Treebeards’ buttercake

Last month at work, we got two days worth of lunch ordered by the Department.  When I first got the email that lunch will be ordered, I got suspicious.  What do they want from us that they ordered us lunch?  Ha ha… well, that is true.  This perk at work was taken away five years ago, when things started heading south.   Then all of a sudden, they ordered us lunch two days in a row.  Wouldn’t you be suspicious too if you were in my place?  Anyway, the second day lunch was ordered from a restaurant here in downtown.  It’s called Treebeards.  Treebeards is known for its red beans and rice, and it’s delicious, to die for, buttercake.  And no, it is not the Treebeard, one of the oldest three Ents from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Although now I am curious why the restaurant has its name.  Are the founder(s) Tolkien’s fans? Are they fond of the Ents?

I made a mistake by taking one small piece, saying to myself that I want to try this butter cake, and to see what is the big deal about it.  I took a bite, and the cake melted inside my mouth.  It was very creamy, buttery, and sugary, but not too sweet that it hurt your teeth; with a crackling crust on the top layer, ooey-goey in the middle layer, and a delish bottom layer of crust.  I don’t know how else to describe it to you.  After my first bite, I had the urge to have a second bite, third bite, and a second piece!  I am not usually like that.  I usually I can walk away from any cake or any sweet.  I walk away from the birthday cake we have every month in the office…  This wasn’t me, this was the other Anny that gobbled up that scrumptious buttercake.  I even had the urge to get a third piece.  Luckily, I did not have an opportunity for a third piece, since by then, it was all gone, and there were only brownies left.  And Treebeard’s was tricksy too, they cut the cake in one and half inch square, so, it actually was a perfect bite.  Not too small, not too big.  But when you see the goodies in the box, it really looks small, and automatically you thought that you need two of them.  It’s a mind thingy… believe me…  You would want to have a second piece and third piece too…

So now that I have eaten the real deal, I wanted to make some myself.  I had my opportunity when we had that family reunion last month, where after lunch we were supposed to have dessert at one of the cousin’s house.  I decided that I would try to bake the Treebeard’s buttercake and that my family will be the guinea pigs.  You see, Treebeard’s, in addition to selling you their toothsome food, they also sell a cookbook.  Of course, the buttercake recipe is listed there.  But I got the recipe online from Hal – he had the first published cookbook, with the original recipe using the 3 oz cream cheese.  That is, back when Philadelphia cream cheese still sells its cream cheese in 3 oz. packages.  The newer version of the recipe just specify 8 oz, instead of the 9 oz cream cheese.  Thank you Hal, for sharing the recipe!

When I made the cake last month, I used my pyrex baking glass, and I ended up burning the edges of the crust.  I had left the crust too high on the edge of the baking dish, and also, I did not find out until I finished baking – that I should have lowered the temperature down by 25 degree when I used glass.  I remade the buttercake two weeks ago for one of my co-workers going-away party, and this time, I found out that I actually own a cookie sheet that has the same measurement as the jelly roll pan the recipe requested.

So let’s begin.  Pillsbury yellow cake mix, with the pudding mix inside, cream cheese, butter, eggs, powdered sugar, and vanilla were needed to make this yummy food.



Before I began, I greased the cookie sheet with cooking oil spray.



Then, the recipe asked for 3 cups of Pillsbury Plus yellow cake mix.  Now, I am not sure who made the note that a box of mix will yield exactly three cups.  I looked at the box mix, and I wasn’t sure if it would contain 3 cups of cake mix.  So as precaution, I measured out the mixes and dumped it into the mixing bowl, and yes, it was 3 cups worth of cake mix.   🙂



Then I nuked the butter in the microwave until melted, and poured it into the mixing bowl.



Dumped in one egg…



And turned on the mixer…



Until the cake mix and stuff looked doughy.



Then I dumped the doughy mix onto the cookie sheet.



Patted it flat onto the cookie sheet.



Until I got an even layer of crust.



Then, the next step was sifting the powdered sugar.



Dumped it into the used mixing bowl…



The rest of the eggs…






Softened cream cheese…  I had to pull out my scale to get that extra one ounce..  🙂



Put on the mixing bowl cover… after all, I was dealing with powdered sugar here…  I don’t want to turn on the mixer and then whoosh…  I was covered with powdered sugar and become Casper’s cousin!  🙂



After the mixture came together, I turned off the mixer, and added some more powdered sugar.  We’re talking about the real deal here.  Sugar in mast quantities is a must!




Turned on the mixer again, until the sugar was incorporated, and then I was done with making the filling!



Poured the filling onto the crust…



Smoothed the filling with a spatula so that it would had an even surface…



And popped it into the oven.



When it was done, I pulled it out of the oven…



It had the crackling crust on top…



I let it cool completely and then I cut them into squares.



Arranged them onto a plate – and it was ready to go to the office.



I taste-tested the cake after lunch… and it was good.  People at the office gobbled it up, and even one of the traders deliberately took a plate home with him.  So, if you have a sweet tooth, this is one of your remedies.   🙂




Can you see the crackling crust on top, ooeey gooey stuff in the middle, and the crust? 🙂



Print recipe here.



Recipe courtesy: Treebeards via Hal.



There is nothing quite as decadent as our buttercake. The buttery crust is topped with a rich cream cheese layer.

3 cups Pillsbury Plus yellow cake mix*
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg

3 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
* Each box of cake mix yields 3 cups dry mix.

FOR CRUST: Generously spray a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan with non-stick spray. With an electric mixer, blend dry cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg on low speed until moistened. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pat onto bottom and sides of prepared pan. Set aside.

FOR FILLING: With electric mixer on low speed, mix 3 1/3 cups sifted powdered sugar, 2 eggs, vanilla and cream cheese until ingredients are moistened. Carefully cover mixer with a large, clean kitchen towel (making certain no part of the towel comes near the beaters), turn mixer to high speed and beat for 5 minutes. Turn mixer to low speed and remove towel. Add remaining 11/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and mix until well blended. Carefully replace towel and return mixer to high speed; beat for 5 minutes. Pour mixture over crust in pan and spread evenly.

Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. When cool, slice into squares.

This entry was posted in Cake, Dessert, Food and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Treebeards’ buttercake

  1. leashieloo says:

    I could really go for a entire batch of these, your lucky co-workers!


  2. Can’t decide between making this or the self-filled cupcakes. They both look and sound so good!


  3. Karen Montana says:

    I would love to find a recipe for Treebeard’s meatloaf. It was the best I’ve ever had!


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