Kentucky Butter Cake

Don't Lose This Recipe

I have a bundt pan, but rarely use it. Not being big cake fans, there aren’t many occasions to pull it out. I have also had my struggles with them; in other words, half the cake usually sticks to the pan. I found something somewhat magical at the grocery store, however. It is not a new product, but I hadn’t ever tried it before… Baker’s Joy, a combination of cooking spray and flour which ensures that the cake will pop out without a problem. While looking for a recipe to try it out, I remembered I had some leftover buttermilk I needed to get rid of, so I decided to try Kentucky Butter Cake. I guess this is a big deal in the South, but being from California, I had never heard of it before. Originally a winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off and published in their cookbook in 1963, this recipe by Nell Lewis has been passed along across neighborhoods, counties, and states. There are a few variations (adding different extracts, using a bourbon butter glaze, etc.), but the basic recipe has stayed the same. It is not for the faint of heart. Using one and a third cups of butter, plus almost three cups of sugar means you won’t be serving it at your next Weight Watcher’s meeting. It is, however, one of the best bundt cakes I’ve ever had, moist on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside, like a fresh, glazed donut. And, Baker’s Joy works like a dream, so I will probably be making this cake more often.

Kentucky Butter Cake

Kentucky Butter Cake. I guess this is a big deal in the South, but being from California, I had never heard of it before.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs


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


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan (or use Baker’s Joy).
  • Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add in the buttermilk butter, vanilla, and eggs. Beat for three minutes at medium speed. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted tester comes out clean. While the cake is baking, make the glaze.
  • Glaze: In a small saucepan, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring to combine. Heat until fully melted, but do not boil.
  • Using a skewer, long-tined fork, or even a chopstick, prick holes in the warm cake. Pour the sauce over the cake slowly, allowing it to drip into the holes. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.
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Don't Lose This Recipe

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