Butter Cake With Variations

"I have been baking this cake for nearly 30 years. I quite often double the recipe and make two cakes. Slice it when cold, wrap well and freeze - DH helps himself to take for morning tea. This originates from Margaret Fulton's cookbook. In the original recipe the batter was divided between 2 x 8 inch round greased cake tins and baked for 20 to 25 minutes. Once cooled suggested that whipped cream was put between layers and then cake frosted. I've posted the variations in the directions section. The DD for Christmas '08 gave me Margaret Fultons 1968 revised edition (my original was rather dog eared and stained), so updates are posted below as now in brackets."
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Chef floWer photo by Chef floWer
photo by An_Net photo by An_Net
Ready In:
1hr 5mins
1 bar cake




  • Grease a loaf tin.
  • Preheat oven to 175°C.
  • Sift flour and salt 3 times.
  • In a mixing bowl cream butter and castor sugar with vanilla essence until mixture is white, light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each.
  • Fold sifted flour into creamed mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour.
  • When mixture is smooth, pour into prepared tin.
  • Lightly smooth top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a fine skewer will come out clean.
  • Cool cake on few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  • Lemon Cake - add the grated rind of 1 lemon and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, omit the vanilla essence.
  • Orange Cake - add the grated rind of 1 orange and 2 teaspoons of orange juice, omit the vanilla essence.
  • Sultana Cake - add 4 to 6 ounces of sultanas and 1 teaspoon of spice. (now 3/4 cup sultanas and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or mixed spice).
  • Seed Cake - add 1 tablespoon caraway seeds to mixture and sprinkle extra teaspoon of seeds on top before baking.
  • Spice Cake - sift 1 teaspoon spice with flour, add 4 ounces chopped dates or chopped walnuts to mixture. (now sift 1 teaspoon spice - ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom or mixed spice with the flour and add 3/4 cup chopped dates or walnuts to the mixture).
  • Chocolate Cake - add 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, dissolved in a little milk. (now - add 60 grams melted dark chocolate to creamed mixture, before the flour).

Questions & Replies

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  1. I have had this recipe (sultana) since been given Margaret Fultons Cookbook in 1975. My husband makes this all the time and that particular page is rather grotty. Top recipe. I have just emailed it on to my daughter.
  2. Very Yummy! I made the 'Chocolate Cake' version for our Wedding Anniversary and everyone really enjoyed it. Only substitute I made was I used egg replacer instead of real eggs but otherwise kept the recipe as written. To dress the cake I used Recipe #248838. Thank you Chef Potts for another great recipe
  3. A very nice cake. I made the basic vanilla and found it to have good flavor and crumb and it was sturdy enough to handle any frosting one would like to use (we ate it plain). I used a 345F oven for 40 minutes and it was a bit too long and maybe too hot (the chart said 180C = 350F). I also used Lori 13's recipe #173607 Self Rising Flour - but may use a different recipe for that next time to better duplicate your cake (the cooks from Australia and New Zealand seem to use a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda while we Yanks use baking powder). All in all a lovely cake and I look forward to trying the variations.
  4. I made this as a birthday cake for my 17yr old foster daughter. I doubled the recipe and added more chocolate (I think I used 4oz unsweetened chocolate as stated in the recipe and also added 4oz melted bittersweet chocolate to the creamed butter sugar mix before adding the flour). It worked a treat. I also cooked the cake in a high 9" cake tin. I used Sharon123's "Recipe #28514" to dress the cake. What a magic basic butter cake recipe and I love your variations.
  5. This is a great basic cake recipe. I made the spice cake variation, using "Sweet Spices" from Herbies and the result is just divine. The kids all love it and I will use the recipe over and over ! Thanks.


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