Kentucky Butter Cake

Recipe by Grace Evenstad of Domaine Serene in Dayton

“My Kentucky Butter Cake recipe came to me 30 years ago from my sister-in-law, Suzie Evenstad. It is a buttery pound cake without frosting and was the perfect cake to FedEx every year to our kids, Serene and Mark, for their birthdays when they were away at college. I would package it up with candles and un-blown balloons and birthday banners with love and kisses. It travels well in a bundt pan and doesn’t get stale.” —Grace Evenstad, Domaine Serene co-owner/co-founder

3 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter (room-temperature)
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
4 eggs

1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside. 2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with electric beater. 3. Combine buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside. 4. To the butter/sugar mixture in the large bowl, add 4 eggs—one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, add the dry ingredients (flour mixture), alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (flour mixture), beating after each addition. 5. Pour into a buttered bundt pan or 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 325°F for 60 to 65 minutes. Run spatula along edge of pan. Prick cake several times with a fork, and pour sauce (recipe follows) over the cake. It will all soak in.

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum flavoring

6. In a saucepan, heat sugar, butter and water. When melted together and sugar is dissolved, add vanilla and rum flavoring.
Wine Suggestion: Domaine Serene Coeur Blanc

Domaine Serene

A passion and commitment to produce the world’s best Pinot Noir led Ken and Grace Evenstad to Oregon in 1989. They founded Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills located in the North Willamette Valley. With vines totaling 175 acres and planted exclusively to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Domaine Serene’s environmentally friendly farming practices and low crop yields produce consistently concentrated, award-winning wines. 

Domaine Serene’s current winemaker, Eleni Papadakis, earned a B.S. in enology from California State University Fresno and has broadened her understanding of Old and New World techniques by participating with winemaking teams globally. Prior to joining Domaine Serene, Papadakis worked as a winemaker in the cool climate of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, making her ideally suited for the unique challenges of producing ultra-premium wines in Oregon.

Domaine Serene’s tasting room is located at 6555 Hilltop Lane, Dayton. For hours and more information, call 503-864-4600 or visit

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