friends and loved ones · in my kitchen · more cake, please

cake #32 Kentucky butter cake with caramel pecan bourbon sauce

A few weeks ago, a good friend of ours had a birthday.  I found out what kind of cake he might like and planned to make something yummy for him.  Do you know what happened?

I made a disastrous version of the cake.  It was terrible!  It was so bad I just could not even bring myself to blog about it.

Today I redeemed myself – I made a Kentucky Butter Cake with caramel pecan bourbon sauce.   And, I think it may be a winner!  The caramel sauce alone I could eat every day for the rest of my life it tastes so delicious.

I will be honest and tell you that I’m not sure the sauce has the exact texture I wanted, so I’ll be experimenting with it more.  However, in today’s form it was anything but terrible.

I used the same Kentucky Butter Cake recipe from cookies and cups blog that I’ve used before.  It is definitely a keeper.  Look back a few posts to cake #26 for that recipe!   But, here’s the recipe for the caramel pecan bourbon sauce – I hope it works well for you – and I promise, I’ll keep you updated on any success I have with it.

Southern Pecan Caramel Sauce


  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon bourbon divided
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes until browned and fragrant. Transfer pecans to a cutting board and chop.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons bourbon. No need to stir. Have the whipping cream measured and next to the stove at the ready. Place saucepan over medium to medium high heat (depending on how hot your stove runs). Bring mixture to a rolling boil and watching the sugar mixture deepen in color. It will go from a light corn-syrup color, to light brown to amber. The change between light brown and amber is quick. Be ready for it. When it achieves a deep brown (not burnt) color, pour the cream into the center of the pan. It will steam and bubble vigorously — that’s ok. When it calms, remove it from the stove. Stir in the salt and chopped pecans. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of bourbon. Transfer to a glass storage container. You can store sauce in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


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