Reynold Poernomo's best-ever basic butter cake

“These are the easiest cakes I’ve ever made. They’re also mega tasty and so versatile, and you can flavour them in many ways. Try adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon along with the flour, or top the batter with just one or various fruits, which will also form a garnish. I recommend enjoying these butter cakes while they’re still slightly warm, with a hot cup of tea.” Reynold Poernomo





  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 210g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 pinches of fine salt
  • 3 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
  • 3/4 (185ml) full-cream milk
  • 1/2 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
  • 20g honey
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh fruit (such as thinly sliced apple, halved figs or berries), to serve
  • 50g honey, extra, warmed



Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease five 10cm (base measurement) round springform cake pans and line with baking paper. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl on medium–high speed for 5-8 mins or until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Add the milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and olive oil and whisk until combined. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add to the milk mixture and slowly whisk until combined.


Spoon the flour mixture evenly among the prepared pans. Top with fruit, gently pressing into the surface. Bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.


Drizzle the warm cakes with some of the extra honey and use a pastry brush to brush it evenly over the top of each cake. Set the cakes aside to cool slightly, before transferring to a wire rack. Brush with remaining extra honey and set aside to cool.


Try using thinly sliced or chopped apples, oranges, figs or berries on top of the cakes. Ensure the fruit isn’t too bulky or it will sink into the batter. You can also cook the batter in one large cake tin. Increase the cooking time by about 15–30 minutes, depending on the size of the tin.


This is an edited extract from Reynold Poernomo’s The Dessert Game, published by Murdoch Books, available in book stores nationally. 

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.