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Scotcheroo Cake – caramel peanut butter cake layer with chocolate butterscotch buttercream, filled with the most delicious Scotcheroos.
Best Scotcheroo Recipe
Scotcheroos are a long-standing favorite at the Rich house. I was first introduced to them about 16 years ago, when I married into the Rich family and attended my first Christmas at Ryan’s house. These caramel peanut butter rice cereal bars, topped with chocolate butterscotch ganache had been, and always will be, a tradition at Ryan’s house. I’m not exactly sure when or why the tradition began, but I don’t ask questions – I just eat and enjoy!
I have always loved Connie’s Scotcheroos but had never made them on my own, outside of Christmastime. However, when I saw Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod post her Scotcheroo recipe, with brown sugar and a sprinkle of flaked salt, I knew I had to try them. The brown sugar gives the rice cereal element an enhanced caramel flavor and the flaked salt highlights the chocolate so well. I fell in love and decided right then and there I needed to make a Scotcheroo Cake.
NOTE: Hang on to that Scotcheroo recipe. You’ll want to make a batch to add between the layers of my cake.
To turn this classic rice cereal treat into a cake, I focused on flavors. For the cake layers, I combined the caramel and peanut butter – just like you do with the rice cereal element in the bars. For the buttercream, I combined the chocolate and butterscotch – just like you do with the ganache element in the bars. The result: incredibly tender cake layers with the most delicious, silky-smooth buttercream.
For an added texture element, I used the Scotcheroo recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod between the layers and as garnish on top of the cake. This is totally optional, though. You’ll still get an amazing Scotcheroo flavor without the rice cereal bars.
Ingredients You’ll Need for the Scotcheroo Cake
In addition to the usual cake ingredients (i.e. sugar, powdered sugar, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, cake flour, etc.), make sure you grab:
- Peanut butter, smooth
- Dulce de leche
- Rice Krispie cereal
- Dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CAKE LAYERS
Don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:
- Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
- Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
- Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
- Use room temperature wet ingredients.
- Use fresh baking powder.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
NOTE: These cake layers rise to about 1.25 – 1.5″ high. If you want thicker cake layers, I suggest adding an extra half batch to the recipe.
Can I Make This Cake in Advance?
All of my cakes, fillings, and buttercreams can be made in advance. I love spreading out the baking process so I never feel rushed or stressed to get it done all in one day. Check out these blog posts for scheduling your baking and storing your cakes.
How to Make Buttercream Frosting
This buttercream is so silky-smooth, you’re going to love it! Make sure to follow my tips for making the best buttercream over at: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM
- Sift your powdered sugar
- Use slightly cold butter
- Use heavy whipping cream
- Beat for 5 minutes
- Stir by hand
You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step.
How to Cake It
Before you start stacking your cake, make sure you’ve chilled your layers for at least an hour in the freezer. I find that freezing my layers to chill them a little makes it easier to stack and frost my cakes. When you’re ready to stack and decorate, just make sure the layers aren’t totally frozen (otherwise your buttercream will harden too quickly as you apply it to the cake).
- Place first cake layer, top side up, in the center of your cake board or cake plate.
- Spread about 1 cup of buttercream evenly over the cake.
- Sprinkle chopped Scotcheroos over the buttercream, if using, and pat into place.
- Place second cake layer on top of fillings and repeat these steps.
- Place final cake layer on top and cover with a thin coat of buttercream.
- Freeze the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
- Finish frosting the cake after the crumb coat is set with the remaining buttercream.
- Use a Wilton 1m tip for the piping design. (No additional buttercream is needed beyond what the recipe makes)
BEST CAKE RECIPES
Love the flavors of a Scotcheroo? I think you’ll love these cakes too:
Caramel peanut butter cake layers with chocolate butterscotch buttercream
FOR THE CARAMEL PEANUT BUTTER CAKE
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp (13 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp (6 g) salt
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (210 g) smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (145 g) dulce de leche THIS is the brand I use
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 tbsp (14 g) vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (300 g) whole milk at room temperature
FOR THE CHOCOLATE BUTTERSCOTCH BUTTERCREAM
- 1/2 cup (115 g) heavy whipping cream
- 7 oz (200 g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 8 oz (228 g) butterscotch chips
- 3 cups (678 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
- 8 cups (1,000 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
- 2 tsp (8.4 g) vanilla extract
- 1 tsp (6 g) salt
- *This buttercream makes enough to fill, frost and decorate the cake with piping.
FOR THE SCOTCHEROOS (optional)
- 1 recipe Two Peas and Their Pod Scotcheroos RECIPE HERE
FOR THE CAKE
- PREHEAT YOUR OVEN: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
- MIX THE INGREDIENTS: In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar. Mix on medium-high for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the peanut butter and dulce de leche and continue to beat for an additional 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and silky.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the butter and sugar are mixed well with the eggs. Add the vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
- BAKE THE CAKES: Pour the batter into your three 8-inch pans (about 22 ounces in each) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan on wire racks for about 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto wire racks (TIP: spray the racks with non stick spray) and allow to cool completely.
- TIP: Cakes can be made ahead of time and wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until ready to use. Be sure to give the cakes about 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature before stacking and decorating.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE BUTTERSCOTCH BUTTERCREAM
- MAKE A GANACHE: Combine the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a mixing bowl. Set aside. In a separate microwave safe bowl, heat the cream to nearly boiling.
- Pour the hot cream over the chips and stir until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the ganache and stir until the mixture is smooth.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla and salt.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat the buttercream for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- STACK THE CAKE: Place the first cake layer in the center of the cake board. Using an offset icing spatula, spread about 1 cup of the buttercream evenly across the cake layer. Sprinkle chopped scotcheroos (if using) over the buttercream and pat into place.
- Place the second cake layer on top of the filling and repeat first step.
- Place the third cake layer, top side down.
- Crumb coat the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream and freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes to set.
- Once the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining buttercream.