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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
Print Recipe
4.95 from 17 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


  • 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.


Ball Jars 8 oz, Set of 8

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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!
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

Oh this is so good!

Laura Sampson

Wednesday 24th of May 2017

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

Mayuri Patel

Sunday 21st of May 2017

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.


Sunday 7th of May 2017

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!

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 9th of May 2017

I did eat it straight from the jar and it was goooood.

Kylee from Kylee Cooks

Monday 1st of May 2017

Wow - I totally want to eat this with a spoon. Or just pour it in a glass, and I'll drink it. I do love me some butterscotch.