This decadent butterscotch cake consists of 3 layers of butterscotch cake, butterscotch sauce, and a butterscotch Swiss meringue buttercream!
My baby girl turned 12 last week. I know I say this every year, but it doesn’t seem that long ago when she was born. She was tiny and fragile. And HUNGRY. Gosh, this little girl could eat. We have been thankful that she’s been a good eater since she was little.
Every week, we go out to a local restaurant and eat dinner (mama needs a rest!). We’ve taken her to all kinds of restaurants and allowed her to try several different types of cuisines. She enjoys Greek, Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Mediterranean, Laotian, BBQ, French, and other ones I can’t think of at the moment.
As the birthday girl, she gets to pick what she wants to eat for dinner. This year, she chose a fun Latin rotisserie chicken place for her celebratory meal. She also chose her birthday cake flavor – butterscotch.
I found an epic-looking butterscotch cake, which contained layers of butterscotch cake, butterscotch sauce and a Swiss meringue buttercream. Because I had a bunch of butterscotch sauce left over, I added some to the frosting.
Thoughts: The cake was good, don’t get me wrong, but it needed more butterscotch flavor. I added a layer of butterscotch sauce on top of the cake, and when we took a bite (with the top included), the flavor was there. However, any bite without that topping lacked butterscotch flavor. Because you will have extra sauce leftover from the recipe, I’d recommend putting some of it in between one (or both) of the bottom layers.
The cake itself was a little bit on the dry side, even though I soaked it in simple syrup. If you make this recipe, I’d recommend using your favorite white or yellow cake recipe and then using the sauce and frosting from below. I wasn’t a fan of the method of making this butterscotch cake and think a different cake base would have made a difference.
Regardless, both my husband and Addie loved the birthday cake and were excited to eat it again the next day!
Husband’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: 4 out of 5
- 4 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar packed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- ½ cup (120 millileters) heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 and ¼ cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 and ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 6 ounces (1 and ½ sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar packed
- 4 Tablespoons (60 millileters) butterscotch sauce from above
- 1 cup (240 millileters) sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Butterscotch Swiss meringue buttercream
- 3 large egg whites
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 8 ounces (2 sticks or 227 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons butterscotch sauce from above
- pinch salt
Make the butterscotch sauce
- In a medium sized saucepan set over medium low heat, melt the butter.
- Add the brown sugar and mix until it is well incorporated with the butter. Add the salt, and corn syrup. Keep stirring until the brown sugar melts.
- While the brown sugar is slowly melting, heat up the heavy cream in a small microwave-safe container until warm (about 30 seconds or so).
- Once the mixture on the stovetop has melted, slowly stream in the warm heavy cream and keep stirring. The mixture will thicken slightly. If you get clumps or if the sugar seizes, keep stirring - it will eventually melt again.
- After the sauce has thickened and looks pourable, take it off the stove and stir in the vanilla. Set the saucepan aside to cool slightly.
Bake the cake
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Generously grease and line three 8" round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a medium sized bowl if using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a small bowl and set aside. Clean the stand mixer bowl.
- In the bowl of a clean stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla, sour cream, and the butterscotch sauce and mix well.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined - do not over mix.
- Turn the mixer off and fold in the eggs by hand until combined. The batter will be thick and sticky.
- Transfer the batter and evenly distribute it into your prepared baking pans. I had to use an offset spatula to spread the batter out and smooth out the tops. Otherwise, it was too thick and sticky to spread with my rubber spatula.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is set (I baked mine for 20 minutes).
- Allow the cakes to cool completely while you prepare the frosting.
Make the frosting
- In the bowl of a clean stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk the eggs and sugar until it is well blended. The sugar should be dissolved and the mixture should be warm to the touch.
- Transfer the bowl to your stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer) fitted wit the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until you get stiff peaks.
- Turn the mixer down to medium speed and add the butter. Gradually turn the mixer back up to high speed and keep whipping until you achieve a smooth frosting. It might look lumpy at first - you can stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and see if the frosting is smooth.
- Add the butterscotch sauce, vanilla and salt and whisk again until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Assemble the cake
- Once the cake has cooled completely, set one layer, flat side down, on a cake stand or cake plate. If desired, you can shave off any domed parts and eat them as a snack. At this point, I brushed the top of the cake with a simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar that is melted over the stove - I used ½ cup of each and had some left over).
- Add a dollop of frosting on top and spread it evenly.
- Top with another layer of cake, shave off any domed parts, brush with simple syrup, and top with more frosting.
- Put the final cake layer, flat side down (you may want to shave off any domed parts again). Brush with simple syrup.
- Frost the top and sides of cake with a very thin layer of frosting and place it in the refrigerator to set, about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. If desired, you can drizzle the remaining caramel sauce on the top and over the sides of the cake for a fun drip effect.
- Allow the frosting and sauce to set before slicing and serving.