This butterscotch cake is a layered butterscotch cake made with both homemade butterscotch sauce and butterscotch chips. It is filled with butterscotch frosting and topped with a butterscotch drip.
This butterscotch cake has butterscotch in every single layer! The cake layers have butterscotch sauce, the frosting has butterscotch ganache, the filling has extra butterscotch sauce, and the cake is topped with a butterscotch drip!
This is cake is truly incredible, it combines both the taste of butterscotch sauce and the artificial butterscotch taste from the chips.
Why This Butterscotch Cake Recipe Works
- Butterscotch sauce- The sauce is velvety smooth, and really easy to make!
- Butterscotch cake layers- This a three layer cake that has the sauce in the cake batter.
- Silky smooth butterscotch frosting- The frosting is made by making a butterscotch ganache and it is added to an American buttercream.
- Butterscotch drip- The drip is butterscotch chips and heavy cream.
Ingredient Notes for Butterscotch Cake
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- For the cake and frosting: It needs to be pulled out 2 hours before baking. For the butterscotch sauce, it can be cold.
- Brown sugar- For best results, use dark brown sugar. In a pinch, you can also light brown sugar, but it has a better taste with dark brown sugar.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking.
- Buttermilk- Use full fat or reduced fat buttermilk. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Heavy cream- This can be cold.
- Butterscotch chips- If you want enough chips to decorate the top of the cake, get 2 bags.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure this is sifted to avoid a gritty frosting.
- Dairy free- You can use your favorite dairy free options for this recipe!
- Gluten free- I haven't tested this gluten free. Let me know if you do.
- Buttermilk- You can also do 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using.
- Butterscotch sauce- You can use store bought butterscotch sauce.
Step By Step Instructions- Butterscotch Cake Batter, Butterscotch Sauce, and Butterscotch Buttercream
Here is how to make and bake the butterscotch sauce, cake, drip, and frosting. You will need a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer.
STEP 1: Butterscotch sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter first. Then, add in the brown sugar, heavy cream, and salt. Mix using a whisk until combined.
Let it come to a boil and set a timer to cook for 5 minutes. During this time it is super important to not stir it at all. If you stir it even once, it will cause a grainy sauce. Then, take off the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
STEP 2: Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
STEP 3: Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar on high speed for 3 minutes. Then, add the vanilla and butterscotch sauce.
Next, add one egg at a time at medium speed.
STEP 4: Add the flour mixture and buttermilk. Alternate between these two on low speed. Then, pour batter into three 8-inch cake pans.
Bake for 20-24 minutes. Cool the cakes on a cooling rack completely.
STEP 5: Butterscotch ganache. This is super simple! Heat the heavy cream and pour over the butterscotch chips. Let it sit for 2 minutes before stirring.
If any butterscotch chunks remain, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Important: Make sure the ganache is not hot or warm when using for the frosting or the drip. Also, make this right before making frosting and decorating the cake.
STEP 6: Butterscotch frosting. First, mix the butter on high speed for 4 minutes. This will help you have a fluffy frosting. Then, add the powdered sugar on low speed.
Next, add in the vanilla, salt, and butterscotch ganache. The frosting will be super fluffy.
- Butterscotch chips: You can use the butterscotch ganache and use that instead of homemade butterscotch sauce.
Assembling The Cake Tips
- Items that will be helpful in cake decoration: turntable, icing offset spatulas, straight icing spatula, cake scrapper, cake leveler (or a bread knife), and a cake carrier.
- If you have any uneven cake layers, use a serrated knife or cake leveler to cut the top, so they are perfectly even.
- First, spread ¾ cup of frosting over the 1st cake layer. Use a piping bag to pipe the frosting around the edge of the cake. This helps to prevent the butterscotch sauce from oozing out.
- Spread ½ cup of butterscotch sauce in the middle of the cake.
- Repeat with the second layer. Place the last layer of cake with bottom of the cake facing up.
- Important: Go quickly when filling the cake, and then place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Otherwise the sauce will spill out.
- Frost the cake in a light layer of frosting. Place back in the freezer for 15 minutes to completely set. The freezer is your best friend, so the sauce won't ooze out.
- Frost the rest of the cake.
- If the butterscotch ganache has cooled too much, heat back in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until pourable.
- Pour the ganache on top of the cake, and let it pour down the sides of the cake. You can also place the ganache in a piping bag to pipe the drips down the sides of the cake as well.
Apply frosting and freeze until the frosting is completely set. Then, you can frost the rest of the cake.
Yes you can! It will make 24 cupcakes. Half the recipe for 12 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
You can use 2 9-inch cake pans, or 4 6-inch cake pans, or a 9X13-inch cake pan (half the frosting recipe for this pan).
YES! In fact that is exactly what I did for this cake. I made the cake ahead of time, once it cooled completely I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap. Then, when it was time to decorate, pull it out at least 1 hour.
- Cake pans: I use Wilton 8-inch cake pans.
- Parchment paper circles: I used 8-inch parchment paper circles for the bottom of the pan. I love to use the premade circles, so I don't have to cut it out of regular parchment paper.
- Baking spray: I use the nonstick spray that has flour in it.
- Offset spatula: I use this to easily spread the frosting or fillings.
- Cake turntable: I use this nice Ateco cast iron turntable because it is high quality and it spins seamlessly. Some other turntables are a little jerky when they turn.
- Cake scraper: I use a metal scraper to get smooth cakes.
- Piping bags: I like these 18- inch piping bags since they hold more.
- Piping tip: I love this Wilton 1M to pipe frosting.
Storing and Freezing
Store this butterscotch cake in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.
The cake taste best at room temperature.
The cake can be frozen in individual cake slices. Wrap the slices in plastic wrap and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before eating.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Other Fall Recipes To Try
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Apple Cider Muffins
- Apple Cider Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Caramel Apple Cake
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
- ½ cup Unsalted butter
- 1 cup Brown sugar dark is best
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
Brown Sugar Cake
- 1 cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup Butterscotch sauce cooled before using
- 4 Large eggs room temperature
- 3 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Buttermilk room temperature
- 1 ½ cups Butterscotch chips
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 2 cups Unsalted butter room temperature
- 5 cups Powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ cup Butterscotch ganache
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Salt
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Then, add the brown sugar, heavy cream and salt. Mix together using a rubber spatula.½ cup Unsalted butter, 1 cup Brown sugar, 1 cup Heavy cream, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Let it come to boil, do not stir it at all during this point. Let it boil for 5 minutes. If you stir it, it will become grainy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the sauce into a bowl and let it cool completely.1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
Brown Sugar Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with baking nonstick spray. Line the bottoms of the cake pans with 8-inch parchment paper circles and spray again.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.3 ½ cups All-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon Baking powder, 1 teaspoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Salt
- In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on high speed for 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla and butterscotch sauce. Mix on medium until combined. Add the eggs one a time and mix until just combined.1 cup Unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups Brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ½ cup Butterscotch sauce, 4 Large eggs
- Add ⅓rd of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk and mix on low speed. Mix until they just start combining before adding the next. Add another ⅓rd of the dry ingredients and the rest of the buttermilk. Finish with the rest of the dry ingredients.1 cup Buttermilk
- Pour the cake batter evenly into each cake pan. Bake for 24-28 minutes. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in the hot pans for 10 minutes. Transfer the cakes onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, add the heavy cream and salt and heat until it starts to bubble. Add the butterscotch chips. Turn to low heat. Mix using a rubber spatula until the chips are melted and it is creamy.1 ½ cups Butterscotch chips, ½ cup Heavy cream, ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- Pour the ganache into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Using a mixer, beat the butter on high speed for 3 minutes.5 cups Powdered sugar, 2 cups Unsalted butter
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Add in butterscotch ganache, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low until combined. Then, switch to high speed and beat until creamy.¼ cup Butterscotch ganache, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Use a serrated knife or a cake leveler to cut the domes off the cakes so they are even.
- Place the 1st cake layer down and spread ¾th cup of frosting. Pipe a border of frosting around the edge of the cake. Spread ½ cup of butterscotch sauce over the cake.
- Repeat with the second layer. Place the last layer of cake down with the bottom of the side of the cake facing up. Do this part quickly and freeze for 10 minutes
- Spread a light layer of frosting over the cake and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Frost the rest of the cake. I used a cake scrapper to decorate the cake as a semi-naked look. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- Heat the ganache back in the microwave, so it is melty. Make sure it is room temperature before applying to the cake. If it is too hot, it will drip everywhere. Place the ⅓rd of the ganache into a piping bag, and pour the drip on the edge of the cake.
- Pour the rest of the ganache on top of the cake.