Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake… the cake to make this fall! A butter pound cake with the most perfect flavor and crumb is topped with a butter pecan glaze! I didn’t think this pound could get any better (it is so good without any frosting) but this glaze absolutely enhances it and takes it to the next level!
How to Make Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake
Let’s start with the pound cake itself. I used my Cream Cheese Pound Cake as the base for a couple of reasons. It has been heavily tested and perfected and it tastes amazing. Perfection. People are known to have their eyes roll up in their head when taking the first bite. It’s that good.
I can’t stress enough that this cake needs to be made with room temperature ingredients. This will ensure easier mixing and helps achieve that perfect crumb. Make sure each ingredient is incorporated before moving on to the next! Be gentle with your batter. If you want to remove it from the stand mixer right after adding the flour and mix by hand that is just fine but make sure your flour is doubled sifted and that there are no lumps.
As far as baking temperature and time, that is something you will want to keep a close eye on. If you happen to have any hot spots in your oven you may want to turn the cake halfway through baking. The crust should be golden, not burnt. This means that 325°F is the highest you should go, but the length of baking might be longer. It took me listening to my grandma talk about a “true” pound cake for me to understand that a dark golden crust was the GOAL. I had always believed that the outside should not be dark at all, but this is not the case! There is an amazing flavor is those beautiful crust edges and something that a real pound cake definitely needs.
Prepare Cake Batter
- Challenge Butter
- Challenge Cream Cheese
- Cake Flour (click for homemade version)
- Buttermilk (click for homemade version)
Prepare a large bundt pan with butter and flour or by spraying with non-stick spray. (My 10-inch bundt pan is 3 inches deep. There should be at least 1 1/2 inches between the height of the batter and the top edge of the pan.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add sugar gradually and beat until lighter and fluffier. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add in the vanilla. Add the flour all at once and mix until just combined. Add in buttermilk with mixer on low and mix until just incorporated. Remove bowl from stand mixer and scrape with a rubber spatula to get every last bit of ingredient incorporated. Pour into bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour up to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check for doneness at 1 hour. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs but no wet batter when the cake is done. The crust will be a dark golden brown around the edges and lighter in the center.
Prepare Pecan Butter Glaze
I recommend starting the glaze after the cake has baked and been removed from the oven. To make this perfect glaze you will need:
- Challenge butter
- chopped pecans
Start by melting the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium to medium-low heat. Once fully combined and all of the sugar is melted, remove it from the heat.
Using a fork, punch holes into the bottom of the cake.
Pour HALF of the glaze over the broken-up cake. Let the cake sit and cool slightly. Set the rest of the glaze (still in the saucepan) back onto the stove on the lowest heat setting.
When you are ready to serve the cake or about 30 minutes later, carefully flip it onto a serving platter.
Add the chopped pecans to the saucepan with the glaze and stir well. Pour the pecan butter glaze over the top of the cake.
Is there anything better than this cake? That beautiful butter pecan glaze soaks into the cake so beautifully!
How to Serve Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake
This cake is best served warm. The glaze will harden a bit when it is cool or room temperature and while it still tastes delicious, the texture is changed.
If you are making this cake ahead of time and freezing, do not add the pecan butter glaze to the top (only the bottom). Warm cake to room temperature before adding the pecan glaze. Another option is pouring the entire portion of pecan glaze over the top of the cake (instead of half on the bottom and half on top), it will still taste amazing, just look different.
We love how that buttery glaze soaks into the bottom of the cake. It practically melts in your mouth!
- 1 package (8-ounce) Challenge Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1¼ cups (284g) Challenge Butter, room temperature
- 3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
- 6 (10 ounces) eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups (384g) cake flour
- ¼ cups (60g) buttermilk, room temperature (can also use whole milk)
BUTTER PECAN GLAZE
- ½ cup (113g) Challenge Butter
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a large bundt pan with butter and flour or by spraying with non-stick spray. (My 10-inch bundt pan is 3 inches deep. There should be at least 1 1/2 inches between the height of the batter and the top edge of the pan.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. (Can also use a hand-held mixer.)
Add sugar gradually and beat until lighter and fluffier.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.
Add in the vanilla.
Add the flour all at once and mix until just combined.
With the mixer on low, add in buttermilk and mix until just incorporated.
Remove bowl from stand mixer and scrape with a rubber spatula to get every last bit of ingredient incorporated.
Pour into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check for doneness at 1 hour. (A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs but no wet batter when the cake is done. The crust will be a dark golden brown around the edges and lighter in the center.)
Set cake on a cooling rack (still in the pan) to cool slightly while glaze is prepared.
BUTTER PECAN GLAZE
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Stir with a rubber spatula and allow butter and sugar to melt into a smooth consistency.
Remove from heat.
Using a fork, poke the warm pound cake and break up the bottom crust. Do this all over the exposed cake. (See pictures above.)
Pour HALF of the butter pecan sauce over the broken cake. Allow to cool to room temperature. (Do not let cake get cold.)*
After about 30 minutes, carefully flip the cake onto a serving platter.
Re-heat the remaining butter glaze and add the chopped pecans. Stir well.
Pour pecan glaze over the top of the cake.
Serve immediately. (Cake is best when served slightly warm.)
*This cake is best served warm, but should not be hot when you remove it from the pan or it could break. The butter sauce needs to cool slightly before you flip the cake onto the serving platter. The final butter sauce that has the chopped pecans can be poured over the cake immediately before serving.