This basic butter cake recipe is simple, delicious and versatile.


  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 250g butter, chopped, at room temperature
  • 315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 190g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour, sifted
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) milk
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 380g (2 1/2 cups) icing sugar mixture
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place an oven shelf in the second lowest position. Brush a 3.5cm-deep rectangular, 24 x 30cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and sides of the pan with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a large metal spoon to fold the combined flour and the milk into the butter mixture until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface.
  3. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool slightly before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the butter cream icing, use an electric beater to beat the butter until pale and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Gradually add the milk and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Spread icing over the cake to serve.