Butterscotch Sauce

By • April 8, 2014 • 9 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe is from one of my mother's best friends, via her mother, via the San Francisco restaurant Trader Vic's. You can make it with either dark or light brown sugar or a combination of the two. It's great drizzled over crêpes and cakes. One thing to know is that it firms up as it hits ice cream, but it softens back up in your mouth. It gets quite hard and grainy in the fridge, but low heat brings the sauce right back to life. This recipe fits perfectly into a Bonne Maman jar. It keeps for months in the fridge, but it will not last that long.Phyllis Grant

Makes a little over 1 1/2 cups

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved, seeds scraped out
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup. Boil until sugar dissolves. This takes a few minutes. It will froth and bubble and go bonkers. Don't panic.
  2. Add heavy cream. Stand back. The mixture will erupt and rise up. Stir in vanilla bean, vanilla bean seeds, and salt. Whisk. Bring back up to a vigorous boil for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  3. Serve right away over ice cream or yogurt. Inside crepes. In between layers of cake. Or store it in the fridge for a few weeks.
Jump to Comments (9)

Comments (9) Questions (1)

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7 months ago Kathleen Robertson

So.Delicious. It lasted less than a week in the refrigerator one spoonful at a time! I have all these jars in the fridge labeled "Phyllis's Dressing" "Phyllis's Carmel Sauce" So yummy.

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8 months ago Brandi

Wait, there's no scotch in butterscotch?! That's a little devastating.

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8 months ago Phyllis Grant

ha! i know. such a bummer. it's fascinating. here's a bit from wikipedia: One explanation is the meaning "to cut or score" for the word "scotch", as the confection must be cut into pieces, or "scotched", before hardening. It is also possible that the "scotch" part of its name was derived from the word "scorch".

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8 months ago Nathan

Can you substitute Lyle's golden syrup for the corn syrup?

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8 months ago Phyllis Grant

i don't know. let me know if you try. but i don't see why not. is the flavor fairly neutral?

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8 months ago Catherine

Any substitution suggestions for the corn syrup?

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8 months ago Phyllis Grant

nathan (in comment above) asked about substituting with golden syrup. worth a shot! or just leave it out. the sauce won't be as smooth. but that's okay.

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8 months ago Ann DeLong

Thank you for that. I've always wanted to know how to make real butterscotch sauce.

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8 months ago Phyllis Grant

you're so welcome!