Kentucky Butter Cake

Kentucky Butter Cake

If you think you don’t need another Bundt cake recipe, this one exists to prove you wrong. Adapted from Nell Lewis of Platte City, Mo., who entered the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in 1963, it is a favorite of food bloggers and Pinterest lovers alike. On the surface, it’s not that different from your typical pound cake, but what makes it special is a vanilla-scented, buttery sugar glaze that’s poured over the still-warm cake. Left to sit for several hours before unmolding, the glaze soaks into the cake, making it incredibly tender and rich while leaving behind a delightful sugary crust. There are a lot of variations out there — some with bourbon in place of the vanilla, others with sherry — so feel free to play around.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 10 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter and flour (or spray with nonstick cooking spray) a 10-inch tube pan or a 12-cup bundt pan.
  2. Step 2

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, combine the remaining cake ingredients and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour into prepared pan, level with a spatula and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Shortly before the cake is done baking, make the butter sauce: Combine the granulated sugar, butter and vanilla with 3 tablespoons water in a saucepan over low heat until the butter just melts. (Do not let the mixture boil, as you do not want the sugar to completely dissolve.)
  4. Step 4

    As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, leave the cake in its pan and gently poke it all the way through 15 to 20 times with a long wooden skewer or a long-tined fork. Slowly pour warm butter sauce over the cake. Let cool for at least 3 hours before unmolding from pan. Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.