Kentucky Bourbon Cake Recipe

Kentucky Bourbon Cake Recipe

Picture this, a cake recipe so simple, you can whip it up in no time.

A cake with basic ingredients that comes out of the oven golden and warm and then gets a bath in the most amazing, buttery bourbon glaze that soaks right in.

Imagine cutting into the most velvety cake with a truly amazing texture and just a little boozy bite for something festive and fun.  If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about Kentucky Bourbon Cake: A Boozy, Buttery Delight!

If you’re a bourbon lover looking for a new dessert to try, look no further than this Kentucky Bourbon Cake. This decadent cake is packed with flavor, thanks to the addition of rich, oaky bourbon whiskey.

To make this cake, you’ll need a few basic ingredients, including flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. But the star of the show is the buttermilk-bourbon mixture, which gives the cake its signature flavor. You’ll also need a bundt pan to create the cake’s distinctive shape.

Kentucky Bourbon Cake Recipe

Ingredients needed for Kentucky Bourbon Cake Recipe:

  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Bourbon
  • Buttermilk

Supplies needed for Kentucky Bourbon Cake Recipe:

  • Bundt pan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Small saucepan
  • Wire rack for cooling

How to make Kentucky Bourbon Cake Recipe:

To start, cream together butter and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Then, mix in the eggs one at a time on low speed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – cake flour, fine sea salt, and baking powder – before gradually adding it to the butter mixture. Next, pour in the buttermilk-bourbon mixture, which is made by combining bourbon whiskey, buttermilk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Kentucky Bourbon Cake Recipe

Once the cake batter is ready, pour it into a prepared pan and bake on low heat until the cake is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. While the cake cools, prepare the buttery bourbon glaze by melting butter in a small saucepan and adding brown sugar, bourbon whiskey, and lemon juice. Cook on medium-high speed until the sugar dissolves, then let it cool slightly.

When the cake is ready, poke holes all over the top of the cake using a wooden pick or skewer, then pour three-quarters of the glaze over the warm cake, making sure to cover all the smooth surfaces. Let the cake cool completely before flipping it onto a serving plate or cake plate. Then, brush the remaining glaze on the sides of the cake and wrap it in plastic wrap to seal in the moisture.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, slice it up and pair it with fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream, or homemade whipped cream for an extra indulgent treat. This Kentucky Bourbon Cake is a classic dessert that’s sure to become one of your new favorite cakes. So go ahead and give it a try, and let me know what you think!

How to store Kentucky Bourbon Cake:

Wrap the cake to keep it moist: Once the cake is glazed, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature. This will help the cake stay moist and flavorful for days.

I don’t have cake flour- what can I use instead?

I never have cake flour on hand but have made a good sub by removed 1 tablespoon of flour per cup and mixing in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. It works great!

What to try if I don’t have or like bourbon?

Try it with Irish whiskey! I have made it both ways and they are equally fabulous. (And Irish Whiskey Cake was a fun twist for St. Patrick’s Day!)  I think spiced rum would also be fabulous in this cake, there are lots of boozy options available to you.

Kentucky Bourbon Buttermilk Cake

Kentucky Bourbon Buttermilk Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A boozy bourbon cake with a light and tender crumb and the most to die for buttery-bourbon glaze.


  • Cake:
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) sifted cake flour*
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup bourbon*
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • Glaze:
  • 6 Tbsp. (3 ounces) salted butter*
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon


Use butter to thoroughly grease a 10 inch bundt pan, (get in all the nooks and crannies.) Preheat oven to 350F and move a shelf to the middle.

For the cake:

Stir together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (or a large bowl with a hand mixer,) cream the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as you go.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.

Combine the bourbon and buttermilk in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk-bourbon mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. With each addition, only mix until batter is mostly blended but not fully- making sure not to over-mix. After the last flour addition, finish mixing by hand.

Spoon the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly. Bake until the cake is golden and and a cake tester comes back with a few moist crumbs, 40 to 45 minutes. 

For the glaze:

Make the glaze by combining the butter, sugar, and bourbon in a small saucepan over low heat just until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, whisking to combine. 

When the cake is done, set it on a cooling rack. Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a fork. Pour three-quarters of the glaze slowly over the cake, making sure it really soaks in.

Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes, then flip it out onto a serving plate. Brush the top with the rest of the glaze. Rewarm the glaze if needed to keep it thin and brush-able


*If you don't have cake flour, you can make it like this: take 3 cups of AP flour and remove 3 tablespoons, add 3 tablespoon of cornstarch and whisk/sift it together.

*Irish whiskey, scotch, or rum would work well too!

*If you don't have salted butter, use unsalted and add a nice pinch of salt!

Recipe barely adapted from Vintage Cakes

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Kentucky Bourbon Buttermilk Cake- The Baker Chick


  1. This cake was amazing! My boyfriend had been asking for “whiskey cake” for ages, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it for him. We both agreed the key was the glaze. Don’t skimp on it, it really takes the cake over the top. His coworkers enjoyed it too!

  2. I accidentally left out the brown sugar, and it still tastes great! Next time I will reduce the white sugar by 1/4 cup and remember to add the brown.

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