Butterscotch Sauce

Homemade Butterscotch sauce on the left, Smucker's butterscotch syrup on the right

Homemade Butterscotch sauce on the left, Smucker's butterscotch syrup on the right

Ice cream has become a nightly treat for us since moving to a warmer climate a few weeks ago and it is usually accompanied by store bought butterscotch sauce.  I was reminded the other night of the butterscotch sauce I made this Christmas to give as a gifts to a few of our friends and I wondered if we could tell it apart from the store bought version we have been using.  My homemade butterscotch comes from a recipe for apple tart from Gourmet magazine.  I put pictures of the tart in this post a few months ago.  The tart is absolute delicious, but the caramel sauce that goes on top is even better!  I had extra sauce left over after making the caramel apple tart at Thanksgiving and, after using it as an ice cream topping,  a favorite treat was born.  Here is the recipe I now use for homemade butterscotch sauce:

Butterscotch Sauce

Makes about 1 cup


1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 cups  whipping cream

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1.  Measure all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and whisk to combine.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to simmer, stirring constantly,  for 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

2.  Remove from heat and use right away over ice cream or cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.  This will keep for a couple of months if refrigerated.  The butter forms a white layer on top of the sauce after being refrigerated, but if you heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds or so you can just stir the sauce to recombine.

As you can see, this is a very easy recipe to make and the results are a delicious, rich, buttery sauce that can be used on top of ice cream, pies, pancakes, or anywhere you want a little drizzle of butterscotch.  It took me only about 15 minutes to make and can be stored for a couple of months in the refrigerator, just reheat and use!  In comparison, the store bought caramel is a bit lackluster in flavor.  It was very sweet without the buttery richness of homemade.  The store bought caramel is a bit more convenient (it stays nice and runny when refrigerated and doesn’t need reheating before use) but the homemade flavor is worth a little extra effort.  As far as price goes, the homemade sauce won out, as it was about $1.00 cheaper than store bought; not a huge difference, but every penny counts!

Bottom Line: Making butterscotch sauce at home is a cheap way to indulge in a decadent dessert favorite.  It is fast and easy to make and much more flavorful than the store bought version.

Homemade Butterscotch Sauce Smucker’s Butterscotch Syrup
Cost: $1.66 Cost: $2.50
Time: 15 minutes intially, and a minute or so to reheat each use Time: None