Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Butterscotch-Pecan Cake

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.





35 comments:

  1. An absolutely stunning cake. You wouldn't find better in any great bakery. You are amazing :)
    *kisses* HH

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  2. Bake into perfection, utterly delicious classic cake Lisa.

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  3. That cake is fabulous! Could I have a slice, please? Yummy-oh!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. OH MY GOD. This looks perfect. I wish I could just come and live with you with the desserts you make. Of course then I'd probably end up being 200 pounds in 6 MO :D. Maybe I could just be the annoying neighbour who shows up when something smells nice, hovers, and refuses to leave before she gets a slice. But that too seems like a quic road to 200 lbs, I guess I have to be thankful for the little things, that I only get to drool from afar :D You honestly are the queen of baking.

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  5. The cake to frosting ratio looks perfect! (says the girl who believes cake is merely a carrier for frosting)

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  6. Wow...this look awesome. I love the frosting and all those crushed pecans. The cake looks very moist too. I really like this one! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Unbelievable. This does not bode well for calorie counting plan.

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  8. Well, I know exactly what I am making Randy for his next birthday. Butterscotch is his favorite. Actually, I'm thinking I will need to make it before then because that would mean waiting until next January. Did you use every dish and pot in your kitchen? Sounds like it but I know it was worth it.

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  9. The first thing I thought when I saw this was, "I want that. Now."

    That frosting does sound fantastic. I don't just want this, I NEED this! It sounds like my kinda recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

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  10. Oooh La la! That's a cross-section/sexy/food porn photo! You're killing me...still fasting until Easter.

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  11. OH MY! That's all I could say when I saw that first picture. That. Looks. Amazing. Yum!

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  12. Butterscotch and pecans? Can it get better than that??

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  13. What a fabulous looking cake!! I love all those nuts stuck to the cream. Gorgeous tempting pictures.

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  14. This cake looks sooooo delicious!!!!!!!

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  15. Who are the lucky folks who got to eat this one?

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  16. What a beautiful cake! I love the flavor of butterscotch! Looks great!

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  17. I could eat all the cake by myself. The cake looks awesome.

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  18. Man, I need to live near you. I swear, it seems like you bake a grand layer cake every week. Your neighbors must love you! ;)

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  19. that's absolutely gorgeous. you made a good decision hehe

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  20. multiple frosting tastings. got it.
    i'm like you, lisa, in that it takes me forever to decide what to make for ANY occasion, and i usually end up either going with my first idea or heading in an entirely opposite direction.
    now. this cake looks absolutely stellar. i'm a butterscotch fiend, and i thrilled by the frosting itself(duh) and the thick layer of it, as well as the crumb and the fact that you went with two layers instead of three. smitten, that's me. :)

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  21. So perfect! Your cake always looks so perfect :D

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  22. Even your description of it is mouthwatering and that's not even including the picture of the slice of it! :D Happy Easter Lisa!

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  23. OK..I just pulled two 9 inch layers of toasted pecan brown butter cake from the oven. I was going to use up the orange marmalade from the latest Daring Bakers challenge to make Melissa Murphy's Toasted Pecan Caramel Orange Marmalade Burnt Orange Buttercream cake. I hate orange marmalade..I LOVE butterscotch. Your cake is the bomb and that frosting will go down a lot better for me. It's absolutely beautiful too! So glad I saw this!

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  24. oh my goodness i HAVE to make this cake!! did you find the salt quantity in the recipe ok, or did you change it at all?
    xxx

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  25. colehillkitchen: I didn't make any changes to the recipe. The salt seemed just right to me. It's just noticeable and lovely with the butterscotch.

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  26. WOW! That is absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful cake!! Great photos too :)

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  27. Lisa, I just stumbled upon your blog and you make incredibly delicious looking cakes and your photography skills are top notch!

    -Jenniffer
    http://cupadeecakes.blogspot.com

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  28. That pretty much looks like the best cake ever!

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  29. Sounds amazing and you did not have to try at all to convince me that it is one fantastic tasting cake - wooza, looks incredible

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  30. I've never seen a recipe for a butterscotch cake before - I love it! And I'm with you on 3 layers being too many - I often do the same thing!

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  31. Speechless and in desperate need of a (very big) slice of this . . . make it the whole cake and we'll call it even.

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  32. Wow. That frosting sounds ridiculously good. Thank god it's far too much effort for my laziness, because I would eat that by the spoonful until I fainted.

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  33. I believe you.; That cake looks seriously decadent!

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