Rainbow sprinkles and coconut were perfect for my birthday, but for Toby’s birthday? I obviously needed something spiked with bourbon.
Luckily, I had just seen a recipe for bourbon cake in a cookbook a few days before, so I decided to try it. It was definitely a good call.
This recipe is super easy, and you don’t have to worry about frosting, assembling or decorating the cake once it’s baked. You just pour a buttery, sweet bourbon sauce over the hot cake to soak through it, then pour a bit more on top of the cake as a glaze.
Then, you try not to eat the entire thing at once.
It’s buttery and light, with just a hint of bourbon. It would be perfect with coffee or tea in the afternoon, or anytime you’re craving a little taste of Kentucky. I even had a slice for breakfast. Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
Since Toby’s mom was visiting (from Kentucky) for his birthday, she strung photos of him on our stairs and decorated the table with some, too. Hopefully that made up for the lack of sprinkles!
Bourbon bundt cake
Adapted from Vintage Cakes (makes 1 bundt cake, 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 sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup bourbon
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
First, put the butter, eggs and buttermilk out on the counter and allow to sit for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350F and really grease (butter or cooking spray) a bundt pan well — you want your cake to come out looking pretty!
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl, then whisk it to make sure it’s well blended.
in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together on medium until fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl and the beater with a rubber spatula.
Add the eggs to the bowl of the stand mixer one at a time, beating well after each one. Meanwhile, stir the bourbon and buttermilk together in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Add 1/3 of flour mixture to the batter, beat just until almost combined, then add 1/2 of the buttermilk/bourbon mixture and beat just until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat until almost combined and add the rest of the buttermilk/bourbon mixture. Beat until barely combined, then add the rest of the flour mixture. Beat for just a few seconds, then finish combining everything by hand, using the rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the well-greased bundt pan and spread it evenly with the spatula. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly with a finger.
When the cake is nearly done, make the glaze (below).
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
Place the butter, sugar and bourbon in a small saucepan and turn the heat to low. Whisk the mixture occasionally, keeping the heat low, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
When you take the cake out of the oven, leave it in the pan and poke holes all over it with a wooden skewer or cake tester or fork. Slowly pour about 3/4 of the glaze over the cake, but save the rest of the glaze.
Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes, then flip it over onto a serving plate (I do this by putting the plate face-side down on top of the cake pan and then holding them together as I flip both over). Brush or drizzle the rest of the glaze all over the top of the cake (you can reheat over low heat first, if it’s gotten thick and un-drizzle-able). Enjoy!