The Kentucky Butter Cake recipe comes from my podcast guest Cheryl, the blogger behind Bakes by Brown Sugar - and also a contestant on The Great American Bakeoff. She said, "When Mom started making this cake, we knew not to go far." All her siblings, nieces, and nephews would gather around waiting for the first bite of this cake.
What were all of Cheryl's siblings, nieces, and nephews waiting for? It's that crust!! It's worth burning your fingers for one bite of that delicate, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth syrup-soaked edges. Fortunately, this cake is made in a bundt pant to maximize the edges.
**P.S. Do NOT use this image as a visual for the correct glaze. It's too thick in this image!
Once you're a couple bites in, you'll pass the crusty edges and find a light, rich cake with a hint of rum and vanilla flavor.
A cake this good would be worth a lot of effort! But instead, the recipe couldn't be easier. It's as simple as dumping everything into one bowl and mixing for 3 minutes. That's it! Just don't forget to warm the eggs and butter first, of course.
And last but not least, the cake's a beauty, decorated or undecorated. IF - and that's a big if - you can keep fingers away until it's fully cooled, you'll have a delicious, impressive-looking cake with minimal effort, and next to no cleanup.
Kentucky Butter Cake
What is Kentucky Butter Cake made of?
A Kentucky Butter cake is the simplest cake you can find - just eggs, butter, flour, sugar, baking soda, and buttermilk. There are two things that make it magical, however - first, the buttermilk gives the cake itself such a tender texture. Second (and most important) is the butter sugar syrup that clings to every edge of the cake, creating a crumbly, dense, melt-in-your mouth texture.
How do you store Kentucky Butter Cake?
First of all, if you make this cake on a whim, I guarantee you'll have nothing left to store! However, if you are making this for an event, you'll surely want to put it far out of sight (and smell) because it is *so* tempting.
The important thing to remember when storing a butter cake is that it will dry out in the fridge, so you'll want to keep it at room temperature or frozen.
Either way, if you're storing it for more than a few hours, wrap it tightly in saran wrap. (Make sure it is definitely cooled down first, as you want all of the syrup absorbed into the crust.) If you're storing it for just a day, keep it at room temperature.
Otherwise, freeze it. It can last for several months in a freezer. Defrost at room temperature.
What is the difference between butter cake and pound cake?
Butter cakes have leavenings - in this case, baking soda. This leavening (along with the buttermilk) produces a lighter and fluffier cake than a pound cake. Original pound cake recipes called for equal quantities of each: butter, sugar, flour, eggs. The nice thing about a butter cake is that it's still rich, just not quite as heavy as a pound cake. Also, the lighter texture allows for absorption of the delicious syrup - a necessity.
About Cheryl of
Bakes By Brown Sugar
When Cheryl, an engineer by profession and also the blogger behind Bakes by Brown Sugar, and contestant on Great American Bakeoff Season 4, contacted me, it was the stories she wrote about her mother that made me set up an interview as quickly as possible. Several years after moving to Portland, OR in the 1940’s, Cheryl’s mother was a single parent of 7 kids, a self-employed seamstress, raising Cheryl, the baby of the family, all while also helping raise her grandkids.
What Kentucky Butter Cake Means to Cheryl
Cheryl writes abou this cake, “Despite poverty, mom always cooked amazing food with the simplest tools. Her love was expressed in the food that she made and shared.”
Learn More About Cheryl
& Her Inspiring Mother
Zuza shares her memories, tips and tricks of Biszkoptowy in this episode of The Storied Recipe Podcast:
Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
How To Contact Cheryl of
Bakes By Brown Sugar