Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

by Rebekahcooked up on December 5, 2013

Whew! I don’t know where the time goes these days. My new job has been very busy and fun, and it’s had me in Seattle twice already and soon I’m off to LA. I used to live in the Seattle area when I was very young, and I loved it then. It’s been really fun to go back and enjoy it as an adult. I’ve had to very full working days so far when I’ve been there, but I have also had some pretty rad food opportunities.

First I got to try out Mamnoon, Seattle Met’s restaurant of the year *and* Seattle Magazine’s Best New Restuarant. Believe the hype – it was totally amazing. We tried about half of the menu, and all of it was great. Then on my next trip, I got to attend a preview dinner of Miller’s Guild, which is the new restaurant in my employer’s hotel in Seattle, Hotel Max. It. was. SO. good, and technically I was working. Heh heh.

So a while back, I my friends at Ben and Jerry’s sent me a very special package in the mail. It was three pints of the new Scotchy Scotch Scotch flavor to try early! Easily one of the coolest things I have ever received in the mail. They sent it in a cooler filled with dry ice pellets, so the ice cream was still frozen completely solid when it arrived all the way from Vermont. I couldn’t dent it with a spoon. Dave and I were waiting and waiting for it to be soft enough to scoop out for our first bite.

It was definitely worth the wait. Both the ice cream and the swirl are butterscotchy, and it gave Dave a good idea: We should try making our own butterscotch! I’m so glad we did – it tastes nothing like butterscotch-flavored candies you may have had. This will make you forget that those exist.

Homemade Butterscotch | PDXfoodlove

So later, yes, we did in fact have butterscotch sauce on our butterscotch ice cream. (I mean, why not?)

Here’s what you need:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of tightly packed brown sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

As with many candies and sugars, you should be prepared to act quickly here, and you should never leave the stove during this process. Prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready by the stove.

Homemade Butterscotch | PDXfoodlove

In a saucepan or saucier (something with rounded corners is best), melt the butter over medium heat. When there are only a few bits of solids left, stir in the brown sugar. Continue to stir until all of the sugar is wet.

Homemade Butterscotch | PDXfoodlove

Leave the heat on medium and stir occasionally as the brown sugar granules melt. The mixture will go from looking like wet sand to much smoother, functioning more like a very thick liquid than a paste (but don’t look for it to be completely, totally smooth).

Homemade Butterscotch | PDXfoodlove

Now it’s time to add the cream. Grab a whisk and turn the heat down to low. Slowly stir the cream in (it will probably bubble up a bit. That is ok, keep stirring). Once the cream is incorporated, turn the heat back up to medium and bring to a boil. Boil for then minutes, whisking frequently, and then move the pan off the heat.

After five minutes or so of cooling, transfer the sauce to a glass bowl and allow to continue cooling to room temperature. Stir in the salt and vanilla and then taste. You may want to add more salt – I like a saltier butterscotch, myself. When you are happy with the flavor, transfer to a glass jar for storage in the fridge. In the fridge the sauce will solidify. A few seconds in the microwave will bring it back to life.

Adapted from Simply Recipes.


  1. Mmm, butterscotch sauce is the best! I’ve never made it from scratch, but it looks so easy and delicious I think I need to do it soon 🙂

    Comment by Rachel @ Bakerita — December 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

  2. Hi Rebecca, do you think you this would be a good candidate for canning? It looks delicious and I would love to can several pints of it.

    Comment by Kelly Keys — December 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

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