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Blue-Ribbon Butter Cake

I found this buttercake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 55-70 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges and center tube of pan. Invert cake onto a wire rack over waxed paper.
  • For sauce, combine the sugar, butter and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in extracts.
  • Poke holes in the top of the warm cake; spoon 1/4 cup sauce over cake. Let stand until sauce is absorbed. Repeat twice. Poke holes into sides of cake; brush remaining sauce over sides. Cool completely.

Blue-Ribbon Butter Cake Tips

Are butter cake and pound cake the same?

While both cakes are known for being deliciously buttery and rich with a fine, moist crumb, there is a difference between the two. Butter cakes (also referred to as creamed cakes) have a lighter texture and greater volume than pound cakes. Pound cakes (named because they originally contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour) tend to be denser. Learn how to make old-fashioned pound cake by following this step-by-step guide.

What ingredient makes cake moist?

In this recipe, buttermilk is the key ingredient to keeping this cake nice and moist. Buttermilk is a somewhat magical ingredient in cakes, sparking an acidic reaction with the baking soda and countering the development of gluten in the flour. This produces a tender and moist cake. No cake mistakes being made here! Be sure to use a long serrated knife to slice each piece to avoid squishing or tearing this delicate cake.

What butter is best for cakes?

Unsalted butter is traditionally recommended for baking, as it allows you to control how much salt goes into your baked goods. It also has a light, fresh and smooth flavor that is the perfect template upon which to build your cake. If you do use salted butter, simply adjust the salt in your recipe accordingly, keeping in mind that most butter brands add about ¼ teaspoon salt per ½ cup butter. Read this butter guide to understand the differences of each type.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 410 calories, 19g fat (11g saturated fat), 100mg cholesterol, 344mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.


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  • Colly
    Jan 11, 2021

    This is the recipe my Mom called "1-2-3-4 cake", because it has 1-c. butter, 2-c. sugar, 3-c. flour & 4 eggs. I've been making this for over 60 yrs. We love it without the butter sauce on top. It's always so moist.

  • Clare
    Jan 1, 2021

    The flavor was delicious, but this cake was extremely dry! I went by the recipe exactly and cooked only 55 minutes. The cake just falls apart like dust. I went over the ingredients again thinking I failed to follow recipe, but I followed exactly. I will go back to my 30 yr. old go to recipe which is deliciously moist. Just thought I would try something different.

  • Christine
    Sep 15, 2020

    Great recipe..licking our fingers. Will make again. Only thing, make sure you Put the cake on the cake plate you will be using before poking and putting syrup over. Otherwise you will not be able to put it onto the cake plate. Too moist to mice.

  • Eleanor
    Sep 14, 2020

    This cake was so moist and not heavy. This is my go to cake. It was also simple to make. It turned out perfectly.

  • Arundhati
    Jul 23, 2020

    The recipe is very easy and tastes delicious. It had been a long time since my sponge turbed out this fluffy and soft. I did not have any buttermilk but it is quite easy to make, added a tablespoon of vinegar to just under a cup of milk and stirred it nicely before starting the cake. The vinegar helped in make it light and moist so you definetely should you the buttermilk instead of plain milk. You can also use lemon juice instead.

  • Yasmine
    Jul 10, 2020

    I just baked it and it turned out amazing! Fluffy, moist, poofy, I got alot of compliments over it. I adjusted the ingredients to my 12 inch round pan and made my own buttermilk (actually half milk, half heavy cream), still delicious, thank you!

  • Rosa
    Jun 26, 2020

    I forgot to but the bunt cake pan today. Ah well, I made it regardless but in a regular cake pan instead of a bunt cake pan. Since I'm only one person I cut down on the flour and eggs plus the cake isn't baking in a bunt cake pan. Anyway, so far so good. Not really. I burnt the bottom of the cake and it came out crumbly. The glaze came out okay. I'm treating this as any other cake. I'll do it again another time. At least I know what I'm in for. A not so sweet cake.

  • Brinda
    Jun 23, 2020

    No comment left

  • Lynn
    Jun 21, 2020

    My quarantine DIY. This cake is simple and delicious! This was my first scratch cake and it turned out great. Wanted a cake while working from home and ran across this recipe. I’ve made two more since the first try, one for my sister’s family and even made my buttermilk on the first one! Each one turned out great and I’m about to make a another one??

  • Kimberly
    May 26, 2020

    Also note do not ise 80 grams of bitter you are safer using 2 tbsp of butter 80 geams is about 1/4 cip of butter which may give a a slighrlfy flat and burnt, gunmy and textureless cake