Bourbon Cake


Special Equipment:
a 10-cup+ capacity bundt pan, liberally greased with butter or sprayed with cooking oil

For the Bourbon Buttermilk Bundt Cake: (makes one 10-inch cake, enough for 10-12 servings)

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

For the Bourbon Butter Glaze: (makes about 1 cup, enough for 1 cake)

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey

For the Bourbon Buttermilk Bundt Cake:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 (F).

In a medium bow, sift together 3 cups cake flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a bowl, then whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that all ingredients are well mixed. Set aside.

In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream 1 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Turn down the mixer to its lowest speed and add 4 eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.

Whisk together 1/4 cup bourbon and 1 cup buttermilk together in a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.

With the mixer still on its lowest speed, add the flour mixture (from the first step) in three parts, alternating with the bourbon and buttermilk mixture (from the fifth step) in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to spread it out evenly. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake until the cake is golden and springs back when touched, about 40 to 45 minutes.

When the cake is ready, remove from oven and let rest on a cooling rack. Make glaze immediately.

For the Bourbon Butter Glaze:
Place 6 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking the butter, using a heatproof rubber spatula to swirl it around occasionally, until fully melted and the butter begins to brown, turn foamy and emit a nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.

Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup bourbon to the slightly cooled butter, whisking gently to combine. Only whisk until the ingredients have just evened out through the mixture — but be careful not to over mix, the mixture should still feel slightly grainy. Use immediately.

Putting It All Together:
When the cake is fresh from the oven and cooling on the wire rack, leave it in the pan and poke holes all over the exposed top (or, what will eventually be the base of the cake) with a wooden skewer.

Pour three-quarters of the prepared glaze slowly over the cake, saving the remaining glaze. Use a rubber spatula to spread the glaze around the cake top, making sure that the glaze seeps in the holes you made with the wooden skewer.

Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes, then flip it out onto a serving plate so that the glazed part is on the bottom.

Brush the top with the remaining glaze — if the glaze has thickened, rewarm it over low heat and use immediately.