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Boterkoek – Dutch Butter Cake

Boterkoek means “butter cake” in Dutch, and all that that implies. You’ll love this rich, buttery treat that is not really a cake, but is not quite a cookie either.

an overhead shot of a dutch boterkoek with a slice removed

Dutch Boterkoek is comfort food at it’s finest. The recipe includes just 5 very basic ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to assemble. The flavor is simple yet deep. It’s like a hug for your taste buds.

All about Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake):

Based on it’s name, obviously there is a very high butter content in this dough, there’s almost as much butter as flour.

Lots of butter not only means deliciousness, it also means this is a very tender dough. The high fat content keeps the gluten strands “short” and underdeveloped. A “short” dough is a very tender dough.

This is also true of Shortbread Cookies. But the difference between shortbread and Boterkoek is the amount of sugar in the dough.

My basic shortbread cookies have half the weight of sugar to butter.

Dutch Butter Cake has as much sugar as it has butter. Remember that sugar does much, much more than merely sweeten a recipe.

Sugar tenderizes and it absorbs and retains moisture. So that means Dutch Butter Cake is even more tender than shortbread cookies, and it’s very, very moist. Maybe that’s why is called a cake rather than a cookie?

One of my favorite things about Boterkoek is the super crisp and chewy crust that forms around the edges of the cake. The crust is also thanks to the high sugar content in the dough.

One final note about the sugar. The traditional Dutch recipe uses a type of sugar not available in the United States. Basterdsuiker is moister than American granulated sugar.

For my Dutch Appletaart I use a mixture of brown and white sugar to emulate the texture of brown basterdsuiker.

Since I wanted only white sugar in the Boterkoek, I use superfine sugar. Superfine sugar will dissolve more readily in the dough, releasing more moisture. It’s a pretty good substitute and this recipe is Dutch-husband approved.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek):

ingredients assembled to make boterkoek, or dutch butter cake
You just need a few ingredients and a couple of minutes to make Boterkoek
before and after photos of dutch boterkoek dough with egg added
Mix the butter into the flour until there are no large lumps, add the egg and mix just until it comes together.
photos showing how to use parchment to press boterkoek dough into the pan
Press the dough into the pan with your hand. I use a piece of parchment paper to prevent my hand from sticking.
photos showing how to decorate and bake dutch butter cake
Use a fork to create the lattice pattern on top. Bake until golden-brown and cool completely before cutting.
two slices of boterkoek, or dutch butter cake, on a plate
a closeup shot showing the buttery texture of boterkoek

I’ve seen Boterkoek recipes that add almond extract, vanilla or lemon zest for flavor. Personally I want my boterkoek to taste like butter so I don’t add any extraneous flavorings. If you’re less of a purist than I am, feel free to add the flavoring of your choice.

Want more authentic Dutch recipes?

You might also like: Classic Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, Coconut Shortbread Cookies, Rose Shortbread Cookies, Lemon Filled Shortbread.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a slice of dutch boterkoek on a plate


Yield: 16 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Boterkoek means "butter cake" in Dutch, and all that that implies. A rich, buttery treat that is not really a cake, but is not quite a cookie either.


  • 2 cups (10 oz, 280g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) superfine sugar (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz, 224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, whisked


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the bottom of a 9" tart pan or spring form pan with a parchment paper round.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Toss in the butter and use your fingers or the mixer paddle to work the butter into the flour until there are no large lumps of butter.
  3. Remove 1 tablespoon of the whisked egg and set it aside. Add the rest of the egg to the dough and mix just until it comes together.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Smooth until the top is level and flat.
  5. Brush the reserved egg onto the top of the dough. Use a fork to create a lattice pattern on top of the dough.
  6. Bake until the edges and top of the cake are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  7. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into 16 wedges to serve.


To make your own superfine sugar, briefly grind regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


Thursday 9th of March 2023

Can I cut the sugar in half? Also wanting to use a sugar substitute…any thoughts on how I would cut the sugar in half without ruining the ratios in the recipe?

Eileen Gray

Thursday 9th of March 2023

Well, if you cut the sugar in half you will be drastically altering the ratio of the recipe. What type of sugar substitute do you intend to use? There are so few ingredients in this recipe that drastically altering any one of them will significantly change the outcome.


Friday 20th of January 2023

I made this yesterday for the first time. It came out delicious! I’m so happy since my Mother was from the Netherlands… ❤️❤️ I will make it again!


Sunday 18th of December 2022

Do you think I could put this in multiple smaller disposable pie tins? I want to make smaller ones as gifts.

Eileen Gray

Sunday 18th of December 2022

Yes, Just make sure the dough is thick enough.

Cindy Charters

Saturday 3rd of December 2022

I have made this and it turned out perfectly! Wondering if I can freeze this. Any advice on how to do this?

Eileen Gray

Saturday 3rd of December 2022

Yes, you can freeze it. I would wrap and freeze individual slices. Then take them out and defrost as you want them.

Shannon Van Iersel

Friday 17th of June 2022

I have used this recipe half a dozen times for my Dutch husband. I've modified it slightly with each iteraion (to current perfection). I grind a half cup of slivered almonds when I pulvarize the flour and sugar in my Bullet. Always use Finlandia or Kerry Gold butter. I also add a splash of Baileys and zest from half a lemon. Hubby loves it!

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