This Salted Caramel Butterscotch cake is one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten! The dreamy brown butter frosting is the perfect addition to the rich butterscotch cake. The whole cake is covered with a salted caramel drizzle. You can’t deny the salted caramel and butterscotch flavors in this perfect fall inspired cake.
After taking a full 4 days off from work, I can’t say it’s been easy to come back. Ya feel me? We welcome September with open arms and I’m ready for cider donuts and pumpkin pie. This is going to be exciting month for me. I’ll let you guys in a little secret, my little corner of the internet here is getting a major facelift! I’ll be rolling out an all new design and some new user friendly elements just for you.
I have one more question for ya. We are looking for something fun and different. For the first time in 8 years, we won’t be doing out annual snowboard trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving.
We’re trying to think of something else that will be fun. We’re looking for fun food destination and a bit of a relaxing getaway for a few days. I need some help, I can’t decide. What are your favorite places to visit?
In the meantime, can we talk about this Salted Caramel Butterscotch Cake? I’ve been on a cake kick lately and I am just loving every minute of it. There’s a lot going on here. You’ve got toasted pecan, a butterscotch cake, plenty of salted caramel and one of the best frosting creations I’ve ever made. You guys, BROWN BUTTER frosting!! Where have you been all my life??
One of my coworkers told me this cake reminded him of a werther’s original candy. I’ll take that.
Now because I can’t help myself, I’ve added some bourbon to both the frosting and the cake, but you are more than welcome to leave it out. My original inspiration for this cake started with a cake I tried at the Yard bird restaurant in Las Vegas. That cake is a bit more complex (bacon fat frosting- umm yeah!).
This cake start with a cake mix, but it’s what’s inside that makes it extra special. Brown sugar, butterscotch pudding, melted butterscotch chips, buttermilk and sour cream.
There are 3 glorious layers of cake, which I made in 8-inch pans. These are the most common pans I use for baking. If you have 9-inch pans, that will work as well, but you’ll want to adjust the baking time.
For the frosting, there’s a mix of regular butter and brown butter. When I take the butter out of the fridge to soften, I brown one stick of butter and then allow it to cool. If you had piping hot butter to the frosting, you’ll melt the whole thing.
Browning butter is really easy! Use a small saucepan, and cut the butter into pieces. It will melt down, and then boil and bubble and once it’s stops boiling, it slowly starts to turn an amber color and releases a nutty aroma. The cooled brown butter is added to the frosting after a majority of the powdered sugar as been added.
Right before serving, I drizzled some salted caramel over top. I am not going to lie, caramel is MESSY. So messy I’ve contemplated never using it again. Then I see it on this cake and I think, okay, I can deal with this. I use a store bought caramel sauce but you can totally make you own. Just be prepared for all the caramel on top to run off the sides. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The frosting is definitely rich, but it is the perfect compliment to this cake. I seriously couldn’t get enough. Neither could my coworker! One of them was literally heartbroken to find out it was gone, and he occasionally asks me when I am going to make it again.
Salted Caramel Butterscotch Cake
With three layers of moist butterscotch cake and a dreamy brown butter frosting, this Salted Caramel Butterscotch Cake is decadent and rich and oh-so-good! Perfect for any fall occasion!
For the cake:
- 2 cups pecans, toasted & divided
- 1 box (15oz) white cake mix
- 1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant butterscotch pudding
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ c cup (5 oz) butterscotch chips, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (236ml) buttermilk (or milk)
- ½ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
- ¾ cup (180g) sour cream
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) bourbon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, browned
- 1 1/2 cups (339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 cups (911g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) bourbon
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup salted caramel sauce
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Once preheated, toast the pecans on a cookie sheet for 5 to 8 minutes. Cool them and them chop into smaller pieces.
- Grease two 8-inch cake pans with Crisco and dust with flour to help easily release the cake after it is baked. I also line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper to ensure they don’t stick.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix and light brown sugar and stir to combine.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butterscotch chips in 30 second increments, stirring occasionally, until the chips are melted and smooth. Set aside.
- Add to the dry ingredients: eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, sour cream bourbon and vanilla extract. Start mixing on a low speed until the ingredients start to incorporate. Then increase the speed to medium high and add the melted butterscotch chips. Mix the batter until all the ingredients are well combined. Lastly, fold in one cup of the toasted pecans into the cake batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 21-25 minutes until the cake is baked through. To test the cake for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- To brown the butter, use a small saucepan, and cut the butter into pieces. Melt the butter over medium heat and allow it to boil and bubble. Once it starts boiling, stir it frequently and it will slowly start to turn an amber color and releases a nutty aroma. Remove the butter from the heat and place in the freezer for 20-25 minutes and then stir until smooth.
- Cut the remaining butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter looks light in color. Then add in the cooled brown butter, beating until it’s incorporated.
- Add 3 cups powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter. Add 1 tablespoon of bourbon and continuing beating. Add another 3 cups of powdered sugar, the salt and the heavy cream and beat until well combined.
- Add the cup of powdered sugar, beat on low speed until incorporated then increase to high speed, beating for 1 minute.
- Cut off the domes on top of the cake layers so they’re relatively flat. Place a dollop of frosting on the bottom of the cake plate and place the bottom layer of cake on top. The frosting will help prevent the cake from sliding.
- Place about 2 cups of frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. Pipe a layer of frosting on top of the leveled cake, starting at the outside edge and working your way into the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Place another layer on top and repeat the frosting with the second layer, then place the final layer on top, inverted so the bottom of the cake is on top.
- Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between the layers and to create a rough crumb coat. Using an offset spatula, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it. Refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to harden.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and proceed to finish frosting the top and edges of the cake. To get a nice smooth edge, use your offset spatula and icing smoother to wipe away excess frosting.
- Use the remaining pecans and push into the bottom edge of the cake then drizzle with caramel sauce right before serving.