This Scotcheroo Cake is made with moist peanut butter cake layers paired with a whipped chocolate and butterscotch scotcheroos filling, stuffed with crunchy baked Rice Krispies cereal and covered in a smooth and irresistible chocolate butterscotch buttercream! It’s Scotcharoos in cake form! 

Butterscotch and chocolate is probably one of my favorite sweet combinations! You can find it in my Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mom’s Recipe Crumbl Cookie, 7 Layer Bar Cookies and 7 Layer Bars recipes! Which one will you try first? 

A slice of Scotcheroo Cake being cut from a three layered cake.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Best peanut butter layer cake. The peanut butter cake layers are perfect! The peanut butter is prominent enough to really have that peanut butter flavor come through, but without the cake sticking to the roof of your mouth. It’s an incredibly light and moist cake.
  • Cake with oil and butter. We made this cake 4 different times in order to get the recipe right! Just oil and just butter cakes weren’t there yet, so this cake uses both butter and oil in the cake layers. The oil brings that perfect moistness and the butter brings the delicious butter flavor to the cake! 
  • Delicious whipped scotcharoos cake filling. The scotcharoo filling is the chocolate and butterscotch mixture that goes on top of the Rice Krispies mixture when you are making traditional scotcheroos. We’ve simply added whipped cream to that mixture to create a deliciously light filling. 
  • Rice Krispies hold their flavor and crunch. The crunchy cereal mixture is so incredible in this cake! It brings in the cereal and yet the baked mixture stays crunchy between the cake layers! It’s perfection! 

Ingredient Notes

Overhead photo of a Scotcheroo Cake topped with butterscotch chocolate swirls and small squares of scotcharoos.
  • Unsalted Butter: Softened for the cake, melted for the scotcheroo filling, slightly softened but still cold for the buttercream.
  • Eggs: Using room temperature eggs will help them incorporate into the cake batter much better, resulting in a more even bake. 
  • Vegetable Oil: Using a combination of butter and oil in this peanut butter cake gives us a really moist texture (thank you oil!) and a delicious flavor (thank you butter!). 
  • Buttermilk: Be sure to use buttermilk at room temperature to get the best results! The buttermilk is an acid and, when combined with a base like baking soda, will help give rise to the cake layers. 
  • Flour: This recipe uses regular, all-purpose flour. 
  • Light Karo Syrup: This provides a bit of the sticky scotcheroos element and flavor to the filling. 
  • Creamy Peanut Butter: You’ll definitely want to use creamy peanut butter for the cake and the filling. It will give you a smooth texture and be more like classic scotcheroos! 
  • Rice Krispies Cereal: It wouldn’t be a true scotcheroos cake without the crunchy Rice Krispies! This is a fun element to the cake. We will toast them so they stay nice and crunchy between the cake layers. 
  • Dry Milk Powder: This depends the flavor when you toast the Rice Krispies and helps give it a little more of a crunch.  
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate: I used 6 oz of semi-sweet baking chocolate. I recommend using baking chocolate because it doesn’t have stabilizers in it like chocolate chips have. The stabilizers help the chocolate chips keep their chip form better. Baking chocolate doesn’t have stabilizers so it will melt easier and smoother. 
  • Butterscotch: I just used butterscotch chips since butterscotch typically doesn’t come in the baking bars. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Make the Peanut Butter Cake Layers

  1. Combine the dry ingredients. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour in a bowl and whisk until combined. 
  2. Cream the wet ingredients. Cream the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the oil and mix. 
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet. With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture, then add all the buttermilk, then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix until just combined. 
  4. Bake. Divide the batter evenly between there 8-inch cake pans that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and lined with a circular piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Bake at 325° F for 28-33 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. 
Three round peanut butter cake layers on a white background.

Make the Whipped Scotcheroo Filling

  1. Dissolve the sugar. In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt the sugar and kart syrup until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter. Set aside to partially cool
  2. Beat the cream. Beat 1 cup of cream until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold cream into peanut butter mixture. Mix 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture while it is still slightly warm. Mix until fully combined. Now take this peanut butter whipped cream mixture and fold it into the rest of the whipped cream. Refrigerate. 

Make the Crunchy Rice Krispie Cereal

  1. Combine the ingredients. In a bowl, combine everything except the melted butter. One all the ingredients are combined, slowly add the butter and mix until combined. 
  2. Bake. Spread the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake at 375° F for 15-17 minutes or until the Rice Krispies are golden brown. Remove and let cool completely. 
Two glass bowls on a white background, the top is filled with golden rice Krispie cereal, the bottom filled with a light tan colored frosting mixture.

Make the Butterscotch Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Melt the chocolate and butterscotch. Add the chocolate, butterscotch and heavy cream to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Then microwave for 15 seconds and stir. Continue in 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until the mixture is smooth. 
  2. Beat the butter. Add the butter to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat with a pinch of salt on medium high speed until smooth and light in color and texture. Mixing on low, add the powdered sugar then the melted chocolate butterscotch mixture. Add the vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes.

Assemble and Decorate

  1. Assemble the first cake layer. Spread a dollop of the buttercream on the center of a cake board or cake stand. Place a layer of the cake on top. Spread a thin layer of the buttercream evenly on top of the cake. Pipe a rim of buttercream on the edge. Add 3/4 cup of the whipped scotcheroo filling and sprinkle with 1/2-2/3 cup of the Rice Krispie cereal on top. 
  1. Repeat with the second cake layer. Complete step 1 with the next cake layer. Then add the third cake layer on top. 
  1. Frost and decorate. Frost the scotcheroo cake with the remaining buttercream, reserving some for swirls if desired. Top the scotcharoo cake with mini scotcheroos squares. 

Recipe Tips

When combining the wet and dry ingredients in the cake, be sure to not over mix. Over mixing the cake at this stage will produce a tough texture, affecting the bake. 

Using baking chocolate if possible for the semi-sweet chocolate. This will melt better and smoother because baking chocolate doesn’t contain stabilizers like chocolate chips do. 

Use sifted powdered sugar in the buttercream to ensure a smooth texture. 

The crunchy Rice Krispies cereal between the layers brings in the perfect scotcheroos texture! The mixture bakes really nicely and it retains its crunch days later! I pulled a piece of this cake out of the freezer a week after making it and the cereal was still crunchy in the middle! 

We used Ateco tip #827 for the swirls on top of the scotcheroos cake. But any large star tip (like wilton 1M, 2D, or  6B) will work well. 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Refrigerate the peanut butter whipped cream filling in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Store the crunchy Rice Krispie cereal in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

 If making the scotcheroo buttercream ahead of time, store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Remove from the refrigerator 3-4 hours before assembling the cake.

Making the cake layers ahead of time? Let cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for 1-2 weeks. 

For more information on storing and freezing cakes, including how to freeze cake layers, buttercream and decorated cakes, check out my How to Store and Freeze Cakes guide!

A slice of Scotcheroo layer cake on a tan ruffled plate with a fork cutting into the cake layers.

Recipe FAQs

Does this Scotcheroo Cake taste like scotcheroos? 

Yes it does! It has the crunchy Rice Krispies cereal mixture between the layers that reminds you of the Rice Krispie base of the butterscotch chocolate bars. It also has the butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate elements represented in the different elements of the cake! 

Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

No. Use creamy in order to get the right consistency and bake for the cake as well as the right consistency for the filling. 

What cake pans should I use?

I love the Fat Daddio cake pans. You’ll want a cake pan that is light in color. 

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes you absolutely can! You can make each element of this cake ahead of time. The whipped filling needs to be refrigerated for up to 3 days. 1-2 to be safer. You can also find instructions and guidance on How to Store and Freeze Cakes so you can make the different elements on this cake days or weeks in advance. 

A three layer Scotcheroo Cake on a white marble cake stand against a light brown textured background.

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A Scotcheroo Cake on a white cake stand against a white brick background.
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Scotcheroo Cake

You want Scotcheroos but in cake form? This is for you! Peanut butter cake layers are topped with a whipped Scotcheroo filling, then crunchy Rice Krispie cereal is sprinkled overtop. A generous dose of butterscotch chocolate buttercream is used to envelope the entire cake. This cake is absolutely amazing!
Prep Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Assembly Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 15 servings

Ingredients
 

Peanut Butter Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter - softened
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs - at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil - or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk - at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Scotcheroo Filling

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Crunchy Rice Krispie Cereal

  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 3 tablespoons dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted

Butterscotch Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3 cups unsalted butter - slightly softened but still cold
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate - chopped
  • 10 oz butterscotch chocolate - chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch salt

Instructions
 

Peanut Butter Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans by spraying with non-stick spray and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.In a medium bowl, sift together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in oil.
  • With the mixture on low speed, add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until combined, but don’t overmix.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 28-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the layer comes out clean or with a couple crumbs stuck to it.
  • Let cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks until completely cool. If making ahead of time, wrap with plastic and freeze.

Whipped Scotcheroo Filling

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix sugar and karo syrup and heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter. Set aside to partially cool.
  • While peanut butter is cooling, beat one cup of heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Mix about ½ cup of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture while it is still slightly warm. Mix until it’s completely combined. Doing this will make it easier to fold into the whipped cream.
  • Gently fold in the peanut butter mixture to the rest of the whipped cream. Keep refrigerated until ready to use (up to 3 days).

Crunchy Rice Krispie Cereal

  • Preheat oven to 375° F and line a cookie sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, mix together everything except the melted butter, then slowly add the butter and mix until everything is combined.
  • Spread onto the cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Butterscotch Chocolate Buttercream

  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate, butterscotch chips, and heavy cream. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Continue to microwave in 15 second intervals, mixing each time, until everything is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and a pinch of salt on medium high speed until it’s smooth and light in texture and color. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the powdered sugar and then the chocolate-butterscotch mixture. Mix in the vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes. If making ahead of time, store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Remove from the refrigerator 3-4 hours before cake assembly.

Assembly

  • Spread a dollop of buttercream in the center of a clean cake board or stand. Place a cake layer on top of it. This will help keep the cake from sliding around while you assemble and decorate it.
  • Spread a thin layer of buttercream evenly over the cake.
  • Pipe a rim of the buttercream around the top to create a dam, and add about ¾ cup of the whipped scotcheroo filling. Sprinkle about ½-2/3 cup of  the crunchy rice krispie cereal over the filling and gently press it in. The rim of buttercream should be taller than the filling so when the next cake layer is added the filling doesn’t leak out of the sides.
  • Place the second cake layer on top of the buttercream rim filled with filling and repeat steps 2-3.
  • Place the third cake layer on top and crumb coat the entire cake in a thin layer of buttercream. Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes, until the buttercream is cold and firm.
  • Apply the final layer of frosting and swirls. We used Ateco tip #827. But any large star tip (like wilton 1M, 2D, or  6B) will work well. We topped each swirl with a scotcheroo square.

Notes

See my post on How to Store and Freeze Cakes to know how you can make each element of a cake ahead of time.
Nutritional information does not include the scotcheroo square used on top of the cake for decoration.

Nutrition

Calories: 1221kcal (61%)Carbohydrates: 135g (45%)Protein: 13g (26%)Fat: 73g (112%)Saturated Fat: 40g (200%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 190mg (63%)Sodium: 467mg (19%)Potassium: 410mg (12%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 105g (117%)Vitamin A: 2085IU (42%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 142mg (14%)Iron: 4mg (22%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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