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Homemade butterscotch sauce for ice cream

Butterscotch Sauce

How to Make Butterscotch Sauce from scratch in just 10 minutes! Just as good as caramel but so much easier. Can be made ahead of time. This recipe makes 1 1/3 cups sauce.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Recipe by Tessa Arias


  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons dark liquor, optional


  1. In a large heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar, salt, and cream and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Bring to a simmer. Without stirring, let the mixture cook at a bubbling simmer for three minutes. Be careful not to boil too long, or you’ll end up with chewy butterscotch candies instead of a sauce. Mixture will thicken considerably as it cools.

  2. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before stirring in the vanilla extract and liquor (if using). Pour into a resalable container, preferably glass. Don’t scrape the sides of the pan into the container or you may end up with gritty pieces of undissolved sugar. You should end up with about 1 1/3 cups sauce.

  3. Serving and Storage: The sauce should be served warm. It can be stored in a jar, in the refrigerator, for up to two weeks. Reheat the butterscotch sauce in a saucepan over low heat.

Recipe Video