Butterscotch Sauce

5 from 2 votes
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Learn how easy it is to make homemade butterscotch sauce from scratch with just a few simple ingredients. This rich, delicious sauce makes the perfect ice cream topper. 

If you love butterscotch be sure to check out these butterscotch brownies, butterscotch cookies and apple cake with butterscotch chips. 

Ice cream sauce in a jar with spoon

What makes this recipe so good

  • Smooth, silky, sweet sauce that goes well over almost anything! 
  • No need to buy at the store because it’s so easy to make at home. 

This recipe only needs 5 simple ingredients. 

Butter – Make sure to use unsalted butter. Salted butter will be too salty for this sauce.

Brown sugar – The molasses in brown sugar gives this sauce a rich, butterscotch flavor. I prefer dark brown sugar because it’s richer and I think more flavorful. Light brown sugar can be substituted. 

Heavy whipping cream – Use heavy cream or you can substitute half-and-half. 

Vanilla extract and salt – You can use kosher, flakey or even pink Himalayan sea salt to balance out the sweetness of this recipe. 

What’s the difference between caramel sauce and butterscotch sauce?

While they are similar in taste, the difference is the type of sugar that is used in each recipe. Caramel sauce uses white granulated sugar while butterscotch uses brown sugar. 

How to make butterscotch sauce

Skip to the bottom for full recipe, ingredients and video. 

  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar until combined. I like to use a whisk or rubber spatula for this. 
  2. Stir in heavy cream and salt. Let the mixture come to a boil while stirring. Let boil for about 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. 

Brown sugar, cream, butter mixed in saucepan

Recipe tips

  • Be sure to keep stirring the sauce while it’s cooking so that it doesn’t burn.
  • To ensure a smooth sauce, you can pour it through a mesh strainer to help remove any little lumps.
  • This sauce thickens quickly so be sure not to over-cook it. For the perfect, pourable sauce remove from heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes before pouring. They longer it cools, the thicker the sauce becomes. 

How to store

Store this homemade butterscotch sauce in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for about two weeks. You can reheat in the microwave for a few seconds on on the stove over low heat so not to burn.  

How to serve butterscotch sauce

This tasty homemade butterscotch sauce can be served in many different ways.

We love pouring it over ice cream, cheesecake, pancakes and even fruit. You could also use this sauce for this caramel apple dip

Spoon drizzling dessert topping over ice cream.

More easy dessert recipes

Make this sauce recipe? Leave a comment and star below to let us know how it turned out and if you have any questions.   

Jar of caramel sauce.
5 from 2 votes

Butterscotch Sauce

By Heather
Smooth and sweet butterscotch sauce is easy to make at home.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar light brown sugar can be substituted
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon flakey salt


  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and salt.
  • Stir in heavy cream. Keep stirring and bring mixture to a low boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  • Note...The more you let the sauce sit and cool, the thicker it will become.


YouTube video


Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 136mg | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 1399IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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