An ultra moist cake covered in a buttery vanilla flavored sauce! This Kentucky Butter Cake is a southern classic. You’ll love the butter flavor and the rich glaze that soaks into every bite of the sweet cake.
What is a Butter Cake
If you’ve never tasted a butter cake before, I’m about to change your life. This staple of southern baking supposedly originated in Louisville (thus the name “Kentucky” label) but you don’t need to be southern to enjoy this dessert!
The cake itself is simple but absolutely delicious. With plenty of vanilla flavor, buttermilk and (of course) lots of butter, it’s one of the moistest cakes you’ll ever taste.
What really sets a gooey butter cake apart from the crowd though is the sauce.
A warm, syrupy glaze with even more butter, vanilla and sugar gets poured on top of the baked cake.
The sauce soaks into the cake so every bite almost over-the-top buttery sugary goodness! This is a rich cake that everyone needs to try at least once.
Another thing I love about the cake is that it requires no frosting bags, piping or decorating! You make it in a bundt pan and add the glaze while it’s still in the pan.
It doesn’t get any easier. You can even make it the day before and let it rest overnight–this Kentucky Butter Cake manages to taste even better on the second day!
- Butter – If ever there were a time to use REAL butter, it’s here! I recommend unsalted butter for best flavor.
- Buttermilk – Store bought is fine or you can make your own buttermilk substitute.
- Vanilla – Learn how to make vanilla extract to give your cake the best ever vanilla flavor. Of course, store bought is just fine too!
Step by Step Instructions
STEP 1. Prepare the pan
Grease and flour your bundt pan before making the cake batter. You can also try my Homemade Cake Release to make it even easier to remove the cake from the bundt pan.
STEP 2. Make the cake.
Beat together the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla extract. Slowly add the dry ingredients in batches along with the buttermilk. Once everything is added to the batter, beat with your mixer for a full 2 minutes to make sure the ingredients are blended.
Transfer the batter to the bundt pan and bake.
STEP 3. Make the glaze
The cake needs about an hour to bake. While it’s baking, you can get the glaze ready to go!
Combine the butter, sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat on the stove. Don’t let it boil, just cook until the sugar is fully dissolved. You might need to adjust the heat as you go to keep it from boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
STEP 4. Pour
Remove the cake from the oven when a toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan and, while it’s still warm,use a knife to poke holes all over. Pour the warm sauce over the cake.
Leave the cake in the pan to complete cooling. Then, invert the pan onto a cake platter and gently remove from the pan.
Tips and Tricks
- Make the day before: I like the taste of Kentucky Butter Cake best the day after baking. This gives that delicious buttery glaze the chance to seep into every nook and cranny of the cake! If you just can’t wait, though, feel free to dig in as soon as the cake is cooled.
- Use a cake release! Using a homemade cake release all but guarantees your butter cake will slide out of the pan easily. If you don’t want to make a cake release, be sure to thoroughly grease AND flour the pan. There’s nothing as disappointing as a bundt cake that falls apart when you try to take it out of the pan.
- Store the cake in an airtight container. Cover the cake whenever you’re not eating it to help lock in all that good moisture that makes the cake so delicious.
We make Kentucky Butter Cake in a 12 cup bundt pan.
First, make sure the cake is completely cooled before you attempt to take it out of the pan. Your patience will be rewarded! Invert the bundt pan onto a flat surface, then very gently wiggle it until the cake begins to slide out. Take your time and keep sliding the pan up until the cake comes all the way out.
If kept covered in an airtight container, this butter cake should stay good for up to 3 or 4 days. It tastes even better the day after baking!
More Easy Cake Recipes
A moist vanilla flavored cake with the best buttery glaze in each and every bite is the perfect comfort food dessert. This Kentucky Butter Cake recipe is a must try!