Homemade butterscotch krimpets: Even better than Tastykake! A Philly classic. Buttery brown sugar cake fingers with butterscotch icing.

Homemade butterscotch krimpets on a white marble surface.

This is a copycat recipe for a classic Philadelphia treat that I’ve enjoyed as long as I can remember: Butterscotch Krimpets!

The original is made by Tastykake, which is a local company similar to Hostess or Little Debbie. They make pre-packaged individual cakes, donuts, pies, and cookies.

My butterscotch krimpet recipe tastes every bit as good as the Tastykake kind! Maybe even better!

“Krimpet” is probably a made up word but everyone in the Philadelphia area knows it to mean like a little finger-shaped cake.

Butterscotch krimpets consist of a buttery brown sugar cake with the most incredible butterscotch icing on top. They’re rich and flavorful and there’s a little bit of a sweet & slightly savory thing going on that’s completely irresistible!

I absolutely adore cake. Both for eating and for making!

I find it so much fun to bake a cake recipe from scratch and watch everyone enjoy it. Nothing’s better than homemade!

If this sounds like you too then you’ll want to have a look at my orange creamsicle cake, my chocolate chip cake, and my pineapple upside-down cake recipes too!

Tastycake butterscotch krimpets recipe prepared and cut with a bite taken out of one corner.

Table of Contents

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What are butterscotch krimpets?

Let’s start by first answering the question “What is butterscotch?”

Butterscotch is just brown sugar and butter. That is all there is to it!

It often has a hint of salt for contrast and to bring out the rich taste of the butter.

Sometimes people want to add some type of spirit, such as rum or whiskey, but that really doesn’t have to be part of it. The main components are just butter and brown sugar.

So these are little individual cakes in the shape of a bar. The bottom is a layer of soft, moist, butterscotch cake and it’s topped with a smooth butterscotch icing.

They’re made by Tastykake, a commercial bakery native to the Philadelphia area. As a kid, we often had Tastykakes packed in our lunches or for after-school snacks or desserts.

My recipe is patterned after this but it’s homemade, so you know it’s going to be fabulous!

Why this is the best butterscotch krimpet recipe

  1. Tastes amazing: When you use real, wholesome ingredients like fresh butter, eggs, and real vanilla, you get a result that stands head and shoulders above anything you could buy off a store shelf.
  2. Few ingredients: You probably already have most (if not all!) of them on hand.
  3. Easy to make: The cake mixes up in just a few minutes.
  4. Wholesome: I like to think that homemade is healthier! It at least doesn’t have any of the chemical preservatives!

What do butterscotch krimpets taste like?

These have a rich, buttery flavor, accented with warm brown sugar.

The cake is soft and delicate, with a fine, even crumb that almost goes creamy on your palate.

And the icing is sweet and so delicious, almost like a Werther’s caramel.


Ingredients for making butterscotch krimpets, with text labels.

Brown sugar: I’ve used light brown sugar here and I think the flavor and color are a dead ringer for the original.

Flour: I like a combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour. Cake flour gives that beautiful even, delicate crumb while all-purpose lends some strength to the cake. If you’re unfamiliar with cake flour, click here: What is Cake Flour?

Leavening: A combination of baking powder and baking soda ensures that your butterscotch cake will rise sky-high and soft as a cloud!

Salt: Kosher salt has the cleanest, purest flavor. There are no bitter-tasting additives like iodine.

Butter: Unsalted butter is best so you can add the exact right amount yourself, instead of guessing at how much is in the butter. Make sure your butter has softened to room temperature.

Eggs: Large chicken eggs, or a plant-based product that can swap 1:1. It’s preferable if the eggs are at room temp, although I don’t find this to be too critical.

Sour cream: The natural acid will combine with the leavening to help the cake rise. You could also use the same amount of buttermilk or unsweetened yogurt.

Milk: Keeps the cake moist. Any kind will work, even a plant-based milk.

Vanilla: Vanilla extract lends a sweet fragrance that compliments the butter and brown sugar flavors.

Cream: Gives the butterscotch icing a workable consistency.

Powdered sugar: Gives body to the icing.

Special equipment

How to make butterscotch krimpets

Step 1: Make the butterscotch cake

Start by placing the brown sugar, flours, leavening, and salt in a large bowl.

Flour, brown sugar, leavening, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Give these dry ingredients a stir, just to get them combined.

Then add the butter.

Work it in until you get a mixture that resembles damp sand. We are using the “reverse creaming method” which is stupid simple and guarantees fantastic results!

Next, add in the eggs.

Adding eggs to butterscotch krimpet batter.

Stir each one in separately, allowing one to fully incorporate before adding the next.

Then, in go the liquids.

Adding sour cream, milk, and vanilla to cake batter.

Stir in the sour cream, milk and vanilla until you have a smooth, thick batter.

Butterscotch cake batter in a square pan.

Transfer it to the pan and allow it to bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Step 2: Make the butterscotch icing

Once your butterscotch cake is made and cooled, you can get going on the icing.

Start by melting brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt in a pot over medium heat.

Brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt in a medium pot.

Allow the mixture to come to a boil and reach a temperature of 240 degrees F. Cooking it to this temperature ensures your icing will be satin-smooth and not the least bit grainy.

Once you hit that critical temp, remove the butterscotch from the heat and whisk in half the powdered sugar.

Adding powdered sugar to boiling butterscotch mixture.

Then add the remaining powdered sugar, using a hand mixer to get a good consistency.

Butterscotch icing beaten with a hand mixer in a pot.

Keep in mind that you may need to add a little more cream to get it spreadable.

Step 3: Cut into fingers

Spread or pour the icing over the cake and give it a little time to set. This icing should set firm and form a little bit of a crust as it cools and dries.

Lift the entire cake out of the pan by the parchment overhang, and set it on a cutting board.

Cutting butterscotch cake into individual krimpets.

Cut it in half down the middle, then cut 5 equal krimpets from each half. Each slice of cake will be around 4.5-inches by just over 1.75-inches.

How to serve butterscotch krimpets

These are fantastic as a sweet snack or dessert.

I prefer them at room temperature, but you could also serve them chilled!

Expert tips

Measure precisely: Measure all the ingredients accurately. Use liquid measuring cups for the liquid ingredients, and dry measuring cups for the dry ingredients. Accurate measurements ensure the right balance of ingredients and prevent the cake from being too dry or too wet. Read more about this here: How to Measure Ingredients for Baking.

Room temperature ingredients: Allow ingredients like eggs, butter, and sour cream to come to room temperature before starting. Room temperature ingredients mix in more smoothly, so you don’t end up with a lumpy batter.

Scrape often: Stop frequently to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. This will help to incorporate any stiff butter that could be clinging there, so all the ingredients are smoothly incorporated into the batter.

Watch as it’s baking: Keep a close eye on the cake while baking and avoid overbaking it. Overbaking can lead to a dry cake. A few minutes before you think it will be done, flip on the oven light and view the cake through the window. If it doesn’t look wet in the middle, crack open the door slightly and give it a feel. If it’s springy, give it the toothpick test. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cake is done.

Cool completely: Allow the cake to cool in the pan. Cooling in the pan helps keep the cake moist.

Butterscotch krimpet recipe, prepared and presented on a marble surface with bottles of cold milk.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make homemade butterscotch krimpets ahead of time?

Yes! And it’s not a bad idea to make up this recipe a day before you plan to serve it, since it does need time to cool.

It will keep (lightly covered) at room temperature for a couple of days, or in the fridge for around a week.

Can you freeze butterscotch krimpets?

These freeze very well. Just be sure to wrap them tightly so they don’t dry out or pick up any funny freezer odors.

Butterscotch krimpets will last in the freezer for about 2 months, and can be thawed at room temperature or in the fridge.

What is the serving size?

My homemade krimpets are a bit larger than the Tastykake kind!

While Tastykake krimpets come 3 to a pack, I think one of my homemade version is more than enough!

So the nutritional info below is for just 1 krimpet.

Tasty cakes butterscotch krimpets recipe, cut into individual fingers with yellow and blue cloth in the background.

A few more of my best butterscotch recipes

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Homemade butterscotch krimpets on a white marble surface.
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Butterscotch Krimpets

Servings: 10 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Homemade butterscotch krimpets: Even better than Tastykake! A Philly classic. Buttery brown sugar cake fingers with butterscotch icing.


For the Butterscotch Cake

For the Butterscotch Icing

  • 1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (59.5 g) heavy cream, you may need a little extra to get the proper consistency
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar, divided


To Make the Butterscotch Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, mist a 9×9-inch metal cake pan with non-stick spray, and line it with parchment.
  • Place the brown sugar, cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, and stir on low speed to combine.
  • Add the butter, mixing on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (about 1 minute).
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla, mixing on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes to aerate the batter and build the cake’s structure.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (approx. 40 to 45 minutes).
  • Cool completely in the pan, then top with butterscotch icing and cut into individual 4.5×1.75-inch fingers.

To Make the Butterscotch Icing

  • Place the brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt in a medium pot over medium-low heat.
  • Cook the mixture (whisking) until it comes to a boil.
  • Continue to cook the butterscotch until it reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F, then remove it from the heat and whisk in half the powdered sugar.
  • Beat in the remaining powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed (add additional cream as needed to get the proper consistency).
  • Immediately pour or spread the icing over the cake and allow it to set before slicing.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 594kcal, Carbohydrates: 89g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 468mg, Potassium: 180mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 67g, Vitamin A: 808IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 96mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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