Kentucky Butter Cake

This popular cake recipe is moist, sweet, buttery, and absolutely divine!

Updated March 21, 2023

Editor's Note: This classic and vintage cake recipe is just like Grandma used to make. If you're in the mood for a moist cake that is as sweet as it is buttery, you're going to love this Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe. There are a ton of ways to make this popular recipe. Ours is extra sweet, topped with caramel drizzle, and genuinely easy to make with just 15 minutes of prep. This yummy dessert would taste great served with coffee, especially with a splash of Kentucky bourbon. 

The butter in this recipe gives the cake extra moisture, so it's as soft and perfect as can be. Eating this cake is like eating a pound cake or an oversized doughnut.


Preparation Time15 min

Cooking Time1 hr 15 min


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • Caramel sauce, warm, for drizzling


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.

  2. For the cake: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, butter, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda on low speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth.

  3. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 1/4 hours or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  4. For the glaze: When the cake is done baking, place the granulated sugar, butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.

  5. While the cake is still warm, poke several holes in the cake with a wooden skewer, then pour the butter glaze over the cake.

  6. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Invert the cooled cake onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar and drizzle with caramel sauce. Slice and serve.


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This cake is so rich! My great grandma used to make something very similar to this


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