Kentucky Butter Cake

Indulge in Decadence with Kentucky Butter Cake

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If you’re in search of a dessert that’s rich, moist, and utterly irresistible, look no further than Kentucky Butter Cake. This classic Southern treat is a buttery delight that’s sure to please even the most discerning sweet tooth. With its tender crumb, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and luscious buttery flavor, Kentucky Butter Cake is the perfect indulgence for any occasion. Join us as we explore how to make this heavenly dessert that will have your taste buds singing with joy.


For the Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan or a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan or baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, butter, water, and vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  9. When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the surface with a skewer or toothpick.
  10. Slowly pour the glaze over the hot cake, allowing it to soak into the holes and drizzle down the sides.
  11. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Once cooled, slice and serve your delicious Kentucky Butter Cake, and enjoy every buttery, indulgent bite!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: To ensure a smooth and evenly textured cake batter, make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature before starting the recipe. This will help them blend together more easily.
  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes before using.
  • Flavor Variations: Get creative with your Kentucky Butter Cake by adding flavorings such as lemon zest, almond extract, or even a splash of bourbon to the batter for a unique twist on this classic dessert.

Variations to Explore:

  1. Lemon Butter Cake: Add the zest of one lemon to the cake batter and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the glaze for a bright and zesty variation on Kentucky Butter Cake. Garnish with lemon slices for an extra burst of citrus flavor.
  2. Almond Butter Cake: Replace the vanilla extract in the cake batter with almond extract for a nutty and aromatic twist. Top the cake with sliced almonds for added crunch and visual appeal.
  3. Bourbon Butter Cake: Add a splash of bourbon to the cake batter and the glaze for a boozy and decadent version of Kentucky Butter Cake. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.
  4. Chocolate Marble Butter Cake: Swirl melted chocolate or cocoa powder into the cake batter before baking for a marbled effect. Top the cake with a chocolate glaze for a rich and chocolatey twist on this classic dessert.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use salted butter in this recipe? A: While unsalted butter is typically preferred in baking recipes to control the amount of salt, you can use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand. Just be sure to adjust the amount of salt called for in the recipe accordingly.

Q: How should I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover Kentucky Butter Cake in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze slices of cake for longer storage, wrapped well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

Q: Can I make this cake ahead of time? A: Yes, you can make the cake ahead of time and store it at room temperature, tightly wrapped, for up to 24 hours before serving. Prepare the glaze and pour it over the cake just before serving for the best results.

Q: Can I make a keto-friendly version of this cake? A: While Kentucky Butter Cake is traditionally made with flour and sugar, you can experiment with keto-friendly substitutions such as almond flour, coconut flour, and low-carb sweeteners to create a similar cake with fewer carbs. Adjustments to the recipe may be necessary, so be sure to test and tweak as needed.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Low-Carb Option: To make a low-carb version of Kentucky Butter Cake, you can experiment with almond flour or coconut flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour. Use a low-carb sweetener such as erythritol or stevia in place of granulated and brown sugar. Adjust the amounts of ingredients as needed to achieve the desired texture and sweetness level.
  • Keto-Friendly Version: For a keto-friendly version of Kentucky Butter Cake, use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour to keep the carb count low. Use a keto-approved sweetener such as monk fruit extract or erythritol in place of granulated and brown sugar. You can also add a splash of bourbon for flavor without adding extra carbs. Be sure to adjust the recipe accordingly to maintain the proper balance of ingredients.

In conclusion, Kentucky Butter Cake is a timeless dessert that never fails to delight with its rich, buttery flavor and tender texture. Whether you enjoy it warm out of the oven or chilled from the refrigerator, this indulgent treat is sure to satisfy your sweet cravings and leave you longing for more. With its simple yet irresistible charm, Kentucky Butter Cake is perfect for any occasion, from casual family gatherings to elegant dinner parties.

So why not treat yourself and your loved ones to the decadent pleasure of Kentucky Butter Cake? With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of love, you can create a dessert that’s sure to become a new favorite in your household. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to savor every buttery, delicious bite of this classic Southern delicacy. Bon appétit!

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