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?!
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.
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.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted Bundt pan; set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a medium bowl. Add the salt and whisk to combine; set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.