From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I didn't realize how old this recipe was until I began backtracking to its source. While it appears throughout the blogosphere, most of the recipes you see are simple riffs of a cake created by Nell Lewis for the 1963 Pillsbury Bake-Off. Over time, the bourbon she used in the cake was replaced with vanilla or rum extract. If you peruse the ingredient list below, you'll see this cake uses a lot of sugar. I decided to revert to the original recipe, hoping bourbon or rum would help neutralize its sweetness. I also thought the cake needed something more than vanilla flavoring, and, as I do not like the flavor of rum extract, I decided to use the real thing. Rum extract is one of my "Princess and the Pea" triggers, and because I so dislike its flavor, I will not use it in my baking. Fortunately, I had plenty of dark rum left from my holiday baking, so I decided to use it in the cake I made for the Silver Fox and friends. This is an easy cake to make and if you have a nagging sweet tooth, you will enjoy it. I do hope you will give it a try. It would make a perfect base for macerated fruit, particularly peaches. Here is how the cake is made.
Kentucky Butter Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Nell Lewis and Pillsbury
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla or rum extract, or 1/4 cup dark rum or bourbon
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons water + 2 teaspoons vanilla or rum extract, or 1/4 cup dark rum or bourbon
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan with a nonstick spray that contains flour. Set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3) In bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar for 3 minutes at medium speed.
4) Lower mixer speed and add eggs, one at a time. Continue to beat for 1 minute.
5) Combine buttermilk with extract or bourbon/rum. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, ending with flour.
6) Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7) Meanwhile make glaze: In a small saucepan, combine sugar and butter. If using extract, combine it with water and add to pan. If using bourbon or rum, simply add to pan.butter, water and vanilla or rum extract. Heat mixture, but do not boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
8) When cake comes out of oven, prick it with a wooden skewer or fork. Pour glaze slowly over cake. Let cake cool completely before removing it from pan. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
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