Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes.

Super-moist brown sugar cupcakes filled with homemade butterscotch sauce, topped with vanilla frosting and more butterscotch. Indulgent, show-stopping, perfect.

Super-moist brown sugar cupcakes filled with homemade butterscotch sauce, topped with vanilla frosting and more butterscotch. sallysbakingaddiction.com

I recently asked all my fans on Facebook if they liked butterscotch.

And I got an outpouring of butterscotch love! I knew I loved all of you for a reason. Butterscotch freaks can unite today. 

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes | sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve been trying to think of an excuse to make homemade butterscotch sauce for weeks now. Smooth, rich, buttery. Everything butterscotch should be. I was originally going to pour it on top of whole wheat pancakes, but thought many of you would find that weird. It’s not. Try it.

Then I thought about drizzling it on top of brownies. Have you ever had chocolate and butterscotch together? Oh my lanta, try that too! I have a killer chocolate/butterscotch recipe in my upcoming cookbook. Worth every second on the treadmill, trust me.

Anyway.

I finally landed on a spot for my homemade butterscotch sauce. Cupcakes! Easy homemade cupcakes sweetened purely from brown sugar. Love!

Brown Sugar Cupcakes | sallysbakingaddiction.com

This cupcake recipe should actually be quite familiar to you. It’s my go-to standard vanilla cupcake recipe that I use all the darn time. No frills, nothing fancy, no mixer required, no strange ingredients, nothing. Just pure, simple, homemade vanilla cupcake love. The only change I made was to use only brown sugar to sweeten them. It gives the cupcakes an even moister texture, as well as a slight flavor kick-in-the-pants of molasses. Super slight, you won’t even taste it. But you’ll know it’s there.

If you have a solid vanilla cake or cupcake recipe in your life, the options are endless. I’ve used my basic recipe to make strawberry shortcake, cookies ‘n cream, snickerdoodle, very vanilla, funfetti cake, and tie-dye cake.

But I think this brown sugar, butterscotch-filled, vanilla buttercream topped version is my favorite. :)

Super-moist Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s break down these cupcakes into three parts and go from there.

First, the cupcake batter. Put that cake mix away. I promise you’ll never pick it back up again to make cupcakes. From-scratch not only tastes better, but is much easier than you ever imagined. All you do is melt butter, whisk in some brown sugar, 1 egg, yogurt, milk, & vanilla. Then whisk in your dry ingredients.

The cupcakes bake for about 20 minutes, give or take. They’re quick.

How to make homemade butterscotch sauce. It's easy! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now, the homemade butterscotch. Have you ever had butterscotch on top of ice cream before? Did you like it? Of course you did. Now you can make it at home and have nightly ice cream sundae parties whilst buying bigger sized jeans. Not really, but maybe. (Yes I just said “whilst.”)

Making butterscotch sauce at home is quite similar to making homemade caramel – you’re pretty much using the same ingredients too! However, butterscotch sauce is not as hands-on as homemade caramel. In fact, it’s very hands-off! For most of the time, you’re just watching butter, cream, and brown sugar bubble.

Awful lighting, sorry:

Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes-13

Once your homemade butterscotch sauce is done, let it come to room temperature. You could also make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to one week. Once your cupcakes are baked, fill them with the butterscotch like so:

Super-moist Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes | sallysbakingaddiction.com

I use an empty condiment bottle to fill the cupcakes. I bought it for $1 at Walmart. If you do not want to buy one, use a skinny piping tip. If you don’t want to buy either, just drizzle the cupcakes with the homemade butterscotch instead. I promise, they’ll still be the best cupcakes you’ve ever had. Yeah, I just said that. The BEST.

So far we’ve covered the cupcakes and the homemade butterscotch. Now… the frosting!

Super-moist Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Doesn’t the frosting just look like a fluffy little cloud? It’s just an easy vanilla buttercream! For this frosting, you will need a mixer.

You’ll need butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. That’s it! Two very crucial notes: (1) make sure your butter is softened and not melted in the slightest.  I simply took my butter stick out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 45 minutes as I baked and cooled the cupcakes.  (2) Use heavy cream. You *could* use half-and-half or milk, but heavy cream will give the frosting the best possible texture. You’ll also have leftover cream from making your butterscotch sauce anyway.

Heavy cream makes the frosting so creamy, so thick, so lush. I use it in almost all of my frosting and glaze recipes.

*Heavy cream (approximately 36% milk fat) may also be sold as whipping cream. Light whipping cream (30% milk fat), or double cream (48% milk fat) may be substituted.

A wonderful thing about this buttercream is that you have full control over its texture, sweetness, and thickness. Add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency, more cream for a thinner consistency. Add salt to make it less sweet. Add more vanilla for a stronger vanilla flavor. Beat the frosting for longer to obtain a creamier texture. It’s not rocket science, it’s just frosting!

Super-moist Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes | sallysbakingaddiction.com

The last thing you need to do for your brown sugar butterscotch cupcakes is smother them with your homemade butterscotch sauce.

And I mean, completely smother! The more butterscotch, the better. 

From the brown sugared cupcakes, to the butterscotch filling, to the creamy vanilla frosting, and the butterscotch drizzle on top – I really don’t know which part I like best? It’s all so buttery! Luckily we don’t have to pick favorites. Have it all. Go ahead, indulge!

Super-moist Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Don’t be overwhelmed by the ingredient list. Most of the ingredients are repeats of each other.

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Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes

Super-moist brown sugar cupcakes filled with homemade butterscotch sauce, topped with vanilla frosting and more butterscotch. Indulgent, show-stopping, perfect.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling

Ingredients:

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

  • 1 and 2/3 cup (210g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) yogurt*
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk*
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups (360-480g) powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream*
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt, as needed

Directions:

To make the butterscotch: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the brown sugar, then whisk in cream then let mixture bubble and thicken for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and salt. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 12-count cupcake pan with liners or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

To make the cupcakes: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the brown sugar vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick. Divide batter between 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before filling.

To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt (or more) if frosting is too sweet.

Fill & frost the cupcakes: Fill a plastic squeeze bottle or piping bag (with a filling tip) with butterscotch sauce and push tip of bottle into top of each cupcake, applying enough pressure to fill each cupcake with sauce. Top with vanilla frosting and drizzle with remaining butterscotch sauce. I used a Wilton 1M tip for my frosting.

Cupcakes remain fresh covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 4 days. Store any leftover butterscotch in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*Skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or rice milk is OK.

*Sour cream OR nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK.

*Heavy cream preferred in frosting for optimal texture. Milk or half-and-half are acceptable substitutes, but your frosting won't be as creamy or fluffy.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

Here are a few more recipes you’ll love:

Soft Gingersnaps with Butterscotch Chips

Soft Gingersnaps with Butterscotch Chips by Sallys Baking Addiction #cookies

 

Easy  Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

 

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Puppy Chow

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Puppy Chow

 

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting-4

 

 

Q: What are your weekend plans?

Kevin has some studying to do all weekend, so I’m seeing my friend Erin on Saturday, grabbing coffee with my friend Kristen on Sunday, and we have big plans for homemade pizza tomorrow night! :)

   

135 Responses to “Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    61
    Risaposted January 26, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    These are show-stoppers. I’m up to my ears in red velvet and I’ve been browsing around for a fun cupcake for a potluck that’s coming up. These are the winners, thank you!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on January 27th, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Perfect! These are a great, unique cupcake to bring to parties and potlucks. No one will expect their flavor.

      Reply

  2. #
    62
    Annaposted January 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    hey :D
    The cupcakes look delicious! I’m getting really hungry just looking at the pictures…..
    I’d like to try them this weekend and i was wondering if i could also make them as mini cupcakes? Because i really want to be able to eat more than one without feeling guilty XD How long would i have to bake them? And can i fill and frost them the day before?
    Thanks :D

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on January 30th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      You sure could bake these as mini cupcakes. I would say about 10 minutes. Should make about 24 cupcakes, more or less. You may frost and fill the day before, yes. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature overnight. Enjoy!

      Reply

      • Annareplied on January 31st, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        Thank you! I’m going to make them tomorrow i bet they’ll be as delicious as all your recipes :)

  3. #
    63
    Philposted February 12, 2014 at 4:39 am

    These weredelicious. Made them and to my lab (where I work), my colleague told it’s the best thing she’s ever eaten. Congratulations Sally.

    Reply

  4. #
    64
    Lianaposted February 14, 2014 at 12:44 am

    My sister and I just made your frosting and it turned out yellow instead of white. Do you know why that would have happened?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 14th, 2014 at 8:30 am

      There are no yellow ingredients in the frosting, so I’m unsure? Perhaps your vanilla extract tinted it.

      Reply

  5. #
    65
    Ivanaposted February 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Hi sally, thank you sooooo much for sharing your cupcake recipes. I’ve made the fresh strawberry cupcakes (twice!), death by chocolate and today i am making this recipe! Your recipes are always great, my cupcakes always come out perfect and always taste delicious! My husband loves them, my friends think i am a domestic goddes! Thanks so much again!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 24th, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      So happy you love my cupcake recipes, Ivana! I know these will be a hit too.

      Reply

      • Ivanareplied on February 25th, 2014 at 11:19 am

        While we are at it, so i made the vanilla frosting but it curdled/seperated and was really mushy..it’s not soft and fluffy at all ;( my butter was at room temperature as instructed. I beat it until soft and then added the icing sugar (i reduced the amount), i then poured in the heavy whipping creAm (it was cold from the fridge), when i beat it, it started to curdle and separate. Do you know why this happened? Is it bcos i reduced the amount of sugar? It still tasted wonderfull though.

        The butterscotch sauce came out awsome, i ate half of it and keep the other half for the cupcakes. And now i am going to eat extra light veggie soup for the rest of the week to counter it.. Hope it will work ;)

  6. #
    66
    Lillianposted March 11, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Hi Sally! These look delicious! Is this recipe for a 12 count recipe?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 11th, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Yes it is!

      Reply

  7. #
    67
    Lillianposted March 11, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Is the yogurt required?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 11th, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Yes

      Reply

  8. #
    68
    Jennifer @ Crockpot Gourmetposted March 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Thought I would let you know we made these for my daughter’s birthday party tonight and they were a huge hit!!! So worth it to make homemade cupcakes! This will be my go-to recipe from now on :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 16th, 2014 at 6:25 am

      I’m so glad to read that, Jennifer! These are definitely a favorite cupcake recipe.

      Reply

  9. #
    69
    Sophinaposted March 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Sally, I’m not much of a baker but have been craving salted caramel and butterscotch cupcakes for a while! So I used your recipe and added some bits here and there!! They were delightful! Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I hope will be paying this blog more visits for sure!!
    One tip for UK bakers: use half the amount of salt advised, as I found mine were a tad bit too bitter x
    Sophina x

    Reply

  10. #
    70
    Amarantaposted March 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Sally! I am wondering could I bake this in silicone cupcakes liners?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 25th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Definitely!

      Reply

  11. #
    71
    Deb Kingposted April 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I made these cupcakes today and they were the best cupcakes I have ever made! I couldn’t find plain yogurt at our local grocery store so I used the sour cream instead and they were still wonderful! My husband said they are a keeper!

    Reply

  12. #
    72
    Lindseyposted April 11, 2014 at 4:25 am

    I’ve always wondered what butterscotch was… So basically it’s brown sugar “caramel”?

    Reply

  13. #
    73
    Sandraposted April 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I made these cupcakes yesterday and OMG!! Literally the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. My mom ate all of them! Thank you so much for the recipe

    Reply

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