{Homemade} Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce


sooooo wish I could be a cool crafty person.

You know the people. The elite who post pictures of beautifully re-purposed dressers painted in a hip mint color all over Pinterest, or those who suggest you turn your spice rack into a nail polish display.

They’re obnoxiously genius with their crafty mind, always thinking of new ways to turn commonplace items into unique thingies that makes everyone say “OMG, I totally didn’t realize I could link together a soda can, a paper clip and a small dish and create a cannon! How cool!!!” Because how do these people think?

I’m convinced they’re crafty Einsteins, just trying to show us up on Pinterest.

I feel like Homer Simpson in the episode in which he’s desperate to out-invent Thomas Edison. Anything Homer does, it’s either been done or a complete dud. That’s totally me. I get all excited that I used an old sock to make a makeshift sock bun, and then I realize it’s been done and the Pinterest Princesses are laughing maniacally in my face with their cool nail art (which, I’m convinced, is designed by the devil to make you feel bad about your own nails and your 2-year old nail painting abilities).

Anyway, usually around the holidays I’m tempted to craft because everyone says DIY Christmas gifts are cool, but honestly, I can’t craft as well as I can bake. Crafting is one of the few things I can’t do well, like saying “no” in a Betsey Johnson store, or playing Guitar Hero.

Soooo I put down the glue gun and picked up a stick of butter. Already, I was feeling a difference in mood. This I could work with. Butter is magical.

So I made a Homemade Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce. I mean, if that doesn’t scream BEST DIY GIFT EVER I don’t know what does.

And okay, y’all know that candy thermometers and fancy stuff gives me hives, so when I saw this recipe was completely and utterly idiot-proof (and free of such intimidating gadgets and techniques–‘soft ball stage’, what?) I was dying to try it. The result? The most buttery butterscotch to ever grace your lips. Ever.

Also, I’m not good at being modest.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce *adapted from Real Simple’s recipe in the December 2012 issue

2 sticks butter
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Small canning jars or mason jars

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar until smooth and melted, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Pour the heavy cream into the brown sugar mixture and stir to incorporate. Simmer uncovered, for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Once mixture has thickened, remove from heat.
3. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and the kosher salt to combine. Allow the mixture to sit and cool for about 15-20 minutes before carefully pouring into the jars. Seal, and keep refrigerated up to 1 month.
**Note: I only had pint-sized mason jars on hand, so I could just about fill two of them. If you’re looking to gift more, I’d suggest using half-pint sized jars, or double the recipe.**

Sinfully delicious. Unrelentingly rich. Buttery, decadent + smooth. And peppered with fragrant specks of vanilla bean. This sauce is seriously some of the best I’ve had–and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Tie up a jar with a ribbon and gift them to friends, neighbors, hosts or coworkers–I guarantee they’ll be your new BFF for lyfe.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Hayley


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  1. I hear ya! I try so hard to be crafty, but the truth is, I’m not a natural. I can’t even scrapbook. My brain doesn’t work that way. So I’ll stick with the kitchen! Love the vanilla butterscotch sauce! Now this is my kind of crafting!

  2. So this is my Christmas gift, right? J/K LOVE it! My craftiness at the holidays is baked goods. It’s 90% of what I give. 🙂

  3. Cindy Ashley says:

    Thank you for making my morning. I just laughed when I read it. Sometimes I have no idea where people come up with stuff either. Thanks for the recipe it will go to good use 🙂

  4. I suck at crafts. I feel your pain. This vanilla bean butterscotch sauce is BEAUTIFUL though and I know my mom (a big butterscotch fan) would LOVE IT!

  5. Let’s be non-crafty together and just eat this sauce with a spoon, mmmmkay? ‘Cause I’m totally all over that.

  6. Oh,Gosh,oh, yes! This is bookmarked! I LOVE butterscotch and when I do take the time to make candy,(and I do,often),I feel like I’m cheating using Mrs.Richardson’s, in fillings, etc., but I have been OK with it.Now, here you come along and give me MORE work…but I am sure it’s worth it! Thanks.

  7. I’m exactly the same when it comes to candy thermometers – i refuse to use one or even buy one. So this recipe is a definite winner. will be giving this a go very very soon x

  8. This sauce looks incredible!! (And dangerous… ;))

  9. I love butterscotch anything and this would make a perfect gift! I love giving gifts of food!

  10. Eeps! This looks so good it’s almost making me hyperventilate! Love those flecks of vanilla bean in it too. I recently discovered vanilla bean powder which is close to vanilla bean paste [which I looovveee] but is 100% flecks! And me too, but I don’t have that craft gene! The only craft project I’ve undertook lately is my photography board which I sometimes use to take my food photos on.

  11. Wow this looks great! I would LOVE some of this vanilla bean butterscotch sauce on a huge bowl of vanilla ice cream right now!

  12. hey Hayley, i hope you realize that among your gift of genuine baking art, you also have a gift of writing and should be hired for writing for a food network/show/catalog already. really 🙂 so fuggetabout the crafts. you are already multi-talented. this sauce and the pics you take already speak for themselves 🙂 you’re one blogger that i take the time to read every single post fully 🙂 thank YOU! oh, and betsey johnson would totally agree with me.

  13. Back for Seconds says:

    Who needs to be crafty when you can use magic to make such delectable goodies? Looks so good, girl!

  14. Must. Make. This.

    Nuff said.

  15. I love butterscotch! This looks awesome! I wish I could be crafty, too. I am missing that gene 🙂

  16. Please oh Please send me this for Christmas! OMG you don’t need to craft your gifts! Just make this for everyone on your list and they will love you forever and ever! (not that they won’t anyway, but a little insurance never hurt anyone!) = )

  17. I would take a bottle of this over a craft any day! 🙂 Great idea to add butterscotch!

  18. Just made this to top a dessert I am serving on Thanksgiving…this is insanely delicious! I mean, it is truly something special. I was going to make a caramel sauce for my dessert when I happened upon this, and I am so glad I did! WOWSERS!!!! Thank you, thank you! The only issue I had was it didn’t really thicken up, but I can fix that easily enough. Fantastic!

  19. Can I substitute heavy cream with half and half?

  20. lol Thank you


  1. […] it tastes delicious with some homemade vanilla bean butterscotch sauce on top. I […]

  2. […] no piece of technology or gift card can bring. I found some great ideas on Pinterest, like this DIY Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce. (I’m not yet giving away what I’ll be crafting for gifts this […]

  3. […] used this recipe from Haley at The Domestic Rebel. It was simple enough (I like simple). Melt butter, add sugar, then cream. Let simmer for 10 […]

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