Cake recipe: Can you make a cake without butter?

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Cake-making is a great pastime for Britons under quarantine after Boris Johnson implemented a lockdown across Britain on Monday. Supermarkets have seen an unprecedented rise in demand with online delivery slots booked up for weeks and shelves in stores stripped bare. But can you make a cake without butter?

Can you make a cake without butter

Butter plays an important role in cakes, in particular adding flavour.

Bake goods taste especially delicious and “melt in your mouth” because butter has a melting point of just below body temperature.

Butter also assists in leavening and adding moisture.

However, despite adding these important elements to a cake, it is possible to bake without butter. has compiled recipes for no-butter sponge and chocolate cakes below.

How to make a no-butter sponge cake


  • Half a cup (118ml) milk
  • One cup (128g) plain flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • Two teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • One tablespoon salt
  • Three eggs
  • 3/4 cup (96g) sugar.

To begin making a no-butter sponge cake, you should heat through the milk in a small pan until bubbling at the edge and preheat the oven to 180C.

Next, sift flour with baking powder and salt and then set this aside.

In a small bowl, mix at high speed, eggs, until thick and lemon-coloured.

Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is smooth and well blended which should take around five minutes.

On a low speed, blend in flour mixture until smooth then add warm milk and lemon peel, beating until combined.

Immediately pour the batter into an ungreased, nine-inch cake pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely and then serve.


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How to make a no-butter chocolate cake


For the cake

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 350g/12½oz caster sugar
  • 85g/3oz cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250ml/9fl oz milk
  • 125ml/4½fl oz vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml/9fl oz boiling water

For the chocolate icing

  • 200g/7oz plain chocolate
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream

You should begin by preheating the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and greasing and lining two 20cm/8in sandwich tins.

Next, place all the cake ingredients, except the boiling water into a large mixing bowl and using a wooden spoon or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.

Next you should add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth.

Divide the cake batter between the sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Afterwards, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in their tins, before icing.

For the chocolate icing, you should heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate melts.

Then remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture until smooth, glossy and thickened and set aside to cool for one to two hours, or until thick enough to spread over the cake.

To assemble the cake, run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the cake tins to loosen the cakes and then carefully remove the cakes from the tins.

Next, spread a little chocolate icing over the top of one of the chocolate cakes, then carefully top with the other cake.

You should put the cake on a serving plate and then cover with the remaining chocolate icing using a palette knife.

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