Kentucky Butter Cake

I’m not sure why it is called Kentucky Butter Cake… but the best way to describe this cake, in my opinion, is like your favorite glazed donut meets cake, but better. This is a simple cake batter with a simple glaze, so for those who aren’t huge frosting fans, like myself, this is for you!

My dear friend Colleen gave me a mini-bundt version of this cake years back, and it was love at first bite.

Here is what you will need for the cake batter: flour, sugar, eggs, butter, buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla.

Butter and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Make sure you get all those nooks and crannies!

In a medium bowl whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

Pour into a prepared Bundt pan, smooth with a spatula, and tap gently on the counter to make sure it gets settled.

Bake at 325 degrees for an hour until it is nice and golden. Mean while prepare the glaze.

Here is all you need for the glaze: sugar, water, butter and vanilla.

Combine all the ingredients and heat over low until it looks like this.


Place a cooling rack over a couple layers of paper towel, pour half the glaze into a glass. With a skewer, or tooth pick if you don’t have one, and poke holes in to the warm cake.

Pour and brush the glaze over the cake. The glaze will seep down into those holes you made… ohhhh yeah!

Let your cake cool COMPLETELY before you turn it out onto the cooling rack. Heat the second half of the glaze back up over low heat.

Brush the remainder of the glaze over the entire cake until it is nice and glossy.

Now its time to slice a piece…

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 


Kentucky Butter Cake

The best way to describe this cake, in my opinion, is like your favorite glazed donut meets cake, but better. This is a simple cake batter with a simple glaze, so for those who aren't huge frosting fans, like myself, this is for you!

Yield: about 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: about 1 hour 20 minutes


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 cup buttermilk, at room temp

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda


3/4 cup white sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla


Generously butter the bundt pan, add in a little flour and tip pan to coat. Tap the pan to remove any excess flour and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs.

Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed, scraping down the sides halfway through.

Pour cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake on the middle rack in your pre-heated oven at 325 degrees for 60 minutes.

In the last 10 minutes prepare glaze by combining the sugar, butter, water and vanilla in a small sauce pan until melted, do not bring to a boil.

Poke wholes in the warm cake with a skewer and drizzle on 1/2 of the glaze.

Let cake cool COMPLETELY before removing from Bundt pan.

Once removed, re-heat glaze over low heat and brush over entire cake until there is no glaze left.

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44 Responses to “Kentucky Butter Cake”

  1. #
    Nichole B — March 31, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I'm so excited..I'm making this for easter!

  2. #
    Mary — April 2, 2010 at 2:50 am

    What a gorgeous cake! I thought I was on a bundt cake strike, but I am going to have to make this, especially for that glaze.

  3. #
    Janet — April 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    This is definitely going on the "to do" list.

  4. #
    Nichole — April 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I made it-it was wonderful and everyone loved it!

  5. #
    Anonymous — September 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I happened upon on Tasty Kitchen and then visited your blog. You pictures are lovely and make me want to run to the kitchen and bake this yummy looking cake. 🙂

  6. #
    MamaLaf — January 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. Im making this tonight for my daughters second B-0day cake with the in-laws. I found you on tasty Kitchen and I check your blog almost everyday. I have also used a few of your recipes a few times now.
    Thanks Alot for a great Site…
    Laurie Lafrenaye

  7. #
    Wendy — May 22, 2011 at 5:46 am

    This looks delish! Can I ask what brand of bundt pan you used for this recipe? I love the shape and the way the cake turned out.

  8. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — May 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Hi Wendy! I believe it's a Nordicware!

  9. #
    Madeline — July 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I really want to try it soon! I'm wanting to pour mashed strawberries sweetened with sugar all over the top! I'm drooling while typing, haha! Thanks for the butteryness 😀

  10. #
    Debbie — February 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Simplicity at its best! This cake was absolutely DELICIOUS and everyone who tasted of its goodness LOVED IT and begged for more!!!

  11. #
    Jacqueline — April 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

    This Bundt cake and glaze recipe, is the best. I use this recipe exclusively (Bundt or layered cakes.) Great recipe! Instructions are simple and easy.

  12. #
    Brenda — December 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Can I use cake flour instead of flour, sugar,etc.

  13. #
    Brenda — December 30, 2013 at 11:18 am

    thanks for the quick response – one more question – if I do use the cake flour, do I omit the baking powder,baking soda and salt?

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 11:34 am

      Nope, cake flour is basically an aerated mixture of flour and cornstarch so everything else stays the same 🙂

  14. #
    Elizabeth — April 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    When using cake flour add two( 2) tablespoons additional cake flour per cup of all=purpose flour. The opposite is true when a recipe calls for cake flour and you want to substitute all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour use two (2) tablespoons less flour.

    When the recipe calls for:
    1 cup sifted cake flour = 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
    1 cup pastry flour = 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour plus
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 cup all-purpose flour = 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon pastry flour

  15. #
    Mony — June 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I want to make 2 dozen Boston Cream cupcakes with this recipe. Do you recommend me doubling, tripling the recipe?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 10th, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

      I’m not a hundred percent but I think it would work. It’s hard to say without ever testing it out 🙂

  16. #
    Beth Stamper — July 9, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Can’t wait to try this cake. It looks amazing!

  17. #
    Laura Tabacca — August 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    This looks wonderful and I am hoping to make it tomorrow. One question: why cool it in the pan? I have never seen that direction for a bundt cake before…

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — August 26th, 2014 @ 8:51 am

      Hi Laura! Great question! If the cake was too hot the glaze that you brush on after would just slide right off. This way it sticks to it a little better and the cake should slide out easier this way too I believe:)

  18. #
    NancyinSTL — October 16, 2014 at 12:12 am

    This looks like it could be a winner. I am seeking a recipe to replace my favorite boxed cake mix. I have vowed to never buy it again, because I am very annoyed that the amount in the box has been decreased. That caused me to adjust my recipes that used it. To me, that’s like only getting eleven eggs in a dozen. I would have preferred a simple increase in price.

  19. #
    Earlene — October 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    This is an old-time cake recipe that is so delicious! You won’t be disappointed. Wonderful with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Enjoy and come visit KY!

  20. #
    Norma — October 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Instructions missing.
    After the third paragraph it should read to add the dry ingredients to the butter mix.
    Is missing.
    Most experienced cooks won’t have a problem. I did not and the cake is great, but maybe it will be a good idea to correct it.
    Best regards!

  21. #
    Mindy — October 29, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    mmmmmm! really good!

  22. #
    Polly mcgurden — October 29, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I think this cake is delish!

  23. #
    Linda — February 27, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    The buttermilk, butter, eggs would not cream. The butter was soft the buttermilk room temp but the eggs were straight from the fridge …was this my mistake the cold eggs?

  24. #
    Linda — February 28, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I tried again….everything room temp including the eggs… is a liquid mess. What am I doing wrong?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — February 28th, 2015 @ 12:25 pm

      Hi Linda, I’m sorry to hear this recipe is giving you problems. I’m not sure what’s going on. It’s hard to say without being with you in the kitchen. But if you’re up to giving it another go, maybe try this approach: beat the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale in color, add in the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. Combine the remaining dry ingredients, then alternate adding the buttermilk and vanilla (combined) with the dry ingredients. I really hope this helps and PLEASE keep me posted!!

  25. #
    ericka davis — March 19, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Hi! This looks sooo good! My question is about the glaze..I will be making my niece’s bday cake next week. Do you think I could use the glaze like I would a simple syrup to keep my cake moist?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 20th, 2015 @ 8:36 am

      Hi Ericka! Great question! I would personally stick to a simple syrup, only because this recipe has more sugar than water and could possibly leave your cake with a crisp, sugary outer layer. If you wanted to, you could add a little vanilla to the simple syrup for more flavor. I hope this helps! 🙂

  26. #
    bookie — March 31, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    look yummy!!!!!!!!

  27. #
    bookie — March 31, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    making this for easter sunday the church will love this

  28. #
    Colleen S — May 30, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Why do so many of the recipes not have printable on them? I have a book for my favorites.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 3rd, 2015 @ 8:58 am

      I’ve double checked and the orange printer icon is on the recipe printable. Let me know if you’re still having issues with this! Thanks!

  29. #
    Jan Gathing — June 21, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I am desperately searching for the bundt cake pan used for this cake I love it and want to add. It to my collection. I have Nordic ware with no success. Any suggestions? I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  30. #
    Jan Gathing — June 21, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I have checked Nordic ware with no success.

  31. #
    Joy Absaln — July 21, 2015 at 7:32 pm
  32. #
    job — September 1, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I really want to try this in a couple days for company, but I only have an old bundt pan that cakes generally stick to and get too dark. I don’t want to buy another because I rarely use them. Could I make this in something other than a bundt pan, and, if so, what would the baking times be? Thanks in advance!

  33. #
    Gracias Merci — October 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I LOVE that you do not use any confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) in this recipe, which I think tastes bad and ruins perfectly good food. There are a few of us out there somewhere that hate powdered sugar, and my challenge to all others is, pay attention, ask yourself, does this icing taste good or terrible? If terrible, what is it causing that bad flavor. Huh? Probably the confectioner sugar. Thanks again. I look forward to trying this recipe. I found it by googling for a made from scratch melted butter cake recipe, and here you are! Merci. Gracias.

  34. #
    Tina — January 25, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Can I use buttermilk that I make from a recipe for instance, I see a recipe for regular milk and lemon juice, or do I need to use the real stuf… Thanks

  35. #
    Danielle — April 8, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I made this cake and it was a hit. I like the bunt pan that you use so I ordered it off of Nordic ware….when I received it… was a smaller version of a regular size bunt pan can you please tell me what size your bunt pan is? Thank you

  36. #
    Tiann — August 18, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Hi can I use this version for mini bundt cakes?

  37. #
    Martha — October 27, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Made this cake yesterday,it is soooo good almost gone


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