Butterscotch Torte

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I think this is the longest post in the history of cooking.  I hope all of you – all one of you – who is crazy enough to attempt to bake this cake get in touch with me.  I really want to know you exist.

We were celebrating a very special occasion.  Titanic anniversary.  My son, who is a crazy Titanic enthusiast, wanted the cake to be extra special.  I had a bag of Butterscotch chips that I didn’t know what to do with and I thought it was a good start.  For me butterscotch is one of those products when people tell me that they had Butterscotch something I pretend I know what they are talking about, even though I really have no idea.  It was vaguely reminiscent of butter in someone’s whisky, but I knew it couldn’t be that.  I personally have not tried anything Butterscotchy in my life.  I bought the bag of Butterscotch chips on an impulse.  Hmm… butterscotch, I thought, finally I see thou.  So clutching a bag of butterscotch chips to my chest I went on the internet and entered “Butterscotch Cake.”

Lots of beautiful images came up.  They made me dizzy (and hungry).  I showed them to my son and since it’s was his big day he picked one.  His choice was Butterscotch-Maple Cheesecake Torte from Betty Crocker website (bottom left on the pic above).  It looked gorgeous. The only problem was that the recipe called for Betty Crocker Yellow cake mix and Betty Crocker frosting, which was an utter impossibility for me because I’m secretly convinced that my hands will fall off, if I use a cake mix or canned frosting or anything that comes pre-mixed and out of a box.   There were also missing ingredients and other complications along the way.  So with a bit of improvisation, creativity and a dash of desperation (time was running out) we sort of invented a cake that we all fell in love with.  It tastes out of this world delicious! The fact that it also looks good is simply a bonus!

To make this Torte you need to make 5 things
1. Butterscotch Cheesecake
2. Two Yellow Cakes
3. Butterscotch Frosting
4. Maple Glaze
5. Yellow Frosting for inscription

And then put it all together!  I should have envisioned the process before I started making it.

Are you still with me?

If you want to try it, I suggest making Cheesecake first because it needs to be refrigerated for 4-6 hours before it can be stuck into the torte.  While Cheesecake is cooling is a good time to make Yellow Cake.

3 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 package (12oz) butterscotch chips (2 cups), melted
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Heat oven to 300F.  Grease 9-inch round pan (or springform pan, if you have it), and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, and spray/grease again.
  2. Place all the cream cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl and give it a spin for a minute or two.  And sugar to cream cheese and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Everybody knows it will blend twice as fast, if you watch it intensely. 
    It’s good to have little helpers 🙂
  3. Add 1 can condensed milk, and beat again until well combined. 
    Mmm…. Does it make you hungry?
  4. Place a package of butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it for 2-3 minutes, stirring it every 30 seconds.
  5. Add melted butterscotch chips to all the other ingredients. 
  6. Add 4 eggs and the vanilla. 
  7. Pour into the prepared pan. 

  8. Bake 60 minutes or until puffed around edge and center still jiggles slightly when moved.  Cheesecake will puff up around the edges and then sink when taken out of the oven.  Allow cheesecake to cool 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate 4-6 hours or until chilled.  Level top of cheesecake with large serrated knife.  

While the cake is cooking, let your helper lick the bowl in which butterscotch chips were melted.  It will ensure future enthusiasm about helping you to cook.

This is the way we clean our plates, clean our plates, clean our plates… 
    Yellow Cake
    I combed internet high and low for just the right recipe.  The “right” recipe in this cake meant the one that uses Buttermilk since a had a carton of buttermilk that was expiring the next day.  I settled on the from Add a Pinch.  It’s one of the very few times when I didn’t change anything about someone’s recipe and I was absolutely delighted with how it came out.  I will definitely use this same recipe in a future when I need a simple Yellow Cake. 
    Ingredients for the Yellow Cake
    1 cup unsalted butter (16 Tablespoons), softened
    2 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    2 large egg yolks
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups buttermilk
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with baking spray, line the bottom with a round parchment paper.

      I just put my pan down on a piece of parchment paper and circle it with a pencil.  If you have little helpers, they can cut it out for you.

      And once I put the parchment paper inside the pan I spray the pan again (it’s one of those times when you will be especially devastated, if the cake doesn’t come out of a pan in one piece, so it’s better to take extra precautions). 

    2. Melt butter in a microwave in a large microwave safe bowl.  
    3. Separate two egg yolks from whites (use whites for a yummy omelet, perhaps) and save the egg yolks for the step #5.  
    4. Cream together butter and sugar.  This is how it looked at the start.

      And this is how it looked in 3 minutes

      oh my, I could hardly restrain myself from eating it all right there and then  

    5. Incorporate 4 eggs one at a time, being sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next. Then, incorporate egg yolks the same. 
    6. Whisk together salt, baking powder, and all-purpose flour in a large mixing bowl.  

      Spoon half of the mixture into the butter, sugar and egg mixture and stir until combined.  Add half of buttermilk, then add the remainder of the flour mixture followed by the remainder of buttermilk.  Stir in the vanilla.  

    7. Divide the cake batter between the baking pans. 
    8. Bake until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 8-10 minutes in the pan.  Then, turn the cakes out on a plate to cool completely.  
    Butterscotch Frosting
    It was time to “glue” the layers together with frosting.  As I mentioned the recipe calls for Betty Crocker frosting, which I would rather die than use.  At this point I realized that in order to make Butterscotch Frosting I would need more Butterscotch chips.  I had only one bag and I already used it for the Butterscotch cheesecake.  So, together with my daughter we hoped in a car and drove to Whole Foods only to find out that they don’t carry Butterscotch chips, and neither did they sell Maple Flavor.  We drove to a smaller supermarket down the street and they didn’t have it either.  Almost in despair we drove to another even smaller supermarket, which is not even a chain and found Butterscotch chips (but still no Maple flavor).  So back home again with two bags of Butterscotch chips I went on the internet and entered Butterscotch Frosting.  To my utter amazement I soon discover that there doesn’t seem to be even ONE recipe for Butterscotch Frosting that uses Butterscotch chips.  I had two bags and I had to use it, so I had to make up my own recipe. 

    You know why I stuck a pic of the final cake here?  Because I figured right about now you are wondering why you are doing it.  So, I thought keeping your eyes on a goal will help a little…. Maybe not!  But if you are still with me, then on to Frosting.

    Butterscotch Frosting 
    5 Tablespoons butter, melted
    1 package cream cheese
    1 package Butterscotch chips, melted
    3 cups confectioner’s sugar (1 lb bag has 3 1/2 cups)

    1. Melt butter, cream cheese and chips in a microwave oven in a large bowl and transfer to your mixer, if you are using one.


    2. Cream butter, cream cheese and chips with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.  
    3. Add sugar one cup at a time.  We stopped at 3 cups, but you can go ahead and use the whole 1lb bag, if you wish.  
    4. Beat until smooth.  Frosting should be spreadable consistency at this point.  If yours is too thick, add a drop of milk.  If it’s not thick enough, beat in more sugar. 
    This frosting is a seriously yummy stuff, if you ask me.  My kids thought so too.  Between one of them “testing” it and the other one “checking, if he tested it right,” we ended up with inadequate amount of frosting.  So, I ended up halfing our frosting ingredients and making another 1/2 batch. 
    Save 1/4 cup frosting for inscription, if you are planning on making one.  If not, this is how your cake will look it without it.  It’s pretty!

    Save 1/2 cup of frosting for decorating.  
    Place 1 cake layer on serving platter or cake stand; frost top with thin layer of frosting.  Top with cheesecake layer, and frost top with thin layer of frosting.  Top with final cake layer, and frost entire side and top with remaining frosting.

    Now place 1/2 cup saved frosting in decorating bag fitted with large star tip.  Pipe icing stars around top edge of cake.  I used this youtube video to get an idea on how to do it right. 
    Maple Drizzle
    From looking at the picture I realized that the drizzle has to be darker than frosting, the effect that we couldn’t achieve without maple flavor or so it seemed.  So, I had to modify Betty Crocker’s recipe by adding very dark brown sugar and maple syrup to achieve that effect.  
    Drizzle Ingredients
    2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
    6 teaspoons maple syrup
    1/2 cup condensed milk
    2 Tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup butterscotch chips

    In 1-quart saucepan, heat drizzle ingredients over medium-high heat until melted and mixture can be stirred smooth with whisk.  Let cool until barely warm but still pourable.  Drizzle mixture over cake. Place 1 butterscotch chip upside down into each piped star to garnish.

    If you are not doing inscription, this is how your cake will look like.  Actually, your cake will probably look much better than ours if your four- and six-year olds don’t help you.

    To the 1/4 reserved frosting add 1 Tablespoon maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoons yellow food coloring. Cream it until smooth. Place your mixture into a decorating bag fitted with round tip.  Write what you want.

    Did you get that far?  You did?!  Well, then your Torte is ready!   Enjoy!

    It takes a long time to make this cake, but after all the work is done you can stand back and enjoy the flood of compliments!   I’m already making plans to make this torte again despite all the hard work.  It was so worth it!

    Do you like butterscotch?  What are you making for the next celebration?


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