Pineapple Butter Cake with Bourbon Ginger Mint Glaze

Fresh fruit and libations combine in a spin on a Kentucky favorite

Photo: courtesy of Nokee Bucayu

This lighter cousin of the pound cake just got back to the South from a Southeast Asian vacation and is ready to impress a table of friends—all thanks to Nokee Bucayu, the executive chef at Louisville’s Wiltshire at the Speed and Wiltshire Pantry Bakery & Cafe on Main. The Filipino-born chef moved to Kentucky at a young age, allowing her to merge the two food cultures. Swirls of pineapple give a fresh, tropical taste—and a bourbon-ginger-mint glaze adds sophistication—to a typical Kentucky butter cake. 

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  • Pineapple Butter Cake with Bourbon Ginger Mint Glaze


    • ½ pineapple, room temperature

    • 1 cup butter, room temperature

    • 1 cup granulated sugar

    • 1 cup light brown sugar

    • 5 eggs, room temperature

    • 2 tsp. vanilla paste

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour

    • 1 tsp. baking powder

    • ½ tsp. baking soda

    • 1½ tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 cup buttermilk


    • 1 cup butter

    • Reserved pineapple juice

    • 1½ cup sugar

    • 1 (or 2) tbsp. bourbon

    • 2-inch ginger knob, sliced thin

    • ½ tsp. kosher salt


  1. Preheat convection oven to 325°F, low fan. Spray Bundt pan with nonstick spray.

  2. Peel the pineapple and buzz in the food processor into small chunks. Strain, reserving juice.

  3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Slowly add egg one at a time. Add vanilla paste.

  4. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients together. Add a third of the dry mixture into creamed butter, then add half the buttermilk. Repeat until all is added.

  5. In a separate bowl, take a third of the batter and fold in the pineapple bits.

  6. Place a layer of the plain batter into the Bundt pan, then the pineapple batter on top, and use a toothpick to swirl. Add the remainder of the batter on top. Bake for about 1 hour. Cool completely.

  7. While your cake is baking, combine all of the syrup ingredients in a sauce pan and let simmer on low.

  8. Once your cake is cooled, poke holes into your cake and pour half of the syrup over it. Wait another 15 minutes before turning it over onto your cake plate. Pour remaining syrup on top.