I’m not a southern girl, and I’ve only watched the Kentucky Derby a few times, so is it wrong that I bring you a decidedly southern recipe? I hope not, because no matter where you hail from this Kentucky Butter Cake is a must make, and the Bourbon Vanilla Sauce…the cherry on top!
Kentucky Butter Cake is a supremely moist, buttery and dense vanilla pound cake with a to-die for vanilla sauce poured over the warm cake, seeping into all the nooks and crannies giving the top a sweet, crunchy, crusty sugary coating, simply dust on a little powdered sugar and you have an easy, delicious, portable dessert.
Want to take it another 10 notches higher? Drizzle this decadent Vanilla Caramel Bourbon Sauce on top and you’ll have people licking their plates, no seriously, I’ve had grown women ask if it’s okay!
Have you ever hosted a Derby Party? I’ve always wanted to host one, the mint juleps in their frosted silver Julep cups alone are worth hosting. I read this history on the mint julep, it is quite interesting. Here is my Mint Julep adaptation from Alton Brown’s recipe.
I’ve adapted the cake slightly for my ingredients from Cookies & Cups original recipe, check out her blog, beautiful, abundant and delicious! You simply toss all of the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer, mix until smooth and you’ve got Kentucky Butter Cake!
The Secret to Getting a Bundt Cake to Release
Start by buttering your 10″ bundt pan, really, really well! I take a soft stick of butter, hold it by the wrapper and smoosh away, then using a pastry brush, make sure you get into all of the ridges. Then toss a couple tablespoons of flour into the buttered pan, I like to do this over a trash can or sink, slowly turn the pan and pat the sides to allow the flour to coat all sides. This is a great video showing you how.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place all ingredients in order listed.
Pour in buttermilk* mixing on low for 30 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and mix for 3-4 minutes, on the longer side if you used natural unbleached cane sugar.
Pour into prepared bundt pan and smooth batter to even out.
No Buttermilk? Make your Own!
1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes.
Bake in preheated 325° oven for 65-75 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven
Make Vanilla Butter Glaze
Add all ingredients into small pan over medium-low heat and stir until the butter is melted and dissolved. Do not boil.
Pour the glaze over the warm cake and allow to cool completely in the pan (this will form the sweet crust on the cake). When cake is completely cooled, invert pan onto serving plate, dust with powdered sugar.
IF YOUR BUNDT STICKS
If your cake is sticking as mine sometimes does, simply warm cake in pan in a preheated 325° oven for 5 minutes, invert immediately onto a plate and allow to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar.
This simple, yet delicious cake will not disappoint! Give it a try this Christmas, Easter, Derby Day, Mother’s Day or bring to your next potluck.
Don’t forget your Mint Juleps and the Caramel Bourbon Sauce! And may the best horse (and jockey) win! Wanna take this totally over the top, try making the cake and sauce with my Bourbon Vanilla Extract.
If you enjoyed this easy dessert, give these others a try!
- Browned Butter Sugar Cookie Bars with Salted Caramel Frosting
- Basic Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting
- Frosting Sugar Cookie Bars
Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!
- 1 cup butter, room temp, cubed
- 2 cups natural unbleached cane sugar (or regular)
- 4 eggs (room temp)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (not teaspoon)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, I use unbleached
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk*
VANILLA BUTTER GLAZE
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup natural, unbleached cane sugar (granulated may be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
- Prepare your 10" bundt pan by slathering with butter, using a pastry brush if needed to get up and down the sides and the center tube siding. Dust the bundt pan with a few tablespoons of flour, knocking out any excess. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 325° F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer works too) place ingredients in order listed. Mix on low for 30 seconds to combine ingredients, slowly increasing speed to medium for 3-4 minutes. Mix a bit longer if you've used natural cane sugar as it's more granular. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65-75 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.
- The cake should be a beautiful golden color and have some small cracks on top. Remove from oven and set on cooling rack.
- In a small saucepan, place all glaze ingredients and stir consistently over medium-low heat. Stir until butter and sugar is dissolved, if using natural cane sugar, reduce your heat slightly and stir, cooking a bit longer. Do not boil. Remove from stovetop once the glaze has thickened slightly and set aside.
- Using a butterknife, poke holes all over cake, trying to go all of the way to the bottom of the cake, this will allow that glaze to seep through the entire cake. Pour warm glaze evenly over the warm cake, I like to pour a little extra at the edges and center, so those get extra crunchy with the glaze as it cools. Allow cake to cool completely in pan.
- Once cooled, invert pan onto serving plate. It might help to carefully insert a butter knife along the edges and sides of cake if it's sticking a bit. If that doesn't' do the trick, place cake in preheated 325°F oven for 5 minutes, remove and invert immediately. Allow to cool before dusting with sugar. Dust cooled cake with powdered sugar.
- If desired, serve cake with warmed Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce. Cake is fresh for up to 3 days, a week in the fridge or up to a couple months if frozen.
No Buttermilk? No problem, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk, stir and let stand 5 minutes.
Forget to bring your eggs to room temp? Simply immerse eggs in bowl of warm water for 10 minutes while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Design Series with Glass Bowl - Sea Glass
Nordic Ware Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan
Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan
Nordic Ware Bundt Cake Keeper, Plastic 13
Redecker Pastry Brushes with Untreated Beechwood Handles, Natural Boar Bristles
Watkins Pure Vanilla Madagascar Extract, 2-Ounce (Pack of 2)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 5g
The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate.