This cake is absolutely rich and decadent but made from very simple ingredients. The secret is the butter sauce which is poured over the cake.
I've baked this cake at least a dozen times & always get rave reviews. The cake is very moist with great flavor. It tastes even better the next day! I use Baker's Joy spray to prep Bundt (non-stick or regular) & NEVER have problems with cake breaking up when inverted. I usually cool the cake 40-45 min. at most. Sometimes butter/shortening & flour combo used to prep pans can be a problem when the cake cools completely. This "paste" is almost like a glue when it completely cools. For round cake pans, you can heat pan bottom for 5-10 seconds on stove eye (electic or gas) & it will release when the butter or shortening melts slightly. This is difficult for Bundt pans. I'm huge fan of Baker's Joy spray-it always works! Also, the chopstick idea is awesome. After the cake has cooled for 5 min, I poke 30-35 holes in the cake all the way to the bottom of the Bundt pan with the smaller, tapered end of the chopstick. Then I spoon or pour on the butter sauce (I make 1 1/2 times the sauce recipe). Adding 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon is a great variation. Also, I recommend creaming the butter & sugar for 5 min then creaming another 5 min after adding eggs/vanilla. Then I alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk. The cake rises like a charm (you can use a 12 cup Bundt pan). What a cake!!! - 14 Oct 2002 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I have been making this cake for 20+ years. It was originally in the Pillsbury Bake off contest in 1963 by Nell Lewis (I'm looking at the book now) The recipe is exact except that it gives the option of Rum Extract, and says to just combine all cake ingredients together, no doing dry ingredients first, or anything like that. Today I used 1 cup splenda and 1 cup sugar to see if taste was affected at all, and no one can tell the difference. In the past I have added almond extract to both sauce and cake, as well as peppermint and orange flavors to change it up. All yummy. It does say to use a long tined fork to pierce cake several times, I use kebab skewers and try to widen it a little. I also let it go down the sides so that there are streaks of sauce 3/4 down the cake, just take your time and do it slowly. Finally it says to let stand 5-10 minutes or until absorbed and then invert onto plate. - 25 Jan 2007 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Wonderful and easy cake. I creamed the butter and sugar first, don't like buttermilk, so added plain milk, beat in eggs one at a time, then added other dry ingredients. Sprayed a non-stick bundt pan with PAM - no sticking problems. Next time I'll poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon because the butter sauce really didn't soak into the cake much. Will double sauce so I can glaze top of cake too. Also added 1/2 tsp cinnamon to butter sauce. - 03 Mar 2003 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)