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German Butter Cake
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German Butter Cake
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This yeasted sheet cake is also known as butterkuchen. It's a classic German sweet cake recipe that's traditionally enjoyed with a cup of coffee or hot tea in the afternoon. It has a gooey buttery topping and a sweet, chewy, base all dusted with powdered sugar.

Prep time
Bake/Cook time
Plan for

30m + 20m rise time

One 9 x 13 cake
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German Butter Cake
Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
Confectioners Powdered Sugar
Prep time :
Bake/Cook time :
Plan For

30m + 20m rise time

Yield :
One 9 x 13 cake



  • 1/2 cup warm milk (120 – 130°F)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (1/4 oz) packet instant (Rapid Rise) yeast
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour*


*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.



  1. In a small bowl, stir together milk, vanilla, and yeast, until yeast has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter, sugar, and salt together for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add egg and mix for an additional minute, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. 
  3. Turn mixer to low speed and add flour, mixing until combined.
  4. Pour in yeast mixture and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
  5. Replace the paddle attachment with a dough hook and turn mixer to medium speed. Mix for 3 minutes. Alternately, knead dough by hand on a lightly floured surface if you don’t have a hook attachment.
  6. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean dishtowel and allow dough to rise in a warm place, until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.


  1. Line a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix  butter and sugar together for 2 minutes until combined. Add vanilla and eggs and mix for another minute, scraping  sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Turn mixer to low and add flour and milk and mix until combined and smooth.


  1. When dough is risen, spread it out to all four edges of the prepared pan. Press dough up sides of the pan.
  2. Spread topping mixture onto dough. Cover with a clean dishtowel and allow to sit for 20 more minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until top is golden but not quite set.
  5. Allow cake to cool completely before cutting into bars. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. 


Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Shelly Jaronsky <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" color:="" rgb(237,="" 28,="" 46);"="" target="_blank">@CookiesandCups.

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