Philly Butter Cake [scratch]

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by drhousespcatcher

the real thing from the Philly Inq. in 1988

Top Review by Kathy

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!

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.

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