Buttercake for Hanukkah

During Hannuka the children are playing with dreidels –  little whirligigs – and we enjoy the delicious dishes baked in oil. The oil remembers us the miracle about the Temple Menora (candle), that was filed with oil enough only for one day but was lighting during eight days.

The dreidel, the square whirligig (top), with on the sides the Hebrew letters from the words that mean: “A great miracle happened here” (in Israel).

Potato “latkes” (latkes is Jiddish for sticks, so called because of the structure of the grated potatos)

and Applefritters are specialties of the Askenazim from Eastern Europe. The recipies for potato latkes are not very old, because the first potatoes are grown here in the 17th century.

Sephardic and Persian Jews made the very sweet delicious dishes with syrup. In Israel people eat Soefganiot, a kind of donuts filled with marmelade. The Jews in Greece know the Loukomades, delicious little doughballs, fried and then sprinkled with honey.

In the Netherlands we are used to bake “Jewish Boterkoeke” (Buttercake) with a real Dutch nature. Originated from Eastern European influence. A delicious cake that represents the rich dairy culture.

Although I am baking Buttercake more often – as a gift for instance – this cake belongs to the sweet dishes that are related to Hanukka. The simple way and short time to prepare make it useful for surprise visits and events.


My Jewish Buttercake (Boterkoeke):


250 gr. Butter at roomtemperature

250 gr. Cane sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 whipped egg.

325 gr. Organic flour

or (is delicious and more healthy) 150 gr. Bearded wheat floor and 175 gr. Flour.

A pinch of salt.

8 little balls of candied ginger

1-2 tbsp ginger syrup.

In case you don’t like ginger simply leave it out.


Preheat the oven on 190º C. / 355º F.

Mix, with dough tools, in a large bowl the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.  Add 2/3 of the whipped egg, mix well. Than add the sifted flour and salt and mix till you have a steady dough. At last add the pressed ginger balls (through the garlic press) and ginger syrup. Mix this well.

Put the dough in a greased  baking dish or special buttercake pan. To make it easy use a spatel or spoon with a little kold water on the dough surface. Than bring the rest of the whipped egg over the surface. To tell that there is ginger in the cake, put some slices of the candied ginger on top.

Bake on a little lower level than the middle of the oven during 30 minutes.

Let the buttercake cool down a little, than drop it on a big plate.

Devide the cake in little peaces!


Alternative: In stead of the ginger  you  can strew sliced almonds on top of the buttercake before baking.


I wish you a happy and thankful Hanukka.