Indulge your taste buds in a sticky dance of sweetness with this easy butterscotch sauce recipe. It’s like a golden symphony of buttery bliss and caramel enchantment, harmoniously melting over your favorite desserts. Drizzle it over a decadent scoop of vanilla ice cream or sneakily spoon it straight into your mouth when no one’s looking (we won’t judge).
Some of our favorite ways to use this butterscotch syrup? Drizzled on vanilla ice cream, as a topping for Cheesecake, Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes, on top of Banana Cream Pie, and stirred into a latte!
Why You’ll Love This Butterscotch Sauce Recipe
- 5 Ingredients: You’ll be shocked at the short ingredient list for this sweet syrup! You only need a handful of very basic kitchen staples.
- So Many Uses: There are nearly endless possibilities for this sweet treat!
- Long Lasting: When stored properly, this recipe will last up to two weeks which makes it the perfect make-ahead treat!
I am kicking myself for not making this recipe sooner. I was always intimidated by the idea of a homemade butterscotch, but it turns out it is fairly simple! All you need is a heavy bottomed pan and patience! This sauce is seriously dreamy. So good mixed in with your morning coffee, drizzled over cheesecake, or served with ice cream. Anyone you share this wonderful topping with will be begging for the recipe!
Oh! And it makes the perfect DIY holiday gift! Add to a mason jar, tie off with a ribbon, and voila! You have an impressive and tasty treat ready to share.
Butterscotch Syrup Ingredients:
One of the things that surprised me the first time I made this recipe was the small ingredient list. I cannot believe how much sweet flavor can come from something so simple.
- Butter: I always have salted butter on hand, and while that does work well in this recipe, unsalted butter will give you a better flavor.
- Brown Sugar: Using a brown sugar helps to add a rich deep flavor vs regular granulated sugar.
- Cream: Heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, gives you the rich and creamy base for this sauce recipe.
- Vanilla: I recommend using pure vanilla extract vs imitation vanilla. Imitation tends to leave a slight chemical flavor that is less appealing for the finished product.
- Salt: Leave this out of the recipe if you are using a salted butter. I really love the flavor of a finishing salt, like fleur de sel.
What Is The Difference Between Butterscotch and Caramel?
The main difference lies in the ingredients used. Butterscotch is typically made by combining brown sugar, butter, and often cream or milk. The combination of these ingredients gives butterscotch its distinctive rich, buttery flavor. On the other hand, caramel is made by heating white sugar until it melts and turns amber in color. It can be made with or without the addition of butter and cream. Caramel has a deeper, more intense flavor profile with a slightly bitter undertone.
Butterscotch Sauce Recipe
- PREP: Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium/low heat. Preferably stainless steel – 2 quarts.
- MIX: As soon as the butter has melted, stir in the brown sugar using a wooden spoon. Mix just until the sugar is combined with the butter.
- COOK: Cook the mixture, without mixing, for 3 to 5 minutes. Or until the mixture is bubbly and caramel textured. You want it to be less grainy and more smooth.
- CREAM: Using a whisk, add the cream into the cooked sugar. Lower the heat to the low setting and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 225 degrees.
- COOL: Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Cool completely. Transfer to a glass jar and keep stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Wooden Spoon: Use a wooden spoon to begin and transfer to a whisk once you add the cream.
- Pot: A good quality 2 quart pot is ideal for this sauce recipe.
- Jars: Mason jars (affiliate) are such a great storage option that is also reusable!
The best way to store butterscotch sauce is to transfer it to an airtight container, such as a glass jar or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
This sauce is typically best consumed within two weeks, but always check for any signs of spoilage before using. Remember, if you notice any changes in color, texture, or smell, or if mold develops, discard the butterscotch sauce to ensure food safety.
Yes, you can reheat butterscotch sauce after it has cooled down. Reheating the sauce can help restore its smooth and pourable consistency, especially if it has thickened or solidified in the refrigerator. If using a microwave, heat the sauce in short intervals, stirring well in between each interval. This helps ensure even heating and prevents overheating or scorching. Be cautious not to overheat the sauce, as it can cause separation or alter the taste.
While brown sugar is commonly used in butterscotch sauce recipes to achieve its distinct flavor and color, you can use regular granulated sugar as a substitute. However, it’s important to note that the resulting butterscotch sauce may have a slightly different taste and appearance. Brown sugar contains molasses, which adds a rich caramel-like flavor and a darker color to the sauce.
I’ve heard that you can, however I have never tried it. If you do want to make this recipe with a dairy free alternative, I suggest picking a product with a similar fat content for the best results.
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium/low heat. Preferably stainless steel – 2 quarts.
- Stir the brown sugar as soon as the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon. Stir just until the sugar is combined with the butter.
- Cook the mixture, without mixing, for 3 to 5 minutes. Or until the mixture is bubbly and caramel textured. You want it to be less grainy and more smooth.
- Using a whisk, add the cream into the cooked sugar. Lower the heat to the low setting and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 225 degrees.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla.
- Cool completely. Transfer to a glass jar and keep stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.