Skip the store-bought sauces and whip up a quick and easy recipe for Homemade Butterscotch Sauce.

Easy Homemade Butterscotch Sauce poured over vanilla ice cream in wooden bowl

I had grand plans today to share a recipe starring nutrient-packed leafy greens. Instead, my lack of willpower has resulted in Easy Homemade Butterscotch Sauce. Leafy greens. Butterscotch sauce. Same thing, right? Keto-lovers, shield your eyes.

Butterscotch ingredients in heavy-bottomed saucepan

In researching what goes into a successful—and incredibly simple—butterscotch sauce, I discovered countless discussions across the interwebs about butterscotch versus caramel.

To summarize: Butterscotch sauce is made with brown sugar, while a traditional caramel sauce is made with white sugar.

Easy homemade butterscotch boiling in saucepan

I’ve caramelized sugar a million times and a thousand different ways—white sugar, brown sugar, butter, no butter, bourbon, whiskey, cream, vanilla. This recipe is hands-down the winner when it comes to a fast (10 minutes!) and easy sauce for ice cream sundaes.

Pouring Easy Homemade Butterscotch Sauce into mason jar

I tested the recipe with light and dark brown sugar, and the dark variety inevitably won out for its deeper molasses flavor and intense amber color. I also opted for large-flake sea salt to balance out the sweetness. And the texture? Silky smooth, and totally eat-it-with-a-spoon-worthy.

The best homemade butterscotch sauce over scoops of vanilla ice cream

Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.


Easy Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

Skip the store-bought sauces and whip up a 10-minute recipe for Easy Homemade Butterscotch Sauce.
4.86 from 191 votes
Easy Homemade Butterscotch Sauce poured over vanilla ice cream in wooden bowl
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 1 cup


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon large-flake salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Melt the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (not non-stick) over medium heat.
  • Add the brown sugar, salt and heavy cream and stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until it's well blended. Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping down the sides occasionally, and boil it for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the butterscotch sauce to a container to cool. (See Kelly's Notes.)

Kelly's Notes:

  • The butterscotch thickens significantly as it cools, so it's important to not over-boil it or you'll end up with chewy butterscotch caramels rather than a pourable sauce.
  • If you want to add a kick to your butterscotch sauce, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of your choice liquor (think bourbon, whiskey or cognac) at the same time you stir in the vanilla extract.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Did you try this recipe?

Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

Feeling social?

Share this recipe!



Calories: 1241kcal, Carbohydrates: 111g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 89g, Saturated Fat: 56g, Cholesterol: 283mg, Sodium: 2408mg, Potassium: 235mg, Sugar: 107g, Vitamin A: 3150IU, Calcium: 182mg, Iron: 0.8mg

Related Recipes

Check out more crave-worthy favorites

Kelly Senyei holding a copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook

love the recipes on just a taste?

Check out my cookbook!

Order your copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook featuring 125 brand-new family-friendly recipes with surprisingly tasty twists!

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    Very easy and tasty but the taste is a little to salty for me. I used Kosher salt. I’ll use a little less salt next time.

  2. 5 stars
    Super easy, super quick, super yum
    My grandson loves this poured over a pancake or two with fruit salad he has made himself. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I was so skeptical thinking how a caramel sauce can be this simple and easy but then I had trouble stopping myself from finishing it in one go
    It’s so simple and so delicious
    Thank you Kelly for sharing a wonderful recipe ❤️

  4. 4 stars
    Thanks for the recipe, which is good. However, if you are going to specify an odd-ball form of salt, you should do it in grams. Then people can use the salt they have on hand. I used sea salt, moderately coarse, which proved too salty. Thanks.

    1. Hi Melanie! Many commenters have succeeded in using a non-stick pan however, I don’t recommend it as the high temperatures required to make the sauce can ruin the pan. :)

  5. Hi Kelly,
    I have made the butter scotch recipe, very happy with the results, easy to follow and quick too.
    Thank you

  6. 5 stars
    Shut the fffff-ront door! I made this exactly to the recipe and if I don’t drink it straight out of the canning jar I’m storing it in it’ll be a miracle! This is extremely easy and ohhh so delicious! Butterscotch and caramel often taste similar, but this is boasting with true butterscotch flavor! I can’t wait till it cools so I can see the consistency! I hope I did that part right. I want to ribbon this in my homemade ice cream!

  7. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! I only added a pinch of salt, that was enough for me. I’ll never buy store bought again.

  8. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe, particularly with the addition of the cognac.

    I did half quantity (because I was low on cream) with 1 tbls cognac. I was anxious about over boiling so did 3 mins with my half quantity and that was fine.

See More Comments