Traditional recipes

Butterscotch sauce recipe

Butterscotch sauce recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Frozen desserts
  • Ice cream
  • Ice cream toppings

For a sticky treat, pour over ice-cream, sliced bananas and chopped walnuts or pecans.

Maggie Pannell

61 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 170g can evaporated milk

MethodPrep:1min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:11min

  1. Gently heat the butter in a small saucepan until melted, add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then cook gently for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the evaporated milk. Return to the heat and bring back to the boil. Serve warm, or cool and chill. Then reheat gently when required.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (4)

very very quick and easy to do and tastes delicious ******-26 May 2009

Fast and easy to make and great for dipping churos in. Yum.-25 Aug 2015

Made it today. Really easy compared to the first recipe I used. Tastes great and will go down a treat with mates for NYE.I added a cap full of vanilla essence which gives a nice light added taste.-31 Dec 2017

Butterscotch Sauce

Butterscotch sauce is the answer to your naked dessert problems. 10 minutes to make and so much easier than caramel. Brown sugar, heavy cream, and Scotch whiskey are bolstered by a little bit of vanilla and sea salt. What are you waiting for?

Adapted from Monica Sweeney | Best Dump Cakes Ever | Countryman Press, 2014

This thick, sticky butterscotch sauce is slightly different from caramel sauce, as it doesn’t contain any butter, includes corn syrup for chewiness, and has the added boost of booze from Scotch whiskey. Any blended whiskey will do—you don’t need to use your expensive single-malt here. You’ll find this sauce is a miracle on cakes as well as a serious treat poured over vanilla ice cream.–Monica Sweeney


What’s that, you say? Do you want more specifics on the difference between butterscotch and caramel? The main difference is the sugar. While recipes vary somewhat, technically most caramel sauce recipes rely on granulated sugar that’s melted to a golden-brown liquid. Sometimes cream or butter (or both) are stirred into the melted sugar. Whereas with butterscotch sauce, brown sugar is the basis of the loveliness and is combined with cream—and even, in this recipe, whiskey—to achieve even loftier heights of lusciousness. What’s more, this boozy butterscotch sauce recipe is almost effortless to make. So much so that we consider it the easiest DIY dessert bling ever. You’re welcome.

  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon flakey sea salt, such as fleur de sel
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine light brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 1/4 cup of water in medium pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and continue to simmer until sauce is thick and syrupy, about 12 minutes. Stir in whiskey and vanilla extract. Simmer three minutes more. Allow sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer to jars. Sauce will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator.

Butterscotch Sauce

Light and dark brown sugar create a buttery, luscious sauce with caramel notes. Use it to fill Mindy Segal's Banilla Nillas, with plenty left over for gifting.


  • 1 2/3 cups (354g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups (354g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, optional
  • 4 cups (907g) heavy cream
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a heavy pot (6-quart or larger) over medium heat, combine the sugars and butter and cook just until the sugar is melted. Raise the heat to medium-high, and add the vanilla bean.

Add the cream in four additions, bringing the sauce to a simmer and allowing it to partially reduce before adding more (about 4 to 6 minutes). Stir the mixture as necessary to keep it from boiling over.

Once all the cream is added and the sauce thickens slightly (it should just begin to fall in a sheet from the spoon), remove from the heat and add the salts and vanilla. Cool completely before using.

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Made 5 times and you have to follow the directions when you cook the sugars, it is chemistry and not just melting butter. I love this but have to use an instant read thermometer

Wondering if I cooked it too long. it tasted like caramel sauce rather than butterscotch and was not smooth. I prefer the butterscotch sauce recipe included here with the fallen chocolate cake squares.

Icky? I think I could pour melted butter on just about anything and love it. Needless to say, I enjoyed this sauce and will no doubt make it again. I didn't have a lemon so I used a bit of cider vinegar instead. Delicious.

This sauce has a good consistency, but the flavour is too buttery without being sweet, reminiscent of pouring melted butter on ice cream, which is a bit icky.

Could not believe how good or easy to make this was. I will never buy butterscotch sauce again.

Amazing. I thought I hated butterscotch til I made this for an ice cream sundae party. You have to try this if you've never had "from scratch" butterscotch before.

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  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided use
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the brown sugar, butter, and 1/3 cup of heavy cream in a wide-bottom saute pan or saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring until the butter and sugar have melted and the mixture is smooth.

Increase the heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer with bubbles all over the top. Continue cooking, without stirring, for 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and gently stir in the remaining cream. Resist the urge to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan, and pour the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla.

The butterscotch sauce will thicken as it cools.

Warm the butterscotch sauce to use for ice cream or over desserts. It is fantastic drizzled over an apple cake or bread pudding. Warm it on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave oven for about 1 minute on 50% power.

Makes just under 2 cups of butterscotch sauce, or about 16 servings (2 tablespoons each).

What goes in Butterscotch Pudding

And here’s what you need to make it. Very few ingredients!

Just a note on a few of the items:

DARK brown sugar – using dark rather than normal brown sugar intensifies the butterscotch flavour of the pudding and the sauce. So use it if you can – but it’s still well worth making even if you only have normal brown sugar!

Golden syrup – an Aussie/UK syrup used in baking, such as Anzac Biscuits. It has a caramel type flavour which makes it ideal to use in the pudding to give it a butterscotch flavour without making a caramel the traditional way with butter and sugar. It’s not widely available outside of Australia/NZ/UK though here it is on ($3.63 for a can).

Best substitute golden syrup

Dark corn syrup (this is ideal), honey or maple syrup. Any of these will be fine because most of the butterscotch flavour in this overall dish comes from the sauce!

Helpful Tips for Making Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

  • Make it salted&mdashor not: I happen to find salted butterscotch sauce utterly irresistible, but some people might prefer a more straightforwardly sweet sauce. The great thing with homemade butterscotch sauce is that you make it exactly how you like it. If you go the salty route, please, oh please, make sure not to use regular table salt in this recipe. The harsh flavor of iodized salt would be much too strong to create the delicate balance between salty and sweet you&rsquore aiming for. Any type of fine sea salt or flaky sea salt will work, but for the best flavor use French fleur de sel, which not only seasons gently but adds complexity to the flavor. Because salt varieties vary in power, always make sure to add just a pinch at first, then taste and adjust until the sauce tastes delicious. This will prevent you from oversalting and ruining your whole batch of caramel.
  • Pick your butter carefully: It&rsquos best to use unsalted butter because you get to control how salty the butterscotch sauce will be. If you only have semi-salted or salted butter, omit the salt first, then taste the sauce when it&rsquos done, and adjust the seasoning if you&rsquod like the sauce to have savory notes. If you can, try to find artisan or European butter, which will make the sauce even more aromatic. I like to use cultured butter, which is made with fermented cream and thus develops a fuller flavor and texture.
  • Use the best vanilla extract you can afford: You do not have to use vanilla extract in butterscotch sauce, but if you use it, make sure to use products labeled &ldquopure vanilla extract,&rdquo which are made with real vanilla. Cheaper vanilla extracts are artificially vanilla-flavored, which means the aroma just won&rsquot carry through the sauce. For a truly luxurious touch, use a piece of real vanilla bean or a tiny spoonful of vanilla bean paste. The flavor and aroma of real vanilla is just intoxicating, plus you get those cute vanilla seeds in the sauce, which makes it extra chic.
  • Play with sugar: To get the signature pale beige color of classic butterscotch sauce, use light brown sugar. For a more assertive flavor and a darker color, try substituting dark brown sugar.


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How to Make Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

While this sauce is complex in its rich caramel flavor it really is one of the easiest things to make. Making this homemade sauce is just a matter of combining a few basic ingredients in a saucepan and gently bringing together over medium heat. You will not believe how foolproof this recipe is, it can be made in literally 5 minutes flat.

After the brown sugar, butter, and cream melt together and really caramelize, they turn a lovely amber color. To finish off the sauce I take it off the heat and stir in vanilla and salt. These last little additions really take the flavor to the next level. The finished product is deeply flavorful, rich, thick, sticky and sweet.