Triple Butterscotch Cupcakes

These cupcakes are not for the faint of heart.  If you like butterscotch, you’ll like these a lot, but if you’re one of those that often finds desserts to be “too rich”, run away and don’t look back.  This is a true butterscotch lover’s dream – butterscotch flavored cake, frosting and drizzle.  I am definitely a major lover of butterscotch, and I have quite a few friends who feel the same way.  Add butterscotch to a baked good and I’m bound to try it eventually.  One of my coworkers also falls into the butterscotch lover group, and triple butterscotch cupcakes were her choice a couple of weeks ago.  Excellent choice, if I do say so myself.  I had been dying for someone to choose these.

The original recipe is for a triple layer cake.  I have now adapted it just slightly to yield cupcakes and an appropriate amount of frosting.  The frosting is definitely the richest part about these cupcakes so go easy when applying it.  I tried to use a lighter hand than normal and I still thought it was a little overwhelming.  It may be a bit too runny for piping just after mixing, so try chilling it in the refrigerator for a little while before proceeding – I think I chilled mine for about 30-45 minutes.  Now I have a squeeze bottle with lots of left over butterscotch sauce in the fridge.  Oh, the possibilities…

Triple Butterscotch Cupcakes
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about 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
15 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1¾ plus 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar, lightly packed*
1½ tbsp. canola oil
3 large eggs
1½ tbsp. dark rum
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sour cream

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup heavy cream
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. dark rum
1-1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the butterscotch sauce:
6 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter
¼ cup light corn syrup
Pinch coarse salt
¼ cup heavy cream

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the oil until well combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the rum and vanilla.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to blend.  With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat just until incorporated.  Blend in the sour cream.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, again mixing just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it turns deep golden brown and fragrant, about 6-9 minutes.  Add the brown sugar, cream and salt, whisking thoroughly until the sugar dissolves.  Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch, about 8-10 minutes.  Blend in the rum.  With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time until each addition has been incorporated.  Continue beating until smooth and creamy.  Blend in the sifted confectioners’ sugar.  If the frosting is not firm enough for piping, cover and chill for 30-60 minutes until the consistency is correct for frosting.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes as desired.

To make the butterscotch sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove the mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the heavy cream (be careful, as the mixture may bubble up!)  Return the saucepan to the heat and cook for 2 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and let cool until room temperature.  Drizzle the cooled sauce over the frosted cupcakes.

*Note: I don’t routinely keep dark brown sugar on hand, and don’t like to buy it just for one recipe here and there.  You can get the same effect by using an equal amount of light brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon of molasses per cup.  Works for me!

Source: adapted from Peanut Butter and Julie

44 Responses

  1. Wow they look divine, especially with the drizzly sauce. Love the cupcake cases too – they almost look like streaks of butterscotch too

  2. I also love butterscotch and now must find a reason to make these!

  3. Looks great!!

    I love butterscotch also. I’m sure I would love these, too!!

  4. Um we fall firmly into the butterscotch lovers category. We heart. Love. Cannot get enough. So naturally, we’d like these cupcakes for breakfast.

  5. wow, these look awesome! i would like one right now, please 🙂

  6. Strange. I just came on to your blog in search of a cupcake recipe!! Here it is. That was easy!

  7. Wow! These are a must try in my family…I can’t wait! Thanks!!

  8. too rich? run away? never, they look fantastic. I love the sauce recipe, it is not intimidating like caramel sauce recipes can be. I just baked 60 cupcakes this week for a birthday, you would think I was done with them, but you got me drooling.

  9. i do love a butter “scorched” cupcake! 😀

  10. I like the idea of this frosting with white cupcakes, or even these cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I love butterscotch! These look absolutely heavenly!

  12. I looooooove butterscotch too! It suprises me that there is anyone that doesn’t care for it! LOL… These look wonderful and I will be clipping them today to make in the future. Thanks!

  13. What a great idea to alter the triple layer cake to cupcakes. Since they are so rich, you’d probably end up serving slivers of cake anyways. I’m thinking these are too sweet for my family so it would be just me vs 24 cupcakes. I will live vicariously through you! 🙂

  14. ZOMG YUM! I looooove butterscotch!

  15. Wow, Annie. I love butterscotch and I know I would love these cupcakes! And, uh, you can send that bottle of butterscotch sauce right over this way…

  16. Oh wow!! I’m definitely going to have to make these…soon…I love butterscotch!!

  17. I am definitely a butterscotch lover and whoever says desserts are “too rich” doesn’t understand the meaning of good desserts! ha These look lovely.

  18. Thanks for the tip about how to make dark brown sugar! I never really knew the difference between light and dark and would just use the light brown (that I have on hand) regardless of what the recipe called for. I love learning new things!

  19. Butterscotch is such a unique flavor! YUM They look divine. I looooooooove butterscotch!

  20. The triple threat brownie! Yumm! Looks gooooooood!

  21. My husband is one of the world’s biggest butterscotch fan. We go somewhere to get a shake- butterscotch and caramel is his choice! I’m pretty sure I’d get something really nice for making these for him!

  22. nothing too rich for me! i am loving the brown sugar, brown sugar and brown sugar in the cake, frosting and sauce! YUUMMMMM!

  23. Yum! I am definitely in the butterscotch camp. These are getting bookmarked for sure. They look great!

  24. Butterscotch has always been one of my favorite flavors-so I should try these! 🙂

  25. I love butterscotch! These are right up my alley. And how adorable are your paper cupcake liners???

  26. Is there a dessert that is too rich? Not! And I love the flavor of butterscotch, so to triple it sounds divine. Your pictures are fabulous too.

  27. Too funny. Just last week I responded to a survey question about my favorite kind of cupcake – chocolate with chocolate frosting because I’ve never seen a great caramel one. Now, I have. Just wish I had an occasion to make these or you had leftovers I could pick up! Kate

  28. yum! my sweet tooth thanks you!

  29. I’ve not seen a butterscotch cupcake before and while I’m not overly fond of butterscotch, my guess is these lean more to the caramel based upon the ingredients. They are certainly pretty and worthy of a try.

  30. Those sound delicious! And thanks so much for the tip about using light brown sugar and molasses – I don’t usually keep dark brown sugar on hand either.

  31. I didn’t realize that Butterscotch was considered a “fall” flavor. But I’ve seen so many recipes for it lately on the blogosphere – that must be the case. These look lovely. Wonderful job. I’m not much of a cupcake person – but I have to appreciate how beautifully done these little morsels of butterscotchy goodness look. Maybe I’ll become a cupcake fan after all. *smile*

  32. These look so beautiful. A really gorgeous cupcake.

  33. the presentation is incredible

  34. These look dreamy. As soon as you posted this link I passed it along to my sister who is the queen of butterscotch.

  35. i think i’m going to have to forward my dentist bill to you.

  36. Hi Annie! New reader/follower here. I love your blog design and the photos of the food . . . WOW! I’m so impressed that you are self taught! And that you do all this while having such a demanding job! It all looks so amazing! I’m doing a cupcake project right now in the attempts to get good at it for my daughter’s birthdays (this year will be her first 🙂 I hope I can get the frosting look down! Any tips? What’s your favorite cupcake?

  37. Oh WOW! These sound phenomenal!

  38. These look amazing! What icing tip did you use with these, i love the way the icing looks!

  39. extraordinary. i like every single thing about these–hooray for butterscotch!

  40. These look so delicious and I really want to make them. One question though, we do not drink alcohol and I don’t want to buy dark rum just for this recipe. I assume that the rum is certainly part of what makes the butterscotch flavor. Can I use rum extract? What would you recommend? Thanks…

  41. I had a hard time with the icing. It was definitely too running for piping so I put in the fridge for a bit. Then it was to hard/stiff to go through the piping nozzle. So I tried to warm the bag with my hands and massage the icing in the bag, but then it came out a runny mess.

  42. Agree with Rachel above. Icing was way runny. I’ll add that the cake was more muffin-like as well, even after following the recipe to a tee. I’m an avid baker who rarely has issues.

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