Hilda’s Butterkuchen
This is a simple tray baked cake that combines a light yeast dough with a buttery, sugary, nutty topping that is simply delicious.

This is a cake that was regularly baked by my sister’s Mother-in-law, Hilda and a mainstay of all our family get togethers.  It was often a race to make it to the door to be the first to relieve Hilda of her aluminium foil wrapped offering, and sample the fresh baked goodness within.

If you can, bake it the traditional way with the yeast dough.  If you are short on time however you can substitute with a basic scone dough – however it wont be quite as light (but will still be delicious).  I suspect Hilda often did this to keep us all in good supply 🙂

In memory of Hilda Belyus, I give you Butterkuchen …

What you need:

For the cake:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 30g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 20g fresh yeast (or you can substitute with 1 packet dried yeast – which will be a little more than you need, but hey it works)
  • 125ml milk
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg

For the topping:

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 50g sugar
  • 30g slivered almonds

Note: Hilda’s son, Rene tells me that she always added a sugar syrup as the last step and blasted the cake quickly in the oven to crystallise it.  It was not in the recipes I could find, but who am I to argue.  If you would like to add this step simply bring 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 water to the boil in a small saucepan.  When boiling, pour over the cooked cake and pop it back in the hot oven for a few minutes (be careful not to let the almonds burn).

How you do it:

IMG_0234[1]Step 1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Prepare a 22x32cm (roughly) baking tray with non stick paper.  Measure and weigh your dry ingredients for the cake into a medium sized bowl.





Step 2. Warm the milk to blood temperature (so it does not feel hot to the touch) and melt your butter in the microwave.  Stir these together and whisk in the egg.

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in the butter, milk and egg mixture.

Stir roughly with a wooden spoon until it all comes together, then turn out onto a floured bench and knead a few times to make a smooth ball.

Wipe out a clean bowl with a bit of oil and place your ball of dough inside and then cover with clingfilm.  Place the bowl in a warm spot, free from drafts for 30mins or so (the drying room in the ski lodge was perfect for this!)

When your dough has risen, turn it back out on to the floured benchtop and knead a few more times for good measure, then roll out to roughly the size of you baking tray.

IMG_0237[1]Place the dough into the baking tray and press into the corners.  Use your fingers to push little dents into the surface of the dough.



IMG_0238[1]Melt 30g of your butter for the topping and brush it onto the surface of the dough.  Then dot the remaining butter over the dough, filling in the dents.  Sprinkle the sugar over the dough and then top with the almonds.


IMG_0241[1]Bake for 20-25 minutes until almonds are golden (I left mine a little too long).

If adding a sugar syrup, do so as noted above in the last 5 minutes of baking.