buttercake

photo by Jennifer Johnson 

Slightly more tender than a pound cake, this cake highlights butter in the most sinfully delicious way. There’s butter inside the cake, and then it’s drizzled with an addictive butter glaze before serving.

9 ounces unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature

3 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk                       

Butter Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 ounces butter, cubed
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar, for serving, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan well with 1 ounce butter, making sure to get into crevices. Dust pan well with flour, shaking out excess. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream remaining 8 ounces butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and cream again for another 1-2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.Stir in vanilla.
  4. Add 1/3 flour mixture and stir until combined. Add 1/2 of buttermilk and stir. Add another 1/3 flour mixture, followed by remaining 1/2 of buttermilk, then finishing with remaining 1/3 flour mixture. Beat well after each addition.
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and smooth out top of batter. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make butter sauce. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and water. Cook over medium heat just until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  7. Poke holes in top of warm cake (this will actually be bottom of cake once you flip it). Spoon about 1/2 of sauce over cake. Allow to soak into cake until sauce is absorbed. Repeat again until all of sauce is used. Allow cake to cool completely.
  8. Run a knife around edges and center tube of pan. Place a serving plate over cake and carefully invert cake onto plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar (if using).

Serves 16.

cook’s note: For the glaze, you can either pour it onto the cooling cake in the pan, making the glaze form a layer on the bottom, or you can invert the cake and pour the glaze over the top (which is more traditional). It’s a personal preference, but if you are at all unsure about unmolding the cake in one piece, opt for glazing the cake after it’s unmolded to cover any parts that may have stuck.

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