This Kentucky butter cake is a decadent Bundt cake recipe that’s super moist and full of rich buttery flavor. Just add fresh berries or whipped cream and enjoy!
You’ve probably heard of gooey butter cake before, but what about Kentucky butter cake? Let me tell you, if Kentucky butter cake is new to you, you’re in for a real treat!
This cake is a rich and buttery Bundt cake recipe, and thanks to the addition of buttermilk, it’s nice and moist. It’s made with plenty of real butter, which gives it a lovely depth of flavor. And because this cake is so moist, it stays fresh for days, making it the perfect make-ahead dessert.
(If you love butter, try these recipes too: Butterswim Biscuits, Gooey Butter Cookies, and Shortbread Cookies. They all have big butter flavor!)
Old-Fashioned Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe
Kentucky butter cake looks simple on the outside, but once you slice into it and give it a try, the wow factor hits you. The texture? Perfection! The flavor? So rich and decadent! The buttery vanilla glaze is the perfect finishing touch.
To dress up this Kentucky butter cake, simply add some fresh sliced peaches, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries, along with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint. Or, if you want to get fancy, serve it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of salted caramel to really play up that buttery flavor!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
For the Kentucky Butter Cake:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter – Let this soften a bit so it’s easy to cream with the sugar.
- Eggs – Let these come to room temperature, too.
- Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can place a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, then fill it to the 1 cup mark with whole milk. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
- Vanilla extract
For the Butter Glaze:
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Kentucky Butter Cake
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt cake pan. Tap out any excess flour.
2. Combine the Dry Ingredients
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Beat the Butter, Sugar, and Eggs
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and continue mixing until incorporated.
4. Finish the Batter
Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture, ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, then bake for 60 minutes.
6. Make the Glaze
Add all of the glaze ingredients to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.
While the cake is still warm, poke holes into it with a skewer or chopstick and spoon the butter sauce over the holes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a serving platter or large cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar, then serve.
How to Store Kentucky Butter Cake
Because this cake is so moist, it will stay fresh at room temperature for up to four days; in fact, this cake won’t keep as well if you refrigerate it! Simply store Kentucky butter cake in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
Kentucky butter cake is a very standard cake recipe made with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and buttermilk, but what sets it apart is the proportions. There’s a lot of butter in this recipe, which gives it an incredibly rich, decadent flavor.
Gooey butter cake is a type of cake that originated in St. Louis, Missouri. While the name is similar to Kentucky butter cake, it’s a little different. The Missouri version is usually made in a square or rectangular pan, while Kentucky butter cake is a Bundt cake recipe. As such, Kentucky butter cake is less gooey so it doesn’t collapse in the pan, while gooey butter cake is flat and, well… gooey!
Butter cakes are sometimes known as creamed cakes because they start by creaming butter and sugar together. Some people think pound cakes and butter cakes are interchangeable, but pound cakes are more dense than butter cakes because they’re made with equal amounts of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs.
Kentucky butter cake tastes similar to a vanilla pound cake, but moister and even more buttery. You’ll love it!
More Cake Recipes for a Crowd
Kentucky Butter Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10” Bundt pan.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until incorporated.
- Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the dry ingredients ending with the flour mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes.
- For the glaze, add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and sugar has dissolved.
- While the cake is still warm, poke holes in the top and pour the batter down the holes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before turning onto a platter. Dust with powdered sugar.
Love the taste!
I’ve made it twice now however both times it broke getting it out of the tin.
I could be doing something wrong but I haven’t figured out what 🤷♀️
No sugar in the cake????
Absolutely unless without the amount of sugar for the cake portion. 3 different areas for the ingredients and none of them have the sugar for the cake listed, except for the instruction to cream the sugar and butter – BUT NO ONE KNOWS HOW MUCH!
You left off how much sugar. How many cups of sugar?
2 cups of sugar as listed in the recipe card 🙂
How much sugar is in the cake? I Don see an amount listed.