A slice of butterscotch cake on a plate

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 24 minutes
  • Total Time: 54 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 slices


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:

  1. 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.
  2. Grease three 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.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix and light brown sugar and stir to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the cup of powdered sugar, beat on low speed until incorporated then increase to high speed, beating for 1 minute.

To Assemble:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Use the remaining pecans and push into the bottom edge of the cake then drizzle with caramel sauce right before serving.
Nutrition Information:
1 Slice
100.7 g
253.2 mg
60.6 g
107.7 g
2.6 g
6.3 g
135.8 mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: salted caramel butterscotch cake, butterscotch cake with pudding, best butterscotch cake recipe