If you’re from the Philadelphia area, I probably don’t have to tell you what Tastykakes are. For those of you who aren’t, Tastekakes are a regional brand of packaged snack cakes. Fans of these cakes will say that they’re better than those other brands (Hostess, etc), and I think they might be right. Tastykakes come in a wide variety of flavors, many of which are unique to the brand, and usually taste fresh and moist. I’ve made a homemade version of their Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes before, and this time around I decided to tackle Tastykake’s Butterscotch Krimpets, which are simple vanilla cakes that have a butterscotch icing.
Snack cakes, whether you’re taking Twinkies or Tastykakes, almost always have a sponge cake base. Sponge cake is more resilient (less crumbly) than butter cakes are and often stays moister, longer. I used a similar sponge cake base that I used to make my previous peanut butter Tastykakes, adding in some brown sugar to give the cakes themselves a little bit of a butterscotch flavor. The sponge cakes are made by beating lots of air into whole eggs, then folding in flour and finally mixing in hot milk and butter. The sponge turns out to be very light and moist. It’s nice on its own, with notes of butter, milk, brown sugar and vanilla, but a little on the plain side without the flavorful icing. It is very similar – although perhaps a bit better – to the taste and texture of a regular snack cake.
Most butterscotch icings rely on butterscotch chips to infuse them with flavor, and this is no exception. The frosting is very sweet, but since it is spread on in only a very thin layer on the cake, everything balances out by the time you go to eat it. I also tempered the frostings’ sweetness by mixing in a good-sized pinch of salt.
The cakes had a great butterscotch flavor and tasted fresh, moist and delicious. My tasters – a couple of Philly natives – said that they felt that this was what a butterscotch krimpet was supposed to taste like. I’m not sure about that myself, but they’re very good. The wavy shape I cut mine into was achieved by carving the sides with a knife to match the look of the packaged krimpets. You can come close by using Wilton’s ZigZag Cutter, but can also cut the bars into squares or rectangles for simplicity’s sake.
Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 17x11x1-in. jelly-roll pan (15×10 is fine) and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugars until thick and pale, 3-5 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
While that is beating (or before, if you’re not using a stand mixer), heat milk and butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter has just melted and the milk is steaming, but not boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.
Gradually sift flour and baking powder into the beaten egg mixture and mix at low speed until just combined. With the mixer running, still at a low speed, slowly stream in the milk/butter mixture until batter is uniform.
Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading it out evenly, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F. Cake is done when a tester comes out clean and the top is golden and springs back when touched lightly.
Let cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When cake is cooled, spread the butterscotch frosting onto it in a thin, even layer.
Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Makes about 30 krimpets.
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
Melt butterscotch chips and butter together in a medium sized, microwave safe bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside for a few minutes to cool to room temperature.
Beat butterscotch mixture with confectioners sugar, 2 tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp salt. If frosting is too thin, add additional confectioners’ sugar to make it spreadable.