Vegan Butterscotch

This vanilla-infused easy vegan butterscotch sauce recipe creates a rich, sweet sauce you can serve over ice cream, cake slices, or even apple slices.

A hand holds a spoon with vegan butterscotch sauce drizzling over a glass jar full of the sauce. There is a bowl of ice cream in the background.

Sure, having vegan butterscotch sauce around in the fall is perfect. Because that’s when apples are in season, and serving this sauce with apple slices, especially my favorite Honeycrisp apples, is perfect.

But you know what? You can serve this sweet sauce all year long. It transforms a simple bowl of nice cream into something extraordinary. And we can all use a little bit more extraordinary!

How to Make Vegan Butterscotch

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar.
    A hand holds a bowl of brown sugar, pouring it into a saucepan with melted butter.
  3. Stir and cook until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and stir regularly as it simmers for 3 minutes. 
    A hand holds a spatula, stirring brown sugar syrup in a saucepan.
  4. Stir in the creamer
    A hand holds a small pitcher of plant-based milk, pouring it into a saucepan full of brown sugar syrup.
  5. While stirring regularly, cook until it simmers again.
  6. Once simmering, cook for 3 to 5 minutes. 
  7. Remove from heat and stir in extracts and salt.
    A hand holds a bowl of vanilla, pouring it into a saucepan with other ingredients.
  8. Let it cool for a few minutes before transferring to a lidded glass container.

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, including substitution ideas:

  • Butter — You’ll need some vegan butter. You can use sticks, such as Earth Balance or Miyokos, homemade vegan butter, or even dairy-free tub margarine.
  • Brown sugar — You can use light or dark, but between you and me I prefer dark brown sugar.
  • Syrup — We’ll add a bit of syrup to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. You can use either corn syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, or vegan honey.
  • Plant-based creamer — I like using a thick and rich vegan creamer for this recipe. Select one that’s vanilla-flavored or plain. You can substitute plant-based milk, but be prepared to cook it a little longer if you want a thick sauce. Note, if you substitute coconut milk, it will change the flavor of the finished sauce.
  • Extracts — We’ll be using a combination of vanilla and coffee extract for this recipe. You can find both in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Be sure to use real vanilla extract and not imitation.
  • Salt — Just a pinch of salt adds a complexity of flavor.

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  • EASY — This sauce is made with only seven ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make.
  • FLAVORFUL — Adding vegan butter and vanilla extract makes this sauce full of intensely sweet flavor!
  • CROWD FAVORITE — Everyone loves this rich sauce, especially when served over ice cream!

Frequently-Asked Questions

Is butterscotch vegan?

Butterscotch is usually made with a mixture of butter and cream, making it unsuitable for a vegan diet. However, you can make your easy vegan butterscotch sauce at home.

Can you freeze butterscotch?

You can freeze butterscotch sauce. To do that, let it come to room temperature, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, transfer the container to the fridge overnight.

Serving Suggestions

Serve vegan butterscotch sauce with your favorite dishes such as:

  • Drizzle it over slices of the best vegan carrot cake
  • Vegan Nice Cream is fantastic with this sauce on top
  • Make butterscotch vegan pudding by adding it to this Vegan Pudding recipe
  • Serve it with apple slices as a tasty dip.

Thick Butterscotch Sauce

The thickness of your sauce will depend on two variables:

  1. Whether you use vegan creamer or plant-based milk
  2. How long you simmer the sauce.

For a thinner sauce that easily drizzles over apple slices or ice cream, simmer the sauce for up to 5 minutes.

For a thicker sauce, be sure to use creamer (or plant-based half and half) and simmer it for up to 10 minutes. It will thicken as it cools.

Storage Tips

Once the sauce cools, transfer it to a lidded container, seal it tightly, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

A spoon drizzles vegan butterscotch sauce over ice cream. There is a jar with more sauce in the background.

Dessert Sauces

Sure, this vegan butterscotch sauce is the best! Here are even more tasty dessert sauces you’ll want to try:

A spoon drizzles dairy-free butterscotch sauce over a jar with more sauce in it.

Vegan Butterscotch Sauce

This creamy, vanilla-infused vegan butterscotch sauce is sweet and delicious! Serve it over ice cream, cake slices, apple slices, and more!
No ratings yet
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 104kcal


  • cup vegan butter
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon syrup (corn syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, or vegan honey)
  • ½ cup plant-based creamer (see notes)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coffee extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Add the butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until melted. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine.
  • Continue cooking until the mixture just begins to boil. Reduce heat and stir regularly as it simmers for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the creamer and let it cook until it simmers again. Once simmering, cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in extracts and salt.
  • Let it cool for a few minutes then transfer to a lidded glass container. Seal tightly and store in the fridge.

Recommended Equipment

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Vegan Creamer

You can use a variety of vegan creamers for this recipe. I prefer to use plain or vanilla-flavored creamer. Also, if your creamer is sweetened, you will want to reduce the sugar amount slightly. 
If you use plant-based milk, they typically have higher water content and so will therefore need to be simmered a bit longer to achieve a thick sauce.
Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 313IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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