Kentucky Bourbon Pound Cake!

This is the "Kentucky Bourbon Pound Cake"!  It is a classic Kentucky recipe that has been around for years and years.   As I have said before, all good bourbon is born and raised in Kentucky...period.  

 It's one of the things we do here unlike anyplace else in the world.  We have certain things we excel at in, horses, country ham, and bourbon being a few of them. 

Right around this time of year they all sort of come together and get showcased.  We go from March Madness right on into Derby Week the first week in May.  During Derby Week, the food at various events will most always include recipes made with country ham and bourbon in some form.  

Most really good Kentucky cooks have to have bourbon for certain recipes.  Even the most strict Southern Baptist teetotaller, like my mother, has that bottle of good Kentucky bourbon tucked back out of sight in the cabinet for such occasions.  

 For some things, there just is no substitute that gives that flavor.  I really think bourbon sets Kentucky cooking apart from some other southern cooking and makes it special.  Of course, being a Kentucky girl, born and bred, I!    This cake is one that is made for Derby events and holidays traditionally. 

Here is what you will need:

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 cups sugar
8 eggs, separated
2/3 cup good Kentucky bourbon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
3 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 10 inch tube pan or Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray that contains flour.  I use Baker's Joy.  You can also butter and  flour the pan generously.

Cream the butter, oil and 2 cups of the sugar together in a large mixing bowl until it is light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time beating after each addition.

In a separate bowl, mix the bourbon, vanilla and almond extract.  Alternately add the flour and bourbon mixture to the butter mixture and blend.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1 cup of sugar until stiff but not dry.  Make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and dry or the whites won't get stiff. 

Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  This makes the cake less dense, lighter and more moist.

Sprinkle the nuts around the bottom of your prepared pan.  Pour the batter evenly over the nuts.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees an place the cake pan on a cookie sheet.   Be sure to use the cookie sheet, because if you use a tube pan and it leaks at all or the Bundt pan over flows some, the alcohol in this batter tends to catch on fire in the oven!   The cookie sheet will catch it just in case!    Bake for 1  1/2 hours.  When a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, it's done! 

Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan.

 Invert onto a cake plate and slice in thin slices to serve.

It's a beautiful thing!


  1. How much sugar does this recipe call for? All I see is 2 cups to mix with butter then an unknown amount to beat with egg whites.

    1. It calls for 3 cups sugar. 2 cups to use with butter and assume the other 1 cup would be for egg whites.


  2. I believe it calls for 3 cups of sugar 2 to be used with butter and oil and then 1 cup with the egg whites.

  3. It starts out with 3cups silly!!!!!

  4. Made this today...turned out great! recipe was easy to follow and uncomplicated, thanks!

  5. I am making this!! I have been looking for a GOOD Bourbon Pound Cake recipe, and I FOUND IT!!! Thanks!

  6. I just made this cake and the flavor is AMAZING! However should the cake cook for 1.5 hours? My cake was overly browned on the top, but fortunately not dry inside. Love the crumb texture! Thanks for the recipe! Val Johnson

    1. Yes, because you are only baking at 300 degrees and this is a very dense cake. Next time if it is browning too much, lay a piece of foil over the top and if your Bundt pan or tube pan is getting older, you might need a new one. When they age, they tend to make things brown too much. The same with cookie sheets.



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