Salted Bourbon Butterscotch Cupcakes

| |

If you are a fan of butterscotch, then you will LOVE these cupcakes from Cake Merchant.  Why?  Because there is butterscotch filling inside the butterscotch flavored cake AND butterscotch flavor in the Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention to bourbon flavor.  So there ya go – all the butterscotch a person could possibly ask for in one little package.

Salted Bourbon Butterscotch Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


For the Brown Sugar Bourbon Butterscotch Cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon extra strong butterscotch flavoring, such as LorAnn butterscotch flavoring oil (optional)
  • 1 1/4 (160 grams) cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (125 grams) dark brown sugar sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick, 85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 6 pieces
For the Butterscotch Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 4 large egg whites (4 ounces or 113 grams)
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or flaky sea salt
  • 3 sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Salted Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce (recipe below)
  • Fleur de del for sprinkling


For the Brown Sugar Bourbon Butterscotch Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, egg white, vanilla, bourbon, and butterscotch flavor.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and dark brown sugar.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the butter one piece at a time until the mixture looks like moist crumbs.
  5. Add all but 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat on medium speed for about 60 seconds.
  6. Add the remainder of the milk mixture and beat on medium for an additional 30 seconds.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat for 20 more seconds.
  8. Divide the cupcakes between the 12 paper liners and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely on wire racks.
For the Butterscotch Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  1. Combine the egg whites, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl (I used the bowl of my stand mixer).
  2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water, nor should the water be at a rolling boil. It’s the steam that’s going to heat the egg whites, since we don’t want scrambled eggs.
  3. Heat the egg white mixture until it reaches 160 degrees fahrenheit if using fresh eggs (use the finger method if using liquid egg whites), whisking frequently so as not to get scrambled eggs.
  4. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whip the egg whites on medium high using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer.
  5. Whip the egg whites until they become fluffy and double in volume. The bowl should be neutral to the touch (this will usually take several minutes).
  6. Turn the mixer down to medium low, and add the butter in one chunk at a time, until it has all been incorporated.
  7. If the mixture looks curdled at this point, this is normal. Just keep whipping for a few more minutes until it comes together. If the mixture looks soupy, you can add a few cubes of chilled butter, or stick the whole bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and then continue beating.
  8. Once the buttercream has become smooth, and the butterscotch sauce and beat until incorporated.
To Assemble the Cupcakes:
  1. Use an apple corer to make a hole on the center of the cupcakes and scoop out the middle (leave enough on the bottom so the sauce will not spill out).


  1. Fill each hole with butterscotch sauce and place the scooped out portion back on top.
  2. Using a piping tip, pipe the frosting on the cupcakes.
  3. Drizzle with the remainder of the butterscotch sauce and top with a few flakes of fleur de sel.

Easy Butterscotch Sauce from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (about 109 grams) packed dark or light brown sugar (I used dark)
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) flaky sea salt (or 1/4 teaspoon regular salt), plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) vanilla extract, plus more to taste
  1. Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cream and salt and whisk until well blended. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][A flat whisk works great here.] Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and add one teaspoon of the vanilla extract, stirring to combine and this is where, despite the simplicity of the recipe, you get to feel all “chef-y”. Dip a spoon in the sauce and carefully taste the sauce (without burning your tongue!) to see if you want to add additional pinches or salt or splashes of vanilla.
  3. Tweak it to your taste, whisking well after each addition. I ended up using a full teaspoon of flaky salt and the listed amount of vanilla to get a butterscotch sauce with a very loud, impressive butterscotch flavor but the strength of your vanilla and intensity of your salt may vary.




Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Garlic Roll Cupcakes


Leave a Comment