Gateau au beurre (Butter cake)

Gateau au beurre

Ooh butter cake.
I haven’t had that in more than 5 years. And since I’m craving some good cake, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
I love eating that cake fresh out of the oven (warm) Mmm-mmm good! Especially when the outside layer is crispy. At home, we enjoy it with some good cremas/kremas or fresh coffee! Let’s cook!
Cooking time : 30-40mns, 350F


4 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of butter
1 cup of evaporated milk
1 tbsp of rum
6 large eggs
1 pinch of salt
4 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 tsp of lime zest


  1. Beat the butter using the back of a wooden spoon. Slowly add sugar and keep beating until sugar blends into the mix
  2. Leave the mix to rest at room temperature. The mixture should not be oily nor should it be heavy.   You can also let it rest inside of  a container with cold water. This will help.
  3. Separate white of egg from yolk. Save the white for step 5. Beat the yolk until it gives you a semi-clear appearance. Add vanilla essence, rum & lime zest. Add the mixture slowly to the butter+sugar one. Beat heavily to obtain a smooth and creamy paste
  4.  Sift ( Put the powdery substance through a sieve so as to remove lumps or large particles.) the flour 2 to 3 times with the baking powder. Add it to the creamy mixture, alternating with the milk. As you do so, do not beat the mixture heavily as you did previously. Mix slowly and smoothly.
  5. Beat the white of the eggs until it looks like snow. (For this step, raise your spatula frequently to allow as much air as possible to come in). Add it to the mix in step 4.
  6. The mix should be soft now so that it falls as a ribbon into your cake mold.


Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

15 thoughts on “Gateau au beurre (Butter cake)

  1. I tried this recipe and the consistency was on point! I added nutmeg and it came out perfect. Brought it to a family reunion and it was gone in 60 seconds!

    This time I am trying it without nutmeg. My mom’s birthday is tomorrow. Wish me luck!

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

  2. Can I use an electric mixer for this cake? I used 2 cups of butter for Haitian cake before and it came out greasy, what could have caused that?

    1. Yes you can use an electric mixer but I’d advise to use the hook handle. However, there isn’t anything best than folding by hand. This method is known as “macaroner”, Usually used to make french macarons. This technique allows for more visual control of the end texture of your batter.

      The only think I can think of making a cake turn out greasy is the butter being probably over-beaten. This could lead to the butter running more easily through heat instead of being incorporated into your batter.
      Butter has to be beaten until fluffy. Never creamy or melting.

      I hope I helped. Don’t hesitate to reach back if you have any other questions

      1. Ok. Thanks. I will try the hook attachment. Also, should the butter be at room temperature?

  3. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Thank you so much Nathalie
    Merci, this is by far THE BEST OF THE BEST recipe, and proper method I have tried. Everything else was of and missed the last taste. I mean it tasted straight down tankou mwen te an HAITI.
    Thanks again for sharing and helping me revived the good memories of my childhood.


  4. This cake was amazing! I used less sugar, a little more than 1 cup of brown sugar and a regular mixer. Very moist, flavorful and authentic. Happy I didn’t buy from the Haitian bakery instead. Thank you so much!

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