Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake

Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #KentuckyDerby

I don’t know about you, but rum cake was a dining room table staple at my grandma’s for as far back as I can remember. It showed up early and often for Sunday dinners and holidays. My great aunt was the designated rum cake-maker and to my knowledge, she used a box cake mix and Bacaradi, a recipe which has certainly made its round from index cards to recipe books and now, the Internet. A couple of years ago, I made a homemade version that pretty much knocked everyone’s socks off. My family loved it, and many of you have since made it and shared with me how much your families have loved it.

Given the popularity of the rum cake, I had a feeling that bourbon cake would be a terrific follow-up. I saw this bourbon cake nearly two years ago, and subsequently bought the cookbook where it had originated. Once I realized that the Kentucky Derby was right around the corner, I dusted off the recipe and whipped it up using Kentucky bourbon; any excuse to be festive, right?!

Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #KentuckyDerby

I don’t need to tell you how fabulous this is, do I? I mean… BUTTER. BOURBON. CAKE.

You can absolutely taste the butter in this cake and I mean that in the most phenomenal way imaginable. It’s moist, and absolutely bursting with bourbon flavor.

Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #KentuckyDerby

If you’re having a Kentucky Derby party, this is a must for your menu.

I also imagine no one would complain if you served it up for the holidays or any other get together where people appreciate cake, butter and bourbon.

Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #KentuckyDerby

One year ago: Kentucky Derby Pie Cupcakes
Two years ago: Alfajores
Three years ago: Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa
Four years ago: Pecan Sandies
Six years ago: Yellow Cake with Chocolate-Hazelnut Filling & Chocolate Frosting

Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A wonderfully boozy bourbon cake, much like its rum cousin.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
3½ cups sifted cake flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1¼ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
⅔ cup light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
⅓ cup bourbon
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature

For the Glaze:
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup bourbon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted Bundt pan; set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a medium bowl. Add the salt and whisk to combine; set aside.

3. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl before adding the next.

4. Combine the buttermilk and bourbon in a small bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk-bourbon mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 40 to 45 minutes.

6. Towards the end of the baking time, prepare the glaze. Combine the butter, sugar and bourbon in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, whisking to combine.

7. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the top of the cake using a long skewer. Pour three-quarters of the glaze slowly over the cake, allowing it to seep into the holes. Place the cake on a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a serving platter. Immediately brush the remaining glaze all over the top and sides of the cake (if the glaze has thickened, rewarm over low heat). Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Vintage Cakes; originally seen on Hummingbird High)

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52 Responses to “Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake”

  1. Jaclyn on April 30, 2014 at 1:01 am

    That crumb looks perfect! Wish I had a slice now!

    Reply

  2. Ami@naivecookcooks on April 30, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Wow This cake looks so soft and delicious! Perfect for weekend treat!

    Reply

  3. Marcella on April 30, 2014 at 6:05 am

    If you don’t have a bundt pan, can you make this in a regular cake pan? Or loaf pan?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 30th, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Hi Marcella, I think you could do a 9×13 pan (reduce baking time, though!), but it would be too much batter for a loaf pan.

      Reply

  4. Mir on April 30, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Just stick me in a corner with a few slices of this and a mint julep and I will be happy forver! This cake looks perfect in every way.

    Reply

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on April 30, 2014 at 7:36 am

    This cake looks absolutely fabulous. SO yummy!!

    Reply

  6. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 30, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Between the bourbon in the cake AND The glaze, this has gotta be one moist, wonderful cake. I love having my drinks, via cake :) This looks like an amazing cake! And blows the pants off any rum cake I’ve ever tried, no doubt. Pinned

    Reply

  7. Sharon on April 30, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I don’t know why this always confuses me…I sift the flour first, then measure, right?
    Also, if I wanted to, but I’m not sure why I would want to…can the 1/3 cup of alcohol in the cake batter be replaced with anything? Thank you :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 30th, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Hi Sharon, Yes, you are correct! If the recipe would state “3.5 cups cake flour, sifted” then you would measure first, then sift. I would probably just omit the alcohol if you don’t want it, since there is already a good bit of milk in the recipe.

      Reply

      • Sam on May 1st, 2014 at 1:52 pm

        Do you have the weight of the flour? That gets rid of any questions of pre vs post sifting.

        Reply

        • Michelle on May 12th, 2014 at 9:50 am

          Hi Sam, I do not have the weight for the flour.

          Reply

  8. Heather on April 30, 2014 at 9:08 am

    This is perfect for my Dad (and me, too)!! We are huge KY bourbon fans!! Thanks for the recipe! My Dad’s birthday is right around the corner and now I know what cake he is getting!!

    Reply

  9. kelly @ livelovepasta on April 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

    this cake looks sooooo sooo good. reminds me of a family favorite!

    Reply

  10. angela@spinachtiger on April 30, 2014 at 9:34 am

    This is JUST the kind of cake I was hoping would come my way. I have the bourbon and I’m not into the real sweet cakes right now. Buttermilk, bourbon, brown sugar, three great ingredients. This will be my Mothers Day Baking.

    Reply

  11. AndreaL on April 30, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Wow – you are certainly giving us the tools for an awesome Kentucky Derby gathering. Between the popcorn yesterday, this yummy cake today and the Kentucky Derby cupcakes from last year, I will make our friends VERY happy. :)

    Reply

  12. gloria on April 30, 2014 at 10:07 am

    that looks amazing! My mom made a rum cake this weekend and I just loved it. I can’t wait to try this one! :)

    Reply

  13. Lisa @ Simple Pairings on April 30, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I love the simplicity of this cake! Bourbon and butter are such fabulous ingredients that they don’t need to sit on the sideline – I imagine they turn this cake into something quite incredible.

    Reply

  14. Erin | The Law Student's Wife on April 30, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Rum cake totally makes me think of my grandma too! (She serves hers every Christmas with peppermint ice cream). I’m a bourbon fiend (shhhh don’t tell), so I know I’d devour this!

    Reply

  15. Marcie on April 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I feel like I can taste the butter and bourbon in this cake just by looking at it — it looks so moist and scrumptious!

    Reply

  16. Peter @Feed Your Soul Too on April 30, 2014 at 11:45 am

    The cake looks really moist. Love adding bourbon to most anything.

    Reply

  17. Arlene on April 30, 2014 at 11:58 am

    This looks really good. I really enjoy your blog, and your recipes have been a lot of fun to make. I’ve been weighing my ingredients to ensure consistency. Is there a simple way to convert this recipe?

    Reply

  18. anisa | whisk & heels on April 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    My mouth is watering… this is an acceptable breakfast food, right?
    How do you think this would work with brown butter? Would you suggest any changes to the recipe to ensure that the crumb bakes up the way yours did?

    xo
    a

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 30th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      It is absolutely an acceptable breakfast food :) As for the browned butter, I think it would be great! I’m not sure that you’d need to make any changes.

      Reply

  19. McKenzie on April 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing some Derby themed recipes this week; this Louisville girl is loving it!

    Reply

  20. Allison from Baking: A Love Story on April 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to try this. And, I love your recipe format, too. Smart!

    Reply

  21. Shikha @ Shikha la mode on April 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I love alcohol in desserts any day!

    Reply

  22. Michelle @ Hummingbird High on April 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    MICHELLE! Your cake looks amazing!!! Thanks for the shout-out, and I’m glad you liked it!

    Reply

  23. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog on April 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    This is such a beautiful cake, and perfect for Derby season, love it!

    Reply

  24. cassie on April 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I have the Vintage Cakes book (and I love it!!), so I have made this bourbon cake and it is soooo good!

    Reply

  25. Jamie on April 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    That looks so YUMMY!! Just looking at it makes my mouth water!!

    Reply

  26. Lynne Laino on April 30, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Perfectly gorgeous cake! I will definitely be making this!

    Reply

  27. Emily on April 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I’m a rum cake fiend and can’t wait to try this! Your pictures are so incredible — Thanks!

    Reply

  28. Lora Anne M on April 30, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! My son has a nut allergy so I won’t be able to make my standard Kentucky derby pie this year for Derby. This cake will be a perfect substitute!! I can’t wait to try it.

    Reply

  29. Tieghan Gerard on May 1, 2014 at 12:00 am

    SO GOOD!! Butter and Bourbon? Best combo!

    Reply

  30. Ala on May 1, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Awesome! Did I mention that I made the rum cake from your site a while ago? Absolutely wonderful! I have complete faith this one will be as well. Cheers, Michelle!

    Reply

  31. Luanna Stewart on May 1, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Hi there, just wanted to tell you I made this yesterday, and am in love! Who needs icing on a cake? And I’m usually the one who doubles the icing recipe so there’s “enough”, hehe. I already had part of a bottle of whisky in the house (from my fruitcake in November) so i used that. The cake is extremely buttery, in a good way, and moist. The glaze soaked in to create luscious pockets of bliss. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Reply

  32. MB @ Bourbon and Brown Sugar on May 1, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Wow… What an amazing cake in every way. Pinned to make as soon as possible!

    Reply

  33. Kiki C on May 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Wow, you were reading my mind by posting this cake recipe today. We have family coming for the weekend and plan a big Derby party on our porch complete with juleps, and Kentucky tasty treats. Really wanted to make a cake for the occasion instead of the usual Derby pie, so I baked this today and have it stashed in an airtight container to surprise guests tomorrow night. I “might have” tripped when pouring in the glaze bourbon (ha) but I figured it would soak in nicely overnight. Had enough batter to make a few mini muffins for a test preview and i pronounce this cake delish. Thanks and hope your horse wins!

    Reply

  34. Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) on May 2, 2014 at 12:16 am

    My goodness! “bourbon, butter, cake” is just music to my ears. The crumb looks so moist and tender.

    Reply

  35. Karl on May 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Okay, I have a stupid guy question. What’s the difference between cake flour and regular ‘ol white flour? We only have “regular” flour, so can we just use that?

    Reply

  36. Harini on May 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Oh my this cake is so inviting.Pound cakes are my favorite and love the texture and crumb of this cake,first time here and I amazed I should say.Stop by at my space when you find a moment :)

    Reply

  37. Heather on May 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Butter plus bourbon? Um, yes please!

    Reply

  38. Adrienne J on May 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I am going to attempt this for Mother’s Day. They want my bourbon pecan pie…but I think they will like this too. Thinking about doing something with pecans on top of the cake too…maybe a drizzle…IDK…thinking. Any suggestions?

    Reply

  39. Laura Dembowski on May 10, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I’ve never had rum cake or bourbon cake. I need to give them both a try. The glaze on this looks fantastic!

    Reply

  40. An on May 20, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Made this cake this weekend its really very good and gone!

    Reply

  41. Letitia on May 20, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Yummy and sophisticated. Had it at a dinner party last night. I am not a baker and bought a Bundt pan just to make this. To accompany it, I whipped up some cream with a nice helping of confectioners’ sugar and a shot of bourbon, which I added after the cream got stiff. Served slices of cake with the cream and about three raspberries next to it. It made a beautiful, very genteel dessert that was never the less worthy of a face plant. Phenomenal.

    Reply

  42. Erin on June 2, 2014 at 11:15 am

    This looks so good and just what I was looking for for a cookout this weekend. DO you think this cake could be made into cupcakes? I wanted to do a Strawberry filling with whipped cream.

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 3rd, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Erin, I think that would work. Be sure to reduce the baking time for the cupcakes.

      Reply

  43. CeeCee on July 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I made this yesterday, OMG OMG OMG, So delicious and easy to make. I am so happy I came across your site. I also made your Funfetti Cupcakes, another winner. Thank you for the awesome recipes, I look forward to making more of your recipes.

    Reply

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