Butterscotch Cupcakes Supreme

Hello, hello!

It was a crazy cupcake kind of week, let me tell you. Well, not so much crazy cupcakes, as a crazy week o’ cupcakes. I’ve been working about 12 hours per day in the kitchen, testing recipes for my book, and it just so happened to be a truly cupcake-y scene around here the past while. While I don’t make a ton of cupcakes for the blog (not sure why — it just works out that way), it seemed like something I needed to do this post. Although these are very different than what I’m working on for the book, my brain was in wee cake mode. I started to think about what would make the most decadent cupcake around, and I knew butterscotch was key.

Butterscotch Cupcakes Supreme by Sweetapolita

I think it’s also because butterscotch reminds me so much of summer — butterscotch sundaes have my heart, even though I’m not really an ice cream kind of gal. What is butterscotch exactly? Well, it seems to me that it’s a term used loosely for the combination of brown sugar, butter and cream. Adding vanilla and salt is a common way to make it even more divine. Scotch as we know it, however, isn’t part of the equation (sorry, Ron). Although, I’ve taken to adding a tablespoon of dark rum to mine, and it’s rather delightful.

When it comes to butterscotch sauce, it’s really similar to a caramel sauce, but it’s not quite as technical to make (we don’t need to worry about a candy thermometer) and, again, we use brown sugar over white sugar. That’s not to say that caramel can’t have brown sugar and butterscotch can’t have white sugar, because that would make my explanation way too easy to follow.

So aside from being the most decadently caloric cupcake I’ve ever made, what is a Butterscotch Cupcake Supreme? It’s a super-moist, tender brown sugar cupcake brushed with a rum syrup, injected with homemade butterscotch sauce and topped with whipped mascarpone frosting drizzled with more butterscotch sauce and toffee bits. Kind of butterscotch heaven, in my mind. The cupcakes themselves aren’t super-sweet, but rather tender and subtly vanilla and brown sugary. The whipped mascarpone frosting is very minimally sweet, but oh-so-creamy.

The tang from the mascarpone goes so well with the super-sweet, buttery richness of the butterscotch. I’m not going to lie — you could pour this butterscotch sauce over a week-old mediocre donut and it’d suddenly be a life-altering dessert sensation. It’s that good. Try pouring it over vanilla ice cream or pretty much anything else you have in your kitchen — it’s amazing.

Butterscotchy love. ♥

And while we’re talking love, I want to tell you that I love you for being so patient with me and my lengthy between-posts gaps. Just know that all sorts of confectionery madness is happening from morning to night in my kitchen right now, and I can’t wait to share it all with you in book form.

That being said, I can’t wait to share my next blog post with you!

Butterscotch Cupcakes Supreme

Yield: 18 standard cupcakes

Moist brown sugar cupcakes brushed with rum syrup, injected with homemade butterscotch sauce, topped with whipped mascarpone frosting and drizzled with more butterscotch sauce and toffee bits.


    For the Rum Syrup:
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) white or dark rum
  • For the Butterscotch Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (228 g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whipping cream (35%)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) sea salt or fleur de sel
  • For the Brown Sugar Cupcakes:
  • 1-3/4 cups (236 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (57 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (230 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons (13 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small even pieces
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • For the Whipped Mascarpone Frosting:
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whipping cream (35%), cold
  • 3/4 cup (94 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) mascarpone cheese, softened
  • Toffee bits for sprinkling


    For the Rum Syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Let cool. Keep in an airtight container for up to one week.
  2. For the Butterscotch Sauce:
  3. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and swirl to combine. Whisk in cream then let mixture bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes -- don't stir. Whisk in vanilla and sea salt. Let cool. Keep in an airtight jar in refrigerator for up to one week.
  4. For the Brown Sugar Cupcakes:
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two muffin tins with 18 standard cupcake liners.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. With the mixer set to low speed, add the cold butter one piece at a time, about 10 seconds apart. Continue mixing on low speed until all of the butter has been blended and there are no clumps, about 5 minutes. Mixture should have a fine crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
  7. Combine the milk and lemon juice and gradually add mixture on medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the egg mixture; once the mixture has been added, increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, but no more. Gently fold batter once or twice (but no more) to ensure the egg mixture has all been incorporated.
  8. Divide batter evenly among the cupcake liners (a little more than 2/3 full) and bake until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs but no batter, about 13 minutes. Turn baked cupcakes onto wire cooling racks (face up) and brush with rum syrup while hot, then let cool completely.
  9. For the Whipped Mascarpone Frosting:
  10. Chill a stainless steel bowl and whisk attachment (from electric mixer) in the freezer for 10 minutes. Return bowl and whisk to mixer and whip heavy cream and confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until medium-firm peaks form. Fold in softened mascarpone cheese. Use immediately.
  11. Assembly of the Butterscotch Cupcakes:
  12. Fill a plastic squeeze bottle with butterscotch sauce and push tip of bottle into top of each cupcake, applying enough pressure to fill each cupcake with sauce (don't over-fill or sauce will ooze too much from top). Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, cover each cupcake with mascarpone frosting. Drizzle more butterscotch sauce over frosting and sprinkle with toffee bits.

Flavour combination inspiraiton: Tartelette

Cupcake recipe adapted from parenting.com

Butterscotch Sauce recipe adapted from LifeStyle FOOD

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • You can make the rum syrup and butterscotch sauce up to a week ahead and keep airtight in the refrigerator (cool completely before refrigerating). 
  • The butterscotch sauce is beyond delicious on its own, over ice cream, cake, bread pudding, cookies, etc. You can even add a tablespoon of dark rum to it with the vanilla and salt. Divine.
  • You can make the cupcakes 1 day ahead.
  • To fill the cupcakes liners, I used a heaping 50mm Stainless Steel Scoop full for each and used Ateco brand gold foil liners.
  • You should make the whipped mascarpone frosting right before you assemble the cupcakes. Once on the cupcakes, they’re best served within a few hours, but I noticed that once I refrigerated mine for photos the next day, the frosting held together just fine.
Good luck & enjoy!

Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    I missed you, Rosie! But these cupcakes make the waiting worthy! ;) I hope you’re having so much fun working on the book, and I can’t wait to have it in my hands! Happy and sweet weekend! ♥

  2. says

    These look like heaven. I love how the frosting looks like a scoop of ice cream. I will be making these as soon as I have a good excuse!

  3. Shannon says

    They look delicious! It reminds me of those butterscotch candies that I used to have when I was little. I always wondered what was the difference between caramel and butterscotch; thanks for explaining! :-) Love the idea of frosting the cupcake with an ice cream scoop, it looks divine!

  4. says

    These look lovely. I’ll definitely try out your mascarpone icing recipe as the other day I attempted to do make some but the recipe didn’t work out at all and I had to throw it out.
    Can’t wait to see your book :)

  5. Amanda says

    Yum! Can’t wait to make these. Well, I’m resting right now, but I will get up and make these shortly!

  6. says

    HI Rosie! I think this is like the first time I EVER posted on your blog…BTW visit my blog sometimes……(It’s not as fancy as yours)…anyways, I just wanted to point out, I DIE FOR BUTTERSCOTCH! XD I can’t wait until your book! Hope we can be baking buddies sometime. Oh yeah, did I mention this was a LLOONNGG post?

  7. Carrie Funk says

    Those look amazing! Brown sugar cookies are my absolute favorite so I can’t wait to try them in cupcake form. And thank you for your icing recipes, they’re the best I’ve ever had!

  8. Jennifer says

    I made these tonight and OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were so, so divine!! My 9 year old told me they were the BEST:)) Great recipe, thank you!

  9. says

    These are definitely getting made. I love butterscotch and these cupcakes just look over-the-top amazing.

    PS you totally have me craving a butterscotch sundae at 9am ;)

  10. Kristen says

    BEAUTIFUL!! I love the scooped frosting on top – such an adorable look!

    And you could take months between posts if you needed to…we’d all still be waiting right here ; )

  11. says

    Oh my, these look absolutely fabulous! Everything you said about this cupcake sounds like something I need. The not to sweet part, the creamy icing part…not to mention the rum part. I’m seriously salivating over the idea of a rum butterscotch. All I can think about is all the things I could put it on after I make these cupcakes.

  12. Ali says

    HI rosie! These look amazing! I was just wondering this might be the weirdest question but I’ve never really been a fan of mascarpone I find the flavour a little strong. Is there anything that would be a good substitute? Or a frosting that would be equally delicious on top? Love your site!

    • says

      Thanks, Ali! I think either going all whipped cream on top, or even a cream cheese frosting would be really good. I personally love the whipped cream frosting, just because it’s not sweet, and kind of balances out the sweetness of the butterscotch. Hope that helps! xo

  13. says

    I love that you filled the cupcakes with more of that scrumptious butterscotch sauce! And how easy the sauce looks to make!! These cupcakes look incredible!

  14. Jackie says

    Hi Rosie

    I want to make about 6 dozen cupcakes and 6 different flavors for my 5 year old niece’s birthday party, how do I plan to make these cupcakes for the big day.

    Also, is your cookbook going to be available in the USA. When it comes out.

  15. says

    These look ridiculously good! I’ve had such a huge thing for butterscotch. I think it’s just sweets in general. Currently having a go at some pistachio cream filled eclairs with vanilla white chocolate ganache! They won’t look as fancy as yours but it’ll sure be a beautiful mess. I’ll post them on my blog when I’m done – http://creamstar.blogspot.co.nz. Thanks for posting!

  16. says

    Rosie they’re beautiful! I love butterscotch and one of my baking goals for 2012 was to bake with it more often! Seriously :) I think this recipe has to happen. And rum syrup…swoon! Pinned!

  17. Aysh says

    So glad to see what you have been up to Rosie! If you were only had AP flour on hand, could you use 2-1/4 cups flour minus 2 tbs?

    Can’t wait for your next post! x

  18. AGS says

    Made this last week. They turned out delicious, couldn’t believe how soft they were. I may skip the rum syrup next time because the tops ended being a bit sticky.

    Another winner, Rosie! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • AGS says

      And yes, the whipped mascarpone frosting is divine! I did not have toffee bits so I used crushed walnuts….yum, yum, yummy!!

  19. Carolyn says

    Can I add the butterscotch to the Swiss meringue buttercream as a filling for macarons? And if so, how long will the flavoured buttercream keep in the freezer? These look divine though, will be making the, soon :) thanks fr sharing!

  20. Kat Pence says

    These sound delicious! Thanks for a wonderful recipe! I am wondering if I use standard whipping cream, or heavy cream?

  21. Barbara says

    Do you think it would turn out ok if I used cream cheese for the icing in place of the mascarpone? Thanks.

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