These brown sugar butterscotch cupcakes are filled with homemade butterscotch sauce and topped with vanilla frosting. They’re buttery, rich, and flavorful, plus using all brown sugar keeps their texture super moist!
We’ve used a basic cupcake recipe to make strawberry shortcake cupcakes, cookies ‘n cream cupcakes, snickerdoodle cupcakes, and very vanilla cupcakes. It’s consistently delicious and makes the perfect blank canvas for a variety of flavors. Brown sugar butterscotch was next on our list!
Tell Me About These Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes
- Flavor: These cupcakes have a comforting buttery vanilla flavor that all bakers love. But we don’t stop there! We use all brown sugar to sweeten them and fill each with homemade butterscotch sauce. If you love butterscotch as much as we do, you’ll enjoy today’s cupcakes and you should try this homemade butterscotch pudding too!
- Texture: Yogurt and melted butter guarantee a perfectly moist cupcake with a buttery dense and cakey crumb.
- Ease: These brown sugar butterscotch cupcakes have a few moving parts, but each are completely doable– even if you’re a beginner! Most of the ingredients are repeated in each layer/component and you don’t need a mixer for the cupcake batter. (Though you’ll definitely need to pull it out for the frosting.)
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce & Vanilla Frosting
- Butterscotch Sauce: This part of the recipe is quite similar to making homemade caramel and you’re pretty much using the same ingredients too. However, butterscotch sauce is not as hands-on as caramel. In fact, it’s very hands-off. For most of the time, you’re just watching butter, cream, and brown sugar bubble. 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 the cupcakes have baked and cooled, fill them with the butterscotch. (Any extra? I recommend drizzling it on whole wheat pancakes. What a treat!)
- Vanilla Frosting: You need butter, confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a little salt. Two very crucial notes: (1) make sure your butter is softened and not melted in the slightest. Reviewing our room temperature butter post is always helpful before making a butter-based frosting. (2) Use heavy cream as the liquid in the frosting. You *could* use half-and-half or milk, but heavy cream will give the frosting the creamiest texture. You’ll have leftover cream from making your butterscotch sauce anyway. A wonderful thing about this buttercream is that you have full control over its texture, sweetness, and thickness. Add more confectioners’ sugar for a thicker consistency or more cream to thin it out. And add salt to taste.
Overview: How to Make Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before we get started.
- Make the butterscotch.
- Preheat and line the cupcake pan.
- Make the cupcake batter
- Bake, then cool the cupcakes.
- Make the frosting as the cupcakes finish up cooling
- Fill and frost the cupcakes. Fill the cooled cupcakes using a plastic squeeze bottle or a piping bag & tip. Top with frosting and drizzle with butterscotch sauce.
More Butterscotch Recipes
- Salted Butterscotch Blondies
- Butterscotch Pudding
- Oatmeal Scotchies
- Butterscotch Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Super-moist brown sugar cupcakes filled with homemade butterscotch sauce, topped with vanilla frosting and more butterscotch. Indulgent, show-stopping, perfect.
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Brown Sugar Cupcakes
- 1 and 2/3 cup (209g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
- 3/4 cup (180ml) milk*
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3–4 cups (360-480g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream*
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- salt, to taste
- Make the butterscotch sauce: 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 350°F (177°C). Line 12-count cupcake pan with liners or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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 confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Beat in a pinch of salt, taste, then beat in another pinch if desired.
- 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.
- Yogurt: Sour cream OR nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK.
- Milk: Skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or rice milk is OK.
- Heavy Cream: 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.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: brown sugar butterscotch cupcakes, butterscotch cupcakes