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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

June 15, 2008

Butterscotch Sidewalk Cake with Butterscotch Frosting

I woke up yesterday morning with a little spring in my step. I was all set to bake a butterscotch cake for my friend Danielle's housewarming party. I hadn't seen Danielle in a long time and I wanted her cake to be extra special. I even bought a new 6 inch cake pan just for her cake.

When she said she wanted butterscotch, the first thing I thought of was cold butterscotch pudding that I had as a kid, but was that the flavor she wanted in her cake? What exactly is butterscotch anyway?

I did a bit of research and found that pretty much every type of caramel I have had is actually butterscotch! The difference between butterscotch and caramel is that butterscotch is made with brown sugar and caramel is made with slightly burnt white sugar. Go figure!

I had a heck of a time finding a real butterscotch cake recipe. Most that I could find involved a cake mix and a box of butterscotch pudding mix. Now I'll be the first to admit that sometimes cake mix based recipes can be pretty amazing, but for this gift, I wanted something better. I found a few that looked okay but in the end creating a new one of my own. But wait, what's with "sidewalk" reference? Well, I think it might be best to allow my friend who was with me to explain...

"We found Danielle's house, and saw the sign in the front door window, saying "Continue around to the back". Julia insisted on carrying both the cake and her purse, but her purse was slung over her opposite shoulder, so it wasn't much of a factor. As she was walking along the sidewalk toward the back, the heel of her flip-flop snagged on a crack in the sidewalk. From behind her, I saw the whole thing in slow motion. I didn't have the superhuman speed to try to catch her from behind; I could only look on in helplessness as she went down with those big limb-on-sidewalk thuds.

When it was all over, all I knew was that she would be hurting, but the cake had not fallen on the ground. She did indeed have some slight concrete shred-wounds. As I reflected on the event later, it occurred to me that it didn't matter how many of her limbs ended up bleeding at the end of this fall so long as the cake ended up safe. However, as you can see, even the cake didn't escape entirely without injury."

And thank goodness! The cake did suffer a bit but it could have been so much worse. I was just SO relieved that the cake didn't splat on the ground and that I took a few pictures before we got there. :-)

Butterscotch Cake
2 cup cake flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 medium eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8-inch pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, blend the butter and brown sugars on medium speed together for about 2 minutes (scrape the bowl at least once) until very light brown and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time mixing on low until its well incorporated, then raise the speed to medium and mix for about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl.

Add the vanilla to the milk. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix slowly until the flour is absorbed and scrape the bowl. Add half the milk to the mix and mix again on slow speed until its well incorporated. Add the rest of the flour, scrape the bowl again and add the remaining milk. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl at least once. The batter should be really fluffy.Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is fully cooked. Let the cakes cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Transfer the cakes to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Butterscotch Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
1/4 cup butterscotch-flavored ice cream topping
3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup of whipping cream

Blend together half the butter and marshmallow cream until well combined. Scape the bowl. Add the butterscotch sauce. Add the powdered sugar in batches and mix together well, being sure to scrape the bowl. Add half the cream, as needed to get the desired consistency. Note: To get enough frosting for my four layer cake, I made the recipe just as it is above, but added another stick of butter, another 1/4 cup of butterscotch sauce, and another cup to two cups of powdered sugar.

For decoration I put a handful of little amber colored butterscotch hard candies in the food processor and pulverized them until they turned into powder.

Yield: I made one 9" square cake (used a brownie pan) and one 6-inch round pan and although I didn't cut it up and count the slices, I'd bet this recipe would feed at least 10 people.
Would I Make This Again? Yes! I LOVED the flavor and the texture of the cake. The batter tasted almost as good as the frosting! The frosting is what frosting is suppose to be too. It was sweet and creamy and had a delicate flavor. I can't wait to experiment with it more. It was an overall winner and totally yummy. 4.5 out of 5 stars.


  1. AnonymousJune 16, 2008

    I love the story of the cake! I too love butterscotch and this cake and frosting combination sounds unbelievable!

  2. so glad that the cake was able to be salvaged and that your injuries were minimal. your husband can now begin training to develop superhuman speed--you never know when it'll come in handy! :)

  3. Julia! I SO LOVED your cake and thank you so much for coming to my housewarming party. it was so nice to see you and your husband, as it had probably been since the last SerSol x-mas party since I last saw you both. I just enjoyed the cake so much and it totally filled my butterscotch craving:) Cake was gone by 9pm:) Thank you again for the cake and for stopping by to catch up!

  4. ouch! but they cake still looks great for having fallen! i tripped over something exactly like that while on pavement, except it was a lot bigger and i was carrying a friend! double ouch!!

  5. The cake still looks good. It could have been worse. At least you could still eat it. Sounds delicious.

  6. bakingblonde - thank you! It was a fun story to tell and I'm still that happy that the cake survived! Phew!

    grace - I know, right?! He's so funny and a good sport. I think he got a thrill out of being the "reporter-on-the-scene".

    wine-gidget - I'm so grateful that you actually got to eat some of your cake and that you enjoyed it so much. It was one of my favorites! Congrads on the house!

    priscilla - youch! I hope you and your friend were okay. I forgot how much falling on cement hurts!

    nicole - it sure could have been. Thank you for your comment!

  7. I know it's been a long while since you brought this cake over...but I just stopped by to swoon over it again. yeah for butterscotch cake and yeah for your wonderful cooking talents!


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