For years, I didn’t think I liked pumpkin.

The only pumpkin dessert I ever tried when I was younger was pumpkin pie – and I’m still not a fan. If I’m going to have a slice of pie, I want something warm and chocolate or doubled crusted with fruit.

A cold slice of slimy pumpkin pie is never, ever on my holiday dessert plate.

I stayed away from anything with pumpkin until just a few years ago. And now I can’t stay away – it gets stirred into oatmeal, folded into bread, spread onto toast, plopped into yogurt.

And PS: This cake was supposed to be blondies. I wanted pumpkin filled, orange blondies with butterscotch and pecans.

But that pumpkin, she is so tricky.

She changes textures as soon as she hits the batter, making you wait until your treats are done baking to find out what you actually ended up with.

Pumpkin decided to make these more cake like and less like dense, buttery blondies. It’s a good thing I like her – because these still turned out delicious, blondie or not.

I made the first batch of these for a tailgate with friends and they were gobbled up almost instantly. We had no leftovers to bring home, but Nick wanted more so I made a smaller pan and added a layer of vanilla-studded cream cheese frosting.

Warm pumpkin cake with butterscotch and cream cheese frosting is so much better than pumpkin pie.

And if you haven’t had pumpkin and butterscotch together yet, do it!

I’m pretty sure they’re meant to be together.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cake

Makes: 12 servings


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup buttescotch chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs to the butter and mix until it is incorporated.
  4. Beat in the pumpkin puree and vanilla, mixing for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the flours, baking soda, and salt to the butter mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes until the flour is mixed in.
  6. Gently fold the pecans and butterscotch chips into the batter and pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.


Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

Makes: 12 servings


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 0r vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Pour the powdered sugar into the cream cheese, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting is smooth and thick enough to spread onto the cooled cake.

47 Responses to “Pumpkin Butterscotch Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — October 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Yes, please! I’m all about pumpkin this time of year. The way I figure it, I’ve got 2 months to cram all the pumpkin I can handle.

    • admin replied: — October 17th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      you and me both :)

  2. #
    Jenny Flake — October 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    This looks perfect! I am a butterscotch fanatic :) Hope you have a great day!!

    • admin replied: — October 17th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks Jenny! Us too – we love butterscotch in everything!

  3. #
    Hope — October 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Oh, my I am drooling sitting here! This cake looks phenomenal! :) Happy Monday!

  4. #
    Tammy — October 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Im ready to place my order for your online bakery!

    • admin replied: — October 17th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      you’re too sweet, Tammy :) Thank you so much!

  5. #
    The Healthy Hostess — October 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    This looks so good! I need to make this for company soon!!

  6. #
    jenna — October 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    i was the same way! i thought i hated pumpkin! now i love all things pumpkin! my life is much sweeter. this looks amazing brandi!

  7. #
    Heather — October 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Pumpkin and butterscotch are SO GREAT together – love! I’m saving this recipe – thanks!

  8. #
    Cassie l Bake Your Day — October 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    It took me a long time to realize that I like pumpkin…I still don’t like pumpkin pie but anything else, I’ll take it! This sounds amazing, I love butterscotch. That drippy frosting looks to-die-for!

  9. #
    Faith @ For the Health of It — October 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Butterscotch is so’s one of my all-time flavors but I really don’t remember ever making anything with it. And of course, cream cheese frosting…WIN!

  10. #
    Kathryn — October 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I love anything with butterscotch in it and this cake sounds to die for!

  11. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — October 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Yummmmm! I’m all-in with anything that has cream cheese frosting on it!

  12. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — October 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I can’t get enough PUMPKIN either!

  13. #
    Curt — October 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Sounds like things turned out for the best! They look awesome!

  14. #
    Erica — October 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Gotta love when a recipe doesn’t work out exactly as planned….but ends up amazing! Josh was not a pumpkin fan until I started making pumpkin chocolate chunk bars! Now hes an addict

  15. #
    Mama Pea — October 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    All the cool kids made pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing today. And by that, I mean you and me :)

    • admin replied: — October 17th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      Obviously! :)

  16. #
    Jes — October 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Pumpkin & butterscotch is the most amazing sounding combo! I could definitely cozy up with a piece of that cake and a cup of coffee.

  17. #
    Andrea — October 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Nice Brandi!! You’re so right, pumpkin can be very tricky to work with when it comes to baking. It needs its own FAQ. Ha!

  18. #
    Kelly — October 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Yum. Sounds like a happy accident. Did you happen to see How Sweet’s Chewy Pumpkin Cookie recipes? I wonder if pumpkin butter might be the answer to a more blondie-like texture. Regardless, I think what you ended up with looks fantastic. Also, did you start with canned pumpkin puree or homemade/fresh? I find that makes a difference too. I’ve always found homemade puree to be way more unpredictable than canned.

    I’m glad you called it a cake though. It always confuses me a bit when I go on blogs and they call something a blondie when in reality the texture looks NOTHING like a blondie.

    • admin replied: — October 18th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Yes, I did see her cookie recipes! I love the idea of using pumpkin butter, but I still want to find a way to make them with regular pumpkin, too, and have the texture I want.

      I used canned pumpkin this time.

  19. #
    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — October 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Loving the cream cheese frosting on this (and the whole thing in general) – wish I had a slice right now.

  20. #
    Lauren @ What Lauren Likes — October 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    YumYUM! I so could love this!! Great pics :)

  21. #
    emily — October 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I even have butterscotch chips to use up; there’s no way I can *not* make this!

    • admin replied: — October 18th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      yes! do it! :)

  22. #
    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean — October 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    bookmarked this one! sounds like a winning combo of flavors

  23. #
    Feast on the Cheap — October 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Oh i cannot wait to try this. I absolutely adore butterscotch and adding pumpkin to the mix? Brilliant!

  24. #
    Spiceaholic — October 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    There’s just something about fall and pumpkins . . . I’m on a pumpkin kick myself! This looks really good, off to drool over the pics some more. :)

  25. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — October 17, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Pumpkin is amazing! Love the looks of this cake/blondie. I just wanna take a bite! :-P

  26. #
    Megan — October 18, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I don’t think I have had pumpkin and butterscotch, but it’s a combination I want to try!

  27. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — October 18, 2011 at 4:05 am

    I have not had pumpkin with butterscotch yet, but clearly I am missing out.

    • admin replied: — October 18th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      Yes, you are! They are incredible together.

  28. #
    Sarah R — October 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I think butterscotch and pumpkin are made for each other!

  29. #
    Emily @ Gltiz Glam Granola — October 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Omg this looks amazing!! I’ve never had pumpkin and butterscotch together but I can imagine they are fabulous! I wonder if this were a little undercooked if it could be like bread pudding?? Yum!

  30. #
    Shannon — October 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    woah, hello lover. i wonder if i could use my cinnamon chips here… (i’ve been saving them for a rainy day?) sounds great! especially with cream cheese frosting :)

    ps- i don’t like pumpkin pie, but i have fallen for my mom’s pumpkin chiffon! it’d be worth trying this year!

  31. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, inc. — October 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    my mouth is watering

  32. #
    Katie — October 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    That is a brilliant recipe! My mom lovessss butterscotch; I bet she’d be a big fan of these (I’m always trying to find new things to make to impress her…haha, since her recipes are always the best ya know?)!

  33. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — October 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    This sounds so good! Love the idea of butterscotch and pumpkin together. I like pumpkin on it’s own, but butterscotch can only improve it :)

  34. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I LOVE butterscotch! I’ve never had it with pumpkin, though. This sounds super delicious, but we don’t have butterscotch chips where I live so I will have to suffer. I love that you used whole wheat. :)

  35. #
    Carolyn — October 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Oh yum, the butterscotch chips in a pumpkin cake…great addition!

  36. #
    Carla @ Jansen Family Adventures — November 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Hi! We’re new to your blog–this recipe was awesome! My husband made it for my birthday (I love butterscotch and pumpkin!) and we all LOVED it! Thanks for sharing!!

    • admin replied: — November 8th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      I’m so glad you all liked it! :)

  37. #
    Sana — November 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    HI there!

    I was wondering if you had to use the whole wheat flour at all or if you could just use all white flour. ( Does it taste better with whole wheat flour?) Also, if you didn’t want any nuts, would you suggest doubling the butterscotch? I am so excited to make this! YUMMERS!

    • admin replied: — November 20th, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      you could definitely use regular flour. and yes, double the butterscotch! :) that would be delicious!


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