Butterscotch Sauce

Silky smooth & buttery, Butterscotch Sauce has a special and specific flavor. Sure, I like salted caramel as much as the next guy, but let’s try Butterscotch Sauce for a change.

butterscotch sauce in a jar and on a plate

How is Butterscotch different than caramel?

Caramel sauce is made by melting and caramelizing white sugar, then adding a liquid to that caramelized sugar to turn it into a sauce. 

Butterscotch sauce starts by melting brown sugar and butter together and then adding a liquid. Brown sugar has molasses in it, which is not the same thing as caramel. So butterscotch has notes of butter, molasses, vanilla and salt.

How-to make Butterscotch Sauce

butter and brown sugar in a pot

Step 1: When you add the brown sugar to the melted butter, the mixture will look like wet sand. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.

boiling butterscotch sauce

Step 2: The butter and sugar mixture will begin liquify. Then you’re ready to add the cream.

photos shows a pot with a  whisk adding cream into butterscotch sauce

Step 3: Whisk the cream into the sugar & butter mixture. Whisk in the liquor and cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Whisk occasionally.

a pot full of bubbling butterscotch

Step 4: The sauce will bubble up while cooking.

a pot of smooth butterscotch sauce

Step 5: The sauce will become more viscous as it cooks. The final sauce should be silky smooth and not at all gritty.

beauty shot

You might also enjoy Mexican Cajeta or Hot Fudge Sauce on your ice cream.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider giving it 5 stars.

butterscotch sauce on ice cream
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4.89 from 18 reviews

Butterscotch Sauce

Silky smooth & buttery, Butterscotch Sauce has a special and specific flavor with notes of molasses, butter, vanilla and salt.
Prep Time15 minutes
Bake Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
8 servings
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  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 8 oz dark brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 4 oz heavy cream (1/2 cup)
  • 2 oz butterscotch schnapps (1/4 cup (see note))
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (not table salt (seen note))


  • Melt butter over medium low heat. (see note). Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar looks like wet sand. Cook on medium low, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. The mixture will begin to liquify.
    8 oz dark brown sugar, 2 oz unsalted butter
  • Whisk in the cream, then whisk in the schnapps. BE CAREFUL, the mixture will bubble up and steam when the liquids are added, Keep your face away from the pot.
    4 oz heavy cream, 2 oz butterscotch schnapps
  • Cook over low heat for for about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally until the butterscotch becomes more viscous, very smooth and silky. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt.
    2 teaspoons real vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pour into a heat proof container to cool. I like to use canning jars to store the butterscotch sauce.

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You can use another liquor like bourbon or rum, or you can use more cream to keep it alcohol-free.
If you use table salt use 1/4 teaspoon
The main thing that can go wrong with this recipe is if you cook it too hot or too fast. Be patient and let it cook over medium-low heat for the times listed in the recipe. If you cook it too hot, bits of the sugar will caramelize and separate from the butter. You’ll end up with a gritty texture.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 53mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. OH! I’ve never made butterscotch sauce before–what a great idea. Gorgeous photos too. Thanks for linking up to the Friday Frenzy!

  2. Its been ages since I’ve had anything with butterscotch in it. I love butterscotch ice cream. Thanks for sharing a step by step process of making butterscotch sauce.

  3. Simple and delicious. I would eat this straight from the jar until I’m sick lol. I actually like butterscotch sauce more than caramel and I bet salted butterscotch would be tasty too!

  4. Homemade is best, I like this simple easy to make recipe using brown sugar and butter. I always use storebought one.

  5. I always buy store brought butterscotch sauce is homemade version this simple. I am definitely bookmarking this

  6. I never tried butterscotch sauce before. It sounds amazing. Love the consistency of this sauce. Looks so buttery, dense and delicious. Yum!

  7. Yum. I definitely would be licking the spoon! I want to drizzle this over some brownies with a scoop of ice cream!

  8. This sounds like such a decadent treat, yum! Oh and I am so with you with the salted caramel thing…a bit over it for now 🙂

  9. OMG, I LOOOOVE Butterscoth flavor and the sauce is my fav…more than caramel sauce! I’ve grown up eating it in India and your recipe is spot on. I’ve never tried making it at home but your recipe is so easy to follow that I’d make it soon.

  10. Everyone gives all the love to chocolate. Why is that?? We love the taste of butterscotch. Yummy, buttery, creamy! Can’t beat it. In fact, Hubby’s favorite pie is butterscotch cream pie. I think I’ll make something and pour this delicious sauce all over it.

    1. I would hate to have to choose between chocolate or butterscotch. It would be like choosing your favorite child. I’m happy to be in a world with both! I’ve been seeing recipes for butterscotch pie. I’ll have to give that a try soon. I’m working on some other butterscotch recipes for future posts.

  11. I can imagine so many delicious uses for your butterscotch sauce!! For right now, I am imagining it being swirled all over my favorite french vanilla ice cream! YUM!

  12. I am a big fan of butterscotch and can never have enough on my ice cream. You make it looks very easy to make at home and I am tempted to make some of my own. Love you clicks and that makes it even more tempting!

  13. I’ve never thought of making my own butterscotch sauce before. I totally dig that there is schnapps in there.

  14. I completely agree! Salted caramel is great, but butterscotch is something entirely different and special. I love the addition of the schnapps in here, too.

  15. I love caramel sauce but this butterscotch looks amazing as good as caramel must do following yoru tips soon!

    1. I love caramel too. But this is easier to make than caramel and has a different flavor. Hope you try it.

  16. I love butterscotch – in fact more than caramel..!! So handy to have around. I made butterscotch cupcakes last week and they were such a treat. So much flavor in this sauce.

  17. I haven’t had butterscotch in ages but I used to really love it and this just reminded me how much. I could just dip my spoon in there and eat it.

  18. Butterscotch does not get enough love. Every time I have it I am reminded how good it is and how well it pairs in desserts. To make your own means you can have a whole lot of it. Great idea!

    1. I agree Peter. It does pair really well with desserts, but I will admit to dipping a spoon right into the jar…