much like paula deen, i love butter. unlike paula deen, however, i am not from the south and have no old family recipes that keep cardiologists in business. so i have to turn elsewhere.
my mom started making kentucky butter cake years ago, and i have rediscovered the recipe recently. it's so easy and universally appealing, i have made it for four different events already this year. it can be served with whipped cream and fruit, but really it's quite stellar all on its own.
so, here it is, courtesy of nell lewis of platte city, missouri, winner of the 1963 pillsbury bake-off: kentucky butter cake.
3 cups all-purpose flour (i use king arthur organic)
2 cups sugar (domino!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (you can substitute milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, but i always buy the buttermilk)
1 cup butter, softened (unsalted, of course)
2 tsp vanilla or rum extract (i use vanilla)
4 eggs (i've noticed since i started using cage-free organic "expensive" eggs, they have a much more vibrant color than regular)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
1-2 tsp vanilla or rum extract (again, i use vanilla. and the 2 tsp)
heat oven to 325. generously grease and lightly flour 12-cup bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan (and fingers). in large bowl, combine all cake ingredients; blend at low speed until moistened (inevitably, flour goes flying out of my kitchen-aid). beat 3 minutes at medium speed (the batter starts to get kind of light). pour batter into greased and floured pan.
while cake bakes, lick batter off paddle and bowl. does a lady ever reach a certain age when she should no longer lick the bowl? i submit, she does not.
in a small saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter melts. do not boil. using long-tined fork (i use the grill utensil), pierce cake 10 to 12 times. (ok, since this is literally the most delectable part of the cake to eat, i pierce it many, many times to ensure maximum penetration) slowly pour hot sauce over warm cake. let stand 5-10 minutes or until sauce is absorbed. invert cake onto serving plate. just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar (meh, i never do that)
maybe this is on its way to becoming an old family recipe.