A Curvy Carrot Birthday

This is a very special post.

It’s my 30th birthday.

And, I’ll be honest. I  have a lot of emotions running through me: excitement, determination, anticipation…just to name a few.

I’m ready to leave my 20’s behind me and embrace a new decade of change and fulfillment.  I’ll finish residency, begin and complete my fellowship, move across the country, and hopefully find a job somewhere in the country and be able to finally settle down….after having been in school/training since age 4.  The best part about this birthday is that the celebration with various friends began 5 days ago, and I am so blessed to have so many people in my life to share my birthday with this year.

But I must warn you.  The following recipe IS NOT good for you.  I am fully aware of the ungodly amount of butter in the frosting, the amount of calories in the butterscotch sauce, and the number of eggs in the cake.    I chose butterscotch simply because it’s my favorite flavor in the whole world.  And with it comes a lot of fat and sugar. But I must ask you to be patient and hold all judgement aside with this post.  Why?  Because I only turn 30 once, and this is my day.  🙂

Triple Butterscotch Cake

Yield:  One (2 layer) 8-inch cake


For the cake:

2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) butter, softened***I splurged and used my favorite European butter….because it’s my birthday.

2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

For the butterscotch buttercream:

1 pound butter, softened  (Yep, a pound.  You read it correctly.)

2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons dark rum

2-2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar***I actually ended up using about 3 cups because the consistency was not what I wanted.

For the butterscotch sauce:

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream


1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Beat in the oil until well combined.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down th sides of the bowl as necessary.

5. Beat in the rum and the vanilla.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

7. Add the flour mixture to the batter in two additions, alternating with the sour cream.

8. Mix in the chopped pecans, and continue to beat at medium speed for one minute more.

9. Butter and flour your 8-inch cake pans.

10. Divide the cake batter among the pans, filling about 2/3 full.

11. Bake the cake at 325F degrees for 40-50 minutes, until it is golden brown and a cake tester inserted emerges clean.

12. Transfer both the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

13. For the buttercream:  Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it turns deep golden brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

14. Add the brown sugar, cream, and salt, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes longer.

15. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat it at high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch, 8-10 minutes.

16. Beat in the rum.

17. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated.  Continue to beat the mixture until it is smooth and creamy.

18. Add enough confectioner’s sugar to the mixture to achieve a thick and spreadable consistency.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

19. For the sauce: Place the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.

20. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

21. Remove the mixture from the heat and mix in the cream.

22. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook for 2 minutes more; let cool to lukewarm.

23.  Once everything is completely cooled, place a layer of frosting on one top of a cake, followed by a thin layer of the butterscotch sauce.

24.  Place the other cake layer on top, and spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake.

25.  Refrigerate for at least one hour (this will help “glue” crumbs down and serve as a nice, smooth canvas for you to apply the “real” frosting later.)

26.  Once set, decorate the cake as desired.  Garnish with extra pecans (optional.)

27.  Top with a birthday candle, say some thanks, make a wish, and happy birthday!

Adapted from Peanut Butter and Julie.

October 19, 2010 - 6:54 am

KeepItSweet - the cake looks gorgeous, happy birthday!!

October 19, 2010 - 7:39 am

notyet100 - cake looks too good,..

October 19, 2010 - 9:10 am

briarrose - Wow that cake just looks amazing! Beautiful job. Happy Birthday.

October 19, 2010 - 11:06 am

RavieNomNoms - Wowza! What a cake that is! Happy Birthday!

October 19, 2010 - 11:24 am

rita in mi - Wow, that cake is certainly worthy of a 30th birthday! Amazing!

October 19, 2010 - 11:32 am

Jenny - Shan! Happy Happy Birthday…I want to celebrate with you!!! When can we get together, lady??

October 19, 2010 - 12:15 pm

Brie - happy birthday! great looking cake to help you celebrate!

October 19, 2010 - 12:19 pm

Susi - Happy Birthday! That is one awesome looking cake. I celebrated my 38th birthday last Friday and had mixed feelings considering I’m heading very much towards 40.
Hope you have a wonderful day :o)

October 19, 2010 - 12:48 pm

natalie (the sweets life) - happy birthday! this is absolutely an appropriate cake for a 30th bday, love it!

October 19, 2010 - 3:17 pm

Lauren Zabaneh - Oh my…this is beyond yum. I too, am a huge fan of butterscotch. I’ve never seen such a luscious cake. Come to think of it, I never see many things made with butterscotch anymore. Its such a great flavor.

My favorite part of this post is that you used your favorite European butter, cuz its your birthday. Isn’t it fun to splurge like that?

Well, happy, happy birthday dear. I hope it’s wonderful. I’ve been in my 30’s for three years now. It’s pretty good. twenties are over-rated.

October 19, 2010 - 3:46 pm

buttersweetmelody - I don’t think I0ve evern seen a cake with that much butter in it. I’m not judging! I think is great! 😉 It looks so so so yummy and sinful. And pretty too! I wish I could decorate like that!



October 19, 2010 - 4:49 pm

Julia - Beautiful cake Shanon! Happy Birthday!!!! :o)

October 20, 2010 - 12:04 am

Lynne - Happy, Happy Birthday!
I celebrated my 47th birthday yesterday and would have loved a piece of this cake….it looks devine 🙂

October 20, 2010 - 6:53 am

fooddreamer - Happy Birthday! I think that your 30th definitely deserves this decadent cake. It’s gorgeous!

October 20, 2010 - 1:34 pm

Joy - That looks so good. I wish I had a cake like that on my 30th :D.

October 20, 2010 - 2:58 pm

Kelli - Happy 30 + a day! It was so great to celebrate with you last night! I had to check out the cake before I left work… everyone is right. Ridiculously scrumptious!!! Love you, Shan!

November 1, 2010 - 12:18 pm

Patty - Happy birthday!!!! 30 is a great age – and it only gets better every year!

AMAZING cake. 🙂

November 8, 2010 - 11:58 am

kateiscooking - Happy Birthday Shanon! Looks like Annie made you butterscotch cupcakes too 🙂 Wow, does that ever look good. If you ever want to make another one, my b’day is the end of March and I’m just down Hwy 37 from you – lol. Kate @ kateiscooking

March 12, 2012 - 3:00 pm

Triple Butterscotch Cake Recipe – Best Friends For Frosting - […] you love butterscotch, this recipe is for you.  This beautiful Triple Butterscotch Cake from The Curvy Carrot is made with butterscotch cake, butterscotch buttercream, and even […]

November 1, 2012 - 11:11 am

sueannmc1944 - Has anyone else tried this cake? My daughter and I made this the other day and followed the instructions perfectly. It turned out to be the most beautiful cake, but, it was the driest, driest cake I have EVER made!! I cannot imagine why? And the frosting has a wonderful flavor, but was so very, very sweet you could hardly stand it. I was so disappointed as it cost me a fortune and took so very long to make it. We are going to have to throw it out. I so was wanting it to taste as wonderful as it looked. Is there some reason WHY this might have been so very dry (like rough cornbread), and what I could have possibly done wrong? The sweet, sweet, frosting is always going to be that way I imagine and can’t be helped. Sorry it didn’t work.

November 30, 2012 - 12:08 am

Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice - Hi, Shanon! Thanks for this great post – I used your butterscotch frosting and syrup in a cake that I made (http://simplysweetjustice.com/2012/11/butterscotch-marble-cake.html).

February 3, 2013 - 8:25 pm

Caren - I made this cake over the last two days for my hubby’s birthday today! What a labor of love. I got out my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and followed exactly. There was A LOT of batter. Stupid me, I just divided between the two pans. What a freaking mess!! Once I got the burning mess off the oven floor I put cookie sheets under. WOW! The most delicious cake drippings ever!! So I cut them out of the pans lit them cool a bit and wrapped in foil and put in the freezer. This morning I was able to trim the sides down so it didn’t look so…um..rustic??? LOL! The frosting was luscious as is the sauce. My question is, what are you supposed to do with all that sauce?? I used some in between the layers, on the top and drizzled some down the sides but I still have over a cup of the sauce. What else is it for?

February 3, 2013 - 8:26 pm

Caren - Oh forgot to mention, we haven’t cut into it yet. Just praying its not dry!

February 21, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Linda - Do not understand the recipe. What do you do with the extra sauce after the thin layer?

February 21, 2013 - 4:14 pm

srlacy - Hi Linda-

Just use the sauce as directed. You might have leftover and you can use this as a drizzle, if desired.

April 1, 2013 - 1:13 am

Bridget - Hi, This recipe looks awesome!
If I were going to make this without the pecans incorporated into the batter, would I need to adjust ingredients elsewhere to get it to bake correctly? I don’t bake with nuts ever because my boyfriend is allergic. But if I know one thing about baking it is that a small adjustment can mean a totally different outcome! Suggestions?

April 1, 2013 - 10:22 am

srlacy - Hi Bridget-

I think you should be ok if you omit the nuts. Let me know how it turns out for you, and I hope you like this cake…it’s over the top!

April 7, 2013 - 10:29 am

SandyH - Made this cake for a birthday, am about to assemble and frost. The frosting is POSITIVELY TO DIE FOR.

April 7, 2013 - 10:35 am

srlacy - YAY! So happy to hear that. (Make sure you have a tall glass of water nearby for the impending sugar coma!) It’s one of my absolute favorites!

April 7, 2013 - 11:15 pm

SandyH - Is there a name for this type of frosting? The technique is similar to a Swiss Buttercream, except no eggs. It just came out perfectly, as did the rest of the cake! Wish I could post a picture.

April 8, 2013 - 2:58 pm

srlacy - Hi Sandy-

I am not aware that there is a special name for it…although I might remane it a “delicious variant” of Swiss meringue buttercream (minus the eggs, of course!) So glad you liked it!

June 19, 2014 - 5:01 am

Butterscotch Cake Pops » The Curvy Carrot - […] to think about what flavor I should make the cake pops, butterscotch was the obvious choice.  I made this cake several years ago when I turned 30, but I remember it well-especially the frosting.  Dear […]

September 2, 2014 - 6:08 am

Anita - Hi, Love your site. Planning to try the Triple Butterscotch recipe for a birthday in the family. Can I subsitute rum with something else? Please let me know. Really looking forward to this. Thanks!

September 2, 2014 - 2:26 pm

srlacy - Hi Anita-

I think you could omit the rum entirely and still be ok. Enjoy the cake!

September 18, 2014 - 6:52 am

Anita - Hi..thanks to your wonderful recipe..I made this cake for my hubby’s bday (who is a butterscotch lover). Turned out great..looked great and tasted great as well! Everyone loved it. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe 🙂

October 6, 2014 - 3:47 am

richa - Hey what can i use in place of rum .???
Recipe looks drooling..

October 6, 2014 - 8:24 am

srlacy - Hi Richa- for the frosting I think it’s ok to completely omit it, but I am not sure what will work for the actual cake. Here is a link that I found using Google that has some options and a nice discussion. I think vanilla extract would be the best substitute in this setting. http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7703/what-is-substitute-for-rum-in-baking

March 6, 2015 - 12:47 am

Claire Brasseaux - I think rum flavoring or rum extract could be used in the place of rum.

March 20, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Rebecca - I agree with one of the other posters that said that there is WAY TOO MUCH batter for two cakes. I divided it into three pans and am hoping for the best. I hope it does not come out dry like one commenter mentioned. Making this for a block party, so I hope I don’t embarrass myself!!