Kentucky Butter Cake is a simple, moist and delicious buttermilk Bundt cake brushed with a vanilla sugar glaze, creating a delicious sugar crust. Save a little glaze and pour over your slice! To. Die. For. It’s like your favorite glazed doughnut meets cake.

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I’m not sure why it is called Kentucky Butter Cake.

Could it be because it’s delicious buttermilk cake? Or perhaps it’s the luscious vanilla-sugar-glaze that gets drizzle all over and inside this cake? Either way, this is hands down my favorite cake in all the lands. Years back my friend Colleen surprised me with a mini-Bundt version Kentucky butter cake and it was quite literally, love at first bite.

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I’ve since made it a dozen or so times. It’s my go-to cake and I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t fall in love with it too.


To Make This Kentucky Butter Cake You Will Need:

  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • buttermilk
  • pure vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 325℉ or 160℃.

This is my go-to method when greasing a Bundt pan: I melt a tablespoon or so of butter and used my pastry brush to coat the inside of the 12-cup bundt pan generously. Avoid using to much to where it pools in the bottom, you do not want that.


Be sure you have butter in all the nooks and crannies before adding a heaping tablespoon of flour into the pan. Shake and tap to coat, tip out any excess and set the prepared Bundt pan off to the side.

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In a medium bowl whisk together the 3 cups of flour with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, then set off to the side.


In a bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.


Add in all the egg, buttermilk and vanilla, mix until combined, scraping the sides bottom of the bowl halfway through and also right before slowly add the dry ingredients.


Stop once the batter is just about combined. Use a rubber spatula to finish working in any last little bits of flour.

Don’t Have Buttermilk?

You can easily make your own buttermilk by combining 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar for every 1 cup whole milk or half and half.


The batter is super thick, so I like to spoon the Kentucky butter cake batter into already prepared Bundt pan. I tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter before smoothing the top with a spatula.

Bake at 325° for 50 to 60 minutes or until it is nice and golden and a cake tester comes out clean.


To Make The Glaze ‘you Will Need:

  • unsalted butter
  • sugar
  • water
  • pure vanilla extract

With 5 minutes left on the clock, make the glaze. In a small saucepan combine 1/3 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Heat over low, stirring until melted. Do NOT bring to a boil.


Once the cake is baked and is hot from the oven, use a skewer and poke holes all over.


Then spoon the glaze over the cake. The glaze will seep down into those holes and leave little pockets of deliciousness.


Let your cake cool completely or until it’s just a little warm, before you turn it out onto the cooling rack. Then reheat the second half of the glaze over low heat.

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Brush some of the remaining glaze over the entire cake until it’s nice and glossy. I usually do two coats 😉 .

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So pretty! Now its time to slice a piece…

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I like to drizzle a little (or a lot) of the leftover glaze onto still warm slices of this cake.


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Store your bundt cake in an air-tight container. My bunt pan came in one, but I went ahead and linked one from Amazon in the recipe printable. For this cake, it can be stored at room temperature for 5 days. If making a bundt cake that has an icing containing dairy, I would keep it stored in the refrigerator.


Let cool completely before tightly wrapping in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Then wrap in aluminum foil and freeze. You can also, wrap and freeze individual slices.


Remove and let thaw on your counter at room temperature.

For more cake recipes, check out my growing collection here.

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Enjoy! And if you give this Kentucky Butter Cake recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Kentucky Butter Cake l

Kentucky Butter Cake l
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Yield: 16 servings

Kentucky Butter Cake

Kentucky Butter Cake is a simple, moist and delicious buttermilk Bundt cake brushed with a vanilla sugar glaze. Once it cools it creates a delicious sugar crust. Save a little glaze and pour over your slice! It's like your favorite glazed doughnut meets cake.



  • 1 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting pan
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • Preheat your oven to 325℉ or 160℃.
  • Brush an even layer of melted butter on the inside of a 12-cup bundt pan. Add in a tablespoon of flour, turning and tapping the pan to coat. Tip any excess flour out of the pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in all of eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides half way.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl in between each addition. Mix until just combined, then use a spatula to mix in any last bit of flour.
  • Spoon the cake batter into your prepared Bundt pan.
  • Bake on the middle rack in your pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • With 5 minutes left on your timer, prepare glaze by combining the sugar, butter, water and vanilla in a small sauce pan. Heat on low until melted, stirring occasionally. Do NOT bring to a boil.
  • Once the cake is baked, poke wholes while it's still warm. Spoon about half of the glaze all over, making sure the glaze seeps into the holes.
  • Let cake cool COMPLETELY before inverting the cake onto a plate or cake stand.
  • Once removed, re-heat glaze over low heat and brush over entire cake until there is no glaze left. Save any remaining glaze to pour over slices of cake.


Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 390kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 243mg, Potassium: 70mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 35g, Vitamin A: 587IU, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 1mg