Salted Caramel Butterscotch Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

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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.

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.

This Salted Caramel Butterscotch cake is a rich butterscotch cake filled with toasted pecans and covered with a brown butter frosting and salted caramel drizzle.

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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’ll also be doing some traveling these next few weeks, first up I’m heading to Ohio for some dairy-loving fun. Then I’m heading to San Francisco with a single purpose in mind: to eat. I am capping it off with a trip to Austin, Texas for the annul BlogHer Food conference. Be sure you follow along on Instagram and SnapChat @beyondfrosting for some fun adventures.

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.

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?

This Salted Caramel Butterscotch cake is a rich butterscotch cake filled with toasted pecans and covered with a brown butter frosting and salted caramel drizzle.

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.

This Salted Caramel Butterscotch cake is a rich butterscotch cake filled with toasted pecans and covered with a brown butter frosting and salted caramel drizzle.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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This Salted Caramel Butterscotch cake is a rich butterscotch cake filled with toasted pecans and covered with a brown butter frosting and salted caramel drizzle.

Butterscotch Caramel Cake

  • Author: Julianne Bayer
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 24 mins
  • Total Time: 54 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups pecans, toasted & divided
  • 1 box 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 buttermilk (or milk)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, browned
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup salted caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350° F. While the oven is preheating, toast the pecans.
  2. To toast the pecans, sprinkle them on a cookie sheet and toasted for 5 to 8 minutes until you smell the aroma of nuts.
  3. Grease and flour three 8-inch pans. Optional, line the pan with 8-inch parchment paper circles. Trace the outside edge of the pan on a piece of parchment paper and cut it and place on the bottom of the pan.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix and light brown sugar and stir to combine.
  5. 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.
  6. Add to the mixing bowl: 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, chop and fold in one cup of the toasted pecans into the cake batter.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans, spreading evenly over top. Bake at 350°F for 21-25 minutes until the cake is baked through.
  8. 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. You may need to run a knife around the edge of the cake to help release them from the pan.
  9. For the frosting: remove 4 sticks of butter of the refrigerator, one stick will be browned and the other 3 will be left to soften.
  10. 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’s stops boiling, stir it frequently and it slowly starts to turn an amber color and releases a nutty aroma. Remove the butter from the heat and allow it to cool.
  11. 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.
  12. Add 4 cups powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter. Add 1 tablespoon of bourbon and continuing beating.
  13. Next , add 2 cups of powdered sugar and slowly pour the cooled brown butter into the frosting and beat it into the butter until the frosting is completely smooth.
  14. Add the last two cups of powdered sugar followed by 1 tablespoons of heavy cream and a pinch of salt and beat on low speed until the cream is incorporated. Then beat it at a high speed for 1 minute to whip some additional air into the frosting.
  15. To build the cake: Even out the top of the cake by cutting off the dome using a serrated knife.
  16. 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.
  17. In order to create even layers, I use a piping bag fitted with an open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. I also highly suggest to use a lazy Suzan to rotate the cake as you work.
  18. Fill the first layer of frosting by using your piping bag and pipe from the outside edge into the center. Gently spread the frosting with an offset spatula to fill in the gaps.
  19. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat the above instructions to fill the layer of frosting.
  20. For the top layer of cake, place it inverted, so the bottom of the cake is actually the top, creating a nice and smooth top edge.
  21. Proceed to add your crumb coat by adding a cup of frosting to the top of the cake and gently spread out to the edges and down the sides. Use the leftover frosting in your piping bags to fill in the cracks between the layers.
  22. Using an offset spatula or icing smoother, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving you 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.
  23. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and proceed to the remaining frosting to 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.
  24. Use the remaining chopped & toasted pecans and push into the bottom edge of the cake.
  25. Drizzle with caramel sauce right before serving
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37 Responses
  1. D levy

    Fabulous cake. Made for my moms birthday. Everyone loved it. My only issue was the butterscotch chips did not melt smoothly. I think next time I will just add the chips whole. I also made butterscotch ganache with butterscotch chips and cream instead of the caramel sauce. Was yummy.

  2. Jana

    Hello, I just tried to make this cake and mine all sunk in the middle. I’m wondering if you would know what I’d did wrong. I am in high altitude so I scaled back the brown sugar to 1/3 cup. Any help you have to offer would be great, I really want to make this cake.
    Thanks so much

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jana, I am so sorry! I wish I could offer more advice in regards to high altitude baking, I have just never lived at high altitudes to experience that modifications needed. I’ve read before that scaling down the baking powder helps but this recipe starts with a cake mix so I not entirely sure. After a quick Goggle search I’ve seen things like adjusting the oven temp or adding more liquid might help.

  3. Christine

    I made this last year for Thanksgiving and my family loved it remarking that it was so good it was award winning! So I’m making it again this year! Possibly a new tradition for our gatherings! Thank you for sharing this! Happy Thanksgiving

    1. Beyond Frosting

      I would think the cake layers can be made ahead and frozen but I am not sure about the frosting or how it was change the composition of the frosting if it was frozen

  4. Stephanie

    This looks amazing! While I love nuts, I want to make this cake for someone who does not. Can I omit the nuts or replace them with more butterscotch chips? What is your recommendation? Thanks!

  5. Zaff

    Hi,

    I’m Zaff from Malaysia..i wanted to try your butterscotch cake with salted caramel sauce recipe but i need to know how much is the amount of white cake mix? I’m not sure what brand we have for the cake mix. If you don’t mind, please share. Thank you..

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Zaff, The entire cake mix is 15.25 oz but it has a combination of all of the different components including sugar, flour and leavenar

  6. Kristin

    Do you bake all three cakes at the same time or do you bake them individually? If you bake them at the same time, do you rotate them during baking?

  7. Crystal

    Hi!
    I am going to make this for my dads birthday but wanted to make sure the cake box mix size you used was a 16.25 oz box. I know they changed the sizes a few years ago and it messed me up on some old recipes that I followed . This was posted just last year so I’m assuming the new size is what you used but wanted to make sure! Thanks!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kim, the crumb coating is done by doing a “messy” layer of the frosting as the base before you frost your cake. It just helps pick up some of the loose crumbs so it gives you a nice clean finish on your frosting.

  8. Maria

    Thank you, thank you for the butterscotch cake recipe. My husband requested one after seeing Aunt Bee making one on the Andy Griffith show (yes, we are both dorks). I bake a lot but had never heard of such a cake. So…off to the web to try to find a recipe. Your recipe looked the best and was it ever good! The stores only had caramel pudding (whatever happened to butterscotch pudding?) but the cake tasted great. My husband can’t stop raving about it. I look forward to trying your other recipes. Thanks again!

  9. Cindy

    Yes, this cake is the best cake I have EVER eaten. I made it exactly as stated. It is crazy good. I had never made browned butter frosting. It is really amazing stuff. This was a beautiful and delicious cake. It was a show stopper at the party I went to.

  10. Michelle

    Hi your cake look scrumptious! I commented yesterday to see what size cake mix you use because today’s cakes mixes continue to shrink in size.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Michelle, I always use Betty Crocker Cake mixes and occasionally Pillsbury.I am usually adding additional ingredients to the cake mixes and fill them more but I do notice I only get 20-22 cupcakes instead of 24

  11. Elizabeth

    I’ve had the most wonderful vacations in San Louis Obispo. It’s called the happiest city/town in America. Bike ride to the beach, walk around the town, but you MUST be there on Thursday for the largest Farmers Market ever!!! At least 5 or 6 blocks long, with music and delicious food. A pretty drive too to get there.

  12. Michelle

    This sounds so yummy! What size cake mix do you use. The cake mixes are always shrinking now and for some of my older “doctored cake mix” recipes I have to buy two boxes and weigh them out to have the correct amount.

  13. D Dell

    Look so good. I don’t think I had heard of brown butter. Where have I been? Ojai Valley Inn? no.
    But that’s an idea for your getaway. Also, I’ll be housesitting north…pool.. jacuz…delightful vistas…. more than welcome. How about Biking around San Diego or Catalina Island? Foodies love Vancouver. Vegas.
    Google “LA dinner in the sky”. ~~ Charleston, SC, ~~ Did I mention Ojai Valley Inn?
    Nashville.

  14. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    I adore butterscotch, so I can just imagine how good this cake must be!!! I can’t wait to see the new site design and to see you in Austin!!!!

  15. cookbook queen

    Oh my gosh — I am in love with these flavors!! They compliment each other so perfectly and scream FALL!! Love love love. And I can’t wait to see your new site design!

  16. Misha Hunter

    This cake is absolutely gorgeous! I love butterscotch but haven’t made anything butterscotch in a long time, so this will be a soon to make recipe. Your upcoming adventures sound exciting! I love all things Cow so I hope your Dairy Loving Fun includes meeting some cows! 🙂 I sadly do not get to do much traveling so I am looking forward to reading what others give for trip suggestions. Happy traveling!

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