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Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe

Deliciously Moist Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe

  • Author: Audrey
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16 SLICES 1x


Kentucky Butter Cakeβ€”the best Bundt pan cake! It is a rich, buttery, insanely moist vanilla poke cake laced with a delectable butter sauce that soaks through and coats the cake, creating an enticing sugar crust. This sweet, delicate cake is great alone or with berries and whipped cream. This Kentucky Butter Cake is easy to make and tastes better the next day, excellent for stress-free entertaining or holidays like Easter.




5 large eggs at room temperature

24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperature

3 c. all-purpose flour or gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (I use Bob’s, Red Mill)

2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 c. buttermilk or sour milk


1/2 c. unsalted butter

1 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. water

1/8 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon optional


The oven has to be preheated to 325 degrees F. Prepare a 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan by greasing and flouring it liberally.

Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt should be mixed in a medium bowl. Leaving aside. Combine vanilla extract with buttermilk and leave aside.

Put the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed for at least three or four minutes (no less! ), until the mixture is light and fluffy. Turn the mixer speed down to medium and add the eggs one by one, mixing after each addition just until the yolks are completely incorporated.

Put the mixer on low and add the flour mixture to the butter in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat until barely mixed, then give the batter a last stir by hand to incorporate any flour that may have settled to the bottom.

Once the Bundt pan has been prepped, transfer the batter to it and tap it on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Cook for 50-60 minutes at 325 degrees F, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs.

After 5 minutes, set the cake on a cooling rack, and using the thin end of a chopstick, make holes all over the cake, going approximately 3/4 of the way down. To make the holes bigger, you can use the back of a spoon or a skewer instead.

Make the Butter Glaze just after you poke holes in the cake. Put the sugar, butter, water, and salt in a medium pot and stir to combine. Melt on low heat, stirring regularly, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil. When the butter has melted, add the vanilla and cinnamon (if using).

Put aside a quarter cup of the glaze for later use. Carefully drizzle the remaining Glaze over the top (now bottom) of the cake, taking your time so that it may seep into the holes and not spill over the sides.

After 30 minutes (no longer or the glaze will set like glue), loosen the sides of the cake with a knife and invert it onto a plate or cake stand.

Reheat the Glaze (but don’t let it boil) and carefully brush it all over the cake after it’s cooled entirely. The cake is best served after resting for at least an hour, but overnight is best for optimal texture and flavor. If you’re not going to serve the cake right away, cover it securely in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature.

It’s great with just whipped cream or fresh fruit, but it’s even better with fresh berries and strawberry or raspberry sauce!



Buttermilk/sour milk may be made at home by combining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar with enough milk to fill a measuring cup. Swirl it around and wait about 10 minutes for bubbles to appear on top.

Be sure to grease the pan well!

This cake is sticky, therefore please use oil and flour instead of cooking spray when preparing the pan. I SUGAR my pan as well. That is to say:

Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of the softened butter evenly around the pan’s surface. Do not miss any crevices!

Then, add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, sprinkling it in from above so it falls into the pan, then tap and turn the pan to coat everything evenly.

And once again, add a spoonful of flour. If there is any excess, tap a few times to get rid of it. The flour isn’t essential if you’re using sugar, but I always add a little extra just in case.

To make this sugar-free, simply replace it with 2 tablespoons of flour and continue with the same process.


The buttery vanilla simplicity of Kentucky Butter Cake is irresistible, but there are other ways in which I enjoy it more.

  • Some powdered sugar on top
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries, are all fresh.
  • Strawberry or raspberry syrup – out of this world!
  • Add some whipped topping (and maybe some berries)!
  • Creamy vanilla ice cream with fresh berries.
  • Yummy berry and lemon curd!
  • Swirled chocolate filling
  • Infused with caramel


Glazed cakes should be refrigerated until completely cold before being wrapped in plastic.

Put in a cool, dry place until ready to serve.

The flavor of this cake improves with age, and it will keep nicely for many days.


The cake’s icing needs time to harden completely before you cut into it.

Double-wrap the cake in plastic wrap to ensure its safety.

Cake may be frozen for up to three months.

Take the cake out of the freezer the night before you plan to serve it, and let it defrost in the fridge.

Keep in mind that the crackly sugar coating won’t be as crunchy after being frozen and thawed.

How To Make it Gluten free

In place of all-purpose flour, use gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (like Bob’s Red Mill).

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 499
  • Sugar: 37.7 g
  • Sodium: 239.4 mg
  • Fat: 26.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 61.6 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 124.2 mg

Keywords: Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe