butter cake [buht-er keyk] noun
Cake that is fairly rich in butter, such as the classic yellow layer cakes so popular in American baking. Butter cakes such as these are most likely derived from the even more butter-rich pound cakes, which pre-date them. With the advent of baking powder and other chemical leavening agents in the 19th century, pound-cake formulas were lightened and began their shift to the cakes we refer to as “butter cakes.”
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