Boterkoek (Dutch butter cake)

April 16, 2013 Last updated: July 31, 2023
Boterkoek (Dutch butter cake)

A good recipe for Dutch butter cake should not be missing in any household. Is this recipe not yet in your personal recipe book? Then grab it, because you really want to add this one to your collection.

Dutch butter cake recipe

Butter cake is not often eaten here at home (or in my childhood home), but that doesn’t mean we don’t like it. My sister and I love a piece of this rich and dense cookie, but the biggest fan is still my dad. He loves it and can’t get enough.

So I was thrilled when my dad approved this recipe! He thinks I should make it more often. And I definitely will, because this butter cake is insanely delicious and easy to make.

Boterkoek Dutch butter cake 3a

What is Dutch boterkoek?

The literal translation of “boterkoek” is butter cookie, but the common translation is butter cake. The result is a bit in between, but to me it is closer to a cookie. Or a cookie cake if you like.

It is a flat compact, soft and creamy cookie cake, rich in flavor. A good butter cake almost melts in your mouth.

You can also make good flavor variations, I already have many different butter cake recipes on my Dutch blog, which I will still translate for you of course.

Boterkoek Dutch butter cake 1a

Tips for Dutch butter cake

Can I use self-rising flour?

No, I do not recommend it. A butter cake should be dense and creamy. Self-rising baking flour is a mixture of flour and baking powder, and the baking powder will make your cake rise and become airy. Exactly what you don’t want! Preferably use all-purpose flour.

Do I need to melt the butter?

No, the butter needs to be at room temperature. In fact, this is a common rule in baking: all your ingredients must be at room temperature before you start baking, unless the recipe says otherwise.

Should I use a special baking pan?

You certainly can, although I never do. I usually use a round springform pan (this one, to be exact) or a square baking pan (this one). And if you still want to use a special butter cake pan, you can use this one, for example. It’s hard to find them outside The Netherlands.

Why do you brush the top with egg and milk?

You do this so that the cake will have a nice shine when it is baked. A beaten egg will do, but it is even better to mix the beaten egg with milk. This will prevent the glossy layer from flaking off.

When is butter cake done?

There is no trick to test whether butter cake is done like a cake. But the most important thing to remember is that this creamy cake is always a bit soft when it comes out of the oven. It should also have a nice golden brown color. If you hesitate and push the cake back into the oven anyway, chances are it will overcook and becomes too dry.


Dutch butter cake recipe

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4.54 from 50 votes

Dutch butter cake recipe

A good Dutch butter cake is rich in flavor, dense and creamy. With this recipe, you can make a traditional 'boterkoek' at home.
Servings: 14 servings
round Ø 24 cm/9 inch or square 20 x 20 cm/8 x 8 inch


  • 200 grams of unsalted butter
  • 200 grams of fine granulated sugar
  • 8 grams of vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 250 grams of all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt


  • Cream the butter and both sugars in a bowl. Add the half egg and a pinch of salt, mix well. Add the flour and mix well.
  • Grease the baking pan and spread the dough on the bottom. Using the rounded side of a spoon, smooth the dough nicely into the baking pan.
  • If necessary, add 1 teaspoon of milk to the second half of the egg. Brush the dough with this mixture and use a fork to make a pattern in the cake.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 °C/350 ℉ (conventional) until golden brown.
  • Allow the butter cake to cool completely and cut into slices.

Personally, I like the butter cake best when it has been allowed to rest overnight, then the butter has also fully hardened.
How to store

Keep covered with foil outside the refrigerator for 3-4 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.

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