You’re going to love this coffee butterscotch sauce recipe, you guys. Any product links in this post are affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure page. Find my other butterscotch recipes in one place.
[NOTE: The video in this post is for butterscotch creme brulee, but in it, I make butterscotch so you can see how it’s done.]
Butterscotch, you have been given a raw deal. Reduced to a flavor of bright yellow hard candies, packets of instant pudding and dubious ice cream toppings, you cannot speak for yourself. Because you don’t have a mouth.
I however, do have a mouth, and I am a long-time fan of yours. I guess it falls to me to tell everyone how amazing you are. I aim to do you proud.
The stuff dreams are made of. I mean, would you look at that slow slide off the spoon…? Sigh…
In Defense of Butterscotch
Long ago, I wrote a post called Yes Virginia, There Is a Difference Between Between Caramel and Butterscotch. Then I changed the name of the post because of SEO. Boo. But the post is still there, so there’s that.
I also have a post about authentic butterscotch candy. As a matter of fact the base recipe comes from a newspaper article written in 1848. How’s that for authentic?
I just wanted to give you my bona fides up front so you’d know I’m serious about my love for butterscotch.
What Does Butterscotch Taste Like?
Good butterscotch sauce (or any butterscotch) should taste a lot like a well-salted toffee. In fact, the only real difference between the two is the sugar stage you cook them to.
Cook butterscotch to 225F or so and you have a thick sauce. Cook it to 240F-260F, and you have a firm yet chewy candy. Cook it all the way up to 310F (hard crack) and add nuts, and you have toffee.
If you ever see a recipe for a sauce that says something like “quick and easy caramel sauce” that begins “Bring butter, brown sugar and cream to a boil,” what you are making is a weak butterscotch, and as far as I’m concerned, both caramel and butterscotch should be offended by its very existence.
I say a sauce based on brown sugar, butter and dairy is a weak butterscotch because there isn’t enough molasses in brown sugar for you to be able to taste it in the sauce. Riddle me this: what do you get when you cook sugar (and a tiny dab of molasses), butter and dairy for 4-7 minutes? Buttery sweetened condensed milk. Hmmph.
How to Make This Sauce
For the butterscotch I’m sharing with you today, I used 8 oz of sugar and 1.5 oz of molasses (almost 19% of the weight of the sugar). You could also use 8 oz brown sugar plus an additional ounce or so of molasses and get the same result.
I wanted a sauce a bit more sophisticated than a straight butterscotch (although straight butterscotch is fantastic), and I thought coffee might pair nicely. Just to be certain, I consulted The Flavor Bible, and sure enough, coffee was on the list. Hooray! Butterscotch, I truly hope this makes up for the myriad wrongs perpetrated against you by Unscrupulous Manufacturers.
And now, without further ado, I give you this real coffee butterscotch sauce recipe.
- 2 oz unsalted butter
- 8 oz granulated sugar
- 1.5 oz molasses, (I recommend Grandma's. Do not use blackstrap)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, (I will let you use only 3/4 teaspoon if you must, but no less)
- 6 oz heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla
- coffee extract, to taste (1-3 teaspoons)
- Melt the butter over medium heat.
- Stir in the sugar, molasses and kosher salt. The mixture will look like wet brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 230F, about five minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coffee extracts. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Serve warm over ice cream. Or whatever.
If you can't find coffee extract, use espresso powder or freeze-dried coffee dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water. You may have to play around with how much you add, so start small, taste, and add more if necessary.
Substitute a small amount of almond extract for the coffee extract. You could also add a tablespoon of Amaretto or even Frangelico rather than--or in addition to--the coffee flavor.
- OXO Good Grips Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Pro 3.5QT Covered Saucepan
- Frontier Co-op Coffee Flavor, Non-Alcoholic, 2 ounce bottle
- Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Ambidextrous Backlit Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer (Wasabi)
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Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 2 Tablespoons
Amount Per ServingCalories 203 Total Fat 11g Saturated Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 32mg Sodium 220mg Carbohydrates 26g Fiber 0g Sugar 26g Protein 1g
Y’all, this sauce is a dream. If you are a fan of deeply flavorful toffee-ish sauces, then this butterscotch sauce has your name written all over it. What are you waiting for? Hie thee to the kitchen, people! And once you taste this sauce, you’ll see that you don’t dislike butterscotch. You just dislike bad butterscotch.
Thank you for spending some time with me today.
Have a lovely day.