Recipe Review

Already Tired of Pumpkin Spice? Try This Easy Butterscotch Bundt Cake.

published Sep 29, 2021
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Credit: Justin Burke

This year felt like pumpkin-flavored products and recipes hit harder and earlier than previous years. The amount of pumpkin-pushing was overwhelming, which caused me to spiral into a late-night Instagram scroll fest looking for anything for fall baking that wasn’t pumpkin-based. Luckily, Browned Butter Blondie was feeling the same way and posted her easy butterscotch Bundt cake to break up the pumpkin mania. The dark brown butterscotch cake was exactly what I was looking for to escape the pumpkin but still feel seasonal. Here’s what happened when I went against the grain and baked a fall Bundt cake, sans pumpkin. 

How To Make Browned Butter Blondie’s Butterscotch Bundt Cake

You’ll start by whisking together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together softened butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Return the mixer to medium speed and beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated, then mix in the vanilla extract. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream (or Greek yogurt), beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until barely incorporated with only a few visible flour streaks in the batter and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula; do not overmix. 

Generously spray a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with baking spray, including the center tube. Add the batter to the pan — it will be thick —  smoothing with a spatula and tapping the pan a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before glazing. 

To make the glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add light brown sugar, salt, maple syrup, and heavy cream and bring to a simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and immediately add sifted powdered sugar, whisking continuously until smooth. Pour the hot glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides. Let it set for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. 

Credit: Justin Burke

My Honest Review 

Sometimes when I taste something for the first time it takes me two, maybe three bites before I decide whether I like it or not. That was the case with this recipe. The first bite didn’t knock me over with butterscotch, which I was expecting. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by how deliciously subtle the cake was with brown sugar flavor. The texture of the cake is soft but sturdy enough to hold the weight of the glaze without becoming too soggy. 

Unfortunately, the glaze, which is supposed to be butterscotch, did not come through as its name implies. Instead of the distinct, bold marriage between molasses (brown sugar) and butter, the glaze tasted like traditional caramel. Maybe the powdered sugar dulled the butterscotch flavor, or the use of light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar didn’t give it enough of a molasses kick. Regardless of the lack of promised butterscotch, the cake itself is a solid recipe for fall that isn’t another variation of spiced pumpkin. I’ll keep this cake in the rotation this fall, but might switch out the glaze for something else.

My 2 Tips for Making Browned Butter Blondie’s Butterscotch Bundt Cake

  1. Don’t overmix the batter. This is a thick batter and overmixing it will make it dense and dry. Stop the mixer when a few flour streaks are still visible and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula. 
  2. Grease the pan right before baking. With the beveled sides of a Bundt pan, greasing it too early will allow the grease to slide down and pool at the bottom and increase the risk of the cake sticking to the sides. Spray the pan right before adding the batter — this will provide a better release between cake and pan once baked.