Butterscotch Cake


My first naked cake. I’m not really sure what the big fuss is about naked cakes. I’m generally in the camp of “more frosting”, but I guess frosted cakes and naked cakes are what consonance and dissonance are to music. Both can be appreciated, but in different ways.


I randomly came across this butterscotch cake recipe and thought the incorporation of the butterscotch chips (which melt quite peculiarly) was unique. The recipe is based on a white chocolate version of the infamous Rose Levy Beranbaum. My wife fancies butterscotch, and the recipe was for small 6″ cake, so I decided to bake as a treat for her having to work on a Sunday.


The original recipe covers the cake in a chocolate ganache, but I thought that white chocolate and butterscotch would be a better flavor pairing. Additionally, I wanted to leave the cake “naked” given that the cake would likely be sweet. For what it’s worth, the quantity of frosting is probably juuuuust enough to lightly frost the entire four layers (if the two cakes are cut in half) and definitely enough to frost two layers.


The cake was a little bit dry, which was probably baker error. I might have slightly over-baked the cakes by only a few minutes, although the outside baked much quicker than the inside (despite using cake strips). It’s worth watching the cakes closely, and perhaps the cake would finish baking after removed from the oven as it cools. I also wonder if using high quality butterscotch chips instead of a cheaper variety influences the batter. I used Guittard. The white chocolate cream cheese frosting was very good and did complement the cake nicely. I’ll have to remember to use it again.

Based on recipe found here and here.

Butterscotch Cake:
1 cup butterscotch chips
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (192 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. (112.5 g) granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
4 oz. good-quality white chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups (150 g) powdered sugar, sifted


  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 6″ cake pans, line with parchment/wax paper, then butter and flour the parchment/wax paper.
  2. In a double boiler, melt butterscotch chips and 1 tablespoon of butter. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the butter, then beat until incorporated.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of the milk, mixing for 1 minute until batter resembles course dough.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites, vanilla and remaining milk. Add to dough in three additions, mixing between each until incorporated.
  7. Add the melted butterscotch in three additions, mixing between each until incorporated.
  8. Divide batter between the two pans (~370-375 g each), and bake for 25-35 minutes (mine took ~32 minutes) or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cakes cool for 5-10 minutes, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to assemble.
  10. For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy.
  11. Add the cream cheese, then beat until incorporated.
  12. Add vanilla and lemon juice, then mix until well blended.
  13. Increase speed to high, beating until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  14. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate chips over medium-low heat. Remove from heat before chips are melted, stirring until the chips are completely melted and smooth. Let cool slightly.
  15. Add melted white chocolate to the creamed butter/cream cheese mixture, beating until fully incorporated.
  16. Gradually add powdered sugar on low speed, until well combined.
  17. Increase speed to high for 2 minutes until fluffy.
  18. For assembly: Cut each cake in half to create four layers.
  19. Frost and decorate as desired.