Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour three 8″ round pans.
In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, honey and vanilla. Set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed 4 minutes until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
Divide batter evenly between the three 8″ round pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
Make the Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until combined.
Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and continue to mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Add honey and mix until smooth.
Make the Honey Butterscotch Glaze:
Combine sugar and honey in a medium pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and you have a liquid.
Continue to cook without stirring, swirling pan occasionally. Mixture will bubble and start to darken in color.
Once mixture is butterscotch brown, stir using a wooden spoon and remove from heat.
Carefully pour in the cream and stir until combined.
Add butter and stir until smooth. Add salt and stir once more.
Let sauce cool completely before using on the cake! This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Allow glaze to come to room temperature before using so that it pours easily.
Assemble the Cake:
Place one layer of cake onto serving plate or cake stand and top with about one cup of honey cream cheese frosting. Repeat with second cake layer, more frosting and then last layer of cake.
Crumb coat and frost cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until frosting is set.
Drizzle butterscotch glaze over the top with small drips overflowing the edge. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until glaze is set. Sprinkle top with gold sanding sugar, if desired.
You may bake this as two full-sized 8″ round cake layers, with an increased bake time. Alternatively, I baked it as three intentionally shorter 8″ round layers that do not need to be torted (cut in half horizontally).
If frosting is too thin after whipping, refrigerate for 30 minutes before assembling cake. The chilled frosting will have a thicker consistency. For an even thicker consistency, add additional confectioners’ sugar as desired.