Kentucky Bourbon Cake – Yowzer Y’all

Fooled y’all.  This is really a fruitcake in disguise.  Now don’t get all hinky on me and stop reading.  This is not your ordinary doorstop last-forever fruitcake.  This is more fruit and nuts than flour.  And it is solid, but it is a good solid – doused with bourbon, redolent of nutmeg, and intriguing with orange marmalade.  We bake this in two of the large size loaf pans.  Usually we fix 3 recipes of this – one for ourselves and the rest to dole out to friends who know this is worth eating and wait for this every year.  It is not a cheap cake and it is not a quickie.  It is an expensive luxury call girl of a cake – wonderful with coffee, hot tea, cold milk, or a shot of bourbon.  We’ve been making this since it first appeared in the 1970 Holiday issue of Southern Living.  Give it a try.  You may also want a designated driver if you eat too much.

Kentucky Bourbon Cake

3/4 pound butter
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 pound raisins
1 cup chopped candied pineapple
1 cup chopped candied cherries (cut in half) red and/or green
1 cup orange marmalade
2 pounds shelled pecans, chopped (I use 1 ½ #)
1 large cup bourbon
additional bourbon for dousing

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and ground nutmeg. Put fruits, marmalade, and nuts in large bowl. Add about 1 cup of the flour mixture and stir to coat fruit. Add remainder of the flour to creamed mixture alternately with the whiskey. Stir in fruits and nuts.

Grease 1 large tube pan (cut circle of brown paper and grease) or two large loaf pans and line with heavy brown paper which has been greased. Spoon batter into pans and cover with greased brown paper. Bake at 250 degrees F. until toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean (about 2 1/2 to 3 hours).
Wrap cake in cloth which has been dampened with whiskey, place in a tin container or wrap well with foil. Douse cheesecloth once a week with bourbon. Let sit until cake has ripened. A month would not be too long to let ripen.  Keep in a cool place or cold room.



32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bob Lee
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 12:12:20

    I really enjoy your blog and have been considering putting a Recipe Tab on my blog. Now I was wondering if I could put short snippets of some of your recipes with a link to your blog so followers can get the entire recipe at your site? Thanks


  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 11:26:40

    That really does look yummy. And, I love the expression yowzer ya’ll, lol. 🙂


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 19:45:06

      It really is yummy. and now, with fruitcake stuff reduced, actually rather frugal. LOL, “yowzer” is often used for beyond…wow. but the y’all makes it truly Southern.


  3. kanzensakura
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 16:26:29

    Reblogged this on kanzen sakura and commented:

    This is a reblog of a longtime family tradition. this is the first year I will be making this cake without my precious mother. This in tribute to her generous and spicy spirit.


  4. huntmode
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 17:08:59

    Kanzen, you always make me want to try your recipes! …and just below this post were others, which, of course, I had to check out and now I’m starving! Y.U.M.!


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 04, 2014 @ 17:34:47

      This cake is a labor of love and labor intensive. I have already had some emails asking me when was the cake being distributed? I usually do in loaf pans and cut into to thirds to share out. Of course, use good bourbon. It has plenty of time to ripen in a cool place while it is getting it’s daily sprinkle of bourbon, or, every other day sprinkle. Easy does it. Don’t douse.


  5. bkpyett
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 17:49:04

    Sounds very festive, and I like the way you bake it in memory of your Mother. ❤


  6. SirenaTales
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 19:48:17

    Y U M!! Thank you, as always–for the delicious recipe and writing. Anyone who uses “redolent,” one of my all-time fave words, in a piece with my new fave expression, “yowzer, y’all” is in a class all her own.

    My heart does go out to you….I lost my mother this past year, and there have been many tough moments, including the holidays. I had just been thinking tonight when I made one of my mom’s recipes for dinner that the connection made through cooking and baking loved ones’ recipes is a profound one. Peace and love to you, Kanzen


  7. joannesisco
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 19:48:28

    You had me at ‘bourbon’ 🙂


  8. macjam47
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 21:06:34

    That really does look yummy, and I for one, like fruitcake.


  9. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 22:10:38

    OMGoodness. If the cake looks like that, I want one in my front window to show off. This sound awesome. I’m going to save for that time when. Wow. ❤ ❤ ❤


  10. Bernice
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 20:24:34

    It has bourbon – must be good!!


  11. Kev
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 12:48:16

    That cake looks… amazing. 🙂


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