Friends, today I’m bringing you this easy recipe for a butterscotch sheet cake. This guy is actually one of those Depression-era wacky cakes that I have modified slightly for a butterscotch flavor profile.
The frosting is made with homemade butterscotch sauce whipped into cream cheese and powdered sugar, and it’s so good, it’s worth the price of admission right there!
If you’re a butterscotch fan, you can find all my butterscotch recipes in one place, and if you’re a sheetcake fan, you might want to try my rocky road sheetcake as well.
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of my recipes. All opinions are my own.
Me and my family loved this cake! I burned the sauce the first time but it worked amazing the second time. The videos were so helpful. Thank you so much! I love a good wacky cake and the frosting was perfect.
Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, my friends. And when One is in need of cake and one doesn’t own eggs, butter, or milk, then one makes a wacky cake.
It’s a super moist cake leavened by the bubbles created when vinegar and baking soda react.
I decided I need a butterscotch version of a wacky cake, so I did use melted butter in place of the oil in the original recipe, and I used a mixture of brown and white sugar instead of all white sugar.
Because, as we know, butterscotch flavor is created by cooking sugar and butter together, along with a bit of molasses, until the sugar caramelizes and the butter browns. So I felt the need to use both brown sugar and butter in the cake.
Please note that if you don’t have butter, you can absolutely substitute vegetable oil. And if you only have white sugar, use that.
Believe me, your cake doesn’t have to be made just like mine in order for it to taste good!
What Makes This Cake So Great?
It’s an easy cake to put together, and the amounts of ingredients are easy to remember.
You can scale it in half to make it in an 8″ x 8″ pan or make a full recipe for a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Even if you don’t own milk, butter, or eggs, you can make this cake, and it is super moist and stays that way for several days.
Since it only contains a small amount of butter (or oil if you don’t have butter), it stays soft even straight out of the fridge.
Here’s how you make it:
- Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and brown sugar together really well.
- Dump the dry ingredients into your greased 9″ x 13″ pan and spread them out evenly.
- Make 3 holes in the flour mixture, 2 small, and 1 large.
- Pour vinegar and vanilla extract into the 2 smaller holes.
- Pour melted butter or oil into the larger hole.
- Pour cold water over all and mix until smooth.
- Bake at 350F until done, about 30 minutes.
The cake can cool right in the pan, then all you need to do is spread on your frosting.
NOTE: the Anolon pan worked really well. There was really no sticking and after the cake was gone, the pan was extremely easy to clean.
And as an added bonus, the Anolon-branded silicone strips on either side make it easy to grip the pan with hot pads with no slipping. Makes it really easy to take the pan out of the oven.
You’ll see in the video of me making the frosting below that I say the cake tastes oddly of Chex cereal, and it really does.
Think of the flavor of Wheat Chex, but softer and with “cake texture.”
The butter and brown sugar must have something to do with it, along with getting more “flour” flavor since there are no eggs or milk to mute what is usually a pretty subtle flavor.
Once you add the butterscotch icing, it really does read as a moist butterscotch snack cake. I think you will really enjoy it.
Making the Frosting
First, you start by making butterscotch.
This recipe will make much more than you need for the frosting. Use the rest as an ice cream sauce, or just make a ton of frosting to put on whatever you’d like!
Here’s video of me making the butterscotch on a live video so you can see exactly how I do it.
The short version is:
- melt butter
- add salt and brown sugar, and bring to a boil
- cook until the butter browns and the sugar caramelizes
- carefully add half and half (or heavy cream)
- stir until smooth
- cool and chill
NOTE: In the video, I made twice as much butterscotch as is in the recipe. You can absolutely make the full batch. Just know you’ll have tons left over for ice cream or for making more frosting. Or for stirring into hot milk for a butterscotch beverage!
Once you’ve made the butterscotch, the frosting is very easy.
All you do is beat softened cream cheese until smooth, and then beat in some of your butterscotch sauce, a pinch of salt, some powdered sugar, and a touch of vanilla.
And that’s it. It’s very easy and unbelievably tasty!
Can I Freeze It?
You can, yes.
My vote is to freeze the cake before frosting it, wrapping it well (in the pan if you don’t need the pan for anything else for awhile) in both plastic wrap and foil.
The cake will be fine in the freezer for at least a month.
Thaw it in the fridge, still wrapped, and then frost and enjoy.
How Long Will It Stay Good?
Keep the cake and any leftovers in the fridge. As I said, it’ll stay nice and soft since there is a minimal amount of butter in it.
The one I made is still going strong after five days, and we’re down to the last 2 pieces.
I think it will stay perfectly delicious for about a week.
Okay, Let’s Bake
I really hope you love this recipe, you guys!
I’d also love to have you join my PCO newsletter, The Inbox Pastry Chef!
Thanks, and enjoy!
Thanks, and enjoy! And don’t forget to keep scrolling to see everyone else’s recipes, too!
For the Cake
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt (table salt is fine)
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 10 Tablespoons (1 1/4 stick or 5 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups cool water
For Butterscotch Sauce
- 1 stick butter
- 3/4 cups brown sugar (dark or light), packed
- heavy pinch of salt
- 3 oz (about 1/3 cup) heavy cream or half and half
To Make the Frosting
- 4 oz (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butterscotch sauce, chilled
- 1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (use the higher amount for frosting that sets up a bit better in the fridge. It's plenty sweet and delicious with just the 1 cup, though)
For the Cake
- Grease a 9 x 13 pan with pan spray. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and set a rack in the center of your oven.
- Whisk together the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Pour into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
- With your finger or the handle of a wooden spoon, make 3 holes in the dry ingredients, 2 small and 1 large.
- Pour the vinegar into one small hole, the vanilla into the other small hole, and the melted butter (or oil if you're out of butter) into the large hole.
- Pour the cool water over everything and mix in the pan until the batter is smooth.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown and firm on the top. If you press down in the center of the cake, it should spring back.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan.
For the Butterscotch Sauce
- Melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the sugar and salt and stir so everything is moist.
- Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring almost constantly.
- Cook, still stirring, until the butter browns and the sugar caramelizes. You will be able to smell a caramel smell, the color will darken some, and there may be wisps of smoke starting to come off the mixture.
- Turn off the heat and add the half and half or cream all at once. Do this carefully, because the mixture will bubble up vigorously.
- Bring to a boil again, stirring, to thicken slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Cool and the refrigerate. This will make more than you need for your frosting. Use the extra as ice cream sauce.
For the Frosting
- In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese together with the butterscotch sauce until smooth.
- Mix in the salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Spread evenly on your cooled cake, and enjoy.
Nutrition Information is based on 24 servings. If you cut the pieces larger or smaller, the counts will change.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 280Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 32mgSodium 310mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 0gSugar 29gProtein 3g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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#SpringSweetsWeekWelcome to #SpringSweetsWeek 2020 hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks! What better way to celebrate the warmer weather and flowers blooming than with food and a fun giveaway? 27 bloggers from around the country have come together to share over 100 sweet recipes perfect for spring! So stop thinking about cold and snow and get ready to enjoy the best spring sweets like cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies, and even beverages! Our #SpringSweetsWeek sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much to Dixie Crystals, Millican Pecan, Door County Coffee, Anolon, Deiss Cookware, Adams Extract, and Fresh April Sprinkles for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and would love if you would take a moment to read about it and the prizes you can win!
Here are the other great sweet recipes from the #springsweetsweek bloggers today. Check them out!
- Apple Pie Pop Tarts by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Banana Pecan Muffins by Jen Around the World
- Butterscotch Sheet Cake by Pastry Chef Online (you’re here!)
- Carrot Cake Scones with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting by Blogghetti
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Roll by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Chocolate Crackles by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Frosted Mocha Brownies by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Homemade Cinnamon Pecan Granola by Simply Inspired Meals
- Low-Carb Creme Brulee by Art of Natural Living
- No Bake Banana Cream Pie with Pecan Crust by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Orange Pecan Torte by That Recipe
- Pecan Pralines by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Raspberry Almond Cold Brew Latte by The Baking Fairy
- Strawberry Poptarts by Cookaholic Wife
- Strawberry Rhubarb Sweet Rolls by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Sweet and Salty Easter Snack Mix by Sweet Beginnings