Classic Kentucky Buttercake Recipe

Classic Kentucky Buttercake Recipe

Classic Kentucky Buttercake Recipe
nutritional information (per serving)

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nutritional information
Servings: 12
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 14g68%
117 mg39%
495 mg22%
dietary fiber 1g3%
Total sugar 47g
Vitamin C 0 mg1 %
Calcium 67 mg5%
Iron 2 mg10%
Potassium 96 mg2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is not your average Bundt cake. A 1963 Pillsbury Bake-Off winner, the Kentucky Buttercake is possibly the most tender and moist of all Bundt Cakes. The reason? Vanilla-infused melted butter is poured over the still-warm cake, penetrating every nook and cranny. The resulting cake is buttery and sweet with a golden, sugary crust.

Another advantage of this cake: the ingredients for the dough are mixed at once. There is no need to whip up the butter and sugar first, or to alternate the dry ingredients with the milk. It's as easy as using cake mix. And the butter and sugar sauce is ready in no time – all you have to do is heat the ingredients until the butter has melted.

Bake this cake for a special occasion or party, or take it to a potluck dinner – everyone will be impressed. Oh, and take some copies of the recipe to share.

Tips for making a super tender Kentucky butter cake

  • As with most cake batters, it's important not to mix too much!
  • Be sure to grease your bundt pan thoroughly so that it releases easily and smoothly. Nonstick spray isn't always reliable, so we prefer the butter and flour method (butter the pan, then sprinkle with a layer of flour).
  • Forgot to take buttermilk with you? Try one of these helpful substitutes.
  • This classic Southern cake really doesn't need a frosting, but you can sift in some powdered sugar after demolding for a nice presentation.

How do you keep a Bundt cake moist?

It's very simple: Don't bake for too long! Once a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean, the cake is done. To add a bit more moisture, you can apply a spritz or icing (like in this recipe) that will soak into the cake, or coat it with a gooey frosting.

How long do you let a Gugelhupf cool down?

Most ring cakes need to cool in the pan for a few minutes before being placed on a cooling rack. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, it may take an hour or more for the cake to cool completely after removing from the pan.

How do you get Bundt cake out of the pan?

Make sure your bundt pan is well greased (and floured) and reaches into all nooks and crannies. Some recipes recommend letting the cake cool completely in the pan, while others recommend turning the cake out of the pan while it is still warm; Be sure to follow the recipe. If the cake does not come off, insert a thin silicone spatula between the mold and the cake at the glue points. Metal utensils scratch the surface of the Gugelhupf pan.

Click play to see how this juicy Kentucky Butter Bundt Cake is made

“This cake is easy, stunning and would definitely be a crowd favorite. While it's really sweet, I think a slice with some fresh berries would be perfect for any celebration. If you really want to savor the taste of Kentucky, add some bourbon for an extra treat.” —Tracy Wilk

For the Bundt cake:

  • 3 cups (or 13 1/2 ounces by weight) all purpose flour

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 Cup unsalted butterroom temperature

  • 1 Cup buttermilk

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 Cup unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoon Water

  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the cake

  1. Gather the cake ingredients.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan. Make sure you use all the nooks and crannies of the bundt pan.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the mixer attachment, combine the flour, sugar, softened butter, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat on low speed until moist. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating for about 3 more minutes.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

Make the glaze

  1. Meanwhile gather the ingredients for the glaze.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine sugar, butter, water and vanilla. Cook, stirring, until the butter melts. Do not bring the mixture to a boil.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

Finish the cake

  1. Once the cake is done baking, turn it out onto a wire rack and leave it in the tin. Prick everything with a fork or skewer.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Pour the hot butter glaze over the warm cake.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Let cake stand 5 to 10 minutes or until glaze is absorbed.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Carefully turn out onto a cake plate. Let cool and serve, dusted with powdered sugar if you like. Enjoy.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

How to store it

Store leftover Kentucky Buttercake tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to three days.

recipe variations

  • You can substitute Kentucky Bourbon for some or all of the water in the glaze. A tablespoon will add a touch of flavor, while another tablespoon will add some moisture to the cake. Rum works well too.
  • This cake is deliciously buttery and sweet on its own. However, if you're looking for a little more flavor and sweetness, you can drizzle the cake with a simple vanilla frosting.
  • If you don't have a bundt pan or want to make a layered cake out of it, you can bake the batter in two 9-inch cake pans; Adjust the time accordingly.

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