Do you ever make a new cake flavour hoping that it turns out well and, after that first bite, do a happy dance because you kinda knocked it out of the park? Gosh, I sure hope I’m not the only one but I truly think this Raspberry Smoked Butterscotch cake was a total home run.
Inspiration hit a few weeks ago while I was chatting with my girlfriend. She mentioned that on her way to pick up her son from daycare she had swung into the local Starbucks for an afternoon treat. The drive-thru employee greeted her and asked if she would be interested in trying their new smoked butterscotch latte to which she readily replied “yes!”
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Smoked Butterscotch Inspiration
Smoked butterscotch? I didn’t have to have the latte in hand to know that it would taste like heaven. I immediately started running different ideas in my head. How could I get that smoked flavour? What would it pair with? Do I want to incorporate something tangy? Something salty? Something sweet? The ever-practical and precise cake scientist that I am 😉 I eventually made my way down to Starbucks and grabbed said latte.
I eagerly awaited that first sip as I drove home and got snuggly on my couch. Verdict: oh gosh…slightly disappointing. I mean it was alright but it wasn’t “knock my socks” off amazing. Not enough smoke to balance the sweet butterscotch.
Mixing Up Flavours
Using this knowledge as a starting point I knew I wanted to highlight the smoky taste just as much as the butterscotch. As I was mixing up the cake batter I quickly realized that 1 tsp of the liquid smoke was not enough and quickly added another. My kitchen was soon filled with the delicious scent of smoked butterscotch as the cake layers baked. Now to decided on a buttercream.
Seeing as how the cake layers were smoky and sweet I wanted to add in a contrasting flavour that brought in some shall we say “zing!” Citrus fruits immediately came to mind but the sound of lemon smoked butterscotch was not doing it for me. And then in popped raspberry! Raspberry, while a sweet berry, has a great tart punch to it. And there you have it: Raspberry Smoked Butterscotch cake. Give it a shot and let me know what kind of happy dance you do after you take the first bite.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and brown sugar on high for 1 minute.
Add egg whites and mix on high for 2 minutes.
Add in the yogurt, vanilla extract, and liquid smoke and mix on high for 2 minutes.
Combine all the dry ingredients into the mixer and mix on low
While the mixer is on low slowly pour in the milk and mix until combined. Be careful to not overmix the batter.
Divide batter between pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to fully cool.
Butterscotch Ganache Filling
In a microwave-safe bowl heat the milk and butterscotch chips in 30-second intervals until fully melted and smooth. Make sure to stir between each interval.
Allow to fully cool before filling cake.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and shortening on high speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. This should take approximately 5-10 minutes.
Add the icing sugar, salt, vanilla extract, raspberry jam, or reduced fresh raspberries and milk and mix on low until combined.
Turn the mixer up to medium and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
Place one leveled layer of smoked butterscotch cake on a cake board or plate. Top with approximately 1 cup of buttercream.
Pipe a border of buttercream around the edge and fill with approximately ⅓ cup butterscotch ganache filling. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth sides.
Decorate as you please. I used ChefMaster gel colours to create an ombre effect. To do this separate the remaining buttercream into three bowls and in each bowl add 4 drops of one colour. With an offset spatula apply the burgundy wine coloured buttercream to the bottom third. The red red buttercream to the middle third. The bakers rose buttercream to the top third. With an icing smoother go around the cake to smooth the buttercream and fill any holes or gaps with the coordinating coloured buttercream. If you wish, you can use any extra butterscotch ganache for a drip. Warm it up and gently pour over the edges of the well-chilled cake with a spoon or a piping bag. On top, I used the Wilton 1M piping tip to create a border. Enjoy!