4.44 from 82 votes

Butterscotch Sauce

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

Butterscotch sauce in a jar with a spoon drizzling sauce inside.


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. 

recipe binder image

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.

Ingredients

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    • White sugar
    • Brown sugar – Use dark or light brown sugar.
    • Unsalted butter
    • Whipping cream
    • Light corn syrup
    • Salt
    • Vanilla extract
    Ingredients to make butterscotch sauce.

    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!
    Steps to make butterscotch sauce.

    Equipment Needed

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    Favorite Ways to Serve Butterscotch Sauce

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

    A spoon drizzling butterscotch sauce in a jar.

    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.
    A spoon of butterscotch sauce over a jar.

    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.
    Jars of butterscotch sauce.

    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. 

    FAQ

    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.

    A spoon drizzling butterscotch sauce over vanilla ice cream.

    Butterscotch Recipes

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

    4.44 from 82 votes

    Butterscotch Sauce

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 8
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Rest Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 40 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.

    Ingredients
     
     

    • 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

    Instructions

    • 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!

    Video

    Notes

    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.

    Nutrition

    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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    4.44 from 82 votes (81 ratings without comment)

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    Recipe Rating




    32 Comments

    1. Bev Weirather says:

      I just made this and it tastes great but when I put it on ice cream I got super hard. Did I use too much corn syrup or or should I add more cream.

      1. Hey Bev! Sorry to hear you had issues with it hardening on the ice cream. I think I would keep the ingredients the same, but cook it for less time. It might have become like a candy if it’s cooked too long. You could try reducing the heat to medium low too. Hopefully, it doesn’t give you issues again! It’s a really yummy recipe!

    2. Louise Shipley says:

      on the butterscotch sauce can it be water bath to make it have a shelf life

      1. Not a safe canning recipe

        1. It’s all trial and error… rebel canning at its finest!!

    3. Can it be pressure canned or water bathed for longer shelf life. If so what one & how long. Please. Thank you.

    4. do you continue stirring after it comes to a boil?

      1. Hi Joyce! Once it’s boiling I don’t stir constantly. You can stir occasionally if you like.

    5. Natalie Christopherson says:

      Can sugar substitute be used? I am a diabetic.

    6. Can the sauce be frozen? Not sure I can get it used up in 10 days.

      1. Hi Sandra, Yes, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Just don’t freeze in a glass jar because the cream expands when frozen.

    7. I think this should be cooked for less time- it gets super hard over ice cream. I’d boil for maybe only one or 2 minutes. 5 is a super long time.

    8. Can this be kept in a small crock pot for a few hours to stay warm for an ice cream sundae party?

    9. Do you use light or dark brown sugar? I can not find plain brown sugar.

    10. 5 stars
      Love your recipes, thanks for sharing

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