Five ingredients and just a few minutes are all you need to make this easy, homemade salted butterscotch sauce. It is divine!

I’m a chocolate girl through and through, but sometimes, butterscotch sauce is where it’s at.

This simple recipe can be whipped up anytime you get a butterscotch craving! It’s creamy and caramelly and sweet and salty. It is perfection.

Wooden spoon drizzling butterscotch sauce over vanilla ice cream in white bowl.

5 Simple Ingredients

This butterscotch sauce comes together FAST, and chances are, the ingredients are already hanging around just waiting to fulfill the measure of their existence.

  • brown sugar
  • heavy cream
  • butter
  • salt
  • vanilla

That’s it!

All of the ingredients, minus the vanilla, simmer for a few minutes. At this point: your house is going to smell amazing.

Off the heat, the vanilla is added. The sauce might appear a bit thin. But don’t worry! It thickens into a divine mess of butterscotch heaven as it cools.

Step-by-step making butterscotch sauce, simmering cream, butter and brown sugar in saucepan.
Pouring butterscotch sauce into jar.

Butterscotch vs. Caramel

From my extensive research (ha), I’ve learned the key difference between butterscotch sauce and caramel sauce is the sugar.

Butterscotch sauce is made with brown sugar and caramel sauce usually uses granulated sugar.

The brown sugar (and plentiful butter!) in this homemade butterscotch sauce lends a depth of flavor that you just don’t get with most caramel sauces.

Drizzling thick butterscotch sauce in glass jar.

How to Use Butterscotch Sauce

I mean, is this even a question?? 🙂

Butterscotch sauce is delicious on everything from ice cream to pie. Cookie bars to waffles.

If it has been refrigerated, the key is to reheat the sauce lightly before serving (don’t let it boil or simmer or it can separate or turn grainy). To be honest, I often serve it straight from the refrigerator. This may or may not include just digging in with a spoon. #nojudging

As long as it doesn’t simmer too long during the cooking process, it stays drizzle-able even after cooling and chilling. (If it cooks too long, it can turn a bit chewy.)

Personally, my favorite butterscotch sauce application is over ice cream. Nothing beats a bowl of vanilla ice cream with homemade butterscotch sauce. Nothing.

Spoon scooping vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce out of white bowl.

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drizzling butterscotch sauce over vanilla ice cream in white bowl

Easy Homemade Salted Butterscotch Sauce

5 stars (11 ratings)


  • 1 cup (212 g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup (113 g) butter (I use salted)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar, cream, butter, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Off the heat, stir in the vanilla. The sauce will be thin but will thicken as it cools.
  • Pour the sauce into a jar or bowl to cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Warm lightly (don't bring to simmer or boil or it can separate or turn grainy) before serving or serve straight from the refrigerator. Serve over ice cream, pie, blondies or whatever treat calls for butterscotch sauce!


Brown Sugar: the sauce will be quite a bit darker in color if using dark brown sugar. 
Heavy Cream: I use Darigold 40% heavy cream.
Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 258kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 187mg, Sugar: 27g

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe