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How to Make Butterscotch Sauce From Scratch

How to Make Butterscotch Sauce From Scratch

Last Updated on 23rd April 2022 by

Butterscotch sauce is my go-to topping for ice cream and white cakes. I prefer it to more traditional toppings because of the rich flavour and beautiful colour. It reminds me of honey, but it is not really as healthy for you. That’s probably why I love it so much.

You can buy butterscotch sauce in the store or make it yourself for a fraction of the price. Normally, I would say something along the lines of making the sauce yourself allows you to control the healthiness of the ingredients, but I don’t think anyone is making butterscotch sauce for health benefits.

This is something that is made purely as a dessert topping, so I’m going to treat it like that. The main benefit to making this sauce at home is that you get to save money, but you also get to enjoy the sense of accomplishment from making it yourself rather than buying it off the shelf. You can also make butterscotch whenever you like instead of having to wait for a trip to the grocery to get it.

So, how to make butterscotch sauce? You’ll just need a few ingredients, which is always something I like to say to my readers. I know some visitors to this site are not very experienced cooks and haven’t made a lot of different foods in the kitchen for themselves. So, they might be intimidated by a lengthy list of ingredients or by long cooking directions.

This recipe for how to make a butterscotch sauce has neither. It is simple and short and only uses a handful of ingredients. It sounds less intimidating now, doesn’t it? I think this is a recipe that anyone could make if they wanted to, and I’m going to show you how to do it.

Butterscotch Sauce
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Butterscotch Sauce Recipe


  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp of butter, unsalted (about ½ of a stick)
  • 1 tsp of large flake salt
  • ½ cup of dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract


  • Start by melting the butter in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove. If you are melting it on the stove, then you can just use that same saucepan for the entire butterscotch making process. Use a medium pan and heat the butter on medium heat until it melts, stirring slightly to help the melting process along.
  • Add in salt, heavy cream, and brown sugar. Stir these together and blend completely.
  • Continue heating until the mixture starts to boil, scraping the mixture off the sides every so often. Allow the mixture to boil for about five minutes.
  • Take the mixture off the heat and add in the vanilla extract, stirring completely. Take the butterscotch mixture off the stove and place in a container so it can cool. It will get really thick as it cools, so don’t worry if it is runny when you finish boiling it. Be sure not to overboil it, as that can make it too thick. You want your sauce to be pourable when it is done cooling.

How to Make Butterscotch Sauce without Cream

If you would like to avoid the heavy cream, you’re probably looking for a vegan recipe for butterscotch. Is it possible to make butterscotch without using heavy cream or any kind of animal products?

The answer is yes, but you need to make some concessions. Instead of heavy cream and butter, you would be using vegan butter and soy milk. It will make for a different kind of butterscotch, but this can taste very similar to the real deal. You don’t have to sacrifice too much to make your own butterscotch at home with a vegan recipe.

How to make butterscotch sauce for ice cream in a vegan way? Here is an alternative butterscotch recipe for you that uses only vegan ingredients.

Butterscotch Sauce without Cream
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Butterscotch Sauce without Cream Recipe


  • ½ cup of soy creamer
  • ¼ cup of vegan butter
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp of sea salt


  • You will make the butterscotch in the same way as we made it up above- melt the butter, stir in your salt, sugar, and milk, and then add in the vanilla extract after the rest of the mixture boils. Don’t boil for too long, only allowing the mixture to boil for five minutes. Your mixture will need to cool in order to thicken.

This will not look the same as the regular butterscotch sauce, but it will be pourable and will have a very similar taste. It loses something in the texture, but that’s a concession you will have to make to get that butterscotch flavour without the milk and butter.

How to Make Butterscotch Sauce with Chips

You could make butterscotch sauce using butterscotch chips as well, which are simply chunks of hardened butterscotch similar to chocolate chips. The method for how to make butterscotch sauce from chips is a bit different from what I have given you for making this sauce in other ways. I’ll share the recipe with you below:

Butterscotch Sauce with Chips
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How to Make Butterscotch Sauce with Chips


  • cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ⅔ cups of butterscotch chips (may be listed as butterscotch morsels)
  • ¼ tbsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of light corn syrup


  • Add cream, salt, butterscotch chips, and corn syrup to a bowl and microwave on high uncovered for a minutes.
  • Stir your mixture together and microwave for about 15 seconds longer if some of the butterscotch chips are still hard. Stir it again and microwave more if the morsels are still not melted. They all need to be melted completely for this sauce to be pourable.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and stir. Serve your butterscotch sauce warm and put the leftover to store in the refrigerator.

With this method, there is no need to wait for the sauce to cool to be thick enough to use. It will be as thick as it is going to get as soon as it is done warming in the microwave.

I’ve given you three ways to make butterscotch sauce at home with your own ingredients, and I hope you can use these to make delicious sauce you can enjoy anytime. No matter what way you prefer, you’ll love pouring this sauce over ice cream, brownies, cakes and even in your coffee.

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I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here

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