Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake

Oct 05

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake – Chocolate chip cake layers with butterscotch frosting, chocolate cookie crumbs and butterscotch ganache. 

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Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake

One more cake for you to round out the week. This Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake is made with my light and fluffy white cake layers from my Classic White Cake, a new butterscotch frosting, Milk Bar chocolate cookie crumbs and butterscotch ganache.

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I originally made this cake Milk Bar style, with a butterscotch pudding filling. While I loved the flavors, I always felt like it could be improved. It also never really set well like a Milk Bar style cake should.

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As I thought about remaking this cake, I knew I wanted to switch up the butterscotch pudding. It was always the element of the cake that just didn’t feel right to me. The flavor was great, but it just wasn’t a filling meant for a cake.

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I decided to completely get rid of the pudding element, and instead, add more butterscotch punch with a butterscotch ganache. You’ll use the ganache in between each layer, as well as on top of the cake as a drip.

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I also changed my frosting from the original recipe. The original recipe had dulce de leche in the frosting and felt more like caramel frosting than butterscotch. My new frosting has melted butterscotch chips in it like my chocolate frosting.

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I’m so happy with how this revision turned out. The flavors and textures are exactly what I was looking for.

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I hope you like it too!

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake





Yield One 3-layer, 8-inch cake

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake.

Chocolate chip cake layers with butterscotch frosting, chocolate cookie crumbs and butterscotch ganache.



  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 whole egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons (12 g) clear vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons (366.5 g) cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g)   granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (16 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3.15 g) salt
  • 12 tablespoons (169.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup (150 g) mini chocolate chips 

For the Chocolate Cookie Crumbs (recipe source: Milk Bar)

  • 2/3 cup (40 g) all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon (2.7 g)  cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar 
  • 2/3 cup (78.6 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (84.75 g) unsalted butter, melted 

Butterscotch Frosting

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold and cut into cubes 
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 10 ounces butterscotch chips, melted
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.4 g) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

Butterscotch Ganache (and drip)

  • 1 cup (150 g) butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8-inch or 6-inch round baking pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, whole egg and the vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter one piece at a time, about every 10 seconds. Once all the butter is added, pour in the buttermilk and mix on low for about 1 minute, until the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Scrape down the sides of bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches, mixing on medium-low until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Fold once or twice to ensure the batter at the bottom of the bowl is incorporated and mix for another 20 to 30 seconds.
  6. Using a kitchen scale, divide batter evenly among your pans (about 16 ounces of batter in each of the 8-inch pans or 12 ounces in each of the 6-inch pans), spreading evenly with a small offset palette knife.
  7. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick comes out with a few crumbs when inserted into the center, about 20 to 25 minutes. Check cake at 20 minutes and then set the timer for 2 to 3 minute intervals if the cake needs to bake longer. You're looking for a few moist crumbs to come out on the toothpick when inserted into the center of the cake.
  8. Let the cake layers cool on racks for 10 minutes before inverting onto greased wire racks. Gently turn the cakes back up so the tops are up and cool completely.
  9. Once the cakes are cooled completely, level the tops if needed.
  10. Wrap each cake layer with plastic wrap and chill in freezer for at least an hour before using. The cake layers can be stored for up to a few days wrapped once in plastic wrap and frozen. To store longer than a few days, wrap twice in plastic wrap, then in foil, and seal in a zip-lock bag.

For the Chocolate Cookie Crumb

  1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until mixed.
  3. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
  4. Spread the clusters on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. the crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will dry and harden as they cool.
  5. Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or eating. stored in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

For the Butterscotch Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about one minute.
  2. Turn the mixer on low and gradually add the melted butterscotch chips. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again for another 20 to 30 seconds. 
  3. With the mixer still on low and gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla, salt and heavy cream. 
  4. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat the frosting for about 5 minutes. Texture should be light and fluffy.
  5. Stir by hand with wooden spoon to push out air pockets.

Butterscotch Ganache (and drip)

  1. Heat the cream and then pour over the butterscotch chips. Stir until all the chips are melted.


  1. After leveling each cake layer (if needed), place the first cake layer (top side/crumbly side up) on a cake board that has a little frosting on it (which acts like glue to hold the cake in place).
  2. Spread about 1 cup of the frosting over the cake layer.Make sure to get eye level with the cake to check that your frosting is spread evenly across each cake layer. 
  3. Sprinkle a handful of cookie crumbs over the frosting, followed by a drizzle of the butterscotch ganache.
  4. Place the second cake layer on top and repeat step 2 and 3. 
  5. When you get the final cake layer, place it top side down on the second layer of frosting. Spread a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  6. Continue to frost and decorate the cake with the remaining frosting.

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14 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake

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  1. Help! I’ve made this white cake recipe a few times, and every time it’s ended up being dry. I’m not over baking because there’s still moist crumbs when I do the toothpick test. I also found that adding the butter the way you described to do, didn’t incorporate well with the dry ingredients, so I would always end up using a pastry cutter. Any help you can offer would be great! Thanks

    1. For the cake, try taking out some of the flour – maybe a few tablespoons. I’d also add an extra egg or a 1/4 cup oil. For the butter, just soften it more so it blends better. For the chocolate chips, coat them in a little flour before you fold them in.

  2. …One more question! How do you keep the mini chocolate chips from not sinking to the bottom of the cake while it bakes?

  3. Hey! I notice that in the butterscotch frosting recipe you include adding heavy cream in the directions, but not in the ingredients list… And alternately include salt on the ingredients but not in the directions… Just thought you might want to take a peek at that in case it confused someone! 😘


  5. Hello. Thank you for ur wonderful website. I’m a new baker and have been practicing with some of ur recipes. Ive been making a lot of mistakes but that’s ok because that’s part of the learning process. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong with the buttercream. It’s just enough to cover and frost a layer. I don’t have enough to decorate. Do I have to make more frosting or am I putting too much? I am baking a two layer cake using 9” pan. Thanks again.

    1. Hmmm, my recipes are enough to fill and frost an entire cake. I wonder if you’re using too much in the center between the layers and too much for your crumb coat. It should yield about 6 cups of frosting.

  6. You didn’t give directions for the ganache drip (pictured on outside of cake). Will the recipe for the drip be enough to drizzle on the layers and complete the drip as pictured? Shouldn’t I wait until ready to assemble to make the drip? I find chocolate drip gets hard too fast if I make it before crumb coating and chilling the cake.

  7. Made this cake for my father-in-law birthday. It was a huge hit! I love the butterscotch buttercream! The cake was good flavor… but again the buttercream was out of this world. If you like butterscotch this is a must try!!

  8. Cake was out of this world and the saltiness of the crumble was a great contrast to the sweetness of the frosting. Because we used such high-fat butter (kerrygold), we had to frost with the buttercream slightly warmer than room temperature. Thanks for putting this recipe out there for all to use.