Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake
I first made this Kentucky bourbon butter cake back in 2012. Even then, I knew I’d found a keeper! This recipe makes an incredibly buttery and moist buttermilk bundt cake, all drenched in a boozy, sugary, bourbon whiskey glaze. Every bite of this Kentucky bourbon butter cake melts in your mouth, thanks to the cake’s light, fluffy, and open crumb. Since then, I’ve made this cake at least once a year. It’s perfect for grown-up dinner parties and special occasions like New Year’s Eve (fun fact: I made this cake for New Year’s Eve 2015!).
What does Kentucky bourbon butter cake taste like?
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake has Kentucky bourbon in both the cake batter AND the glaze. So if you’re a bourbon lover, this cake is for you—its primary flavors are bourbon, butter, and sugar. There’s also a slight tangy flavor from the buttermilk in the bundt cake, too. Honestly, it tastes like what I imagine butterbeer from the Harry Potter books to taste like (anybody else a Harry Potter fan?). But less beer flavor, and more bourbon? LOL.
Is this Kentucky bourbon butter cake kid-friendly and/or can I serve it to folks who don’t drink alcohol?
No, please don’t. This Kentucky bourbon butter cake uses a total of ½ cup of Kentucky bourbon in the cake batter and its glaze. A ½ cup of bourbon whiskey is equivalent to about 4 shots of alcohol. So truthfully, a slice of this Kentucky bourbon butter cake probably won’t contain that much alcohol. But still… err on the side of caution. It’s called a Kentucky bourbon butter cake for a reason, lol.
Why You Should Make This Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Recipe
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe is a modern update on a vintage, prize-winning recipe.
I first found this recipe in a cookbook by Julie Richardson, a local Portland baker and owner of the very delicious bakery, Baker and Spice. Back in 2012, Julie wrote Vintage Cakes, a cookbook dedicated to updating old-fashioned recipes for modern tastes. One of the recipes in Vintages Cakes was for this Kentucky bourbon butter cake. Julie writes that this recipe dates back to the 1960s. It was recorded as the prize-winning entry in the 1963 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in Platte City, Missouri.
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake is unapologetically for grown-ups.
I already mentioned above that, because of the cake’s alcohol content, it’s not suitable for kids and those who abstain from alcohol. And honestly, I love how unapologetically boozy it is! Its primary flavor profile is that of bourbon whiskey. Furthermore, it’s also a great cake for folks who think that traditional, frosted cakes are too sweet. Despite its sugar glaze, this cake is perfectly balanced and isn’t overly-sweet.
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe uses ingredients that are easily substitutable with others.
To make this cake, there are a handful of ingredients—like cake flour, buttermilk, and even Kentucky bourbon—that you likely won’t have in your pantry (unless you’re a frequent baker). But don’t worry! These ingredients are easily substitutable with what you might already have at home. Yes… even the whiskey. Because if you don’t have Kentucky bourbon at home (or, if you’re simply not a fan), you can easily replace it with the alcohol of your choice instead. Be sure to check out the Ingredients section of this blog post below for more information.
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake stores well.
This cake stays fresh for several days after baking, thanks to its bourbon butter glaze. The glaze soaks through the cake, ensuring that it stays moist. In fact, its bourbon flavors intensify with time, making the cake more flavorful and delicious.
Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Ingredients and Substitutions
Now that I’ve convinced you to make this Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe, here’s your shopping list for the recipe:
Shopping List for Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Recipe
- cake flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- kosher salt
- bourbon whiskey
- pure vanilla extract
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- dark OR light brown sugar
- large eggs
And let’s talk about some of the key ingredients:
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe uses 3 cups of cake flour to make the cake.
Cake Flour versus All-Purpose Flour
In the grocery store, you’ll likely find an aisle of more flour varieties than you would have thought existed: all-purpose, bread, cake, pastry, and many more. These varieties are defined by their protein percentages. Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour. As a result, using cake flour in a cake recipe results in a cake with a softer and more tender crumb. If you need a brand recommendation, my favorite cake flour is Swans Down Cake Flour.
Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour in this Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe?
Yes! But it’s not a 1:1 volume substitution. cup of cake flour (4 ounces or 113 grams) tends to weigh less than 1 cup of all-purpose flour (4.5 ounces or 128 grams). So if you’re planning on using all-purpose flour instead, you need to swap out the cake flour with 2 ⅔ cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) all-purpose flour.
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe uses 1 cup of buttermilk to make the cake.
I don’t have buttermilk. What can I use instead?
Make your own buttermilk with whole milk. Whisk together ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) whole milk and 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice in a small liquid measuring cup. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken, then use as directed in the recipe. Although you can technically use non-fat or skim milk to make buttermilk, I don’t recommend it. These non- and low-fat versions will lead to less flavorful baked goods.
Alternatively, you can also make your own buttermilk with yogurt. I learned this neat trick from my friend Izy at Top with Cinnamon. She thins out ½ cup natural, unsweetened, and unflavored yogurt with ¼ cup water to use in place of buttermilk. She says that you can also use a thicker yogurt (like Greek yogurt), but you’ll likely need to use more water to get it to the consistency of buttermilk. Similar to my note above, use whole yogurt if possible. Non- and low-fat yogurts will result in less flavorful baked goods.
Can I use powdered buttermilk?
Yes! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make 1 cup buttermilk. Use as directed in the recipe.
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe uses ¼ cup of bourbon whiskey to make the cake, and another ¼ cup bourbon whiskey to make the butter glaze.
Bourbon Whiskey versus Other Whiskeys
There are many different kinds of whiskey: bourbon, Canadian, Irish, Japanese, rye, Tennessee, and more. Different countries have different legal definitions for each one. In the United States, however, bourbon whiskey must be:
- Produced in the United States (in fact, most bourbon in the United States is produced in Kentucky)
- Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn
- Aged in new, charred oak containers
- Distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged at no more than 125 proof, and bottled at 80 proof.
All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Confusing, right? You can learn more about the different kinds of whiskey in this awesome blog post by Todd and Diane at White on Rice.
What brand of bourbon whiskey do you recommend for this Kentucky bourbon butter cake?
Honestly, just use whatever you have on hand and/or is cheapest. In the past, I recommended that you use “good” bourbon—the kind that comes in a fancy, glass bottle and that people order for drinking neat. And if you’re a whiskey connoisseur and/or snob, you’d probably prefer this cake if it was made with the good stuff. Especially the glaze! The bourbon’s flavors will be most prominent in the glaze since you don’t cook or heat it at all.
But, that being said, I believe that good recipes transcend bad ingredients. I’ve made this cake with the “fancy” bourbon” I described above. I’ve also made this cake with the kind of bourbon that comes in a plastic handle. You know, the kind that college kids binge drink at frat parties (ehem). And guess what? Even with the cheap bourbon, this cake was still VERY delicious. So you do you.
Can I use another whiskey (NOT bourbon) to make this Kentucky bourbon butter cake?
Yes! Feel free to use whatever kind of (non-bourbon) whiskey you have on hand instead. It will still be delicious, I promise.
Can I use another alcohol in this Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe?
Yes, with reservations. This recipe works best if you substitute the Kentucky bourbon whiskey with another amber- or brown-colored, grain-based, high-proof alcohol. Brandies, rums, and tequilas are probably your best bet. Beer is okay too; however, your cake will be less flavorful since beer isn’t as high-proof as the liquors I listed.
Clear alcohols like vodka and gin work, but aren’t as flavorful as the amber and brown liquors. If you’re opting for a clear liquor, I recommend something orange-flavored like Cointreau (or, opt for Grand Marnier—it’s an orange-flavored brandy, so it will be more flavorful).
Just note that, whatever alcohol you choose, you are substituting out the bourbon whiskey flavor of this cake and replacing it with the flavor of the alcohol you are using instead.
Help! I don’t drink alcohol, but still want to make this cake. Can I substitute the alcohol with anything non-alcoholic?
Sadly, no. Like I said above, this cake’s primary flavor profile is, well, alcohol. Can I tempt you with other non-alcoholic bundt cake recipes instead?
But if you insist, your best bet is to *maybe* replace the whiskey with non-alcoholic beer. However, I don’t recommend doing so since the non-alcoholic beer won’t be flavorful.
This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe uses ½ brown sugar to make the cake.
Light Versus Dark Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is granulated white sugar with a touch of molasses to give it its signature color and flavor. Because brown sugar contains molasses, it adds more moisture to baked goods than granulated sugar otherwise would. Brown sugar is available in two varieties: light or dark. Dark brown sugar is my personal preference; because it contains more molasses, I find it to be more flavorful. However, you can use whichever you have on hand to make this Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe!
Can I use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar in this Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe?
Technically yes, but I don’t recommend it. Why? Coconut sugar is made from the nectar produced by coconut blossoms (not actual coconuts), which is then boiled and ground to create a granular substance with a texture similar to brown sugar. Folks like to use it as a substitute for brown sugar because its natural toasted brown color and caramelized taste is similar to that of brown sugar.
But that being said, coconut sugar has the same neutral pH level as granulated white sugar. Brown sugar, on the other hand, is slightly acidic. This acidic quality allows the brown sugar to react with the baking soda in the recipe to leaven the cake and create its crumb. So if you use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar, your Kentucky bourbon butter cake might not be as light and fluffy as mine!
How to Make Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake
Here’s a quick overview on how to make this Kentucky bourbon butter cake from scratch:
First, make the Kentucky bourbon cake:
- First, prep your ingredients for the Kentucky bourbon butter cake. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
Luckily, prepping the ingredients for this Kentucky bourbon butter recipe is a breeze. Simply measure out your ingredients and make sure they’re all at the right temperatures—that’s it!
- Next, make the Kentucky bourbon butter cake batter. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
Similarly, the recipe to make the Kentucky bourbon butter cake batter is fairly textbook. Cream together the butter and sugars, add the eggs, and then alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the wet ones.
- Now, prep your bundt pan with grease and fill it with the Kentucky bourbon butter cake batter. (Work Time: <5 minutes)
Most cake recipes instruct you to prep their baking pans first. However, it’s better to grease a bundt pan right before filling with batter. That’s because bundt pans require a LOT more grease than traditional cake pans. And all that grease has a tendency to slide down the sides of the pan and pool at the bottom. But by greasing the bundt pan immediately before filling it, you avoid that issue entirely!
- Finally, bake the Kentucky bourbon butter cake! (Bake Time: 50 minutes)
The Kentucky bourbon butter cake needs 50 to 55 minutes in the oven. Plan accordingly!
- Cool the Kentucky bourbon butter cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. (Cool Time: 10 minutes)
Set the timer, too! When I say 10 minutes, I *mean* 10 minutes. We need to turn out the bundt cake while the cake is still warm. If you wait until the cake has cooled completely to do so, there’s a good chance that the cake will get stuck in the bundt pan.
Meanwhile, make the Kentucky bourbon butter glaze:
- Now, make the Kentucky bourbon butter glaze. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
I like to make the glaze right after I pull the bundt out of the oven. First, melt the butter, and then whisk in the bourbon and sugar. Be careful not to overmix! You don’t want the sugar to dissolve completely. This is the secret to a good, crunchy glaze.
Finally, finishing assembling the Kentucky bourbon butter cake:
- Soak the bottom half of the Kentucky bourbon butter cake. (Work Time: <5 minutes)
After making the glaze, immediately use a wooden skewer to poke the bottom of the cake with lots of holes. Use a pastry brush to brush at least half of the glaze over and across the bottom of the cake, making sure that the glaze seeps into those holes.
- Turn out the Kentucky bourbon butter cake. (Work Time: <5 minutes)
Now comes the scary part—turning the cake out of its bundt pan! Place a serving plate or wire rack over the bottom of the bundt cake. Working quickly, flip the cake onto this serving plate so that the soaked part is now the bottom of the cake. Be careful—the pan will still be hot! Use oven mitts or a kitchen towel to hold the pan. If the cake is stuck in the pan, be sure to check out my tips below on how to get a stuck bundt cake out of its pan.
- Soak the top half of the Kentucky bourbon butter cake. (Work Time: <5 minutes)
Once you’ve turned out the cake onto its serving platter or a wire rack, use the pastry brush to finish soaking the cake. Simply brush the syrup on top of the cake. There’s no need to poke holes on top and ruin your pretty design! If the cake is still warm, the cake will absorb the syrup.
Best Bundt Cake Baking Techniques
Although most bundt cake recipes come together fairly easily, the hardest part is actually this: getting the cake out of the freakin’ pan. The more elaborate the pan (I’m looking at you, Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt pan), the worse the problem. Am I right? If you agree, check out my tips below on how to troubleshoot stuck bundt cakes:
How to Grease A Bundt Cake Pan To Prevent Sticking
First things first—greasing your pan properly will prevent your bundt cake from sticking, period.
1. Use the right kind of bundt pan.
Look for a bundt pan whose interior is coated with a non-stick surface. If you’re not confident in your bundt cake making abilities yet, stick with a bundt pan design that doesn’t have as many nooks, crannies, and sharp edges. All those sharp edges will make it harder to grease and turn out the cake. I recommend this Nordic Ware bundt pan for beginners. Side note—Nordic Ware is credited with inventing the bundt pan as we know it! You can learn more about its history in this awesome Food52 article. Very cool.
2. Use lots of cooking spray. Like, an uncomfortable amount.
To prevent a bundt cake from getting stuck in its pan, you need to use a LOT of cooking spray. And when I say a lot, I *mean* A LOT. When done prepping the pan, you are going to be uncomfortable with the amount of cooking spray in the pan.
3. Use the right kind of cooking spray, too.
And when it comes to greasing bundt cake pans, not all cooking sprays are created equal. Butter, coconut oil, and shortening based cooking sprays don’t work as well. Stick with fats that are liquid at room temperature. Think: canola oil, vegetable oil, and so on.
Some folks swear by cooking sprays like Baker’s Joy or Pam for Baking. These are cooking sprays that also have flour. However, I’ve found that these sprays leave the exterior of my bundt cakes mottled and patchy-looking. But if these flour-based sprays are what has worked for you in the past, go for it! Don’t fix what ain’t broke, lol.
Others use a homemade pan release “goop”. These goops are made with equal parts melted shortening, oil, and flour. Instead of spraying the pan with cooking spray, bakers use a pastry brush to brush the goop on. I’ve tried this method in the past, but found it didn’t work any better than my cooking sprays. I’d rather skip the extra step and effort of making pan release goop and stick with my cooking spray. But again—if this is what has worked for you in the past, stick with it!
4. Only grease the pan right before filling it with batter.
Most cake recipes instruct you to grease the baking pans in the first step of the recipe. After greasing the pans, the recipe instructs you to then make the cake batter. While this method works for almost every other cake recipe, it won’t work for a bundt cake.
A good bundt cake recipe will instruct you to grease the pan right before filling it. Why? Like I said above—you will need to grease your bundt pan with a LOT of cooking spray. So much that, if the pan sits for any more than a few seconds, all that cooking spray will slide down the pan’s sides and create big pools of oil at the bottom of the pan. Not only is this gross, but it also increases the likelihood of your cake getting stuck in the pan since all that oil is no longer coating the pan’s sides.
5. Turn out the bundt cake while it’s still warm.
Both King Arthur Flour and Nordic Ware recommend cooling the your bundt cake for only 10 minutes before turning it out. And it’s true—a warm cake is easier to turn out than one that’s cooled completely. If you want to be EXTRA cautious, cool the cake right side up (with its bottom facing upwards) for 5 minutes. Then, invert the cake and cool it upside down (with its bottom facing downwards) for another 5. However, I didn’t find that step was necessary for this Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe.
How to Get A Stuck Bundt Cake Out of The Bundt Pan
Uh-oh. You followed my tips above but still ended up with a bundt cake that’s stuck in its pan. Don’t panic! Instead, try the following tricks below to unstick the cake:
1. First, unstick the edges of the cake with a flexible offset spatula and give it a few jiggles.
Use a flexible offset spatula (one whose blade is made out of plastic or silicone, NOT metal) and run it around the edges of the pan and its center tube. Note that doing so only works for more “forgiving” bundt cake pan designs like the one I recommended for beginners. If you used a more elaborate pan with sharp edges and lots of nooks and crannies, you might accidentally ruin its design!
Nordic Ware also recommends (gently) shaking the cake in its pan side to side a few times in all directions. Doing so helps release the surface of the cake from its pan. You can also use a wooden spoon to tap the top and sides of the inverted cake to help release it.
2. Steam the cake.
Both King Arthur Flour and The Kitchn recommend “steaming” the stuck cake out of its pan. In theory, the steam helps release and loosen the cake. King Arthur Flour recommends filling your kitchen sink up with very warm and steaming water and setting the cake in it for 15 minutes. The Kitchn, on the other hand, recommends placing a damp, steaming hot towel on top of the pan. I can only personally vouch for King Arthur Flour’s method (it’s the only one I’ve tried). Frankly, I’m too worried that The Kitchn‘s recommended way would make my cake soggy!
3. Freeze the cake.
If the steaming trick didn’t work, don’t worry—I still have one more trick up my sleeve. Wait until the bundt cake has cooled completely to room temperature. Then, freeze the cake uncovered for 1 to 2 hours, then try to invert it again. In theory, freezing the cake will help release the cake from its greased sides and prevent you from damaging its design when you try and invert it. However, don’t try this trick if you used butter, coconut oil, or shortening (which I recommended against, remember?) to grease your pan. Freezing solidifies those fats and will cause the cake to stick in the pan even more!
Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ
FAQ: Tools to Make A Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake
What type of bundt pan did you use to bake this Kentucky bourbon butter cake?
I used this beautiful Nordic Ware Brilliance Bundt pan (which I’ve also used to make this black and white pound cake). In the past, I’ve also made this bundt cake in this Nordic Ware ProForm Bundt pan and this Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt pan. I was able to turn out the bundt cake without any issues in all three pans.
That being said, there was one bundt pan that gave me a whale of a time: this Nordic Ware Elegant Party Bundt pan. I made this exact recipe four times in the pan and IT. WOULD. NOT. RELEASE. Even despite following all my tips and techniques above! I really don’t know why. I suspect that the pan is too small, even despite its claims of being a 10-cup capacity pan. So if you own that pan and bake this recipe in it, please let me know if it works for you in the comments!
Can I bake this Kentucky bourbon butter cake in a 12-cup capacity bundt pan instead?
Yes! You can bake this Kentucky bourbon butter cake in a 12-cup capacity bundt pan. However, let me warn you now—according to this King Arthur Flour blog post, small bundt cakes baked in large pans have a tendency to stick to the pan more. Be sure to check out my tips above and in the next section on how to unstick a stuck bundt cake.
I don’t have a bundt pan. Can I bake this Kentucky bourbon butter cake in another kind of cake pan?
Yes, with reservations. In a pinch, a 9- or 10-inch tube pan (like the one you need for angel food cake recipes) works. Just note that these tube pans are designed to carry around 12 to 16 cups worth of batter. Like I said above, small bundt cakes baked in large pans have a tendency to get stuck in the pan more—so watch out!
I’ve also seen old articles where Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray “fake” a bundt pan. They place a tall, greased glass jar in the center of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan and pour the batter around the jar. However, because I haven’t tried this method myself, I can’t guarantee the results. So please report back in the comments if you do!
FAQ: Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Recipe Troubleshooting
Help! My Kentucky bourbon butter cake got stuck in the pan. What did I do wrong?
Okay, first things first: did you check out my tips above on how to grease your pan? If not, scroll up, give it a quick skim, and come back so we can chat about it.
Now that you’ve read my tips, did you use a cooking spray that was butter, coconut oil, or shortening-based? I wrote above that those cooking sprays don’t work as well as cooking sprays made out of liquid oils like canola or vegetable.
Second, let’s talk about your bundt pan. I also discussed the importance of using a nonstick bundt pan up top. But nonstick pans with scratched up surfaces don’t work as well as newer ones with smooth surfaces. Furthermore, if you don’t clean and maintain your nonstick pans properly, they have a tendency to accumulate grime and residue that can act like glue. Gross, right?
So the next time you make a bundt cake, test your bundt pan for grime. What does that mean? Run your fingers through all its nooks and crannies. If your pan is perfectly clean, your fingers should have no whatsoever. If they come off feeling (even just a little bit) greasy, wash your pan (preferably with a liquid grease dissolver like Dawn Dish Power Dissolver) and dry it thoroughly before using it in a bundt cake recipe.
Finally, bundt pan size matters. This Kentucky bourbon butter cake recipe makes about 10-cups of batter, perfect for a 10-cup capacity bundt pan. Baking the cake in a bundt pan with a smaller OR larger capacity will make it more likely for the cake to get stuck in its pan.
Help! My Kentucky bourbon butter cake is stuck in the pan. What can I do to get it out?
Uh-oh! Don’t panic. Instead, scroll up top to the section titled “How to Get A Stuck Bundt Cake Out of The Bundt Pan”. Alternatively, do a page search for that phrase. I provide three tips on how to unstick stuck bundt pans!
FAQ: Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Storage
How to Store Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake
Store the Kentucky bourbon butter cake, under a cake dome or a large bowl turned upside down, for up to 3 days at room temperature. After that, tightly wrap any leftover slices in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 more days.
Can I make the Kentucky bourbon butter cake and glaze it later once it’s cooled?
Sadly, I don’t recommend doing so. The cake has a hard time absorbing the glaze fully once it has cooled to room temperature. Follow the recipe’s instructions for glazing the cake while it’s still warm—it will help keep the cake moist and flavorful for days, I promise!
Can you freeze Kentucky bourbon butter cake?
Yes, with reservations. You can freeze the Kentucky bourbon butter cake after it’s been baked and assembled. Tightly wrap the entire cake (or any leftover slices) in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature before serving.
However, I don’t recommend freezing and serving the Kentucky bourbon butter cake. One of the best things about this cake is the texture of its bourbon butter soak. The soak gives the cake a wonderfully subtle crunch. It’s similar to the craggy, textured glaze you’d find on the outside edges of an old-fashioned donut. Unfortunately, the cake has a tendency to absorb the glaze the longer it sits, and after it’s been frozen and thawed. It’ll still taste good, but it won’t have that magic.
Best Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Recipe Tips
Best Bundt Pan Prep Tip
- Throughout the blog post, I’ve talked about the importance of spraying your bundt pan with the right type and amount of cooking spray. Because you’ll need to use a *generous* amount of cooking spray to prep the pan, it gets messy FAST. If you have a dishwasher, I recommend spraying the bundt pan over the inside of the open dishwasher door. Any excess and/or residual spray will be caught by the open door and washed away the next time you run the dishwasher!
Best Bourbon Butter Glaze Tips
- The bourbon butter glaze can be prepped in two ways. In this recipe, I instruct you to leave most of the sugar in the glaze unmelted. Doing so gives the cake a slightly crunchy, crystallized texture. However, if you prefer a more traditional cake texture, no worries! Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until both the butter and sugar are completely melted.
- In the recipe below, I instruct you to cool the bundt cake in its pan for 10 minutes. I also instruct you to make the bourbon butter glaze during this cooling period. It should take around 5 minutes to make the bourbon butter glaze. After you’ve made the glaze, immediately brush half of it over and across the bottom of the bundt cake. Doing so should take another 5 minutes. Once the timer rings, flip the cake as instructed!
Video Tutorial for Kentucky Bourbon Bundt Cake Recipe
Use the video player below to watch my Instagram Story tutorial on how to make this Kentucky bourbon bundt cake recipe! The arrows to the left and right of the frame allow you to skip through the different recipe steps. You can also hit the “pause” or “enlarge” buttons on the upper right hand side of the frame to pause or enlarge the frames accordingly.
Alternatively, head to my Instagram profile to watch these Stories on mobile! The circles underneath my bio indicate saved Instagram Story highlights depicting various recipes. Clicking on one of the circles will play the videos you see above. You may need to scroll right to find this Kentucky bourbon bundt cake recipe.
More Bundt Cake Recipes on Hummingbird High
- Banana Bundt Cake with Salted Dulce De Leche
- Clementine and Almond Syrup Bundt Cake
- Lemon, Black Tea, and Vanilla Bundt
- Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
- Pumpkin Tonka Bundt Cake
- Toasted Sesame and Sweetened Condensed Milk Bundt Cake
More Boozy Recipes on Hummingbird High
- Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies
- Boozy Yellow Birthday Cake
- Bourbon Butter Pound Cake
- Caramel Rum Banana Bread
- Hot Buttered Rum Pound Cake
Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake Recipe
- 1 (10-cup capacity) bundt pan
- cooking spray
For the Kentucky Bourbon Buttermilk Bundt Cake:
- 3 cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (2 ounces or 57 grams) bourbon whiskey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (10.5 ounces or 298 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup tightly packed (3.75 ounces or 106 grams) dark OR light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Bourbon Butter Glaze:
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (2 ounces or 57 grams) bourbon whiskey
- ¾ cup (5.25 ounces or 149 grams) granulated sugar
For the Kentucky Bourbon Buttermilk Bundt Cake
- First, make the bourbon buttermilk bundt cake. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, whiskey, and vanilla.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium-high until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 3 to 5 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the eggs one at a time, adding the next egg only after the previous one has been fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
- With the mixer still on low, add the the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the wet ingredients in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined, then scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, then beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
- Prep and fill your bundt pan. Generously spray a 10-cup capacity bundt pan with cooking spray. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Set the filled bundt pan on the sheet pan.
- Bake the cake. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the bourbon butter glaze. Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until the butter is melted. Whisk in the whiskey until combined. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until just combined—at this point, the glaze will seem thick and sugary, but that's totally okay, I promise!
- Assemble the Kentucky bourbon butter cake. Use a wooden skewer to poke holes all over the bottom of the bundt cake. Use a pastry brush to brush half of the bourbon butter glaze on the cake, making sure that the glaze seeps through the holes. Place a serving plate or second wire rack over the bundt cake and flip the cake so that the glazed part is now the bottom part of the cake. Turn the cake out of the pan and brush the top of the cake with the remaining glaze.
- Serve and store. Serve the cake warm, or at room temperature. The assembled Kentucky bourbon butter cake can be stored at room temperature, under a cake dome or a large bowl turned upside down, for up to 3 days. Press a sheet of plastic wrap against any cut surfaces to prevent the cake from drying out.
This post was last updated 9/4/2020.
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NO TIME TO BAKE?!
Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.