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This homemade Butterscotch Sauce Recipe is just lovely!

Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

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My Homemade Butterscotch Sauce is easy, creamy, rich, a little nutty, and deeply caramel-like.

Hi Bold Bakers!

I don’t know about you, but one of my all-time favorite flavors is Butterscotch. Creamy, rich, a little nutty and deeply caramel-like, this incredible sweet sauce is so easy to make there is no reason to use the store-bought stuff. Now that it’s summer, no ice cream sundae can be called complete without a bit of my Homemade Butterscotch Sauce! You have got to give this recipe a go!

What’s the Difference Between Butterscotch and Caramel?

If you don’t know what butterscotch sauce is prepare to have your mind blown.

Butterscotch is like caramel’s naughty younger bother as it’s somewhat similar, but instead of starting with a base of white sugar like you do for caramel, butterscotch is always made with brown sugar. That means you already have an instant caramel flavor built in without having to go through the same, sometimes temperamental, cooking process of making a caramel.

Using brown sugar instead of regular granulated sugar adds loads to the flavor profile of this rich sauce. You can imagine what happens when the sweet molasses flavor of brown sugar is heated and caramelized — it only gets sweeter, stickier, and nuttier, which is what really creates the unique flavor of my Homemade Butterscotch Sauce.

[ Need some brown sugar for this recipe? Try making your own with my simple Brown Sugar recipe! ]

How to Make Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

While this sauce is complex in its rich caramel flavor it really is one of the easiest things to make. Making this homemade sauce is just a matter of combining a few basic ingredients in a saucepan and gently bringing together over medium heat. You will not believe how foolproof this recipe is, it can be made in literally 5 minutes flat.

After the brown sugar, butter, and cream melt together and really caramelize, they turn a lovely amber color. To finish off the sauce I take it off the heat and stir in vanilla and salt. These last little additions really take the flavor to the next level. The finished product is deeply flavorful, rich, thick, sticky and sweet.

How to Store Butterscotch Sauce

This sauce is a great one to have on hand. It’s lovely cold or reheated in the microwave and can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks. Once you make this versatile sauce you will find yourself using it left and right as it’s lovely on ice creams, cheesecakes, or even poured over fresh fruit!

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4.32 from 29 votes
This homemade Butterscotch Sauce Recipe is just lovely!
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce Recipe
Cook Time
6 mins

My Butterscotch Sauce Recipe is easy, creamy, rich, a little nutty, and deeply caramel-like.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 1/4 cup (2oz/57g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (4floz/115ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (3oz/85g) brown sugar (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon large flake salt
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the butter, cream and brown sugar over medium heat. Gently swirl the pan until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Once the sugar had dissolved allow to simmer undisturbed for 4-6 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and the salt. 

  3. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 8 weeks. 

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

If you would like to use a Truvia Brown sugar, you can reference my How to substitute sugar chart.


3 Images
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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Mabel Craig on July 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I do not have a flake salt? What Can I substitute?


    • Gemma Stafford on July 17, 2019 at 2:07 am

      Hi Mabel,
      a little sea salt – if possible – will do it for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Aisha on May 24, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Hii i wana know the difference between heavy cream,wipped crem and normal cream thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on May 27, 2019 at 7:45 am

      Hi Aisha,

      Sorry for my late reply. Fr just s you know, for this recipe you can use any type of cream.

      The difference between all these creams is the higher the fat % the better the cream will be for whipping. So a cream that will whip well will be around 35-40% fat content. Non-whipping cream will be in the 20% range.

      Hope this helps,

  3. Kirthi on May 14, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Tries this sauce and used it over a cake as a drip. Even between the cake layers and the icing. It just took a simple vanilla cake to a whole new level. Thanks for this amazing recipe. Will be making this quite often from now on 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on May 14, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that!! Thanks so much for trying it out 🙂


  4. Alegria H on May 12, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    This recipe is simply delicious! I made the sauce for mother’s day. I put a brie cheese in the oven to melt, then i put the sauce over the cheese with some walnuts on the top. Thanks for sharing ❤️

    • Gemma Stafford on May 13, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      Yay!!!! I love to hear that.

      Great job!

  5. Soma on April 4, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Nice recipie …. only one doubt … Heavy cream means whipped cream or any other cream ?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 5, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      Heavy cream is what i used, i would not suggest whipped cream.

  6. Dani Bell on March 3, 2019 at 9:06 am

    I have never made butterscotch sauce before. This recipe was easy and clean up was a breeze. Delicious topping for my apple pear blueberry crisp. Thank you so much. Amazing!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      It’s my pleasure, great job!

  7. Hbockweg on December 31, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Gemma: your Butterscotch sauce is ‘heaven here on earth’. I had made up some, to go with your ice cream, to get made ahead & ready for a dinner party dessert…..& I just went in to the refrigerator & ate it (by the spoonful)’s unbelievably good!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      HAHAH i do the same thing! I am delighted to hear that!

  8. Ellie on December 17, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Hello Gemma,
    I just found this recipe of yours for the holiday season!! I just made it, I made sure to be precise with how much of each ingredient I was using and followed the recipe as close as I could. My version turned out much darker than what I buy in the store and what I see in your video. The flavor is lovely, very rich and decadent, but I’m wondering if I may have heated it up too much? It almost boiled over on me and I had to turn it down halfway through cooking. I also used a dark brown sugar instead of a light brown one, so perhaps that added to the darker color? It tastes like caramel and butterscotch mixed together to me, so that’s why I’m asking.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 17, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Hi there, i think using a darker brown sugar might be why. It will have slightly a caramely flavor to it so sounds like you did a great jon LD

  9. Annie Golchha on December 15, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Hi Gemma,
    My sauce has become a bit stiff more like a jam..what should I do to make it more runny & of a dripping consistency?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 6:26 am

      Hi Annie,
      here is the recipe:
      1/4 cup (2oz/57g) butter
      1/2 cup (4floz/115ml) heavy cream
      1/2 cup (3oz/85g) brown sugar (see notes)
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1/8 teaspoon large flake salt
      I am wondering if you changed anything in the recipe? If not you can return it to the pot, heat it through and add a little more cream. That will do it for you.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Joanna Gorna on September 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    What sauce pan is this?can u give the tjecof produckt tjat you used?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Hi Joanna,
      I have a number of pots, some stainless steel, some no stick from GoodCook ( you can research these here.
      There are any number of good quality pans, buy the best you can, good quality will last a lifetime.
      It really depends on where you live in the world, but the ‘best you can buy’ will always pay off,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Belynda on September 4, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Hello Gemma

    Can you apply the syrups in cakes. i.e when layering cakes?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Sure, if you’d like! Enjoy!

  12. Camille Taylor on July 27, 2018 at 11:31 am

    This was SOO tasty and was amazing on top of some unsalted and non-buttered popcorn. I just poured it over the top and let it sit for a while, and it was like HEAVEN! 🙂 It was a great treat for a break after some photography! (I’m a photographer, events and portraits.)

    I DO have one question:
    If I used white sugar, would it make it a caramel sauce, or would it be…?


    • Gemma Stafford on July 28, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Hi Camille,
      White sugar will make a caramel, easily, and actually it is easier to spot when it turns to caramel too. go for it, all will be well.
      Thank you for your kind words, and lovely idea, I can imagine that you have an interesting and busy job, well done!
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Haenah Kim on July 23, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    I can’t figure out how to respond to your response on my topic, but an update.
    I started with mostly heavy cream with a little bit of milk to hit the appropriate amount, i added a tad more butter to add a bit more fat.
    The first heat was wrong, very crystallized and no sauce. So I tried to reheat it again but with a splash of milk just to reheat (there’s a chance I thought I just evaporated too much). It separated once cooled but the flavor was much closer to butterscotch. So I just poured it into a pot again and heated it for a bit and adding a touch more vanilla. This time it’s a success ! Ish… it’s not really a sauce nor really butterscotch, but it tastes amazing and is close enough for now. I’ll have to try again later… but it seems like even if you mess up, there’s a chance to make it delicious again! It’s almost like a butterscotch fudge texture with a more toffee/caramel note, I’m definitely not upset (I’ve got plans to screw this up again like this in the future for some tasty truffles).

    • Gemma Stafford on July 24, 2018 at 4:22 am

      Haha! You really got me laughing, and that was good for my soul!
      Yes, you really got to grips with this, and made it your own. I will be interested to hear how you manage to ‘screw’ with other recipes in the future lol.
      Thank you for this, it is great that you persevered, always worth it.
      Thank you for the laugh too,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Haenah Kim on July 20, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Is it possible to overcook the sauce? I feel like it’s really granular though I did cook it longer than 5 minutes since it looked too runny/I substituted a bit of heavy cream for low fat milk since I didn’t have enough and assumed not enough water evaporated off.

    Can I just reboil with a touch more cream? Right now it tastes like a touch of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, and butter in that order of most obvious flavor to least (at least to my palate).

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2018 at 3:42 pm


      Unfortunately milk will not work. It has to be cream. try passing it through a sieve to remove the bits of sugar.


  15. Tara Floch on July 20, 2018 at 11:25 am

    When you say we can use any cream does that mean we can use full fat milk? I’m out of heavy whipping cream and would like to make this. I have read to substitute milk for cream you can add butter to add fat. Can this be done if full fat milk won’t work?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Tara,

      no I don’t mean full fat milk. I just mean whipping cream, or table cream etc. Any type of cream but not milk.

      Hope this helps,

  16. Ameena on July 20, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Hi Gemma
    i made this sauce but after some time it separated into 3. Butter on top caramel color sunstance in the middle and a darker substance at the bottom. what didn’t i do right?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Hi there Ameena,
      did it ever come together for you?
      It sounds like you stopped it too soon. Return it to the pot and continue to cook it out. Go back to the recipe and watch the video again. It is almost there,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Kris on July 19, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    It tastes more like a toffee than a butterscotch. 🙁 It’s still okay, but definitely not a butterscotch flavour.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2018 at 2:26 am

      Hi Kris,
      I am sorry this is not what you expected. It is however a butterscotch sauce. not a butterscotch as in a candy you may buy, but that is prepared in a different way.
      I am glad you tried it though, I hope you like it well enough to finish it up,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Gloria Segin on July 19, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Do u have a recipe for Maple Walnut I ecream topping? I cannot find it anywhere.

    Thank you,


    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Hi Gloria,
      There are actually a lot of recipes online, but they are with pecans. however it will be the same thing. Toast the walnuts on a dry pan, watch them, it will be quick, use a lower grade of maple syrup if you can find it, proceed as per the butterscotch sauce, but substitute some of the brown sugar for the maple syrup, perhaps remove one ounce of the sugar, add back two of the maple syrup. I am making this up as I go, and would need to try it, but it sounds right to me. You can let me know if you try it too, I am adding it to my list,
      Gemma 🙂

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