If you’ve been wondering how to make butterscotch sauce, you’ve come to the right place.
This simple homemade butterscotch sauce recipe combines the delicious flavors of butter, dark brown sugar, and heavy cream with fragrant vanilla and salt for an unbelievably decadent dessert sauce.
Sure, you can easily pop open a jar of store-bought sauce, but like anything, there’s so much more flavor when you make your own butterscotch sauce at home.
This easy recipe results in the most silky smooth sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over fresh fruit, ice cream sundaes, a banana split, or even sweet breakfast treats. Its rich flavor will take any sweet meal to a whole new level.
Why You’ll Love Butterscotch Sauce
There’s no shortage of good reasons to adore this decadent dessert sauce.
- Customizable – You can add all sorts of add-ins to take this sauce to the next level.
- Easy – Basic ingredients come together in one pan to make for an incredibly easy dessert sauce.
- Delicious – This rich, creamy, and sweet sauce is a decadent addition to any dessert.
What Is The Difference Between Butterscotch Sauce And Caramel?
The key difference between these two sweet sauces is the type of sugar that is used. While butterscotch is made using brown sugar, caramel is made with white sugar.
These simple ingredients come together to create a simple, sweet sauce.
- Unsalted butter – Unsalted butter is the base of the butterscotch sauce and helps to create a rich and creamy texture as well as a delicious buttery flavor.
- Dark brown sugar (packed) – Dark brown sugar adds the sauce’s signature caramel-like sweetness.
- Coarse kosher salt – Coarse kosher salt balances the sweet flavors of the butterscotch sauce.
- Heavy whipping cream: Heavy whipping cream helps to build the rich, velvety consistency.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract complements the caramel flavor and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Fleur de sel (if desired): This flaky sea salt, adds subtle saltiness and a touch of texture.
How To Make This Easy Butterscotch Sauce Recipe
Mise en place (having all ingredients prepared and ready to use) is important for this recipe. It is somewhat fast-paced, and you’ll want to have everything ready to avoid burning the sauce.
- Melt butter. Add the butter to a heavy-bottom saucepan. Melt butter until it is almost melted and simmering.
- Add brown sugar. Add dark brown sugar. Use a wooden spoon to stir and form a paste.
- Add salt. Add the salt, without stirring. Let the sugar mixture begin to bubble.
- Reduce heat and add cream. Once the mixture becomes smooth and forms larger bubbles, reduce the heat and add the cream while whisking.
- Simmer. Continue to simmer until a thin syrup forms while stirring occasionally.
- Check temperature. Use a candy thermometer, if desired to test the temperature. Remove from heat when the thermometer reaches the desired temperature.
- Add vanilla and salt. Stir in the vanilla and add fleur de sel, if desired.
- Enjoy! Serve immediately or allow the sauce to come to room temperature before storing.
What To Serve With Easy Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
Butterscotch is an amazing sauce to serve on any dessert, from a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a slice of apple pie to eclairs, pound cake, or angel food cake. However, it also can make for a decadent start to the day drizzled over pancakes, french toast, or waffles.
There are lots of ways to add even more flavor to this easy butterscotch sauce.
- Maple – Add a little bit of maple syrup for even more flavor.
- Whiskey – Toss in a splash of whiskey or bourbon for a nuanced flavor profile.
- Coffee – Pour in some brewed espresso for a deep coffee flavor.
- Nuts – Add texture with crushed nuts.
- Spices – Impart a warm flavor with ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
- Coconut – Substitute coconut milk for a portion of the heavy cream for a subtle coconut flavor.
Storage and Freezing
Refrigerator: Store the butterscotch sauce in an airtight container, like a mason jar, for up to 2 weeks.
Freezer: Since butterscotch may expand when frozen, do not use a glass jar — instead, use a freezer-safe container for storage. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Common Questions About How To Make Butterscotch Sauce
The primary ingredients in butterscotch sauce are butter, cream, and brown sugar. This recipe also incorporates salt and vanilla.
Butterscotch is made by melting butter, then adding brown sugar and cream and allowing the mixture to become smooth.
Butterscotch has a sweetness and slight nuttiness from browned butter as well as a caramel-like flavor from the brown sugar.
More Easy Dessert Sauces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- fleur de sel if desired
- Gather all of the ingredients for this recipe and have them measured out. It moves fast and has the tendency to burn.
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Just before it is fully melted and starts to simmer, add the dark brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste. Stir in the salt.
- Allow the mixture to bubble without stirring. It will start to look more smooth and creating larger bubbles, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and pour the cream into the sugar mixture while whisking. It might spit and sizzle and the sugar might clump, this is all normal.
- Simmer until it is a thin syrup, about 5-8 minutes, whisking every 2 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, heat until it reaches 225°F, this is right before it reaches the “thread” stage of candy making.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and an additional punch of fleur de sel, if using.
- Use hot or wait until fully cooled before canning or storing in the refrigerator.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.