Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rising temperatures and a Cheddar Cheese Loaf

General election is officially over. The election heat might be slowly subsiding but the heat from the warm weather these days is getting unbearable. Very often, I have to rely on my fix of iced drinks and my air-conditioner to keep myself cool. I don't usually turn on my air-conditioner when I sleep but I am quite dependable on it now to get a cool, comfortable night of sleep. 

Even though I am a cake lover, I have not made much butter cakes to date. I was looking forward to make a simple butter cake and this particular cheddar cheese loaf struck my mind. It struck my mind that I had the same book too and it would be a good opportunity to give the recipe a try. 

Instead of using ready shredded cheddar, I diced a few slices of Cowhead processed cheddar cheese since I had it on hand. I am not sure if it would make any difference using ready shredded cheddar cheese. From my observations, the diced processed cheddar cheese was chewy and did not really melt when the butter cake was baked. The addition added a nice savoury touch and I think it would be good to increase the amount of cheddar used in future. 

Texture wise, the cake is midway between fluffy and dense. The crumbs are moderately fine and the amount of moisture was at the right level, making the cake neither moist nor dry. As I have mentioned before, it is imperative to use a good brand of butter since it is the key ingredient here and it would determine the characteristic of the cake. Some brands I would recommend are Golden Churn tinned butter, Elle & Vire unsalted butter (very strong, rich dairy taste in bakes) and SCS unsalted butter. Sometimes, I even find Elle & Vire butter to be too rich for my taste buds.  

Fearing that the amount of batter was too much for my tin to handle, I scooped part of it into cupcake liners to prevent the loaf tin from overflowing. Previously, I was plagued with shrinking cupcakes. What happened then was that the top deflated and sunk while the cupcakes pulled quite noticeable away from the sides. This time round, the top shrank a little, retaining the dome and the sides did not pull away from the cupcake liners. Comparing the two scenarios and base on experience, I observed that :
  • Cupcakes tend to shrink noticeably upon cooling. I noticed that most cakes tend to shrink when cooled. 
  • Cupcakes tend to shrink more (deflate and pull away from the sides) when they are slightly under-baked.
  • The shrinking starts shortly after the oven door is opened and the cupcakes are checked for doneness. 

Cheddar Cheese Loaf (recipe adapted from Creative Making of Cakes by Alex Goh)
Serving size: 9 x 5 inch loaf + 6 medium sized cupcakes
Taste and texture: Buttery and savoury. Neither moist nor dry and midway between fluffy and dense.
Equipment and Materials:
  • 9 x 5 inch loaf tin
  • Balloon/wire whisk
  • Spatula
  • Handheld/ Stand mixer
  • Baking paper
  • Wire rack
  • Wooden skewer/ cake tester
  • Flour sieve
  • Measuring spoon set
  • Mixing bowls

  • 240g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 230g castor sugar
  • 200g eggs, lightly beaten at room temperature
  • 150g shredded cheddar or 8 slices of processed cheddar cheese
  • 120 ml milk, at room temperature
  • 270g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Making the cake:

Preheat Oven and preparing baking tin - Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 9 x 5 loaf tin with baking paper. 

Mixing dry ingredients - In a large bowl, sift in flour and baking powder. Whisk the mixture to ensure even distribution. 

Creaming the butter - In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (as mentioned in how to cream butter).

Adding eggs to creamed butter - Add beaten eggs to creamed butter in 4 additions and mix on low speed, ensuring each addition is well incorporated before adding the next addition. The batter will become wet as more eggs is added but will slowly firm up when the last portion of eggs are mixed in. 

Adding flour mixture and milk - Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture. Mix on low speed until the last bit of flour is absorbed. Next, add in half the milk and continue mixing until the milk is incorporated. Repeat the mixing process by adding the next 1/3 flour mixture, followed by the remaining half of the milk, lastly followed by the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to incorporate loose ingredients. 

Adding shredded cheddar - Fold in the shredded/diced cheddar gently into the batter with a spatula, ensuring it is evenly distributed. 

Baking the cake - Pour batter into lined 9 x 5 loaf tin and 6 medium sized cupcake liners. Bake at loaf tin for 45-60 mins and cupcakes for 20-25mins at 180 degrees C. Remove cake from loaf tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 

  1. I baked the loaf cake first before baking the cupcakes. 
  2. The butter egg mixture may curdle if the butter is not well-creamed, eggs are cold or eggs are added too fast to creamed butter.


If you wish to post the recipe and instructions online, please give due credit (including original contributor) and do re-phrase the instructions. Thank you.


  1. hey i actually like them better in cupcakes. looks cuter :P have yet to get my hands on elle n vire butter...but tasted it before in an italian's really good!

  2. shrinking cakes are my pet peeves too! I always have this problem especially with sponge cakes.

    i beg to differ with Jean, I somehow were more drawn to the loaf cake especially the crack down the middle! :P haha! I like how rustic & homey it looks.

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I made the cheddar cheese loaf, it was very good!

  4. I have baked this cake many times , but have lost my recipe , which I paid S$50?? for a demonstration class at Creative Culinaire, 10 years ago.

    A few blogs has no milk in the recipe, yours is very close to what I used to bake. I just ate the cake and is excellent.
    I use Top flour instead of plain flour.( I would have used cake flour but out of stock)

    I use shredded cheddar cheese, and I also coated the cheese with part of the flour before folding into the mixture.

    I am going to buy Alex Goh's book, this time round, when I go back Singapore for holiday.


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