Traditional Dutch butter cakes are so luscious that it'll take all your willpower to let it mature overnight before taking a bite. Chef Geert Elzinga says if you’re after a treat, you can’t go past this traditional Dutch butter cake recipe.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (7 votes)


  • 775 g sugar
  • 20 g preserved lemon (or finely grated lemon peel)
  • 775 g butter, plus extra, to grease
  • 700 g flour
  • 10 g salt
  • 100 g egg, lightly beaten, for brushing

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 30 minutes

Resting time 12 hours

Put the sugar, preserved lemon and butter in a mixing bowl. Use a butterfly mixer (or hand mixer) to mix on low speed until creamy. Add the flour and salt, and continue mixing for further 5 minutes or until the mixture is white.

Line the baking tray with butter and greaseproof paper. Turn mixture over into the tray. Use a wet spatula to smooth the mixture out flat. Brush with the lightly beaten egg but not the rim.

Leave to stiffen up in a cool place for 30 minutes. Brush again with egg and use a fork or knife to score a diamond pattern on top. Leave it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, bake at 190°C for 25–30 minutes until the cake is brown. The centre must still be springy otherwise it will be rock hard the next day. Leave to cool before serving.