Dutch Boterkoek

I have some good news, guys. Well, two pieces of good news. Firstly, our little ray of sunshine has come to stay with us again, so expect to see pictures of a golden labrador scattered here and there, whilst she is here on her holidays. Secondly, after much procrastination, this post is finally up (#yay). As some of you probably already know, I like to experiment with my food. But now and again, I find myself coming back to the pleasures of the simple desserts, and the little coffee-time treats that are unadulterated, homely and reminiscent of times long past. Boterkoek is one of them.

Dutch boterkoek is a moorish, dense ‘cake’ (more like a thick chewy cookie to me) and one that I was introduced to by Djamo when I first visited the Netherlands. Like the oliebollen recipe I posted on this blog, some things in life are perfect just the way they are and that I couldn’t possibly improve. To be honest, I appreciate and adore traditional recipes as much I love to develop new ones, and I am finding myself more and more inclined to save little scraps of paper with age-old recipes on them so that I can (eventually) post them on this platform. Not only will I be able to keep them like this so that I can enjoy making them with other family members, young and old; they will always be in reach to anyone who wants to try them, as well.

My passion for traditional recipes I want to keep for your and my future use does not end with desserts. For over 6 months now (possibly even more) I have been wanting to write a series on bread. Not breads that have been pimped up and been given a complete make-over. But traditional breads. Breads from all over the world. Ones I have come to know, love and appreciate. Ones that have meaning to me and to many of the people I love. So far, no joke, I have about 60 breads (and counting) I want to bake and showcase here on my blog and, hopefully, I will be able to begin my adventures into the world of breads very soon. And when all is said and done, then we’ll talk about experimenting with flavours. 😉

Happy Thursday!

Dutch Boterkoek

Cooking time: 45 minutes
Makes: 1x8inch cake

One of the simplest recipes I know (and love). It tastes sublime the day after it has been baked and continues to do so, a couple of days after. Eat within 5 days.


200g caster sugar
250g plain flour
1tbsp vanilla sugar
1 egg, plus 1 extra for wash
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
200g butter, room temperature
a pinch of salt
2tbsp flaked almonds, to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-assisted) 350ºF. In a bowl, mix the sugars and the butter together until fluffy and creamy. Add the zest of the lemon and the egg and continue to mix. When all are combined, add the flour and the salt into the bowl and stir until a soft dough is made.

Using your hands, press the dough into a cake tin and using the back of a fork, decorate the top of the cake as desired (I went for a traditional pattern). Brush with the egg wash and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving with the flaked almonds scattered on top (tip: it tastes even better the next day!).

Thank you for reading.
Enjoy x


  1. May 11, 2017 / 7:59 am

    I think simple recipes are often the best. I love your bread series idea I want to get better at baking bread so will enjoy that. Your overhead shots in this post are gorgeous. If you dont mind me asking what focal length is the lens you used? I want a new lens with a wider angle but unsure what to go for. Have a lovely day xx

    • Sumac & Dutch
      May 11, 2017 / 11:16 am

      Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much 🙂 I always shoot prime lenses, and these shots were done with a 25mm lens. However, as I currently shoot with a Micro 4/3s camera system, that 25 is the equivalent of a good old classic 50mm (in case you shoot with an APS-C sensor, it would roughly be a 35mm lens). This is not very wide though, but for food photography I don’t think I would recommend anything wider than the equivalent of a 35mm lens (23mm on an APS-C system; 18mm on a Micro 4/3 system). I have a 35mm equivalent lens, but I find it too wide already for my studio shoots-love it for outside though! 🙂 Sorry if this sounds very complicated! xxx Have a wonderful day, lovely!

  2. May 11, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    No that’s great makes perfect sense thank you. Yeah I have a cropped sensor camera and a 50mm lens but cause of the crop factor it often feels a bit tight. I think a 35mm on my cropped sensor camera might give me more of what I’m after nearer to a true 50mm. Thank you Yasmin xx

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