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Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe

Kentucky Butter Cake recipe is a soft and tender cake that will absolutely melt in your mouth. It’s infused with a buttery sugar glaze that will have you licking the plate.

3/4 view of a powder sugar dusted Kentucky Butter cake sitting on a cake plate over a multi-colored napkin.

Kentucky Butter Cake couldn’t be easier to make. We’ll be showing you how you can get it in your hands in a jiffy and best of all, it can be made a day ahead of time making it the perfect cake for entertaining.

Why we love this amazing Kentucky Butter Cake

Make ahead. Most cakes are best the day they’re made. Not this beauty. She’s delicious just made but if you let her sit for a day with that infused glaze she becomes moist and delicious inside and out!

No Frosting necessary. We don’t have a lot of cakes that are delicious right out of the pan, but this one is. We fancied it up with a dusting of powdered sugar but that was strictly for looks. You don’t need to go through the hassle of making frosting.

Tried and true. This recipe comes from a bakery and is amongst its best sellers. We’ll explain that a little more shortly.

Freaky Friday Summer

Freaky Friday Blog hop banner

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS KENTUCKY BUTTER CAKE?

I wish I could take credit for developing this recipe, but I can’t. The inspiration for this recipe is the Summer edition of our Freaky Friday Blog Hop.

What’s the Freaky Friday Blog Hop? Well, Freaky Friday is a blog hop with some of my favorite food blogger buddies!

We secretly get assigned one another’s blogs to make a recipe from, and then we all reveal who we had and what we made on the same Friday.

Our Freaky Friday blog hops are organized by Michaela who runs An Affair From the Heart.

Aunt Bee’s Recipes

I was so excited to get Aunt Bee’s Recipes for the Summer 2021 edition of our Freaky Friday Recipe Blog Hop.

Let me tell you a little bit about Aunt Bee

Brandi is the creator of Aunt Bee’s Recipes and is certainly a busy bee with two children and a hubby. She says when she got married she couldn’t boil water but now loves pouring through cookbooks and cooking for her family.

Her blog Aunt Bee’s Recipes have some amazing recipes that are perfect for the busy family. I had a heck of a time deciding which recipe to pick. I really had my eye on her Crockpot Jalapeno Popper Crack Chicken and her Butterfinger Poke cake.

Aunt Bee said she got this recipe from a friend of hers that runs her own bakery and that this cake is her absolute favorite! How could I ignore such an endorsement from a fellow cake lover? I just had to make her Kentucky Butter Cake recipe.

What is Kentucky Butter Cake?

We couldn’t find the creator of this amazing cake, but to describe it we would say If you could improve your favorite pound cake recipe you would get a Kentucky Butter Cake. This cake is soft, tender, and just melts in your mouth.

Even the batter is thick and creamy and you’ll need to have a little willpower to get most of it in the bundt pan.

What is the difference between butter cake and pound cake?

A pound cake gets its name from its main ingredients. A traditional pound cake uses 1 pound of its 3 main ingredients, sugar, butter, and flour. We feel a pound cake has more of a dense crumb than this cake recipe.

Kentucky Butter Cake recipe uses some of the same ingredients but uses different measurements. And then, it’s infused with a sweet butter glaze…oh my

With a pound cake, it’s all about the toppings. This luscious beauty is definitely all about the cake.

Kentucky Butter Bundt Cake Ingredients

Ingredients used to make a Kentucky Butter Cake including butter, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk, eggs, sugar and flour

Cake Batter

  • Flour. All-purpose flour
  • Sugar. White granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla. We use pure vanilla extract. Imitation extract can be substituted.
  • Butter. Room temperature. We used unsalted. You can use salted but reduce the amount of salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Eggs. Room temperature. Grade A large is what we always use for consistency in our baking.
  • Buttermilk. Room temperature. Did you know you can make your own buttermilk? Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or real lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. You can also substitute with yogurt 1:1.
  • Baking Powder.
  • Baking Soda.
  • Salt. Kosher salt is what we used but table salt is acceptable.

Glaze

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Vanilla extract

Tip: – For a real Kentucky experience add 1/4 cup of bourbon whiskey to the cake batter when you add the buttermilk and you can also replace the water and vanilla extract with 1/4 cup of bourbon whiskey in the glaze!

How do you make butter cake from scratch?

  1. Preheat the oven and grease and flour the bundt pan thoroughly. You can also use a baking spray with flour. which is what we did.
  2. Combine butter and sugar in an electric stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
4 steps for making cake batter.
  1. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients and whisk together. Spoon the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  2. Spoon batter into the bundt pan.
2 photo collage of a bundt pan being filled with cake batter and of the pan completely filled
  1. Bake
  2. Prepare the glaze
  3. Poke holes into the cake while still in the pan and pour the glaze into the holes and over the top of the cake which is actually the bottom). We used a knife but you could use a small round object such as a wooden spoon or kitchen utensil.
  4. Once the cake is cool, invert it onto a cake plate.

Tips for the perfect Kentucky Butter Cake

  • Use the correct bundt pan size. We used a 10-inch, 12 cup non-stick pan. You don’t want to overfill the pan.
  • Give the oven plenty of time to preheat.
  • Read through the recipe and have everything ready to go before starting to make your recipe. We recommend pre-measuring the ingredients. It makes the flow go so much easier and prevents mistakes.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. If you forget to take them out ahead of time, here are a few tips for you.
    • Butter – put it on a plate and microwave for it for 10 seconds. Turn the butter over and heat for an additional 10 seconds. Check for softness. Don’t overdo it. We don’t want melted butter because it will not whip.
    • Eggs (still in their shell) – Put eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 15 minutes.
    • Buttermilk – microwave for 15 seconds, stir and then test. You just want it room temperature not hot.
  • Don’t pack the flour. We use the scoop and level method as explained in Baking Basics, but fluff up the flour first. For this reason we don’t recommend scooping the flour directly from the bag. Your cake will be dense and dry.
  • Don’t over mix the ingredients because the cake will lose it’s tenderness.
  • Tap and then jiggle the filled cake pan lighly on a table or counter. This will prevent large air bubbles from making holes and cracks in your baked cake. It will also help the smaller air bubbles rise to the top of the cake making it fluffy.
  • Bake the cake immediately. The ingredients start chemical reactions as soon as they’re mixed together which is what helps your cake rise. Waiting to do so will reduce the rise in your cake.
  • Don’t overbake! Our cake bakes in 60 minutes on convection mode. However, all ovens are different. Some ovens may take up to 75 minutes for the cake to bake. Test your cake with a cake tester or toothpick 5 minutes before the minimum time is up. If there are just a few crumbs sticking to the cake tester, your cake is done.
  • Cool the cake completely in the pan which will help ithe cake release from the edges.
  • Our cake popped right out. However, if your cake sticks just patch up any missing spots with the cake and cover it with glaze or powdered sugar.
A slice of Kentucky butter cake standing on in on a serving plate. The whole cake sits in the background.

Frequently asked questions

Can this cake be made ahead?

Like Aunt Bee, we made our cake a day ahead of time and stored it in an air-tight cake cover. I don’t know what it would have tasted like the first day but I’ll tell you, the second day this cake was soft and tender. On the third day, I took it to my sister’s house and she couldn’t believe that it was cooked 2 days earlier

What options do I have for topping my cake?

This cake is delicious without any topping. We dusted our cake with powdered sugar for a more finished look. You could also reserve a little glaze and pour it over the top of the cake once it’s glazed.

What can we serve with our Kentucky Butter Cake?

A cup of coffee is our opinion. However, fresh berries, whipped cream, or ice cream are other options.

Can this cake be frozen?

Yes! This cake freezes beautifully. You can freeze the whole cake and let it thaw covered in the refrigerator or at room temperature. We recommend dusting it with powdered sugar after thawing it and not before freezing it. You can also freeze individual slices which is perfect for a quick dessert for two. You will want to wrap the cake in plastic wrap and then in an air-tight container or aluminum foil. It’s best to eat it within 3 months.

How long does this cake last?

We kept our cake in a covered cake carrier in the refrigerator. It lasted for 5 days which is how long we took to eat it. It was delicious even on the 5th day.

Items we used to make our Kentucky Bundt Cake

A slice of cake lying on it's side with a bit taken out of it sitting on a cake plate.

Lemon Poke Cake with Pudding – This cake is bright and beautiful. She’s all dressed up for summer and couldn’t be easier to make.

Chocolate Coffee Cake – Combines our favorite ingredients and makes it legal to eat for breakfast!

Apple Spice Cake – We show you how to make this cake in two ways! It’s always on our family “please make” list.

Banana Foster Bundt Cake – All I say is Rum, butter, bananas, and praline…oh my!

Take a look at all of our 2021 Freaky Friday Summer Edition Recipes:

  1. An Affair from the Heart – Simple Tiramisu
  2. Aunt Bee’s Recipes –Roasted Tomatillo Salsa {Salsa Verde}
  3. Devour Dinner – Pepperoni Bread
  4. Fresh April Flours – Bananas Foster Cake
  5. The Fresh Cooky – Old Fashioned Lemon Squares
  6. Hostess at Heart – Kentucky Butter Cake
  7. House of Nash Eats – Apple Pie Ice Cream
  8. Lemon Blossoms – Strawberry Cake
  9. Lemoine Family Kitchen – Grilled Peach Burrata Arugula Salad
  10. Life, Love & Good Food – Bruschetta with Tomato
  11. Off the Eaten Path – Fresh Garden Salsa
  12. Sue Bee Homemaker – Jalapeño Popper Dip with Bacon
  13. The Speckled Palate – Lemon Zucchini Bread
  14. Take Two Tapas – Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

If you like this recipe, we would appreciate your comment and a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review!

I want to thank Aunt Bee for this amazing Kentucky Butter Cake recipe. It is so easy to make and one that will definitely be a repeat in our house. Now, keep scrolling to see what our other Freaky Friday friends have made!

3/4 view of a powder sugar dusted bundt cake sitting on a cake plate over a multi-colored napkin.
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5 from 19 votes

Kentucky Butter Cake

Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe is a moist tender cake that melts in your mouth. The sweet buttery glaze will make you want to lick the plate.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 12
Author Julie Menghini

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) unsalted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour *scoop & measure technique
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature

Butter Glaze

Powdered sugar dusting – optional

    Instructions

    For the cake

    • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
    • Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and place it on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
    • To the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add the butter and sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy.
    • Scrape down the sides and add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine and then add the buttermilk. Mix until combined.
    • In a separate bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
    • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With the mixer on low, mix for 30 seconds or until the flour has been mixed in for the most part. Turn the mixer on medium and mix for another 3 minutes. The batter will be smooth and creamy.
    • Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
    • Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • Remove the bundt pan from the oven and let the cake cool completely in the pan.

    Glaze

    • Combine the glaze ingredients to a small saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat.
    • Stir continuously until the butter is melted and the sugar is disolved.
    • Once the cake is slightly warm, poke holes all over the cake, using a knife, all the way to the bottom of the cake, but NOT THROUGH the bottom.
    • Pour the glaze over the cake. Like Aunt Bee I spooned the glaze right into the holes to make sure they filled up and then poured the rest of the glaze over the cake. Use it all! Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
    • Invert the cake onto a plate or platter. You can use the tip of a knife around the edges but my cake loosened from the edges as it cooled and released fairly easily. (Thank you God of bundt cakes.)
    • Dust the cake with powdered sugar if desired.

    Notes

    Flour scooping is defined in our Baking Basics.
    This cake was received from Aunt Bee Recipes.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 743IU | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg
    This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
    Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!
    Recipe Rating




    Ann

    Friday 30th of July 2021

    It looks absolutely stellar! My son has been searching for the perfect cake recipe and I feel like THIS might just be the one. Can't wait to try it!

    Brandi Burgess

    Friday 30th of July 2021

    Julie, I am so glad you chose this recipe! It is one of our favorites and your photos are gorgeous!!!!!

    Hadia

    Thursday 29th of July 2021

    Definitely on my to do list, Julie. Loved the idea of poking the cake with butter glaze!

    Chrissie Nelson Rotko

    Tuesday 27th of July 2021

    Your photos are gorgeous it makes me want to make this cake ASAP!

    Julie Menghini

    Wednesday 28th of July 2021

    Thank you, Chrissie! That means a lot to me!

    Michaela Kenkel

    Monday 26th of July 2021

    What a winner of a recipe!! This butter cake just begs to be eaten!! (where was my phone call for coffee?? hummmmm??? lol!!) I will just have to make it and have YOU over! ;)

    Julie Menghini

    Wednesday 28th of July 2021

    I'd love that, Michaela! We've got to get in the same town at the same time LOL!