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.


  1. 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.

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

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

  4. Im ready to place my order for your online bakery!

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

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

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

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

  12. I can’t get enough PUMPKIN either!

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

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

  16. 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. 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. 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.

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

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

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

  22. bookmarked this one! sounds like a winning combo of flavors

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

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

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

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

  28. I think butterscotch and pumpkin are made for each other!

  29. 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. 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. 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?)!

  32. 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 :)

  33. 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. :)

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

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  36. 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!!

  37. 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!

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