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Butterscotch Candy

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Prep Time: 5 mins    Cook Time: 10 mins

5 from 7 votes

Homemade butterscotch candy is so much more delicious than the store-bought kind. The recipe is easy too. In fact, the hardest thing is waiting patiently for this mouthwatering candy to cool so you can eat it! It’s rich, creamy, and buttery - so good!

Close up of butterscotch candies in a pile.
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With just 7 ingredients, these hard candy discs are just like the old-fashioned kind we all know and love from childhood. A lot of store-bought candy tastes synthetic. This recipe ensures it will taste like browned butter and molasses.

The honey, corn syrup, and sugar make them perfectly sweet, while the butter makes them rich and indulgent. A little rum or vanilla extract finishes off the butterscotch candy and makes it extra irresistible.

Try this recipe and you won’t be disappointed. I recommend doubling up because however long you think this is going to last, it always disappears fast.

Not many treats beat this wonderful homemade candy, but my old fashioned peanut butter fudge and this delicious tanghulu are right up there with it!

Main Ingredients

The ingredients used to make butterscotch candies laid out on a table.

Don’t be nervous about making your own, there is nothing difficult about this recipe at all. You only need a few ingredients. These are the key ingredients in butterscotch candy:

  • Butter: For a rich, creamy taste. Don’t use margarine or another butter substitute. You need real butter to make the most authentic, old-fashioned candy! If you’re using salted butter, halve the amount of salt you add in.
  • Light corn syrup: To prevent it from crystallizing. If you really don’t want to use this ingredient, you can sub extra honey instead.
  • Sugar: For more sweetness. I usually use white sugar, but if you want more of a molasses flavor you can substitute brown sugar for some of the white.
  • Rum extract: To add more flavor. You can use rum extract or straight dark rum, as you prefer. Not that keen on rum? Vanilla extract would also work in this recipe.
  • Honey: Another kind of sweetness. The warm flavor of honey complements the other ingredients in this butterscotch candy. You can use whatever kind of honey you have in the pantry.

Instructions Overview

So how do you make old-fashioned butterscotch candy like a pro? The recipe is easier than you might expect. In addition to the ingredients, you’ll need a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, a pan, and a candy thermometer.

Bring the water, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil in a pan and let it cook until a candy thermometer gets to 270°F. Stir in the honey, butter, salt, and rum or vanilla.

Keep cooking and stirring until the thermometer reaches 300°F. Take the mixture off the heat and pour it into the baking pan. Let it cool for 5 minutes then use a pizza wheel to score it. When it’s cool you can break it into squares.

Butterscotch candy on the table next to sugar and measuring cups.

Common Questions

What kind of candy is butterscotch?

Everyone knows the word, but not everyone knows the definition. Basically, the definition of true butterscotch is a soft-crack candy made by gently heating brown sugar with butter. The molecules in the brown sugar break down and caramelize into a deep, rich flavor.

Is butter rum the same as butterscotch?

The two are very similar, but there is no butterscotch flavor in a pack of Life Savers! Butter rum is like butterscotch candy but with a slightly different "rum" accent in the flavor.

Is there any scotch in butterscotch?

This is a popular question! After all, it’s part of the name. The truth however is butterscotch has never contained scotch whiskey. The reason behind the name isn’t clear. It might be because it originated in Scotland or it could be a corruption of "scorch" which would maybe make more sense.

Why is my butterscotch grainy?

Nobody wants grainy butterscotch, but this can happen if the sugar isn’t allowed to dissolve completely. Make sure you keep the heat down and cook the butterscotch until the sugar has completely dissolved. Another cause of grainy butterscotch candy is sugar grains falling back into the boiling syrup mixture.

What’s good to serve with butterscotch candy?

It is seriously good, even just by itself. You can also use it to decorate a cake or cheesecake or break it into little pieces and sprinkle it over a whipped cream-topped latte.

Can I make it ahead?

Butterscotch candies will keep for weeks, so make it as far ahead as you like. I guarantee it will all be eaten long before then!

How should I store it?

Keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Could I freeze it?

You probably don’t need to, since butterscotch candy keeps for so long at room temperature, but if you want to freeze this you can.

Can I use molds instead of scoring the candy?

If you like, you can use silicone molds instead of scoring and then breaking them into pieces. Grease the molds lightly before pouring in the mixture.

A bowl of hard candy on a table.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Test your candy thermometer for accuracy before using it. Make sure it reads 212°F when you put it in boiling water.
  • If it’s especially rainy and humid, your candy might get grainy crystals in it. Make it on a dry day instead!
  • Oil the pizza wheel before scoring the candy. Don’t cut all the way through with the pizza wheel. When it’s set then it should break into pieces easily.
  • If the candy is too hard to cut through, pop it into the oven for 5 minutes until it’s a bit softer and try again.
  • Be careful not to splash yourself with the boiling hot mixture when pouring it into the baking pan.
A person's hand holding a bowl of candy.

Homemade butterscotch candy is an amazing treat! Try this simple recipe, adding in your choice of rum or vanilla flavoring and you will be bowled over by the delicious taste.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Butterscotch Candy

This candy is such an indulgent treat. It's a quick and easy 7-ingredient recipe that makes perfect candy every time.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 30 servings (about 3 pieces per serving)

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
  • ¼ cup honey
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract, or straight rum or vanilla extract
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Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Then remove the lid and cook uncovered until a candy thermometer reaches 270°F.
  • Now add the butter, honey, salt, and rum (or vanilla) and stir the mixture constantly until the candy thermometer reaches 300°F.
  • Immediately remove from the heat and pour the mixture onto the center of the prepared baking sheet. Do not scrape the pan or spread the mixture.
  • Let it cool until the candy is almost set, for about 5 minutes, and then score into 1-inch square pieces using a pizza wheel. Let it cool completely, and then break it into squares and serve. Enjoy!
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Notes

  • Test your candy thermometer for accuracy before using it. Make sure it reads 212°F when you put it in boiling water.
  • If it’s especially rainy and humid, your candy might get grainy crystals in it. Make it on a dry day instead!
  • Oil the pizza wheel before scoring the candy. Don’t cut all the way through with the pizza wheel. When it’s set then it should break into pieces easily.
  • If the candy is too hard to cut through, pop it into the oven for 5 minutes until it’s a bit softer and try again.
  • Be careful not to splash yourself with the boiling hot mixture when pouring it into the baking pan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 143kcal (7%), Carbohydrates: 23g (8%), Protein: 1g (2%), Fat: 6g (9%), Saturated Fat: 4g (25%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg (5%), Sodium: 84mg (4%), Potassium: 4mg, Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 23g (26%), Vitamin A: 189IU (4%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg (6%)
Print Recipe
course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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Comments & Ratings

  1. Great recipe and very close to Worthers. On my second try however, the fat separated some. Will be making them again.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback, Kb!

      Reply