Uh Oh, What Happens If You Put Too Much Butter in a Cake Recipe?

Published Categorized as Journal

When making a cake it may be tempting to experiment with its luscious ingredients to see just how decadent it can get. But what happens if you put too much butter in a cake recipe? The answer is that things could go from great to disaster in a jiffy. 

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Whether you accidentally increased the butter amount in your cake or did it intentionally, the outcome of an over-buttered cake may wish you hadn’t made this mistake. 

In this article, we’ll be delving into what happens when you add too much butter to a cake, as well as what you can do to remediate the situation and restore the cake to its normal texture. So, without further ado, let’s get into the details. 

What Happens If You Put Too Much Butter In A Cake Recipe?

Table of Contents

What Happens if You Add Too Much Butter to a Cake?

Adding too much butter to a cake will undoubtedly turn into a mess. But the process of destroying a cake this way happens gradually.

When baking a cake, adding a bit of extra butter or oil may not ruin the cake. In fact, doing so may elevate the cake’s moisture. 

Depending on how much oil or butter you add, you could be doing a formerly dry cake a favor. But you’ll need to be careful. Once you cross a certain threshold, there will be too much oil or butter in the cake which will affect the cake’s structure and flavor. The result is a cake that is greasy, will likely fall in on itself, and also, may lose its flavor.

Butter Board

Why Is Adding Too Much Butter Bad For a Cake?

Adding too much butter is bad for a cake for multiple reasons.

As previously stated, butter adds moisture and also helps with the structure of the cake. When cake is heated in an oven, the fat in the butter melts and creates carbon dioxide while also emitting steam. This chemical process is what creates light and fluffy cake as well as air pockets. 

You may not realize it but the process of making a cake is delicate. It relies on the proper ratio of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs to get the right consistency. By altering the recipe, you’ll be messing up the proper balance of ingredients, and this friends, is how you end up destroying a perfect cake.

Remember also that butter can be very salty unless you are using unsalted butter. This is an issue when it comes to cake because the cake is meant to be sweet. By overwhelming the cake with too much salty butter, you are muting the sweet taste of the cake as the butter-to-sugar ratios become disproportionate. 

To balance this out, you will need to increase the amount of sugar you put in the cake if you decide to increase the butter. But also, you may end up needing to increase the flour and eggs in the recipe to keep the cake from becoming too greasy.

If you aren’t sure of the proper ratio of ingredients when cake-making, we advise you to skip altering the recipe completely. By altering a cake recipe, you risk destroying the cake’s structure and significantly altering its flavor. You may also end up with a dense cake that may even result in a liquified batter. To avoid all of this, stick to the script when it comes to your recipe. 

slice of chocolate cake

How Much Butter Goes in a Cake?

A lot of times, a recipe will call for 1 cup of butter to go into a cake. This is the equivalent of two sticks.

But don’t assume that this is the amount of butter or oil that you should place in every cake! How much butter you place in the cake will depend on the recipe.

Cake recipes really hone in on the structure, moisture, and taste. If you mess up any one of these categories, your cake is likely to be a failed recipe. 

Flour and eggs help with the structure of your cake. Sugar and butter also add to the structure, but they serve to provide moisture and flavor as well. All elements work together to achieve the best cake.

In fact, if you have any questions about types of bakers flour you should do your research first to see which is best. This is especially true when baking desserts for major events (such as wedding cakes). There are several flour types that you can use, with the best results coming from cake flour

In most cases, how much butter you place in a cake will depend heavily on the number of other ingredients present. This is why, unless you are a really experienced baker, you should go by the recipe and not your own whim. By tinkering with the recipe without knowledge of cake ratios, you risk altering the structure, taste, and texture of the cake.

King Arthur, Unbleached Cake Flour, 32 Ounce

How to Fix Too Much Butter in a Cake

Keeping the previously mentioned information in mind, it is now time to discuss what you should do if you happen to put too much butter in your cake. 

The first thing to do is not to panic. Depending on how much extra butter you put in your cake, your cake may turn out more moist and delicious than before. But if you crossed the line by putting too much butter in your cake, you will need to remediate the issue… if you can!

Bear in mind that once your cake has been placed in the oven, there is very little you can do to rescue your cake. If the main problem you experience from having added too much butter to your cake is that the cake liquefies, you can try baking your cake for an additional 10-15 minutes undisturbed to see if it sets. 

If, however, you find that you added too much butter to your cake and the cake is still in batter form, you may be able to rectify the issue. Try adding more flour or egg whites to the mix. This will help dry things out a bit and keep your cake from becoming too moist and dense.

But be careful, though. Adding too much flour or too many eggs to your cake recipe could have its own set of consequences. These may only compound the issue.

sliced cake on white ceramic plate

How Do You Dry Out a Cake?

Drying out a cake is relatively simple, but you’ll need to do so with caution.

If our cake is really dense and moist, consider baking it an additional 10-15 minutes to help dry things out. Just know that doing so may form a crispier exterior. 

In addition, you may consider adding egg whites or additional flour if your batter is still in batter form. But even this can cause negative results. 

To prevent an overly heavy or dense cake, make sure you refrain from over-mixing your ingredients. Also, you may wish to try switching things up a bit. Opt for cake flour instead of all-purpose as this can make your cake much lighter and fluffier.

brown pastry on black pan

Butter Cake Recipe

We’re sure that all of this talk about cake has caused you to work up quite an appetite! If you are craving a buttery, smooth, and delicious cake, look no further than our butter cake recipe.

Simply follow the instructions below for a mouth-watering cake worth breaking out your apron for! 

Ingredients For the Butter Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients For the Butter Glaze

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

How to Make Butter Cake

  1. Prep tools

    Preheat your oven to 325F. Prepare a 10-12 cup Bundt pan by greasing or buttering it.

  2. Combine dry ingredients

    Whisk together your flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl until well combined.

  3. Butter and sugar

    Cream your butter and sugar using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy.

  4. Add eggs

    Once your butter and sugar has been creamed together, add your eggs to the mixture, ensuring that each egg is well-beaten. 

  5. Incorporate wet and dry ingredients

    Slowly and carefully add your previously mixed dry ingredients to your sugar, butter, and eggs. Do this a little at a time until just incorporated. Do not overmix (that’s how you end up with dense and unappetizing cake!).

  6. Put in pan

    Once the ingredients are incorporated, transfer the batter into the previously prepared Bundt pan. 

  7. Bake

    Bake for one hour or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean. 

For the Glaze

  1. After removing the cake from the oven, begin making the glaze.
  2. To do so, combine butter, sugar, and water into a small pot. Mix together and heat over medium until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes opaque. 
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 
  4. Invert your cake and poke holes in the top using a toothpick.
  5. Carefully drizzle the glaze on top of your cake. 
  6. Allow to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. 
  7. Enjoy!

Too Much Butter in a Cake May Spell Trouble…

Though putting a little extra fat in the form of butter or oil in a cake can do your cake a lot of good in terms of moisture, it is also true that adding too much can cause your recipe to suffer. Unless you want a greasy cake that is dense and not very sweet, we recommend sticking to the recipe you are given to achieve the perfect texture and flavor every time. 

Already put too much butter in your cake batter? Remediate the issue by adding a bit of extra egg white, a sprinkle of extra flour, and baking it for an additional 10-15 minutes to help dry things out a bit. 

What happens if you put too much butter in a cake recipe – FAQs

What happens when u add too much butter to cake?

Adding too much butter to a cake can be harmful to the cake’s structure and flavor. You may find that your cake is greasy, dense, less sweet, and you may even find that your cake falls in on itself. 

How does butter affect cake?

Butter not only adds flavor and moisture to a cake, but its release of steam and carbon dioxide when heated makes it so that it helps your cake to rise as well. Butter also helps you to achieve a lighter and fluffier texture than you would have if you would choose not to use it. 

What can you do if you use too much butter?

If you use too much butter in a cake, consider adding a bit of extra flour, an egg white, and increasing the bake time by about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on your cake though, as you don’t want it to over-brown. If too much browning occurs, try placing foil on your cake while baking it longer to halt the browning process. 

Is it better to use butter or oil in a cake?

Believe it or not, many prefer to use vegetable oil over butter in a cake. Not only does butter sometimes make cake more dense, but it may actually not add as much moisture as vegetable oil does. Not only this, but vegetable oil is lighter causing your cake to rise higher and have a more even crumb texture than a cake baked with butter.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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