Archive of BBC Food Recipes

All-purpose easy butter cake

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Makes about 12 large cupcakes or one 22cm/9in round birthday cake
Dietary Vegetarian
Dan Lepard’s recipe is perfect for birthday cakes or cupcakes, and can be halved easily.


  1. Line the base of a deep 20cm/9in square cake tin with non-stick paper and preheat the oven to180C/350F/Gas 4.

  2. Melt the butter over a low heat in a small pan, pour it into a bowl with the sugar, oil, cornflour (or arrowroot or cocoa) and vanilla. Beat well until smooth, then whisk in the eggs followed by the milk and cream.

  3. Sift and beat the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture in batches until smooth, then spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes (for a large cake). Keep a careful eye toward the end of the cooking time, and cover with foil if the cake is getting too dark. For cupcakes, fill the papers about three-quarters full then bake for about 20-25 minutes.


  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter
  • 250g/9oz caster or brown sugar
  • 50ml/2fl oz sunflower oil
  • 25g/1oz arrowroot, cornflour or cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 80ml/2½fl oz milk
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 300g/10½oz plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder

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All-purpose easy butter cake

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Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

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