This Salted Butterscotch Sauce is ready in just 10 minutes and with just 5 ingredients! It’s perfectly thick, ultra smooth and the most amazing decadent sauce for your next dessert! 

I’m a big sucker for treats with butterscotch chips so I just had to create a butterscotch sauce recipe too! For more delicious recipes using butterscotch, try my Butterscotch Shake and Butterscotch Ice Cream!

A spoon with Butterscotch Sauce on it.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple ingredients. This salted butterscotch sauce recipe is the best butterscotch sauce because it uses simple ingredients you most likely already have at home! All you need is butter, brown sugar, salt, cream and vanilla! It’s amazing how such a simple recipe makes the most amazing decadent butterscotch sauce! 
  • Easy butterscotch sauce. You can make this easy recipe in just 10 minutes! Such a delicious sauce has never been easier to make! 
  • Perfect complement for any dessert! This salted butterscotch sauce will go perfectly on your favorite brownies, cakes, cookies, pies, and more! Drizzle it on ice cream, use as a topping for ice cream sundaes, or serve it with a spoon! (But seriously it’s that good!) The options are endless. 

Ingredient Notes

Salted Butterscotch Sauce ingredients portioned into glass bowls on a light brown background.
  • Unsalted Butter: If using salted butter instead of unsalted, reduce the amount of salt 1/4 of a teaspoon per 1/2 cup of butter in the recipe. 
  • Brown Sugar: I used dark brown sugar for a richer depth of flavor. The color is also darker with the dark brown sugar. 
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is a coarser texture than regular table salt, so be sure to know the substitutions if a recipe calls or one or the other. If a recipe calls for Kosher salt, use 1/4 teaspoon less of table salt per teaspoon of salt. If a recipe calls for table salt, use 1/4 teaspoon more of Kosher salt per teaspoon. 
  • Heavy Cream: This provides the creamy element to the butterscotch sauce. Paired with the brown sugar and butter it will help the mixture thicken. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Melt butter. Add the butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except the vanilla. Add the brown sugar, kosher salt, and heavy cream. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combined. 
  1. Bring to a boil. Bring the butterscotch sauce mixture to a boil and boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add the vanilla extract. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 
  3. Let rest. Let rest for a minute or two then transfer the salted butterscotch sauce to a heat proof container to cool. The mixture will thicken a lot as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
Salted Butterscotch Sauce in a white pan with a wooden spoon stirring the mixture.

Recipe Tips

The homemade butterscotch sauce goes well with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and Ice Cream Cake Roll. It’s also delicious to use on top of cakes, brownies, and cookies

To prevent the sauce from separating, don’t stir too much while the brown sugar is melting. Also, be sure to let the sauce slowly cool. There’s a greater risk for separation when the mixture experiences an abrupt shift in temperature. 

I haven’t had any problems with crystallization when making this recipe as is. But, if you find your sauce is crystallizing, add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice when you add the sugar. This will prevent crystallization through breaking down the sugar molecules. It won’t change the flavor because it’s such a small amount. 

You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. I decided to use dark brown sugar because I thought it resulted in a dark color and a rich flavor!  

The mixture thickens as it cools, so do not over-boil it otherwise it’ll be too thick and won’t be pourable. Let it boil for the 4-5 minutes and then remove it from the heat and let it thicken as it cools. If you boil it for too long, it will harden far too much and won’t be a pourable sauce. 

Keep the temperature at a moderate heat to prevent burning. As the mixture boils, the sugar dissolves, so you don’t need it to be super hot. 

What to serve butterscotch sauce with? This salted butterscotch sauce is amazing on top of brownies, ice cream, peach cobbler, or you can even make it into a butterscotch milkshake! 

You can use mini jars to store the sauce in.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Cover the sauce and store in the fridge for 2 weeks. 

I hardly ever recommend freezing something with dairy in it. This salted butterscotch sauce recipe uses heavy cream, which will separate once frozen and thawed. Since this recipe only takes 10 minutes to make, I highly recommend you don’t freeze it. Make it ahead of time as it lasts 2 weeks in the fridge or make it day of. 

A spoon lifting out Salted Butterscotch topping from a small glass jar, against a dark brown background.

Recipe FAQs

What is butterscotch sauce made of?

Butterscotch sauce is made of cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and butter. 

What’s the difference between butterscotch and caramel?

The key difference between caramel and butterscotch is that caramel uses white granulated white sugar while butterscotch uses brown sugar. Butterscotch always calls for butter while caramel doesn’t always use butter. Often, traditional caramel sauce recipes use corn syrup. 

What is a substitute for butterscotch?

If you are making a recipe that calls for butterscotch, the closest substitute is caramel. They are made with very similar ingredients. Butterscotch uses brown sugar and caramel uses granulated sugar. Not all caramels are made with butter, although all butterscotch sauces are made with butter.

What does butterscotch sauce go with?

Butterscotch goes well with brownies, cookies, cakes, as butterscotch ice cream topping … basically every form of dessert!

Can butterscotch sauce be frozen?

No. I don’t recommend freezing homemade butterscotch sauce. The dairy in the sauce will separate once frozen and thawed, creating a grainy texture. 

Can butterscotch sauce be reheated? 

Yes. You can put the sauce in a microwave safe container and heat for 10-15 seconds until warm. The key is to not drastically heat the sauce or else it may cause it to separate or become grainy. Warm in the microwave in about 10-15 second increments.  

Does butterscotch sauce need to be refrigerated? 

Yes. Homemade butterscotch sauce must be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you purchased store-bought butterscotch sauce, then once it is opened you will need to refrigerate it.

Why did my butterscotch sauce separate?

To help prevent separating, do not stir the sauce too much as the brown sugar is melting. Stir occasionally so as to not burn the mixture, but not too much or else the mixture will separate. 

Why is my butterscotch sauce grainy?

Perhaps the sauce didn’t boil for as long as it needed. It needs to boil for 4-5 minutes to help fully melt the brown sugar granules. The sugar may also have crystallized. You can try adding 1/4 tsp of lemon juice to the pan when you add the brown sugar.

Homemade butterscotch recipe in a glass jar against a brown background.

More Sweet Sauces

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Salted Butterscotch Sauce in a jar on a gray plate.
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Salted Butterscotch Sauce

Decadent homemade butterscotch is smooth, rich, and sweet! This sauce is made in as little as 10 minutes. Trust me when I say you'll want to eat this butterscotch on ice cream, brownies, cookies, cakes… just about everything! It's so good!
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 12 mins

Ingredients
 

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar - packed, can be light or dark brown sugar (I used dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Add the butter to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Melt butter then add the brown sugar, kosher salt, and heavy cream. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combined. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 
  • Let rest for a minute or two before transferring the sauce to a heat proof container to cool. Cover and store in the fridge for 2 weeks. The mixture will thicken as it cools, so do not over-boil it otherwise it’ll be much too think and won’t be pourable. 

Notes

To prevent the sauce from separating, don’t stir too much while the brown sugar is melting. Don’t cook the sauce too long, because it will thicken a lot once cooled.
Keep the temperature at a moderate heat to prevent burning.
What to serve with butterscotch sauce? Brownies, ice cream, peach cobbler, or make it into a milkshake!

Nutrition

Calories: 1236kcal (62%)Carbohydrates: 112g (37%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 88g (135%)Saturated Fat: 56g (280%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 255mg (85%)Sodium: 1232mg (51%)Potassium: 279mg (8%)Sugar: 111g (123%)Vitamin A: 3149IU (63%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 184mg (18%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, English
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!