Skip to Content

Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

Share the research:

Have you ever had Real Homemade Butterscotch Sauce? If you haven’t had it made from scratch with real Scotch Whisky, you are missing something. It is an amazingly simple and clever way to impress guests with little effort. This might be the easiest of all my desserts.

Butterscotch and Ice Cream
Wonderful with Vanilla Ice Cream

The first time I made Butterscotch, I could only say, “Why has no one ever told me about this?” I mean, you are kidding me, this simple, this good? Well, it is if you use real Scotch for a beautiful deep taste as opposed to just sweet.

True Confession

Although the origin of the word Butterscotch is not exactly certain. It appears the “scotch” in the name has more to do with the scorching of the sugar or alternatively laying the sugar candy out in a plaid pattern to cool. Regardless, the ambiguous naming encouraged someone to add Scotch Whisky and the result is outstanding, Who are we to argue?

Notes on Ingredients

Butter and Cream

As in many simple but wonderful sauces, the ingredients matter. Use the best, freshest butter and cream you can find.


Yep, I use Scotch Whisky for Real Butterscotch Sauce. Yep, I will even use single malt (it doesn’t call for much), because there will be a lingering taste of the Whisky unaltered and it is worth it. But I will be honest with us, I don’t use my best aged Whisky. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Sugars: Corn Syrup and Light Brown Sugar

Why Dark Corn Syrup? It is an inverted sugar, less granular. It is the type of sugar we are making by cooking our brown sugar. We will leave the chemistry aside but know it will make the sauce smoother.

A wee bit of Scotch
A wee bit of Whisky

Notes on Technique

Basic Technique

The basic technique of this sauce is to melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and cream and finish with the Whisky. It is pretty fast, and therefore possible to prepare on the spot when entertaining. One caveat is to have everything measured and in place before guests arrive and certainly before starting the prep.

Letting it cool

When making butterscotch you will think you have a bubbly mess when the sauce begins to thicken and air bubbles are all through the sauce. As it cools, the bubbles will leave and the sugar will be smoother and less granular on the tongue.

Making Ahead of Time

If you do need to make it ahead of time you may complete and hold it for an hour or so. Frankly, letting it cool and reheating can make the sauce smoother.

You may also make well ahead and refrigerate for a week.

Related Posts


Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Just a wee dram of Whisky


  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch Whisky
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt (less if using salted butter)


  1. In a medium saucepan slowly bring the brown sugar, cream, butter, and corn syrup to a boil over medium-low heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the salt and continue the boil gently for 4 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens to coat a spoon. The sauce will bubble significantly while boiling, but air bubbles will settle when cool.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the Scotch and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Let cool before using. Stir occasionally while it cools to keep a smooth sauce. The sauce will thicken as it cools and the texture will improve. You may hold the sauce for later use. (See notes)


The butterscotch sauce can be set aside at room temperature until time for dessert. Re-heat gently if needed. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for a week. This allows the Whisky to be a bit more aromatic

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 19mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g

Calculated Nutrition is estimated.

Share the research:


Monday 23rd of October 2023

love butterscotch! thanks!

Psst! We are not bugging you with a pop-up to sign up for our mailing list. But it would be great if you did, just submit your email address below.

Skip to Recipe