Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (2024)

Get ready to take your sundae game to the next level with your very own homemadebutterscotch sauce. Once you’ve tasted this rich and buttery goodness, it’ll stick with you long after the last spoonful.

Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (1)

Let me tell you, butterscotch sauce is my absolute jam when it comes to ice cream toppings. Seriously, nothing beats it. It’s got this incredible combination of richness, butteriness, and sweetness that just hits the spot.

Sure, you could grab a jar of store-bought sauces, but let me tell you, homemade is where it’s at. And here’s the best part—it’s not even that hard to make! You don’t need any fancy equipment or mad skills in the kitchen. No candy thermometer required! If it were a hassle, I wouldn’t bother making it myself!

I’ve been whipping up this butterscotch sauce recipe recipe for a long time, and my family absolutely loves it. We go through a ton of ice cream during those hot summer months, and adding a dollop of this sauce just takes it to a whole new level of yumminess.

Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (2)

Why You’ll Love This Easy Butterscotch Sauce Recipe

  • Simple ingredients and cooking process.
  • Buttery, rich flavor that tastes amazing on your favorite desserts.
  • No special equipment needed.
  • Ready to enjoy in about 40 minutes.
  • You’ll want to put this sweet dessert sauce on EVERYTHING.


The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.

  • White sugar
  • Brown sugar – Use dark or light brown sugar.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whipping cream
  • Light corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (3)

How to Make the Best Butterscotch Sauce

  • Step One: Add sugar, brown sugar, butter, whipping cream, corn syrup and salt to a saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until butter is melted.
  • Step Two: Increase heat to medium, stirring constantly. Once boiling, continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Step Three:Stir in vanilla extract. Serve over ice cream, cheesecake or bread pudding or whatever you like!
Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (4)

Equipment Needed

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Favorite Ways to Serve Butterscotch Sauce

​Drizzle this creamy sauce over top of these yummy desserts:

  • ​Vanilla ice cream
  • Pound cake
  • Ice cream sundaes (including banana splits!)
  • Sticky toffee pudding
  • Hot chocolate
  • Fruit pies
  • Apple crisp
  • Butterscotch milkshake
  • Cheesecake
  • Dip for apple slices, pretzels or churros
Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (5)

Variations and Substitutions

  • Use a dark brown sugar for a caramelized deep flavor.
  • Instead of heavy whipping cream, you can use half-and-half or whole milk.
  • ​Try almond extract, coconut extract or maple extract in place of the vanilla.
  • Use kosher salt or flaky sea salt instead of regular table salt.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of bourbon when you add the vanilla extract to make a luscious bourbon butterscotch sauce.

Storage Instructions

Store the butterscotch sauce in an airtight container or mason jar and keep it refrigerated. It can last up to 2 weeks.

You will need to reheat it after it’s been refrigerated.

How to Reheat

  • Stovetop: Transfer the desired amount of sauce to a saucepan and warm it gently over low heat, stirring constantly until it regains its silky smoothness.
  • Microwave: Place the sauce in a microwave-safe container and reheat in short intervals, stirring well after each interval, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (6)

Can I Freeze Butterscotch Sauce?

Yes, definitely! Transfer the sauce to a freezer-safe container or divide it into ice cube trays for convenient portioning. Store in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

To use again, thaw the frozen butterscotch sauce in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, warm it gently in a saucepan over low heat or in short intervals in the microwave, stirring until it regains its smooth consistency.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Low and slow: Stir the mixture constantly over low heat until the butter is fully melted. This helps to prevent burning and ensures a smooth texture.
  • Patience is key: Allow the mixture to boil for the recommended time to achieve the desired thickness and flavor development.
  • Choosing the right cream: Opt for heavy whipping cream as it provides the perfect balance of richness and creaminess to the sauce.
    Preventing curdling: Stirring continuously and maintaining a low to medium heat prevents curdling and ensures a silky-smooth texture.
    Tackling graininess: If your sauce turns out slightly grainy, continue to stir until the sugar dissolves completely, or strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
  • Don’t overheat:When you’re reheating, be careful to not overheat or it will become too thin. Only reheat slightly to keep that thicker consistency.
Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (7)

Main Differences Between Caramel and Butterscotch

While both recipes have common ingredients, they have different flavor profiles. Caramel sauce is made by heating sugar until it reachers a deep amber color while butterscotch sauce is made with brown sugar and butter that gives its rich buttery flavor.


What kind of cream do I use?

This recipe calls for heavy cream. The high milk fat gives it that extra luxurious creaminess. For a lighter version, use half-and-half or whole milk.

Can I substitute the corn syrup for something else?

Yes, you can. Try one of these options instead: maple syrup, golden syrup, agave nectar, or honey.

Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (8)

Butterscotch Recipes

  • Butterscotch Steamer
  • Butterscotch Pudding Cookies
  • Butterscotch Blondies
  • Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars
  • No-Bake Butterscotch Cookies
  • Butterscotch Lava Cakes
  • Butterscotch Pudding

You might also like this Instant Pot Dulce de Leche, Peanut Butter Magic Shell, Caramel Sauce orHot Fudge Sauce.

Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (9)

Rate this Recipe

4.44 from 82 votes

Butterscotch Sauce

Created by Stacie Vaughan

Servings 8

Prep Time 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes minutes

Rest Time 20 minutes minutes

Total Time 40 minutes minutes

Make your own sundae topping or sweet dipping sauce! You'll remember this rich and buttery flavor long after you've eaten it. This easy homemade sauce tastes amazing on ice cream, cheesecake or bread pudding.

Rate this Recipe


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Add sugar, brown sugar, butter, whipping cream, corn syrup and salt to a saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until butter is melted.

  • Increase heat to medium, stirring constantly. Once boiling, continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

  • Stir in vanilla extract. Serve over ice cream, cheesecake or bread pudding or whatever you like!



Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The sauce will firm up when chilled. Heat slightly before serving. This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups.


Serving: 1/8 cup | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.4g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 13.3g | Saturated Fat: 8.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.4g | Cholesterol: 39.5mg | Sodium: 9.9mg | Sugar: 22.3g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course Desserts

Cuisine American/Canadian

Keyword butterscotch, ice cream topping

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Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (2024)


What's the difference between caramel and butterscotch sauce? ›

They look and taste similar, but there are subtle differences. What's the difference between caramel and butterscotch sauce? This is a common question since both are cooked sugar concoctions. But the main difference is caramel is made with granulated sugar while butterscotch is made with brown sugar.

What is the main ingredient in butterscotch? ›

Butterscotch is a type of confectionery whose primary ingredients are brown sugar and butter. Some recipes include corn syrup, cream, vanilla, and salt. The earliest known recipes, in mid-19th century Yorkshire, used treacle (molasses) in place of, or in addition to, sugar.

Is butterscotch just butter and scotch? ›

Alas, it turns out that butterscotch, traditionally a mixture of brown sugar and butter, never did contain Scotch. While there is no definitive etymology of the word, theories range from scotch being a corruption of the word “scorch,” to the possibility that the candy came from Scotland (this one is dubious).

Why is my butterscotch sauce not thickening? ›

Why won't my butterscotch sauce thicken? Once your sauce comes to a bubbling simmer let it cook for 3 full minutes without touching it. If you don't cook the sauce enough it won't thicken. If you cook it for too long, or at a full boil, then it will thicken too much and be more like butterscotch candy.

What flavor is closest to butterscotch? ›

Similar to caramel, butterscotch is made by heating sugar. The main difference between the two is that butterscotch uses brown sugar instead of white.

Does dulce de leche taste like butterscotch? ›

Instead, thanks to the Maillard reaction, we get a lovely, nutty, mellow flavor akin to toffee or butterscotch. This is due to the browning of the lactose and lysine in the milk. Once you've adjusted your palate to the difference, dulce le leche becomes more identifiable.

Is butterscotch just caramel with butter? ›

What Is Butterscotch? Butterscotch is butter and brown sugar that has been slowly heated together to create a soft-crack candy. Just like caramel, the brown sugar molecules break down and, thanks to the addition of molasses in the sugar, caramelize into a richer, deeper flavor than classic caramel.

How do you thicken butterscotch sauce? ›

If the sauce cools down and you still find it to be too thin, then it's undercooked. You can place it back on the heat for a bit to let it thicken up even more. If it's too thick, gradually add a bit more cream until it reaches the desired consistency.

Why do they call it butterscotch? ›

butterscotch, usually hard candy made by boiling brown sugar and butter and sometimes corn syrup together in water. The derivation of the name is disputed as to whether it denotes the candy's origin in Scotland or an original ingredient of “scotched,” or scorched, butter.

Does scotch ever taste like butterscotch? ›

There is nothing in common between butterscotch the flavour and Scotch whisky.

Can you substitute caramel for butterscotch? ›

Caramel and butterscotch are made differently; caramel is a “ mix of white granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream, butter and a small amount of vanilla.” Butterscotch ingredients are “ brown sugar" ( originally butterscotch was a hard candy). I don't think you are able to interchange the two flavours in recipes.

How long does butterscotch sauce last? ›

It can be stored in a jar, in the refrigerator, for up to two weeks. Reheat the butterscotch sauce in a saucepan over low heat. Note: I sometimes use unrefined brown sugar, which can leave undissolved bits of sugar. They don't bother me, but if you wish, you can strain the warm sauce to remove them.

Why is my butterscotch sauce grainy? ›

Troubleshooting Butterscotch Sauce

Grainy Texture: If your sauce has a grainy texture, it may be due to the crystallization of the sugar. To prevent this, make sure there are no sugar crystals on the sides of the pan before starting. In addition, avoid stirring the mixture once it begins to boil.

Why does butterscotch sauce split? ›

Over high heat, the butter will melt faster than the candy and you'll find that the milk solids have separated from the oil, creating a split sauce. Moreover, the likelihood of separation increases when utilizing thinner or less sturdy saucepans because they cannot efficiently distribute heat.

Why is the butter separating from my caramel sauce? ›

The butter, sugar and syrup are melted together and should form a smooth sauce. When the sauce cools it should remain amalgamated. If the butterfat separates out then usually this is due to the mixture being either heated or cooled too quickly, which "shocks" the mixture and causes the fat to separate out.

Is butterscotch syrup the same as caramel syrup? ›

Butterscotch vs Caramel

The flavor of caramel is characterized by caramelized sugar independent of molasses, butter or even salt. Butterscotch sauce is made with dark brown sugar, butter, salt, and some cream. Caramel sauce does not have to include butter, but butter is an integral part of butterscotch.

Is dulce de leche caramel or butterscotch? ›

But while it looks like caramel, it is, in fact, based on the Maillard browning of dairy rather than the caramelization of sugar. That may sound like a technicality, but it gives dulce de leche a sweet and mellow, toffee or butterscotch-like flavor without the bitterness associated with caramel (i.e., burned sugar).

Is butterscotch hard caramel? ›

Butterscotch and caramel taste very different from each other. Butter scotch is bit harder and as suggested by name is made by brown sugar and butter whereas caramel is softer and made by white granulated sugar with either milk/whipped cream or butter with pinch of vanilla.

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