This butterscotch cake might be my dream cake! It's made with homemade butterscotch sauce and the cake is made in just 1 bowl. This is the perfect snack cake for butterscotch lovers!
This cake is based off of my Lotus Biscoff cake, a simple snack cake that packs a punch! I wanted to recreate a similar cake but this time using butterscotch that is made from scratch!
What's the difference between caramel and butterscotch? Butterscotch is made from dark brown sugar instead of white sugar, and I actually find the process of making it much easier!
Why you'll love this butterscotch cake!
- It features homemade butterscotch sauce in the cake and in the frosting, which is actually really simple to make at home.
- You only need simple pantry ingredients to make this cake.
- The cake can be made in 1 bowl so you don't need any fancy equipment.
- It takes less than 25 minutes to make the butterscotch sauce, cake and frosting! You will need to allow some time for the butterscotch to cool.
Dark Brown Sugar: using dark brown sugar instead of white sugar is what makes butterscotch different to caramel! You can use light brown sugar in a pinch.
Liquor: you can add a dark liquor, like scotch, to the sauce but this is totally optional. In this recipe I tested whisky and also a non-alcoholic liquor from Lyre's.
Flour: I have only tested this recipe with all purpose flour.
Yogurt: you can use buttermilk or sour cream if you don't have yogurt! I recommend only using full fat yogurt.
Oil: be sure to use a neutral tasting oil like canola oil or vegetable oil.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Start by making your butterscotch sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add the sugar, salt and cream and cook until the sugar has melted, stirring with a rubber spatula. Let it come to a simmer, then put a timer on for 3 minutes. Let it boil without stirring or whisking. Take it off the heat and add your liquor (if using!) and vanilla. Let it cool completely.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar and eggs together for 1 minute until small bubbles appear. Whisk in your cooled butterscotch sauce.
Step 3: Whisk in the yogurt, vanilla extract, oil and salt and whisk until the batter is smooth. Fold in the flour, baking powder and baking soda until the cake batter is completely smooth.
Step 4: Pour cake batter into an 8×8 cake pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit/175° Celsius for 35-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 5: In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the butterscotch sauce and salt and whisk on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Step 6: Spread the frosting over your cooled cake. You'll have a bit of the butterscotch sauce leftover which you can drizzle on top. Enjoy!
Baking Tips & Tricks
- Measuring – I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- Fluff and Sprinkle Flour – if you aren’t weighing your ingredients and are using a measuring cup, then use the fluff and sprinkle method to measure your flour. Go to this link here to find out how to do that. It's important to have the right amount of flour in this recipe as that will make a huge difference to your cake.
- Room Temperature – Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you start baking. This is important with the butterscotch sauce once you've finished it, you don't want to add a hot sauce to the cake batter or frosting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use a 9" round pan and bake it for the same amount of time.
I haven't tested it with store bought butterscotch but you probably could! You want it to be quite thick and not thin and drizzly.
Yup! You can make the cake layer about 2 days ahead of time. Once it has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You can also make the frosting ahead of time but you'll most likely have to rewhip it with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer to get it to be a creamy consistency again.
- 1 8x8 baking pan
- ½ stick unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dark liquor whisky, rum, scotch - this is optional!
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup butterscotch sauce
- ½ cup yogurt room temperature
- ½ cup neutral oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup butterscotch sauce
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Make Butterscotch Sauce
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the sugar, salt and heavy cream and cook until the sugar has melted, stirring with a rubber spatula.½ stick unsalted butter, ¾ cup dark brown sugar, ½ cup heavy cream, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Let it come to a simmer, then put a timer on for 3 minutes, without any stirring at all! If you stir it during this time it might become grainy.
- Take it off the heat and add your whiskey (if using!) and vanilla extract, stirring briefly to incorporate. Pour into a large jar and let it cool completely.1 tablespoon dark liquor, ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit/175°Celsius. Grease and line an 8×8 cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar with the eggs for 1 minute until you see some bubbles on the surface. Whisk in your cooled butterscotch sauce.1 cup light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, ½ cup butterscotch sauce
- Add the yogurt, oil, vanilla extract and salt and whisk once more until smooth.½ cup yogurt, ½ cup neutral oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Fold in your flour, baking powder, and baking soda and fold until smooth.1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Pour into your pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, a toothpick inserted should come out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove it and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
- In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar on low speed until well combined. Turn the speed to high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.1 stick unsalted butter, 1 ¾ cups confectioners' sugar
- Add in the salt and butterscotch spread and beat again on medium speed for 2 minutes.¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ cup butterscotch sauce