fine.

  1. Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the sugar and beat until the butter turns lighter in colour.
  3. Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition. Once the eggs are incorporated, beat on high speed for about 5-10 minutes until the sugar has melted into the mixture.
  4. Add the flour and milk in alternating additions of three and two respectively.
  5. Add the vanilla.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-50 minutes.

That’s it! It’s a pretty simple recipe with a bit of exra beating time. Check out the simple instructional video below.

Here’s the step-by-step guide to making the best butter cake ever:

Classic Butter Cake

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 40-50 min

Yield: 32-40 slices

Step 1: Make the batter.

  • 250g margarine,
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated white sugar,
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour/maida,
  • 4 tsp baking powder,
  • 4 large eggs,
  • 1/2 cup milk,
  • 3 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Beat the margarine until it becomes light and fluffy.
  2. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture turns to a lighter colour.
  3. Add the eggs one by one, and then continue to beat until sugar melts (about 5-10 minutes).
  4. Note: Check by rubbing a bit of the batter between two fingers. It should feel completely smooth.
  5. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl.
  6. Start adding the flour and milk in alternating additions, mixing after each addition. First flour, then milk, then flour, milk, and finish with flour.
  7. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Step 2: Bake.

  1. Preheat the oven to 120° Celsius.
  2. Butter and dust two 9″ cake pans or one 13×9″ pan. You can also line it with parchment paper.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  4. Bang the pans on the counter top to release air bubbles.
  5. Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes (may take slightly longer if you bake in one pan). Check if it is done with a toothpick inserted into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
  6. Tip: if the cake finishes baking but the top is too light in colour, leave it in the oven for an extra 1 or 2 minutes with the heat turned to maximum in your oven. Keep a careful watch as it darkens really quickly!
  7. Let it cool in pan slightly before removing and slicing.


– Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before starting.

-Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides regularly to properly incorporate all the ingredients.

Once the flour is added, be careful not to overmix the batter or the cake won’t be as soft.

– You can bake this cake in any size pan, just make sure the batter doesn’t come up more than halfway so it has enough room to rise. Baking times may vary according to the size of the pan.
– Sometimes, we only get really small eggs. In that case, I use 5 eggs instead of 4.
– See the FAQ section above for more.