Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce

Servings: 3-4

Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

Smitten Kitchen

Yield: About 2/3 to 3/4 cup sauce

We are definitely all about being healthy. But don't get us wrong, we still love a treat now and then! Plus making something yourself, if you have the inclination, allows you to control the ingredients. This Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce by Smitten Kitchen is begging to be coating some scoops of ice cream, roasted pears, or anything else that strikes your fancy. 

Writes Smitten Kitchen:

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spied a recipe that promised butterscotch brownies or cookies or cake bliss and within that recipe suggested you make your butterscotch confection with … butterscotch sauce. From a jar. Or butterscotch chips. From a bag. I just assumed that butterscotch must be a thermometer-requiring, magic wand-waving difficult thing to make. That would explain it, right?

Well, I’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, misled and so have you because butterscotch — deadly good butterscotch, butterscotch so transcendent it might could bring tears to your eyes — is ridiculously easy to make. Five ingredients (spoiler: one of them is salt) + five minutes on the stove = I just can’t. I’m simply not savvy enough to apply language to how awesome it tastes.


  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (about 109 grams) packed dark or light brown sugar (Smitten Kitchen uses dark)
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) flaky sea salt (or 1/4 teaspoon regular salt), plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) vanilla extract, plus more to taste


  1. Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the sugar, cream and salt and whisk until well blended. Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and add one teaspoon of the vanilla extract, stirring to combine and this is where, despite the simplicity of the recipe, you get to feel all “chef-y”.
  4. Dip a spoon in the sauce and carefully taste the sauce (without burning your tongue!) to see if you want to add additional pinches or salt or splashes of vanilla. Tweak it to your taste, whisking well after each addition. 

Voilá! Now you can bamboozle yourself with how delicious this is. Original post and more mouthwatering pictures at smittenkitchen.com.

Keywords: sauce, dessert, ice cream, easy recipe, gluten-free

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