Classic Snacks Made from Scratch | Desserts | Recipes

Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets

Love homemade treats? Find more recipes like this in my cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats. Buy it now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local indie bookstore!

As a long time regional snack aficionado, I’m both pleased and disappointed by how easily one can get their hands on cult snack foods these days.

Company mergers make it more likely than ever that customers can find formerly hyperlocal snack brands popping up on mega-mart shelves across the nation.

And those living far away from their hometowns but willing to pay a few bucks for shipping don’t even need to leave the house to get their childhood snack fix.

Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets
Photo: Casey Barber

Yet even with the cash influx of bigger corporate umbrellas, a few brands still stick to their regional roots and the same family recipes, among them It’s-It ice cream sandwiches of San Francisco.

And as a proud Pennsylvanian, I would be remiss not to feature Tastykakes, the Philadelphia-based bakery that’s been churning out Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, Koffee Kakes, Kreamies, and other krazily-spelled cakes since 1914.

I’ve developed a DIY version of Tastykake’s Butterscotch Krimpets, the spongy little snack cakes with golden caramel frosting that were some of the bakery’s earliest creations.

Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets
Photo: Casey Barber

And like Cheez-Its, Pudding Pops, and other homemade junk foods already featured on Good. Food. Stories., these not only taste almost exactly like the real thing, but they’re exceedingly simple to make.

If you’re opening up a package of store-bought Krimpets, according to GFS contributor and Tastykake superfan Christine Galanti, “there’s a secret to preventing the layer of frosting from sticking to the wrapper: gently wipe the unopened package, frosting side down, on a smooth surface.”

That won’t be a problem with this homemade version, but the buttery cakes may offer up leverage to barter for some pretty valuable things.

Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets
Photo: Casey Barber

And those who are petrified by the prospect of molten hot sugar need not avoid this recipe for fear of death by frosting.

Making butterscotch is much easier than dry caramel; with a higher moisture and fat content, there’s less danger of scorching.

Shuna Lydon’s perfect butterscotch tutorial from Simply Recipes has step-by-step photos of the process. Don’t omit the salt; it’s crucial for that true butterscotch flavor.

homemade butterscotch krimpets
homemade butterscotch krimpets

Homemade Butterscotch Krimpets

Yield: about 16 cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Love Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets? Here's an easy homemade version of the tasty butterscotch snack cakes, from the book Classic Snacks Made from Scratch.

Ingredients

Cake

  • nonstick baking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 3/8 ounces; 150 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces; 100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces; 105 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces; 85 grams) room-temperature unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces; 105 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (8 ounces; 227 grams) confectioner's sugar

Instructions

Make the cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spritz 2 canoe pans with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, granulated and brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until no lumps remain.
  3. Whisk the oil, water, vanilla, and egg yolks together in a separate bowl. Stir into the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites into stiff peaks on medium-high speed, adding the cream of tartar once the egg whites are frothy.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, working slowly to incorporate them evenly.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared canoe pans, filling each well only halfway.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cakes for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  9. Line the rack with waxed paper and lightly spritz the paper with more nonstick baking spray. 
  10. Carefully remove the cakes from the baking pans and cool completely on the waxed paper-lined rack.

Make the frosting:

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat in a high-sided, heavy-bottomed pan at least 1 quart in volume.
  2. Add the brown sugar and stir occasionally with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon for about 2-3 minutes. The sugar will change from sandy and granular to shiny and light toffee in color as it cooks.
  3. Carefully stir in the cream—it will hiss and steam as it hits the hot sugar. 
  4. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes more. The butterscotch will thicken and the bubbles will become glossy and fluffy.
  5. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a large bowl or the (clean) bowl of your stand mixer.
  6. Let the butterscotch cool for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until it is lukewarm to the touch.
  7. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
  8. With an electric hand mixer or the stand mixer paddle attachment, beat in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, then the confectioner's sugar, until light and fluffy.

Assemble:

  1. With a serrated knife, slice a thin sliver off both the top and bottom of each cake to create flat surfaces.
  2. Spread an even layer of frosting atop each cake piece.
  3. Eat immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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36 Comments

  1. I am remembering the routine that my friends would go through (I wasn’t allowed to have them, sigh) rubbing the packaged cakes, frosting side down, onto the table before they opened them up so the frosting didn’t stick. I bet yours are way more delish!

  2. Sounds fun to make! It’s been years since I’ve had any of my childhood favorites, since they all have processed with peanuts warnings on them.

  3. I wanted both butterscotch AND jelly krimpets (my childhood fave) so badly after reading this article! Fortunately, shortly thereafter the bus I was riding from DC back to NYC broke down and left me stranded at the John Fenwick rest stop. The gas station mini mart had not just butterscotch krimpets, but Phillies butterscotch krimpets and jelly krimpets! I’d break down in Jersey any day for Casey’s homemade krimpets.

  4. Butterscotch Krimpets were my absolute favorite treat as a kid! I had them in my lunch box almost everyday. I hail from outside Philly and now that I’ve moved to Upstate NY, I crave things that remind me of home like Tastykakes. I have a great recipe for Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes and now I can make Krimpets too, thanks to you!

  5. do these make your kitchen smell amazing while you’re making them? butterscotch, the perfect thing to bake for autumn, I think.

    1. Kerry, that’s a good question because I’ve honestly never noticed my kitchen smelling any better (or worse?) than usual when making caramel or butterscotch… but eating the fresh stuff is absolute heaven. It’s so good with apples for autumn too!

  6. As a born and bred Philadelphian, I can honestly say these are one of my favorite treats. My parents moved to Michigan a couple years ago, they will be thrilled to get that Tastycake flavor far from home!

  7. I’m a Scranton, PA native – Tastykakes are my favorite junk food, and one I gave up long ago. Knowing now how to make them from scratch makes me gleeful. Thank you so much!

  8. I’ve been watching the flooding in my hometown along the Susquehanna and it’s breaking my heart. A little taste of home will help, I think. These plus a “barbeque” sandwich (the rest of the world calls ’em sloppy joes) were my ideal school lunch. Thanks for posting – your timing is perfect.

  9. I have never ever heard of a krimpet but your recipe, wow, with the few ingredients, sounds like something I might try. They look lovely. Anything with frosting is lovely :)

  10. They look very yummy, and I’d love to consume anything called krimpet or tastykake. They’re such kute names.

  11. Love this post because I’ve been eating Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets off and on since I was a kid. It’s so good to know you can do a DIY. I’ve gotta try this!

  12. I truthfully just decided to look if I could find a recipe because I’m sitting here eating the real ones that were on sale this week for $1.99 box and know they will not be affordable when back to full price. Thanks, I’ll try them after the boxes I bought are a memory!

  13. I’d try these except I don’t see any leavening in the cake except maybe the eggs but I doubt eggs alone will create enough leavening to make a decent cake.

    1. Rich, this is a traditional sponge cake recipe that uses the leavening created by thickly whipped eggs to make a light and spongy batter. This recipe has been tested numerous times to the delight of Tastykake fans, but feel free to try your own version with baking powder if you desire.

  14. Ok, after the kind email reply stating the eggs are the sole leavening,
    I used baking powder and the cake was exacly like a Tastycake.
    Eggs alone make the cake too heavy too heavy and thick, not like a Tastycake.
    Baking powder lightens it up.

  15. and, after adding 3oz of the butterscotch sauceto the frosting, there was hardly any butterscotch taste so I added all of the sauce and it stillcould use more

    1. Thad, wait for the book version – or, even better, TEST the book version. I’m making them even BETTER for print!

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