Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

A rich, butter butterscotch sauce can be made as easily as a simple caramel and it is great on just about everything.
By Lindsey Farr

Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

Move over caramel. Butterscotch Sauce is in the house! And you can make it in 5 minutes. Say what now?!

Traditional butterscotch flavor comes from two things: brown sugar and butter.

The two combine to give you a rich, caramelized sauce with molasses undertones from the brown sugar. It’s like caramel’s fancier, more exotic cousin.

And it is so good you will want to pour it on everything. I do mean everything!

Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

This recipe is based on one from American Woman’s Cookbook (1939 Edition), but the first time I made it as written in AWC it crystallized. And nobody wants a sandy butterscotch sauce.

So I added a little corn syrup to the sugar while it cooked and finished it off with some heavy cream to keep the smooth, saucy texture even after it cools. I also added salt.

You can omit the corn syrup and it will still work but it’s like cheap insurance against crystallization. The sauce will slightly separate in the fridge over time, but it will emulsify again when heated.

Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
Cook Time
Total Time
A rich, butter butterscotch sauce can be made as easily as a simple caramel and it is great on just about everything.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ¼ cup butter, cut in small cubes and room temperature
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (fine)
  1. Stir together sugar, water and corn syrup and cook until 234°F (soft ball stage) in a large sauce pan.
  2. Add the butter; stir to incorporate.
  3. Add the heavy cream and salt; stirring until incorporated and salt has dissolved.
  4. Continue to cook until thickened, 1-2 minutes more, if desired.
Adapted from the American Woman's Cook Book (1939 edition).


Lindsey Farr

I'm a financial analyst turned blogger at American Heritage Cooking and, most recently, a culinary student at the International Culinary Center in New York City! I love posting healthier meals, old-fashioned comfort foods, and all things sweet! I also have a serious weakness for cupcakes!

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