Philly Butter Cake [scratch]

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 40 mins

the real thing from the Philly Inq. in 1988

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Peel potatoes and boil until tender. Drain and reserve 3/4 c of cooking water. Mash the potatoes and stir in the potato water; set aside. Dissolve yeast in the warm water and add the 1 teaspoons salt.
  2. Add the yeast mixture to the potato mixture; mix on low speed to blend.
  3. Cream the butter and add the 1 c of sugar a little at a time along with the salt and beaten eggs.
  4. Stir in the yeast mix. Mix well and add 3 c of the flour (1 c at a time) beating vigorously after each cup.
  5. Dough should be soft but not wet so add up to 1/2 cup more flour if necessary. Cover bowl and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
  6. Grease a 9x13 pan or two 8" square pans. When dough has doubled, punch down and turn onto floured surface and sprinkle top with flour. Let rest five minutes. Roll to 1/2 to 3/4" thick and as close to the shape of the pan as possible. Place in the pan/pans, cover and let rise until doubled.
  7. Make topping by creaming the butter. Beat in the sugar and flour. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each. Add just enough milk to make the mixture easy to spread over the cake; it should not be runny.
  8. After gently spreading the topping on the risen dough, bake in preheated oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Let cool in pan.
Most Helpful

5 5

I'm originally from the Philadelphia area and just love butter cake and it was nice to see this recipe posted. I've tried several butter cake recipes that use a cake mix, but they don't compare. I made this exact recipe, oh,about 15 years ago from an Inquirer clipping my mother had saved from the 1960's (which I stupidly lost awhile back). I have another butter cake recipe posted here (#24308) that my sister found in 1999, but it is not as authentic as this recipe. I have found that super-fine granulated sugar and unsalted (sweet) butter make a better topping -- and the gooey topping is the star of this recipe. I love plain butter cake, but it's also good with a fruit topping, particularly cherries. A few years ago, a relative came to visit us in Colorado and brought an apple crumb topped version that was to die for. Thanks for the memories!