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Kentucky Bourbon Cake

This Kentucky bourbon cake is a unique fruit cake soaked in whiskey. You should aim to make this dessert a month in advance — if you can wait that long, which I can't! You'll need some cheesecloth for giving this cake its trademark bourbon wrap.

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch tube pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  2. Soak raisins and cherries in 2 cups of bourbon or whiskey for 48 hours. Before making cake, drain well and reserve bourbon.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, nutmeg, and baking powder. Set aside.

  4. In a small bowl, cream butter with white sugar. In a separate small bowl, cream yolks and brown sugar until very light.

  5. In a large bowl, combine two sugar mixtures and blend well.

  6. Alternately, add flour mixture and reserved bourbon in three stages, mixing well with each addition.

  7. Add soaked fruit and fold in. Add nuts and fold in.

  8. In a clean medium bowl, whip egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter until evenly distributed; pour into the prepared 10-inch tube pan.

  9. Bake cake in the bottom of the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 4 to 5 hours. Ovens vary, so it may take longer than 5 hours.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out. When almost cool, brush sides and inside hole heavily with bourbon. Wrap cake with a bourbon-soaked cheesecloth, then with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight and saturate again with bourbon. Cover with plastic wrap and then with foil and store for at least 2 weeks in a cool, dry place.


  • 2 cups bourbon

  • 8 ounces golden raisins

  • 16 ounces red candied cherries, halved

  • ¾ pound butter

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 6 egg whites

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 pound chopped pecans

  • 1 cup bourbon

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