Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe -
Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe
  • READY IN 2 hr

Kentucky Butter Cake

Recipe by  

"Moist and buttery cake made from readily available ingredients with a luscious butter sauce."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 - 10 inch Bundt cake Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    2 hrs


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 2 cups sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Blend in buttermilk, 1 cup of butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 4 eggs. Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Prick holes in the still warm cake. Slowly pour sauce over cake. Let cake cool before removing from pan.
  4. To Make Butter Sauce: In a saucepan combine the remaining 3/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and the water. Cook over medium heat, until fully melted and combined, but do not boil.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 31, 2003

I've baked this cake at least a dozen times & always get rave reviews. The cake is very moist with great flavor. It tastes even better the next day! I use Baker's Joy spray to prep Bundt (non-stick or regular) & NEVER have problems with cake breaking up when inverted. I usually cool the cake 40-45 min. at most. Sometimes butter/shortening & flour combo used to prep pans can be a problem when the cake cools completely. This "paste" is almost like a glue when it completely cools. For round cake pans, you can heat pan bottom for 5-10 seconds on stove eye (electic or gas) & it will release when the butter or shortening melts slightly. This is difficult for Bundt pans. I'm huge fan of Baker's Joy spray-it always works! Also, the chopstick idea is awesome. After the cake has cooled for 5 min, I poke 30-35 holes in the cake all the way to the bottom of the Bundt pan with the smaller, tapered end of the chopstick. Then I spoon or pour on the butter sauce (I make 1 1/2 times the sauce recipe). Adding 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon is a great variation. Also, I recommend creaming the butter & sugar for 5 min then creaming another 5 min after adding eggs/vanilla. Then I alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk. The cake rises like a charm (you can use a 12 cup Bundt pan). What a cake!!!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 07, 2006

This cake was super easy. I didn't care for it at first, so I sliced it up after a day or two and froze it. I liked it better the second time around...I think that the longer it sat, the moister it became. FYI, if you don't have buttermilk on hand, just use 1 tbsp. of cider vinegar then fill up the rest of the cup with milk and let it set for a bit and that will substitute the buttermilk.

Jan 25, 2007

I have been making this cake for 20+ years. It was originally in the Pillsbury Bake off contest in 1963 by Nell Lewis (I'm looking at the book now) The recipe is exact except that it gives the option of Rum Extract, and says to just combine all cake ingredients together, no doing dry ingredients first, or anything like that. Today I used 1 cup splenda and 1 cup sugar to see if taste was affected at all, and no one can tell the difference. In the past I have added almond extract to both sauce and cake, as well as peppermint and orange flavors to change it up. All yummy. It does say to use a long tined fork to pierce cake several times, I use kebab skewers and try to widen it a little. I also let it go down the sides so that there are streaks of sauce 3/4 down the cake, just take your time and do it slowly. Finally it says to let stand 5-10 minutes or until absorbed and then invert onto plate.

Dec 31, 2003

Wonderful and easy cake. I creamed the butter and sugar first, don't like buttermilk, so added plain milk, beat in eggs one at a time, then added other dry ingredients. Sprayed a non-stick bundt pan with PAM - no sticking problems. Next time I'll poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon because the butter sauce really didn't soak into the cake much. Will double sauce so I can glaze top of cake too. Also added 1/2 tsp cinnamon to butter sauce.

Feb 03, 2006

I have been making this cake for years, I am in the process of finding the original recipe because I think my instructions for mixing is different than this recipe. More information to follow, however I do know that the sauce originally was rum flavoring, and you took a meat fork, the one with the long tines, and poke while it is in the pan, right out of the oven about 50 times around the cake, as far down as you can go with the fork. Then pour the hot rum sauce over the cake and leave it over night. Then pour it out onto a plate. Must be covered at all times. This is a wonderful cake.

Dec 31, 2003

Yummy!! This was a very easy recipe to make for a first time cake baker. I used a straw to poke holes almost all the way to the bottom of the cake and used a turkey baster to get the butter sauce into the holes. I also added 1 tsp. of cinnamon to the batter and the butter sauce. I used powdered sugar for the sauce so it would be smooth.

Jun 03, 2003

This cake was DELICIOUS! I made it for my mom's b-day and it got rave reviews from everyone! So easy to make & a huge hit with my family! I added a 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans to the mix & made no baking adjustments. I also got away with using "light" butter for the sauce & saved half the sauce until serving time. I reheated the remaining sauce w/ some finely chopped pecans & drizzled it over the cake on the serving dish as a glaze. My stepfather told me I can throw out my other recipes & that this is the only cake I have to bring to family functions anymore!

Jul 26, 2003

OH MY! I made this cake less then 24 hours ago and it is almost gone! I bake a lot. Everyday. This cake is the best, most moist and delicious. I'm on my way to make another one. This time I will make small slices in the cake instead of poking holes. The sauce wanted to run to the center of the bundt pan. I think slicing it will let the sauce seep in better. I cannot thank you enough for this recipe!!!!


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  • Calories
  • 508 kcal
  • 25%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 71.1 g
  • 23%
  • Cholesterol
  • 117 mg
  • 39%
  • Fat
  • 22.6 g
  • 35%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 6.2 g
  • 12%
  • Sodium
  • 467 mg
  • 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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