When I was a little girl, I was ever curious about the pot of suspicious looking cream stowed away in a dark corner on the kitchen countertop. Every morning after boiling the milk and allowing it to cool (a common practice in India to pasteurize fresh buffalo milk), my mum would scoop a thick layer of cream off the top and promptly deposit it in the cream pot.
The fate of what looked like clotted cream in the pot was decided by the ocassion at hand. If there was a festival looming, the pot of cream got made into a jar of golden ghee. If there was a birthday coming up, the cream got churned into beautiful butter, white as snow with plenty of buttermilk left over for a chilled glass of Cumin Lassi after lunch. This butter with the consistency of marble and the smell and taste of sour cream was the star ingredient in my mum's home made butter cakes.
Butter cakes are beautiful in their simplicity. They are rich in flavour and have a beautiful crumbly texture. In our home, if they are not eaten straight from the oven, they get put in to dessert bowls and topped with custard and fresh fruit. Which doesn't happen very often as they are eaten warm from the oven. Every single time. I follow a base recipe which I have been using for ten years now and experiment with fruit, nuts and conserves to give my butter cake a fresh reboot every time. This time around I swirled through two huge tablespoons of Nutella through my cake batter to get a marble cake with a twist. We love our cakes without the icing, so I substitute the ingredients accordingly. It keeps it simple. It makes my life easier. Immensely.
Food Styling, Prop & Photography Alert
- Scallop edge white plate & White Coup Plate - $4 each from Target. Vellum dictionary printed 12x12 paper - $1 from Scrapbooking Store. Pack of 12 mini coloured pegs - $3 Scrapbooking Store. Mini Flour Sack - $2 from Ebay. White Coffee Cups - $2 each from Freedom. Red Striped Fork & Knife - $4.95 each from David Jones. Kaiser Loaf Tin
- $15.22 from Amazon. Bodum Chambord 8 cup Coffee Press
- $46.95 from Kitchenware Direct. Beautiful Belladonna Bunch - from my garden. Flower Vase - Upcycled $2 Pasta Bottle. Heart tag - from Ebay. Ingrid Owl White Pen - from Kikki.K
. Coffe Sack Tea Towel - $6.95 from Bed Bath & Table. Ornate scissors - Grosgrain Homewares
. Dark brown cake board - $20 foot mat from a Spa Set. Photography surface - Salvaged Building Timber.
In this food shoot, I have used miniature crafting elements as props for a quirky and whimsical effect. Mini pegs to secure recipe pages and mini hand stitched flour sack to provide a contrast to the crumbs. It is attention grabbing and makes one linger. I have used Vellum instead of napkins under the plates and cake board to blend with the wood and provide continuity to the browns. I have smattered the surface with butter blots and crumbs to create a natural, dig in feel. The neutral and brown colour palette is vitalized with bits of red and pops of pink.
NUTELLA BUTTER CAKE
Preparation Time - 10 minutes
Baking Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 8
150g churned, salted butter
1 cup caster sugar
3 organic eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons Nutella
Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) round or 25x11cm (10x4 inch) rectangle loaf tin with baking paper.
Combine all ingredients except Nutella in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for approximately 4 minutes until combined and smooth.
Spoon half the mixture in the prepared tin. Place one tablespoon of Nutella over the mixture. Using a wooden skewer or fork, gently swirl the mixture through the batter along the top to get a marble effect. Top with remaining cake batter. Add another tablespoon of Nutella on top and repeat the swirling pattern. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then turn on to a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Use full-fat salted butter for this recipe. You can use light and unsalted butter, but that will compromise the fabulous taste of the cake. If you do use unsalted butter, be sure to add a pinch of salt while mixing the cake batter. The salt is essential to cut through the sweetness of the cake.
I like to use only the best quality churned and salted butter for my butter cakes. Pepe Saya butter is my weapon of choice.
Next time I would double the amount of Nutella to maybe 4 tablespoons.
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Loved this cake and so easy to make. I also added a bit of orange zest and the family polished it off. Thanks
Each and every photo in this post is fabulous!! Love those crumbs and of course the cake!
this cake looks extremely delicious & it has nutella 😀 will make it for sure 🙂
This butter cake sounds fabulous, and I'm always sold on two spoonfuls (or more) of Nutella. Also, I must say, it's awesome to see the section on food styling and props. I'm always curious how gorgeous photos like yours come about and it's cool to see not only the products, but your thought process!
This butter cake is exquisite - nutella makes everything taste heavenly 😀
Choc Chip Uru
I found you via Delicieux - Nutella was all it took for me to hop on over! This cake looks like the perfect thing to slice with my afternoon coffee, or for a treat after dinner, or even for breakfast...
i just stumbled across your blog and am so glad i did! your photography and recipes are lovely. anything with nutella is glorious!
thank you for sharing.
I love your blog and Your food...I'm very new to baking and blogging but I'd love to make some of your recipe some day. Hopefully soon ^^
I was actually gonna make the Nutella Butter Cake yesterday but I'm almost running out of nutella hehe, so I made strawberry cream cheese pound cake instead. I'm sure your nutella butter cake will tastes much better... Love it !!
First of all, I had NO idea you were originally from India. So glad to be learning this! What a wonderful story and this cake looks super delicious.
Ok, now, I LOVE the fact that you talk about where you got your plates from and all the other props. That's really very nice of you to do. These shots are great!
Oh! I wish I grew up with a magical cream pot that got turned into all sorts of delicious treats. The butter cake sounds wonderful (and I love the photo of its crumbs!)
This seems by far the easiest and most delicious butter cake recipe. Nutella just makes it perfect. Gorgeous clicks Sneh! 🙂
What a lovely nostalgic post Sneh. 🙂 Your photos and styling are just stunning, as always. I love all of your prop notes.
Lovely post, wonderful photos and tips. I am so happy to discover you.
Wow, how do you keep track of prices of your props & places you bought them from?
Love that mini flour bag; for a moment I thought $2 was too much for it, but then I guess it's quite catchy & worth it 😀
Very nice presentation and fantastic photos! The butter cake looks so good i crave for it right now thank you for sharing the recipe.
That cake, it looks amazing! Your photos are too. The props you used are tremendously cute!
Hey Sneh! You are such a wonderful story teller! My mom also made butter the same way and still does 🙂 I loved the homemade butter and the pressure cooker cakes my mom made for our birthdays! Your cake is presented so beautifully, and I loved the fact that you share the prop and styling information. That is incredible. I always look at a well styled photo and think where the props came from. I am so glad to be your new follower. And can you please tell me which thrift store sells all that gorgeous stuff?? Names of a few stores would help, Thanks! Have a great weekend!
This cake looks so yummy! Very beautiful presentation and of course, gorgeous photos!
Lovely nostalgic reminiscence. The cake looks great, I'm sure the Glam Teens would love a nutella swirl cake. GG
I love the story of your mothering skimming the cream and how it was used. I love a good butter cake, such a gorgeous crumb to it.
Hi, there Sneh!
It seems so delicious the Nutella Butter Cake you made. It’s simple, but you took the picture with a great angle that makes it looks amazing!
I saved and printed your recipe. Your instruction is really clear and easy to follow. I can’t wait to make it by myself using my Zojirushi BB-HAC10 bread maker. Thanks for posting the recipe! I’m looking forward to your next great recipe.
i am definitely bookmarking this. i need a good base cake recipe to work with as well. and btw, it's super useful that you share info on the props you use, i may steal that idea for some of my posts (with due credit to you of course).
i have ordered that loaf pan already!
I love the way you tell us how you set up the shoot and why. Nice story of your childhood too.
Fab choice with the Pepe Saya. Looks delicious 😀
Your story brought back so many wonderful memories in the kitchen, with my mom as well 🙂
Beautiful styling, love the cute props 🙂
My grandmom did the same thing too! There was a cup of cream in the fridge always and every so often she would let us spread some of it on thick fluffy bread and drizzle honey over it. Heaven!
Nutella AND butter?! I think I"m going to faint!
Mom used to always make ghee with malai and at times, it was kept only for me. I would sprinkle some sugar dust and enjoy the cream 🙂 Some memories you brought back through your writing!
The cake looks lovely and the kind I would love to enjoy with tea or coffee. Beautiful set up as always.
I boil milk and collect cream to make ghee just like my mom 🙂 I still remember the taste of homemade butter on white bread from my childhood. Thanks for bringing back memories Sneh...
Your notes of photography and props are very helpful. Loved reading all the details.
Oh dear! I'll have to make this now because of the magic word... Nutella. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I love simple cakes like this one, loaf pans are the most used baking pans in my collection. And you're right, it's impossible to resist the cake straight from the oven. Your nutella marbling is so pretty!
This looks absolutely beautiful and I loved the image of your childhood conjured up and the description of that wonderful white cream. Your styling is stunning as always too - such an inspirational blog 🙂
Love the story about the clotted cream! And this butter cake sounds delicious too! Pepa Saya butter is amazing.
Love the picture of Belladonna Bunch...it looks so dreamy with the reflection of sunlight..lovely! And the cake is yum..yum..crumbly.
I really really love your photographs. They make the food stand out in a very simple & natural way!
Some great tips Sneh, and lots of cute props - I love those too. And how lucky were you too have freshly churned butter and clotted cream made from fresh buffalo milk?! Love!