Gooey Philadelphia German Butter Cake (Butterkuchen)

READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
Recipe by Kathy

This is great breakfast cake. The topping should be gooey. Cherry pie filling can be added as a topping for variety.

Top Review by Robyn

I grew up in a suburb of Phila. We had a German bakery called Neffles. They made this cake. My friends mom would let us eat the top off of it which was an amazing treat. I made this cake this morning and it's exactly as I remembered it. I made the dough in my bread machine. It was easy to spread it out into a 13x9 glass pan sprayed with Pam. The topping was easy to spread and it only took 20 minutes in my oven. Pure bliss! I want to thank you for the fond memory and a delicious recipe that I know I will make again.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix sugar, shortening, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add egg, and beat together for 1 minute.
  3. Dissolve yeast in warm milk.
  4. To egg/sugar mixture, add flour, then yeast mixture and vanilla, beating about 3 minutes (with dough hook or by hand).
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead 1 minute.
  6. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place to rise 1 hour or until double.
  7. Make Topping: Cream butter in a mixer.
  8. Mix together flour and sugar; gradually beat into butter.
  9. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  10. Add vanilla.
  11. Gradually add just enough milk to bring mixture to an easy spreading consistency, being careful not to make it too runny. Set aside until dough is doubled and ready for use.
  12. When dough is doubled, punch it down and divide in two sections.
  13. Roll or pat halves into bottom of two well-greased 8" square pans (or a 13x9 pan).
  14. Crimp edges halfway up sides to hold topping. Prick dough with a fork to reduce bubbling.
  15. Spread topping evenly over dough. Let stand 20 minutes. Heat oven to 375°F.
  16. Bake 30 minutes for 13x9 or 20 minutes for 8x8 or until top is just golden and crusty, but still gooey.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a