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Kentucky Butter Cake

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close up shot of kentucky butter cake on a white stand
This simple, classic Kentucky butter cake is irresistible. A rich batter is baked in a bundt pan before being topped in a sweet, buttery sauce for this old-fashioned homemade dessert.
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This rich, homemade Kentucky butter cake is a deliciously moist pound cake. Drenched in a buttery glaze, it has a slightly crispy outside and a sweet, tender center. This traditional pound cake recipe can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee at any time of day.

If you plan to serve it as a dessert, we recommend adding some homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Check out our other old-fashioned cakes including our applesauce cake and hummingbird cake.

close up shot of kentucky butter cake in a cake pan

MORE CAKE RECIPES:
German Chocolate Cake | Pumpkin Crunch Cake


KENTUCKY BUTTER CAKE INGREDIENTS

kentucky butter cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

Cake

  • 2 cups of sugar  
  • 4 eggs  
  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup) of salted butter, softened to room temperature  
  • 2 teaspoons of rum extract  
  • ½ teaspoon of butter extract  
  • 1 cup of buttermilk  
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour  
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder  
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda  

Glaze

  • ¾ cup of sugar  
  • ⅓ cup of salted butter  
  • 3 tablespoons water  
  • 2 teaspoon of rum extract  

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

Rum Extract: You could use rum or bourbon liquor in place of rum extract. You’ll want to use six teaspoons of liquor in place of two teaspoons of extract. 

Butter Extract: If you can’t get hold of this you could use vanilla extract in a pinch, but your cake won’t taste quite as buttery. 

Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, use a cup of regular milk and add either a tablespoon of vinegar or a tablespoon of lemon juice. 

Baking Soda: If you don’t have baking soda, just add an extra half tablespoon of baking powder. 

Powdered Sugar: If the outside of the cake has any imperfections, you could dust it with powdered sugar to hide them and make it look pretty. 

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HOW TO MAKE THIS KENTUCKY BUTTER CAKE RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and lightly flour a Bundt pan. Set aside. 

PRO TIP: The ingredients will be easiest to combine if everything is at room temperature. If you have time bring the butter, eggs, and buttermilk to room temperature before you begin.

STEP TWO: In a large mixing bowl add the sugar, eggs, butter, rum extract, butter extract, and buttermilk. Using a handheld mixer on the highest speed setting cream together for two minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. 

kentucky butter cake process shot

STEP THREE: Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Turn the hand mixer down to a medium-low setting and continue to beat together until no streaks of flour remain. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

PRO TIP: Be careful not to overmix the cake batter or your cake will be tough.  

kentucky butter cake process shot

STEP FOUR: Pour batter into the Bundt pan. Place it into the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

kentucky butter cake process shot

STEP FIVE: Remove the cake from the oven and let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes.

PRO TIP: To check that the cake is done, insert a toothpick. It should come out clean.  

STEP SIX: While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a medium-sized saucepan, over a medium-low heat, add the sugar, butter, water, and rum extract.

STEP SEVEN: Whisk together, stirring often, until the mixture is melted together and combined. Watch it closely and remove from the heat just before it begins to bubble.

STEP EIGHT: Set aside a third of the butter mixture in a small bowl. Pour the remaining sauce over the cake while still in the pan.

kentucky butter cake process shot

STEP NINE: Once all of the sauce soaks into cake, carefully turn the Bundt pan over onto a serving dish. Drizzle the remaining glaze over the top of the cake before serving. 

PRO TIP: You can serve this delicious cake right away, but it will taste even better if you let it rest overnight before tucking in the next day. 

HOW TO SERVE

Top this amazing buttery cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Serve with our iced tea, raspberry iced tea, sweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea on the side.

STORAGE 

IN THE FRIDGE: You can keep Kentucky cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. If you live in a warm environment then you may wish to refrigerate it. 

IN THE FREEZER: Kentucky butter cake recipe can be frozen for up to three months. Be sure to keep the air out by wrapping in foil and placing in a heavy-duty freezer bag.

close up shot of kentucky butter cake with glaze being poured on top of it on a white stand

In this recipe, the magical ingredient to a spongy moist cake is the Kentucky butter cake sauce. Much more than a glaze, the sweet buttery sauce hydrates the cake, creating a divine texture that’s just out-of-this-world.

FAQ

What size of Bundt pan should I use?

A 10-inch/12 cup Bundt pan is the size you should use for this recipe.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

This Kentucky Butter Cake tastes much better if made one day ahead of time – the buttery flavor develops and the cake becomes moister.

Can I turn this into a poke cake?

There are several variations on this recipe that have you poke holes in the cake and if you would like to do that here, you can. Use a wooden spoon, poke holes in the bottom of the cake before you flip it onto a cake plate and then pour your glaze. The sweet butter glaze will soak into the holes in the cake to make it extra moist.

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close up shot of kentucky butter cake on a white stand

Kentucky Butter Cake

5 from 1 vote
This simple, classic Kentucky butter cake is irresistible. A rich batter is baked in a bundt pan before being topped in a sweet, buttery sauce for this old-fashioned homemade dessert.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 16 tablespoons salted butter softened to room temperature (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Glaze

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and lightly flour a bundt pan. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add sugar, eggs, softened room temperature butter, rum extract, butter extract, and buttermilk. Using a hand mixer on the high speed setting, cream together the wet mixture until it is light and fluffy. This should take about 2 minutes.
  • Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Continue to beat together on medium-low, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed until the mixture is combined and no flour streaks remain. Be careful not to overmix the batter or it will yield a tough cake.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Place in the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the bundt cake from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
  • While the cake is cooling make your sauce by adding a medium saucepan over medium-low heat to the stovetop. Add sugar, butter, water, and rum extract. Whisk together stirring often until the mixture is melted together and combined. You don’t want this sauce to boil so watch it carefully and remove from the heat right before it begins to bubble.
  • Once the sauce has been removed from the stovetop, reserve ⅓ cup in a small bowl. Pour the remaining sauce over the cake while still in the bundt pan.
  • Once the cake has soaked up all of the sauce, carefully turn the bundt pan over onto a serving dish. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the top of the cake before serving.

Notes

TIP: The ingredients will be easiest to combine if everything is at room temperature. If you have time bring the butter, eggs, and buttermilk to room temperature before you begin.
TIP: Be careful not to overmix the cake batter or your cake will be tough.  
TIP: To check that the cake is done, insert a toothpick. It should come out clean.  
TIP: You can serve this delicious cake right away, but it will taste even better if you let it rest overnight before tucking in the next day. 

Nutrition

Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 889IU | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
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One sentence recipe card description: Kentucky butter cake is drenched in a delicious buttery sauce 

Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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