Salted Caramel Kentucky Butter Cake

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Salted Caramel Kentucky Butter Cake is a rich, moist, and decadent dessert that combines the classic flavors of a butter cake with a luscious salted caramel sauce. This cake is perfect for special occasions, gatherings, or just when you want to indulge in something truly delicious. Let’s dive into this mouthwatering recipe and explore how to make it step-by-step.


For the Cake:

  • 3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk or fermented milk
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs

For the Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (for salted caramel flavor)


Step 1: Prepare the Cake Batter

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Mix the Dry Ingredients:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Cream the Butter and Sugar:
    • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the Eggs and Vanilla:
    • Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:
    • Alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Step 2: Bake the Cake

  1. Pour the Batter:
    • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, spreading it evenly.
  2. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Step 3: Prepare the Sauce

  1. Melt the Butter and Sugar:
    • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add Vanilla and Salt:
    • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and sea salt.

Step 4: Soak the Cake

  1. Poke Holes in the Cake:
    • While the cake is still warm and in the pan, use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes all over the cake.
  2. Pour the Sauce:
    • Slowly pour the prepared sauce over the cake, allowing it to seep into the holes.
  3. Cool and Invert:
    • Let the cake cool completely in the pan before inverting it onto a serving plate.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Serve the Cake:
    • Slice and serve the cake as is, or with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure the butter and eggs are at room temperature for better incorporation and a smoother batter.
  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
  • Sauce Pouring: Pour the sauce slowly to allow it to soak into the cake evenly.


Chocolate Kentucky Butter Cake

  • Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients for a chocolate version of this cake. You can also add chocolate chips to the batter for extra decadence.

Nutty Butter Cake

  • Add 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.


Q: Can I use a different type of pan? A: A bundt pan is traditional for this recipe, but you can use a 9×13 inch pan. Adjust the baking time as needed.

Q: How do I store the cake? A: Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the cake for longer storage.

Q: Can I make this cake ahead of time? A: Yes, this cake tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld. You can make it a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator.

Q: How can I make the cake more moist? A: Ensure not to overbake the cake and to pour the sauce while the cake is still warm. This helps the cake absorb the sauce better.

Q: What can I serve with this cake? A: This cake is delicious on its own but pairs wonderfully with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Kentucky Butter Cake is a rich, moist, and utterly decadent dessert that is sure to impress. With its tender crumb and luscious sauce, this cake is perfect for any occasion. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or try one of the variations, this cake is a delightful addition to your dessert repertoire. Enjoy making and sharing this indulgent treat with your family and friends!

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