10-minutes and 6 ingredients is all you need to make this simple salted butterscotch sauce whose decadent depth of flavor is addictively good. Rich, thick, smooth and indulgent, I won’t blame you if your go-to method of use is to eat it right off the spoon!
Initially I was going to call this a 10-minute salted caramel sauce, but after doing some research I realized that it really wasn’t and there were several things that distinguished it from a caramel sauce.
Butterscotch VS Caramel.
- Ingredients: A caramel sauce uses white granulated sugar whereas a butterscotch sauce typically uses brown sugar which contains added molasses.
- Color: Caramel sauces tend to be lighter in color compared to a butterscotch thanks to that molasses.
- Method: Like its name, caramel sauces are made by allowing the sugar to caramelize. This is where the flavor is developed. However, with a butterscotch sauce, there is no caramelization, instead ingredients are simply cooked together until a thick and rich sauce is achieved.
Nonetheless, the distinctions do not negate how amazing this sauce is and with its depth of flavor and incredible ease of making (it’s almost foolproof compared to a traditional caramel sauce which can go from caramel to horribly burned in a matter of seconds), this is my go to sauce recipe that I hope you’ll try and love as much as I do!
To make this sauce you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Butter: You can use salted or unsalted, the choice is yours.
- Whole Milk: Use whole milk, not low fat or 2%. Typically heavy cream is used but we’re using this lighter alternative since you’re more likely to have it on hand but also because many heavy creams contain stabilizers and emulsifiers.
- Raw Cane Sugar: You can use any clean eating sugar of your choosing. I’m using raw cane sugar. Other options if you like the flavor profile of the sugar include date or coconut.
- Molasses: Opt to use unsulphured molasses over blackstrap. Since this sauce is typically made using dark brown sugar which is essentially refined white sugar with molasses added to it, we’re adding in the molasses here which contributes a wonderful flavor and slight bitterness that is perfectly complemented by the sweetness and the saltiness.
- Salt: Since this is a salted butterscotch, we’ll be adding in a touch of salt. Even if you want to make a pure butterscotch, I still recommend using a small pinch of salt. Salt enhances flavors and the sauce’s depth. I’m using a pink Himalayan but you can use any sea salt or even a smoked salt of your choosing.
- Vanilla Extract: The subtle hint of vanilla rounds out our sauce perfectly.
Here’s how to make this easy sauce:
We’ll start by melting our butter on low heat, once melted, add in your sugar and molasses and stir it until the sugar melts and combines. Bring the mixture to a low simmer.
What do I do if my butter and sugar splits or separates?! HELP!!
Don’t panic! This can sometimes happen if there is a change in temperature or there is uneven melting, it can also happen if you add the sugar but don’t stir it right away/enough. The good news is that it can be saved even if it looks completely separated with grainy sugar that never melts floating in a film of oil from the butter.
Here’s how to fix it: Simply add 1-2 tbsp of your milk to the mixture while whisking constantly. Be careful of the steam and bubbles that will happen when the liquid interacts with the hot oil and sugar. As you whisk and stir you’ll soon see your mixture coming together into a smooth sauce.
Whisk in your milk and bring your sauce to a simmer once more. Let your sauce simmer for a few minutes until it thickens, stirring occasionally. Keep in mind that your sauce will continue to thicken significantly as it cools so don’t cook it down too much or else you will end up with a toffee rather than a sauce.
Once thick and caramel like, remove the pot from the heat and whisk in your vanilla and salt (to taste).
Note: when testing your sauce’s flavor, be careful because it will be incredibly hot! Dip the tip or back of a spoon into your sauce (this is a great way to test for the sauce’s texture and consistency) and allow it to cool completely before tasting.
Allow your sauce to cool in the pot until it’s warm, then pour it into a jar or container and use as desired.
This sauce is perfect for topping to drizzle over your sweet treats such as:
- Cake and cupcakes (Like my Chocolate Cake, or this Banana Bundt Bread or these Banana Nut Muffins)
- Cookies (Like these Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies or these GF Peanut Butter Cookies)
- Ice Cream
- Waffles (shown in the picture above along with a dark chocolate drizzle)
- Fresh Fruit
- Use it in or to decorate your coffee shakes
Well guys that’s it for another post! I hope you enjoy this easy, clean eating sweet treat sauce as much as we do!
Simple Salted Butterscotch Sauce
- In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan melt the butter on med-low heat.
- Add the sugar, and molasses and bring to a low simmer, stirring constantly.
- Add in your milk and whisk to incorporate the sauce into a smooth mixture. Let it simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once your mixture thickens and becomes glossy (about 3-4 minutes), remove it from the heat and stir in your salt and vanilla.
- Allow it to cool (it will thicken even further) before using it as desired.
- To store, pour into a jar or airtight container and seal with a tight lid and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Your sauce will continue to thicken when cooled and may semi-solidify when placed into the fridge. To restore it to a sauce-like consistency, you can reheat your sauce in the microwave for a 5-10 seconds.
- If you add your sugar to the butter and your mixture breaks/separates don't panic! Continue to whisk it and add in a tbsp or two of milk (be careful of the bubbling and steam that will happen) and continue to whisk and it should come together into a smooth sauce.