“Happiness is knowing there’s cake in the oven.”
The amazing world of cakes is filled with wonderful creations. Some of them plain but delicious, others gorgeous looking and completely luscious. Birthday cakes, Angel Food, Red Velvet, Cheesecake, Strawberry Shortcake, Pound cakes, Foam cakes…no matter which of these varieties you choose to make, this food is sure to make you happy.
In this fun and exciting world, Kentucky butter cake stands as an example of simplicity and deliciousness, united in a perfect timeless recipe. Perfect for first-time cake bakers, and piece-of-cake for experienced cooks, this cake is almost impossible to mess up. However, there are always some tips and tricks you can learn to make it perfect!
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
So, before you get baking, let’s educate. Let’s dive in this fantastic cake world and explore. It’s a journey that is sure to end in sprinkles and glazes!
Butter Cakes Make Your Life Smell Better
As we move towards the Kentucky butter cake recipe, we begin by narrowing down the broad cake category and focus more on butter cakes. This type of cakes originated from the English pound cake and has butter as the main ingredient, with a participation of 6% to 12%, hence the name. However, some butter cake recipes make use of shortening or other types of fat, including vegetable or animal- derived shortening, or margarine, combined with sugar (30%-40% participation in a recipes), flour (about 30%), eggs (5% to 10%), and leavening agents (baking powder and baking soda).
American Butter Cake refers to the style of butter cake popular in the US. It rose in popularity with the invention of chemical leavening agents in the 1800s. This was an important milestone in the baking world because it allowed butter cakes lighter and fluffier. Nowadays, butter cakes are found in various flavors, most commonly vanilla and chocolate, but also fruity ones like lemon, lime orange, and strawberry, or even coffee. Butter cakes come with various toppings and fillings, as well as in different shapes, from cupcakes to celebration cakes, eaten on special occasions or as an after-dinner snack/dessert served with coffee or tea.
The Basics of Butter Cake
Butter cakes are well flavored but not too sweet in taste. When it comes to texture, they are dense, delicate and very moist. Most of them are flat and rectangular (with the exception of Kentucky butter cake, which is round). These velvety desserts come with a soft crumb and a voluminous texture. However, one of the biggest advantages of butter cakes is their convenience and cheapness.
The beauty in these delicate cakes is that they can be kept for several days at room temperature without losing their tenderness and richness. On the contrary, many pro cooks claim that this butter cakes are even better the next day! However, keeping them in the fridge is not recommended because they become dry and alter the flavor. In addition, refrigerating makes them unsuitable for frosting and filling. Butter cakes are good to keep in the freezer too – wrap them well and keep them there for up to two months!
Most butter cakes are baked into a cake tin lined with parchment paper, in an oven heated to 320 degrees F. This, however, doesn’t count for Kentucky butter cakes since they are baked in a Bundt pan.
Note: Shortened cakes are sometimes considered a part of the butter cake category. Cakes like banana cake, carrot cake, and red velvet cake, are ‘shortened’ with oil, which means they also contain a high ratio of fat. They often call for leavening agents and eggs as well. The main difference is the usage of the ‘one bowl method’ in the preparation of these recipes. Shortened cakes are not creamed, but mixed. In terms of cooking, they are similar to butter cakes.
Ingredients for a Perfect Kentucky Butter Cake
Rich, melt-in-the-mouth butter cakes are a combination of high-quality ingredients and baking skills.
The first commandment of baking is – your wet ingredients (fat, liquid, eggs) should be at a room temperature. When these ingredients are cold, the batter may separate, resulting in a denser and flatter cake. If they are too warm, the fat will melt and the mixture will not contain enough air bubbles.
As Julia Child said: “With enough butter, anything is good.” And in Kentucky butter cake, you can bet that there is enough butter to make it amazing!
For best results, you should always use the best butter you can find. The best type of butter to use for baked goods is unsalted butter, also known as sweet cream butter. This variety is made from milk or cream (or a combination of both) and contains 80% milk fat.
If your butter had been in the fridge, the butter must be melted. Otherwise, it will be impossible to cream and there will be butter chunks all over your cake. To speed up the process of melting, cut the butter into cubes and place it in the microwave at low heat for half a minute. Alternatively, place the butter on a dish in a pre-heated oven. Leave it there for about two minutes with the door open, until soft.
It should be noted, though, that if the butter is hot, you will probably end up with a flat instead of a fluffy butter cake. To obtain perfect temperature and consistency, it is best to let the butter stand on the counter at a room temperature (68-70 degrees F) for about an hour. If you had heated the butter, leave it on the counter to cool off a bit before creaming.
Eggs and dry ingredients
Always use fresh eggs for your butter cake recipes.
Sift the flour to obtain an airier mixture, prevent the formation of lumps, and obtain a fine crumb.
Preparing the Perfect Kentucky Butter Cake
There are so many reasons to love Kentucky butter cake. It is so easy and simple and yet so buttery and flavorful. Unlike other butter cakes, this one is baked in a Bundt pan and soaked in an amazing vanilla sauce. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, Kentucky butter cake is a unique delight indeed.
Once you have equipped yourself with the best ingredients, it is time to make the best Kentucky butter cake.
First, you need an amazing recipe.
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Vanilla butter sauce
⅓ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons water
Then, you need to arrange all the necessary kitchenware on the counter:
Scales for weighing ingredients
The creaming method includes beating the fat and sugar together in order to incorporate air bubbles. Leavening agents are added instead of beaten eggs to obtain velvety texture.
Beat the butter with sugar until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Any flavorings and add-ins should be added at this point.
Once the dry ingredients are added, take care not to over-beat the mixture. Mix well after each addition of ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula, until well incorporated.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a Bundt pan with a larger amount of butter, then dust it with flour. Pour the batter and bake for about an hour. Insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean with no batter sticking to it, the cake is done. If not, bake for 15 minutes more.
Prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted, but don’t boil. Make holes all over the butter cake with a knife and pour the glaze.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan, then turn it around onto a serving plate.
Other Types of Frostings for Your Kentucky Butter Cake
Kentucky butter cake is amazing as it is, but there’s no harm in wanting to break the routine from time to time. The easiest way to do it is by experimenting with sauces. Here are our suggestions:
– Brown butter sauce is a variation of the standard vanilla buttermilk sauce, nuttier and richer. Simply melt the butter stirring constantly until bubbly and golden, for about 5 minutes, then mix it with the rest of the ingredients.
– To make a chocolate-based sauce, melt some chocolate mixed malted milk powder, but reduce the amount of vanilla so that you balance the taste.
– Booze makes every dessert better, so why not make a rum sauce? Combine 1/3 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and 2 teaspoons rum. Note: most of the alcohol will evaporate in the process of heating the sauce, so don’t worry about serving the cake to your kids. If you are still not at ease about this, substitute with rum extract.
- If you find it difficult to remove the cake from the Bundt pan, insert a knife and run it around the pan’s edges to loosen the cake before turning the pan.
- In case the cake develops splits or cracks, just cover it with a thick icing or sift a thick layer of powdered sugar to hide the imperfections.
- If your cake is burned, take it out from the oven, let it cool completely and then remove the burned parts with a knife. Cover these areas with frosting or whipped cream. Oh, and don’t forget the sprinkles on top!