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.
Morta Di FameJune 29, 2009
Aren’t these something! I could go for one right now!
AnonymousJune 30, 2009
hi – THANKS for the Tasty cake recipes, I grew up in the Phila area and love these little cakes. Just looking at the photo makes me want a Butterscotch Krimpet! I will definitely try them!
RachelJune 30, 2009
They look just like them! Yum!
MarcieJune 30, 2009
Oh My Goodness. I CANNOT wait to make these!
MarcieJune 30, 2009
Oh My Goodness. I CANNOT wait to make these! This is my childhood on a plate!
MeganJune 30, 2009
I just finished making these. They are good, but really nothing like a Krimpet. The frosting was way more orange than what shows in the pic above – not sure why… Very yummy, but not really Krimpets.
MaggiJuly 1, 2009
Oh WoW! I ate Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpets every day when I was in school. Nic, your krimpet is really more dead on than Megan realizes. Since your cake was cut into the ‘signature’ wavy shape, the signature golden color is lost, but the icing seems right on. At least it tasted right on…
CakeSpyJuly 1, 2009
I grew up with these squiggly slices of heaven by the Jersey Shore. This is like gold to me! Thank you!
s. stockwellJuly 1, 2009
We are taking the hint here and doing a version of these together with my Granddaughter who loves to bake with us. Thanks, s
NicoleJuly 1, 2009
Thanks, Maggi. I think that if I had real krimpet-shaped pans, I could have gotten something that looked even closer to the “real” thing!
Anna at Mediocre ChocolateJuly 5, 2009
You know, I tried the KA recipe. My husband, Philly native, said that the cake was off–it wasn’t butter cake, but a sponge cake. The frosting was close he said, but too stiff. I have been meaning to make these again, you may just have given me the kick in the pants I need! Yours look beautiful–I didn’t cut mine as pretty as you did!
Tender B.July 27, 2009
Humina, Humina. My favorite packaged sweets and now I can make them myself. (Quite expensive here in Florida). Thanks for the recipe.
Kelly McCollumJuly 28, 2009
ah!! my mom sent a care package the other month, and it was filled with tasty kakes. i hadn’t had them since growing up in baltimore. i will definitely be trying out your recipe SOON. thanks 😀
COURAGESeptember 3, 2009
Thanks for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. As others stated, the shipping costs of the real thing is getting pretty steep. Oh, how I’ve missed my butterscotch krimpets. I miss the raspberry ones a bit too. YUM
olgalopezSeptember 5, 2009
great snack for our kids after school
PeggySeptember 8, 2009
I would love to make these (I looooove Tasty Kakes!) but you can’t get butterscotch chips here… any ideas for a substitute?
TheresaSeptember 26, 2009
My icing doesn’t taste like the real deal. What can do different. I was also raised on these and I was trying to make them for my mother 77th bday.
also, do you have any secrets on how to make a choc chip cookie not go flat.
RiotflowerSeptember 30, 2009
Wow- as a Philadelphian living in Scotland, I cannot thank you *enough* for this recipe!
StineJuly 2, 2010
they look so good and i am baking them right now!
SusanNovember 28, 2010
I am from Philly and have been eating Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets for years. I made this recipe and I dare say that this recipe is BETTER than eating the
Tastycake Krimpets!! I couldn’t stop eating them!!
LindaMarch 12, 2011
Has anyone ever tried making these as a cupcake? I have a request for butterscotch krimpet cupcakes, and I’d like to try something that doesn’t use a box mix as the base.
abbyJune 14, 2011
picture looks good like most of you said but it is not the real REAL deal maybe if you ever go to Philly you can find them!! 😉
rebeccaAugust 19, 2011
I was just looking up the nutritional content of the krimpet and found your recipe- I’m a baking blogger too and would love to try/post on your recipe someday. If I do, I’ll give you a shout out! Love this snack food!! (I’m a Jersey Girl.)
leanSeptember 18, 2011
omg these are so good
CarolynMarch 21, 2012
I am from a little south of Philly. I too miss Krimpets…I mostly followed this recipe with a little more butter,cream,and a little almond flavor…Anyway, really good maybe even better than a krimpet. In any case, it’s good!
lisakMay 6, 2012
Thank you so much for the recipe! I am an education major in South Dakota doing a lit unit with a group of 5th graders. We are reading Maniac Magee which, for those of you who haven’t read it, is set in Pennsylvania. The main characters favorite snack is Tasty Kakes Butterscotch Krimpets…they were too expensive to buy online so I used your recipe to make them myself…They were a huge success! Although I have never had the real Tasty Kake version, I can’t wait to make them again!
Laura DembowskiJuly 30, 2012
I’m totally obsessed with TastyKakes even though I have never had one since I am not from Philadelphia nor have I ever been there. I am so excited to make these. They look great!
kendyllSeptember 20, 2012
These tasty cake butterscotch krimpets are way better than th comment megan had put down. GREAT JOB TASTY KAKES!
rachaelNovember 24, 2012
Mine didn’t turn out that good… The cake was flat and the icing was orange. What steps did I miss??
daveMarch 5, 2013
Recently the Kroger chain here in Ohio started to carry TastyKake. Like many of you I grew up with them in Bucks Co PA… and any trip home included stocking up. But they do get expensive since I can go through 1/2 a box in one sitting…
Not sure if its the difference from being a 12 year old and now a 60 year old, but today’s Krimpets seem to be smaller and the icing thinner… but maybe its only my memory that’s changed. Seems they were in a 3 pack then too, not a twin.
Anyway, glad I looked online… will have to try this out (well my wife will).
Will let you know what I think.
MichelleJune 18, 2013
My Summer Reading Camp students are reading “Maniac Magee” by Jerry Spinelli. The main character, Maniac, loves Butterscotch Krimpets. I thought they were like butterscotch candies until we decided to Google it. Tonight I made a batch for my students to try!! I can’t wait to share them with them tomorrow!!!!
LuanneNovember 24, 2013
Thanks for the recipe Nicole! I have made the peanut butter kandy kakes recipe with this same cake recipe, and cannot wait to try this too! Here is a great alternative icing recipe if you cannot get butterscotch chips:
1/2 c butter plus 2/3 c brown sugar. Melt together and boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add 1/4 c milk and 1 tsp Vanilla off the heat and stir well. Cool slightly.
Add 3 c powdered sugar and beat to a smooth, spreadable consistency.
mjMarch 29, 2015
Mine did not come out so well. As posted earlier, they are thin. I am guessing that eggs weren’t beat properly to get them airy. Will try again. Thanks for the recipe.
alexaJuly 1, 2015
I am going to try your recipe and thank you for sharing. But, no no no NO NO!He cake shall not be butterscotch flavored (it’s not supposed to be) and the icing DEFINITELY won’t be made with nasty butterscotch chips. But thanks for the starting point! I grew up in Northeast Philly and the smell of HOT CHOCOLATE (cupcakes and Juniors!) is part of my heritage. But Butterscotch Krimpets? I’m in the Midwest weeping at the memory. I miss philly.
Donna TenagliaAugust 13, 2015
I made this cake 2 days ago, it was all gone the first day! It is now after 10:oopm on a Thursday evening and I am making it again. This is the Closest recipe I have found that matches the Krimpet. The cake is the exact same texture, the icing is just a tad bit off but REAL CLOSE! You get a nice large pan of Fresh cake that tastes almost exactly like the REAL THING, FABULOUS!