This cake is, as declared by my friends and family, probably the best thing I have ever made. It has the perfect balance of sweetness, moistness and tenderness. Its perfect, even without fancy frosting, fillings, or decorations. Its simple and sophisticated with just a dusting of powdered sugar. The recipe calls the cake Kentucky Butter Cake. I call it delicious.
It is a pretty simple cake. It has more ingredients than a pound cake but I would call the textures very similar, although the Kentucky cake is less dense but is more rich, if that makes sense. It has buttermilk in the batter, but I have also seen sour cream exchanged for a one to one ratio, although I have not tried it that way. Personally, I love what the flavor of buttermilk does to a cake as well as how tender it makes it, so if I find a buttermilk cake recipe I tend to use it. There is no discernible 'twang' of the buttermilk when all is done, so just because it smells like sour milk that's thickened in the jar, it won't be like that in the baked good. Also just a reminder, if your out of buttermilk or can't find it, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, or white vinegar, to a measuring cup and fill in with milk to get one cup. Wait 10 minutes and it will be thoroughly sour and thus can make a substitute for buttermilk. Speaking of not being able to find it, I went to 3 grocery stores and could not find it. When I went to 4th grocery store they had 3 different brands of it, go figure you know!
The glaze that gets sucked down by the cake is basically butter and sugar. When you melt the butter, make sure you keep the heat pretty low. You don't want brown butter, although brown butter cupcakes are pretty delicious. Sorry unrelated, I got side tracked. You just want a smooth melted butter and sugar mixture that melts the sugar smoothly. I suppose you could do it in the microwave but the microwave is so finicky when melting butter (at least mine is) that in this case, the stove top is much easier.
When the cake is a little bit cool, poke a bunch of holes with a skewer, fork, your finger, who cares. You will want to do this in your bundt or tube pan so you can flip it over and cover the holes. With a skewer you can get all the way to the bottom, or top I guess when your eating it, but I had no skewer so I went with a fork. The glaze leaves these little pockets of super moist, tender, buttery, sugary areas of goodness that are the best part. You might think all of the glaze won't suck in to the cake, but leave it for 30 minutes and it will pretty much be all gone. The cake is like a sponge, although its not like a sponge cake- I know a bit contradictory.
The cake is good served a little warm or chilled even. We ate it with the homemade blueberry jam I posted earlier, but a little bit of macerated berries or dulce de leche would be divine as well. This cake has such a simple flavor and texture (although it is far from boring) that it works well with anything. Try using leftovers or scraps in a trifle for a delicious picnic dessert.
Kentucky Butter Cake
Makes a one full-size tube or bundt cake
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
scant 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch bundt or tube pan with a nonstick spray. You could also butter and flour if you have a tube pan but I would not reccommend buttering and flouring for a Bundt pan.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar for 3 minutes at medium speed.
4. Add eggs, one at a time. Continue to beat for 1 minute.
5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with the flour.
6. Add vanilla or rum extract. Beat for 20 seconds.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
8. To make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, water and vanilla or rum extract. Do not boil, keep the heat on very low, just enough to melt it.
9. Poke the just out of the oven cake multiple times with a skewer, fork or finger if that's how you roll. Leave the cake in the pan. Pour all of the glaze over the entire cake, coating all holes and sides of cake
10. Let the cake cool completely, and soak up all glaze, before removing it from the pan.
11. Enjoy plain with powdered sugar or with a array of condiments like dulce de leche, chocolate sauce, macerated berries or jam.