Thursday, January 6, 2011

Buttermilk Cake with Butter Sauce

Buttermilk Cake with Butter Sauce - made January 6, 2011 from Cakes to Die For by Bev Shaffer

Earlier this week I discovered my local library which was just a little less than 3 miles from me and therefore was a nice walk (about 5.5 miles roundtrip).  Although I'm quite the book lover, I haven't frequented the library as much as I should, preferring to buy books from amazon or get them from  However, as I enter into a state of preferring to minimize my "stuff", especially the books that threaten to overwhelm me because I've accumulated so many of them, borrowing from the library seemed like the way to go.  I was wandering through the stacks looking for books on my wish list when this one caught my eye, prominently displayed as it was in the New Books section.  I had Brownies to Die For by the same author and I couldn't resist thumbing through the pages for any cake recipes I wanted to try.  Needless to say, this one came home with me for the next couple of weeks.  Technically, since I don't own it, I can't count it in my baking challenge so we'll just consider this a brief detour.

I've hardly ever borrowed cookbooks from the library before and now I'm asking myself why I didn't think to do so before.  Maybe because my acquisitive nature wanted to own the book instead of only borrowing it for brief periods of time.  I should've learned better in kindergarten.  I have so many cookbooks that I'm hardly likely to ever bake through them all.  Yet I still cling to them and sometimes acquire even more.  I need to get over that because in some cases, borrowing makes more sense.  Not only does it minimize the "too much stuff" issue but it's a good way to test drive a cookbook to see if you really like it before you make the commitment of purchasing it.  And if you don't, you still can try it by borrowing it.  Food for thought.

This is the first recipe I've tried from this book and I must say, I really liked it.  If you like pound cakes and butter, this is a good cake.  What sets it apart from the usual pound cake is the butter "sauce" which actually hardens into a glaze, like the sugar glaze on a cake doughnut.  I love the texture contrast of that when you're biting into a slice of moist, soft cake.  My Bundt pan has seen better days and despite my greasing it well, the cake didn't come out of the pan intact.  I still covered it with the butter sauce and let the moistness and sweetness set in.  Yum.

ETA - just had to add, this tasted even better the next day.  Just sayin'....

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Butter sauce
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.     Heat the oven to 325F.  Grease and flour a 10” tube pan or 12-cup Bundt pan, tapping out excess flour.
2.     In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3.     In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  With mixer on low, blend in the buttermilk and vanilla.  Scrape bowl.
4.     Alternately beat in the eggs, one at a time, with the flour mixture until blended.
5.     Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 52 to 74 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6.     For the butter sauce: in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water.  Whisk over medium heat until butter melts; do not boil mixture.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 
7.     Prick warm cake in pan 12 times with a long-tined fork (a skewer would also work).  Slowly pour butter sauce over the cake.  Cool pan completely on a wire rack.
8.     When ready to serve, run a knife around the inside edge of pan and remove the cake.  Serves 10-12.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi - I just fixed it in the recipe, it's 4 large eggs. Sorry about that!