Old Fashioned Butter Cake Recipe

The Old-Fashioned Butter Cake is a delightful dessert that harks back to simpler times when the aroma of freshly baked cake filled the kitchen and the first bite melted in your mouth. This classic recipe is a testament to the beauty of buttery simplicity, creating a moist and tender cake with a rich, buttery flavor that’s perfect for any occasion. So, let’s embark on a journey to bake this timeless treat and savor a slice of nostalgia.


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
  • A pinch of salt


Making the Old-Fashioned Butter Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the room temperature butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. This takes about 3-4 minutes using an electric mixer.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined; do not overmix.
  6. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Then, remove them from the pans and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Making the Buttercream Frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the room temperature butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and 2-3 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream to reach your desired consistency. The frosting should be smooth and easy to spread.

Assembling and Frosting the Cake:

  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled, level the tops if needed to create a flat surface.
  2. Place one cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand.
  3. Spread a generous layer of buttercream frosting over the top of the first cake layer.
  4. Carefully place the second cake layer on top.
  5. Frost the top and sides of the entire cake with the remaining buttercream. You can create a smooth finish or decorate it as you like.


  1. Slice and serve your Old-Fashioned Butter Cake, and savor the buttery goodness.

Variations and Tips

  • Lemon Butter Cake: Add the zest of one lemon to the cake batter for a delightful lemony twist. You can also add lemon juice to the frosting for extra zing.
  • Chocolate Butter Cake: For a chocolate version, replace 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour with unsweetened cocoa powder in the cake batter. You can also add melted chocolate to the frosting.
  • Fruit Filling: Spread a layer of fruit preserves or fresh berries between the cake layers for a fruity surprise.
  • Decorations: Get creative with decorating the cake. Sprinkle it with shredded coconut, decorate with edible flowers, or add chocolate shavings for an elegant touch.
  • Storage: Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for longer freshness. If refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.


The Old-Fashioned Butter Cake is a timeless dessert that encapsulates the essence of comfort and indulgence. With its rich buttery flavor and tender crumb, it’s a true classic that never goes out of style. Whether enjoyed on a special occasion or as a sweet treat to brighten your day, this cake brings back the warmth and nostalgia of simpler times. So, bake a little nostalgia into your life and savor the sweet simplicity of this beloved buttery delight.