New Backer Hacks: Homemade Butterscotch Recipe

Happy Monday, everyone! Did you have a fantastic weekend? I’ve been so psyched about the weather here lately. The humidity is pretty much non-existent, the air is cool and crisp (at least the morning and evenings :P) and everything outside has that slightly burnt smell. I absolutely love it. I also just discovered leggings, so that’s been a bit of a new obsession. I’m so on trend, right? Sometimes I wonder if I’m even female.

Speaking of embarrassing admissions, up until about a week ago I had no idea what butterscotch was even made of. I blame caramel for always stealing the spotlight. But what I didn’t know is that butterscotch actually is caramel—it’s just made with brown sugar instead of white. Whodathunkit? 

sideviewgalette butterscotch

One thing I will say is that the method really matters. The first recipe I tried asked that you melt the butter and sugar together before adding the cream. For some reason this just wouldn’t work for me. The sugar didn’t want to melt! Against my better judgement I pushed on anyway and wound up with really grainy butterscotch.

I had a lot more success with Smitten Kitchen’s method since she has you melt butter alone first, then add the sugar and cream together. The cream seems to do a much better job of breaking down the sugar than just butter on its own. Doing it this way ensures that your sauce comes out luscious and smooth.

Here’s how you do it! 

Melt the butter in a small sauce pot and then add your sugar and cream (cream isn’t pictured here for some reason but I swear I added it).

butterscotch step 1

Bring it to a gentle boil and let it do its thing for approximately 5 minutes. Feel free to whisk it every once in a while if you want to feel like you’re doing somethin. 😛

butterscotch step 2

Now pour it into a bowl or storage container and add salt and vanilla, a bit at a time. This part is really to your preferred taste. I recommend starting with a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of vanilla and then going from there. Obviously, it’s much easier to add salt and vanilla than it is to take it away. 

butterscotch 4

And there you have it! Super smooth and creamy butterscotch sauce. And it’s seriously so fast and so delicious that you won’t believe you ever bought a jar of it at the store.

butterscotch 3

This sauce will thicken up quite a bit in the refrigerator but can be warmed up in the microwave to thin it out again. Use it just like you would caramel: drizzle it on fruit or ice cream, use it as a cake filling, or gobble it up by the spoonful. It’s up to you! If you’re wondering what the gorgeous apple concoction is up above, hang tight because that is coming soon. 😉

Until next time <3

Homemade Butterscotch
Yields 3
A perfectly smooth butterscotch sauce to top your cookies, ice cream, cakes, and more!
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 4 tbsp (half stick) unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 c dark brown sugar
  3. 1/2 c (118 ml) heavy cream
  4. Pure vanilla extract (to taste)
  5. Salt (to taste)
  1. Melt the butter in a nonstick sauce pot over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the sugar and heavy cream and bring the mixture to a slight boil.
  3. Let it boil for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and stir the vanilla and salt, to taste.
  5. Transfer to a heat-proof container and allow to come to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  1. You can use light brown sugar but the taste will be slightly different.
  2. Start off with no more than 1/4 tsp of salt and vanilla and then increase from there.
  3. Sauce will firm up in the refrigerator but can be thinned out again in the microwave.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
recipe image
Recipe Name
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
Published On
Preparation Time
Cook Time
Total Time

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