Keeping in line with our mission of using as few pre-made ingredients as possible, I started researching how to make homemade butterscotch, which happens to be one of my most favorite flavors. We went through several recipes that sounded amazing, most of which had horrible or less than satisfactory results, before finally finding one that promised to give us a “real” traditional butterscotch flavor.

The key to traditional butterscotch is forgetting what you think butterscotch actually tastes like. Also, I would like to clear one common misconception: there is no actual scotch (the alcoholic libation) involved! I am the last person on earth that would want to stifle creativity, but if you are looking for a traditional taste, do not add alcohol to this recipe.

The end result is a sweet, salty, and addicting recipe!

Melted Butter with Dark Brown Sugar - a.k.a. Wet SandButter and Dark Brown Sugar Liquid - a.k.a. Molten Lava

Cream and Dark Brown Sugar MixtureUniform Cream and Dark Brown Sugar Liquid

Boiling Butterscotch Liquid

Real Homemade Butterscotch
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Measure out all ingredients and have them ready to go and in arms distance from the stove.
  2. In a heavy bottomed 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Just before it is melted add all of blackjack the dark brown sugar at once and stir with wooden spoon until sugar is uniformly wet.
  3. Stir infrequently until mixtures goes from looking grainy to molten lava. Make sure to get into the corners of your pan, and watch closely to notice how the mixture changes. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Right before you add the cream the caramelizing brown sugar will begin to look and feel more like liquid and less like thick wet sand.
  4. Add all of the cream at once and replace your spoon with a whisk. Lower the heat a little and whisk cream into mixture. When cream is fully combined, turn heat back to medium and whisk every few minutes for a total of 10 minutes
  5. Turn off heat and let rest for a minute or two, then transfer to a heatproof storage vessel (stainless steel or glass work well) and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Take a small taste once cooled and notice the flavor. Now, whisk in half of the salt and vanilla and taste again. Add more salt and vanilla until you reach your ideal flavor of butterscotch, while being careful not to over-salt.

Yields about 2 cups of butterscotch.