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Butterscotch Sauce

Kim’s homemade old fashioned butterscotch sauce creates a buttery sweet topping perfect ice cream, cake, and all sorts of desserts!

Who doesn’t love sweet, decadent sauces? Well, I’m sure someone would say they don’t. But, as for the rest of us, nothing finishes a dessert better than a flavorful sauce.

For today, we’re sharing Kim’s homemade butterscotch sauce. As you can imagine, it’s the perfect topping for vanilla ice cream. Now, it should be noted that this butterscotch syrup is homemade. So, it does require your full attention.

With that being said, it’s done in about 15-minutes. While it might be an old fashioned recipe, it doesn’t take forever to create.

The finished sweet sauce in a small mason jar.

How to make old fashioned butterscotch sauce:

First, place a 3-quart metal saucepan over medium heat. After that, add in the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and sea salt.

Next, stir the mixture to combine the ingredients. Stop stirring and let the liquid come to a boil.

Butter, heavy cream, and other ingredients in a saucepan.

It needs to boil for 4-5 minutes without stirring. Then, turn off the heat and let it cool for 2-3 minutes. Afterward, stir in the vanilla; being careful not stir in the crystalized sugar around the edges of the pan.

Last, once the sauce cools serve it warm or transfer it to a heat-safe container with a lid. It can be stored in your fridge for up to 2-weeks.

A top-down view of the cooked sauce in the pan.

Recipe Tips:

  • Don’t let the sauce cook for too long. Otherwise, it will turn into butterscotch candy.
  • If you use salted butter, then I recommend removing the salt from our recipe.
  • For a salted butterscotch sauce, you can stir flaky sea salt into the sauce once it’s done cooking.
  • I would avoid using a non-stick saucepan. Kim has read that it can negatively effect your dessert sauces.
  • To create a tasty Fall drink, use this sauce to make butterscotch coffee.

Why won’t my butterscotch sauce thicken?

Usually, a butterscotch syrup is too thin because it hasn’t cooked long enough. Cook it a little longer and it should thicken. However, don’t let it cook too long or it will become butterscotch candy.

How long does butterscotch sauce last?

When properly stored in your fridge, it should last for up to 2 weeks.

Don’t forget to check out our Butterscotch Sauce web story!

A close-up of the sauce in a jar.
The finished sweet sauce in a small mason jar.

Butterscotch Sauce

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 14 Ounces


  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 ¼ Cups Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla


  • In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan combine the butter, sugar, heavy whipping cream, and salt over medium heat. Stir to combine the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil for 4 to 5 minutes without stirring, then remove from heat.
  • Cool slightly before adding the vanilla. Stir to combine without scraping any sugar crystals that may be along the sides of the pan into the butterscotch mixture. Otherwise, the sauce will be grainy.
  • Store the butterscotch in a sealable, glass container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1-ounce of the butterscotch sauce. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information and tips, please refer to the post.


Serving: 1Ounce | Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 86mg | Sugar: 16g
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