Chocolate Cake Recipe with Burnt Butterscotch Frosting

Chocolate and burnt butterscotch layer cake

  • serves 12
  • Easy

This deliciously indulgent, grown-up chocolate and burnt butterscotch cake looks really impressive and is definitely worth the effort




  • dark chocolate 200g
  • butter 200g, cut into small pieces
  • instant coffee 1 tbsp mixed with 120ml water
  • eggs 3 medium
  • buttermilk 2 tbsp 
  • self-raising flour 100g
  • plain flour 100g 
  • bicarbonate of soda ¼ tsp 
  • golden caster sugar 300g 
  • cocoa powder 25g 


  • golden caster sugar 200g
  • soft light brown sugar 100g
  • butter 90g
  • double cream 400ml
  • mascarpone 250ml
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur 1 tbsp


  • Step 1

    Butter and line the base of a 19cm x 7cm deep springform cake tin. Break the chocolate into a pan, add the butter and coffee mixture and warm through over a low heat until it melts together.  Beat the eggs in a bowl until they slightly thicken, then stir in the buttermilk. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and cocoa into another mixing bowl.

  • Step 2

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Pour the chocolate and egg mixtures into the flour mixture, and stir until everything is mixed and smooth.  Pour this into the prepared tin and bake for 1½ hours in the oven, or until a skewer pushed in comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut horizontally into three discs.

  • Step 3

    For the butterscotch cream, melt the caster sugar in a small saucepan until it starts to caramelise, then leave a little longer until it starts to turn a ruby red colour. Watch it carefully – you don’t want it to burn. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the brown sugar and butter, followed by 100ml of the cream in a thin stream, while still whisking. Return to the heat and bring to a foamy boil for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved and there are no lumps. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

  • Step 4

    Beat the remaining double cream with the vanilla extract and coffee liqueur to soft peak stage, then fold in the mascarpone and ¾ of the burnt butterscotch mixture.

  • Step 5

    Spread each layer of cake with butterscotch cream and sandwich them together. Heat the remaining butterscotch really gently in a pan (or in the microwave) until it’s just runny enough to drizzle, but not too warm or the cream will melt.

  • Step 6

    Top the cake with the reserved burnt butterscotch sauce, allowing some to fall down the sides.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 825
  • Fat 56.7g
  • Saturates 35.4g
  • Carbs 69.7g
  • Fibre 2.8g
  • Protein 6.9g
  • Salt 0.7g