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An overhead photo of a Kentucky butter cake.

Kentucky Butter Cake

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
A sweet buttery glaze that soaks into every pore of the moist cake makes this Kentucky Butter Cake irresistible. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Servings 16 servings


  • Tube or bundt pan


  • 1 cup butter (unsalted) softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add in vanilla and mix to combine. Add one cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix well. Add half of the buttermilk, mix well to combine. Add remaining flour and mix well to combine. Add remaining buttermilk and mix well to combine.
  • Prepare a tube or bundt pan by greasing and flouring generously to prevent sticking. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake for approximately 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for ten minutes (prepare butter sauce during this time), then run a knife around the edges and center of the tube pan to loosen the cake. Invert cake onto a wire rack or plate.

Butter Sauce

  • After removing cake from oven, prepare butter sauce. In a saucepan combine 3/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 2 tsp vanilla and 3 tbsp water. Cook over medium heat until melted and well combined.
  • After removing the cake from the pan, poke very small holes in the top of the cake, with a toothpick. Slowly drizzle sauce over the cake. Store covered.


While unsalted butter is used in this recipe, if all you have on hand is salted butter, it will work fine. 
If desired, the water used in the butter sauce can be replaced with rum or brandy! 


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 574IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg