I’m not always good at making decisions. That’s especially true when it comes to choosing a type of cake to bake for a special occasion. First, I was sure a lemon cake would be great, but that was before I became taken with the idea of a little raspberry cream number. Then, I realized I better pull out the files and check to see if there was something long-forgotten and hidden-away that might be perfect. Indeed, there was just such a cake. It was this butterscotch-pecan cake which first appeared in the November 2008 issue of Living, and I had forgotten all about it. Butterscotch cake with a smidgen of rum in it, butterscotch cream cheese frosting, and chopped pecans to finish it, and I was sold. This is a grand cake which was intended to be three layers tall. Somehow, three layers always seems like a lot of cake to me, so as usual, I only baked two layers, baked the remaining batter as cupcakes, and froze the cupcakes for another day. I won’t suggest that this is a quick and easy kind of cake. Well, there’s nothing difficult about it, but there are several steps involved, and some of those steps require cooling and waiting after completing them before moving on to the next. I will do my best to convince you to try this, though, because it is possibly the most delicious cake ever.
The cake batter was started with a simple mix of softened butter, dark brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and rum. Once combined, flour mixed with baking powder, baking soda, and salt was alternately added with buttermilk. The cakes were baked and cooled. Then, what I’m going to call the best frosting ever was prepared. To make it, butter was melted and browned, then dark brown sugar, cream, and salt were added. It was brought to a boil while whisking and cooked for three minutes. That lovely, lovely mixture was transferred to the bowl of a mixer and left to cool. Once cool, additional butter was mixed into it. In a separate bowl, cream cheese was mixed with confectioners’ sugar, and then it was added to the butter mixture and mixed until smooth. The frosting then needed to be refrigerated to firm up a bit, but I recommend you taste it several times as it chills only because it’s incredible. Butterscotch cream cheese frosting should top everything from cinnamon rolls to toast. Ok, the cake was baked and the frosting was almost ready, but there was one other component to this cake. A butterscotch sauce was made by mixing sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. This was cooked over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolved and then it was brought to a boil. Off the heat, cream was added, and then it was cooked for two more minutes and allowed to cool. This sauce was brushed over the cake layers before they were frosted. The layers were stacked, frosting was generously applied, and chopped, toasted pecans were added on the sides.
As I tasted the different parts of this at each step along the way, I repeatedly said that this was the best cake I’ve ever made. The frosting with sweet dark brown sugar and browned butter with a hint of salt mixed with cream cheese was scandalously good. There was no counting of calories while enjoying this cake. It’s too delicious for you to even care.