Kentucky Butter Cake


THIS CAKE!! Probably the richest and best cake I’ve ever made. The cake itself smells buttery like a madeleine, which is then drenched in a buttery sugar syrup that hardens up like a donut glaze. This is definitely not a cake for someone on a diet, but it is so good! Not sure why its called Kentucky Butter Cake, but this recipe was the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest winner in 1963 by Nell Lewis. Maybe hes from there? Regardless, thank you dude! This cake is truly a winner!


Despite having an extra step where you have to make the butter sugar syrup which you pour over the cake, this recipe is really easy to follow. Unlike most other cakes and pastries, you do not remove the baked goods from the pan/sheet to cool on a cooling rack. You actually pour the butter sauce over the cake while it is still in the hot cake pan, and you leave it until cake is completely cooled! In order for the cake to absorb more syrup and more evenly through out the cake, I used the same wooden skewer used to test doneness to poke holes all over the cake. As you pour the butter sugar syrup over the cake, you can see them get drained through the small holes you poked and this really allows the syrup to spread evenly and more quickly. I’d imagine if I didn’t do that, then all the sauce might simply pool at the bottom of the cake pan, which means the top of your bundt cake will come out soggy and potentially collapsed. Not good!


5 from 1 reviews
Kentucky Butter Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 large bundt cake or 4 small bundt cakes
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Beat softened butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in sugar and continue to beat until creamy.
  3. Add eggs in one at a time. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  4. Sift together all dry ingredients and gradually add into wet mixture.
  5. Pour mixture into a well greased (butter and floured) bundt cake pan. Bake for about 1 hour for large bundt cake or 25min for mini bundt cakes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  6. While cake is baking, combine sugar, butter, water, and vanilla extract in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil.
  7. Remove hot cake from the oven, use a wooden skewer to poke holes all around the cake.
  8. Pour butter sugar syrup over the cake while it is still hot. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan before unmolding.


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And here is the Nordic Ware Quartet Bundt Cake Pan I used. Its 4 mini bundt cakes, and the recipe above to make 4 cakes. If you want your butter cake to have an almost glaze-like exterior, double the recipe for the sauce and even brush the sauce onto the cake while it is still warm.



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