It was my Dad’s birthday yesterday. As we have had a busy Christmas/New Year period, I decided to host his party today which is also my last day of Christmas vacation.

I made a vanilla cake for the occasion. That was his choice. My Dad doesn’t like chocolate cake.

You can find my vanilla cake recipe in Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, together with other recipes and five party cake ideas. Alternatively, you can use your own vanilla recipe.

This post is about the egg custard butter icing which really makes this cake.

Egg custard vanilla butter icing


3 egg yolks, 80 grams of castor sugar, 60 ml cold water, 180 grams of butter (softened), 5 ml vanilla essence.


It is the method that is important when making this icing. You need to get the steps right or else the process will go wrong.

First, beat the softened butter and the vanilla essence together.

Second, separate the eggs and lightly beat the egg yolks. Put the whites aside for another purpose. I am going to use them to make royal icing.

Thirdly, heat the cold water and sugar, ensuring that the sugar is completely dissolved in the water and then bring to the boil.

Fourthly, remove the sugar syrup from the heat and turn down. Beat the egg into the syrup. Return to the lower heat and cook the egg mixture, stirring all the time or it will become scrambled eggs.

fifthly, once the egg mixture is cooked, allow to cool and beat into the butter mixture.

Lastly, place the icing in the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour.

This method is based on a recipe for egg custard butter icing from a Woolworths magazine a few years ago.

Here is the finished cake: