Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe (2024)

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by Michelle
April 22, 2014 (updated Jan 17, 2019)

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4.36 (17 ratings)
Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe (1)

Are you a butterscotch person? I’ve admittedly never been a big butterscotch person, perhaps out of lack of exposure. My pudding experience as a kid consisted solely of vanilla and chocolate; butterscotch wasn’t something that was even on my radar, save for a piece of Werther’s candy that I would snag when we were visiting relatives. Even then, it seemed sickeningly sweet and I definitely never sought out the flavor.

Fast forward decades and here we are… butterscotch pudding that I would drink if I could. I’m honestly not sure if this should be called butterscotch pudding or salted caramel pudding because, basically, this tastes like thick, creamy, cold salted caramel sauce. In other words, this pudding is worth every ounce of effort put forth and every extra calorie consumed.

Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe (2)

In order to make this pudding, you basically make a salted caramel sauce, add some extra milk, a few egg yolks, a thickening agent, and… voila! Butterscotch pudding. I press it through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure that it’s silky smooth, then refrigerate for a few hours until it’s cold and set.

Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe (3)

I think that I’ll probably need to eat an absurd amount of this to make up for all those years that my life was lacking butterscotch.

I’m up for the challenge. Pass the whipped cream.

Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe (4)

One year ago: New York-Style Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Topping
Two years ago: Mississippi Mud Cake
Three years ago: Scalloped Potatoes
Four years ago: Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies
Six years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder

Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe (5)

Best Butterscotch Pudding

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Cook Time: 30 minutes mins

Chilling time: 3 hours hrs

Total Time: 4 hours hrs

A fabulous butterscotch pudding that tastes like a cross between salted caramel and a Werther’s candy.

4.36 (17 ratings)

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  • ¾ cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (62.5 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 cup (238 ml) heavy cream
  • cups (549 ml) whole milk, divided
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (32 g) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Bring butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, corn syrup, lemon juice, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter. Once the mixture is at a full rolling boil, cook, stirring occasionally, for until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer (about 5 minutes).

  • Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer (the mixture should maintain a slow, steady stream of bubbles), stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 12 to 16 minutes longer (it should be the color of dark peanut butter and have a slight burnt smell).

  • Remove the pan from heat; carefully pour ¼ cup of the heavy cream into the caramel mixture and swirl to incorporate (the mixture will bubble and steam). Allow the bubbling to subside, then whisk vigorously and scrape the corners of pan until the mixture is completely smooth, at least 30 seconds.

  • Return the pan to medium heat and gradually whisk in the remaining ¾ cup heavy cream until smooth. Whisk in 2 cups of the milk until the mixture is smooth, making sure to scrape corners and edges of the pan to remove any remaining bits of caramel.

  • Meanwhile, microwave the remaining ¼ cup milk for 45 seconds (it should be simmering). Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in large bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in the hot milk until smooth; set aside.

  • Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, whisking frequently. Once mixture is boiling rapidly and beginning to climb toward the top of the pan, immediately pour it into the bowl with the yolk mixture in a single motion (do not add gradually). Whisk thoroughly for 10 to 15 seconds (mixture will thicken after a few seconds). Press the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and whisk in the vanilla extract.

  • Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and press on the surface of pudding. Refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours. Whisk the pudding until smooth before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, with plastic wrap pressed against the surface, for up to 4 days.


Nutritional values are based on one serving

Calories: 460kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 191mg, Sodium: 273mg, Potassium: 146mg, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 1210IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 125mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Originally published April 22, 2014 — (last updated January 17, 2019)

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43 Comments on “Best Butterscotch Pudding”

  1. Jacqueline Reply

    I will eat anything butterscotch, and this did not disappoint. Mellow, deep flavor. I didn’t find the recipe fussy or difficult.

  2. DebG Reply

    I made this for Father’s Day for my 90 year old dad at his request. I LOVED it! I had tried to make butterscotch pudding the day before and had to chuck out the whole thing when right at the end it seemed to curdle and I had little hope of it setting. Plus, that recipe called for tempering the eggs and that was doable but a real pain. So I found this recipe, raced to the store for a candy thermometer, and voila! Delicious. I poured it into a graham cracker pie crust but then it took two and a half days to set and even then it was thoroughly set. I know I’ll make it again but do it in pudding dishes with a graham cracker base to it. Now, the flavor was so rich that it could be overpowering for some people and part of that richness is all the butter. I liked it just fine with that much butter but it could be cut down just a bit. I used honey instead of the corn syrup and wonder if I could just leave that out. In which case I would definitely cut back on the butter to maintain a balance. Well, who am I to second guess CI; I’ll just leave it as is I found a small piece of pie little went a long way. My dad has a big sweet tooth and a big appetite for desserts and he thought it was a bit too sweet. However, I’m pretty sure he took a huge slice. So yes, I’d do it again. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Sheila Stam Reply

    So…. I followed the recipe with only one small (I thought) modification. I used golden corn syrup instead of white. But my temps were exact. The final product is dark, it’s very, very dark – like almost burnt toffee dark. It’s not actually burnt, just super close. Was it the corn syrup that did it? Or what did I do wrong? It’s smooth and is setting now, but I’m not sure it’s edible (maybe if I top it with lots of whipping cream???). I was soooo looking forward to making it! :-(

  4. Didi Reply

    This pudding is fantastic! I just made this recipe and it turned out just as promised. Other recipes may be faster and easier to make, but they don’t have the same depth of flavor.

  5. Missy Reply

    The depth of flavor is amazing! It is time consuming and involved, but the directions are spot on. This is a keeper. Thank you for a terrific recipe.

  6. JC Reply

    The original from, from America’s Test Kitchen of Cooks Illustrated claimed one of the advantages of this method was that it eliminated the need to put it through a fine sieve. I found that to be NOT true, as apparently did the poster of this “adaptation”. (leaving out the original rum and putting through a sieve are the adaptations as far as I can see)

    You can also make this with FAR FAR less butter. I only used 1/4 of a cup. No pudding needs a stick and half of butter for heavens sake!

    Oddly the video on America’s Test Kitchen does not agree with their printed recipe, as no where in the video, does it ever tell you to add the rest of the heavy cream, after stopping the boiling with a 1/4 c.

    Milk works for that 1/4 c. just fine.

  7. Donna Reply

    Hi Michelle,
    I just wanted to say that you’ve contributed to an elderly man’s happiness. My Dad is 87 and just out of the ICU to a nursing facility for rehab. We thought a few days ago we’d be bringing him home with a feeding tube for his last days, but now he’s able to swallow pureed things and working his way up. I brought this to him and he smiled like a little boy. Butterscotch is a favorite of his.
    (The recipe does take a long time to set up, but it’s worth it.)

    Happy Cooking from Pittsburgh neighbors!

  8. Irritated Reply

    Nobody cares if butterscotch is your husbands favorite or that you think this looks great or that it’s time to include more butterscotch in your life. For the people that want to know if this recipe is good– it is. It’s a little sweet, maybe nix the corn syrup (I used agave- I couldn’t bring myself to buy corn syrup, yuck!) it also takes a long time to set, chill overnight or at least 6-8 hours if possible.

  9. Hungry Reply

    So did anyone commenting actually make the recipe?

  10. faith Reply

    looks delish

  11. Laura Dembowski Reply

    I love butterscotch pudding but I’m not a huge fan of other butterscotch things, like chips. This sounds like one special treat!

  12. Donna Gavin Reply

    Hi , Just wondering if this would work in a butterscotch pie? it looks to be the yummiest recipe i found,

  13. Charlotte Christensen Reply

    That looks so good!!! I just have to try and make this now… or soon anyway :-)

  14. Corrie Hart Reply

    I was just daydreaming about making something butterscotch yesterday, but didn’t manage to see this until today. Brainwaves! I am so making this. Love your recipes (your scalloped potatoes were on my dinner table for Easter Sunday; comfort food at its best!). Thanks :o)

  15. Michelle C. Reply

    I’ve made this before-it is absolutely delicious! We couldn’t even wait for it to chill and it was still wonderful.

  16. Moira @ Hearth and Homefront Reply

    I’ve always loved butterscotch but haven’t really seen it since we moved away from the east coast. Is it a regional thing? Either way, this will satisfy that craving nicely!

  17. Sally T. Reply

    I make this all the time,recipe was from my mother-in-law,
    only she made this into a pie with meringue on top.
    It is my husbands favorite.

  18. Vicki E Reply

    I’ve been looking for a good butterscotch pudding recipe for years. Over 30 years ago, I had butterscotch pie in a small inn in Nova Scotia and I’ve never forgotten it. Tried making it with jello pudding mix and it wasn’t the same. I can now give it another go. Thanks for a great looking recipe!

  19. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts Reply

    butterscotch pudding is a favorite of mine. this looks perfect!!

  20. Jane Reply

    I’ve made this CI butterscotch pudding several times and it’s wonderful. I grew up eating homemade butterscotch pudding and it’s still my favorite. Maybe I’m odd, but I like both butterscotch and caramel.

  21. Mary S Reply

    I’m in Butterscotch Heaven!!! This is how you do it, if you’re going to do it right!! No box of Jello can even begin to compete, though, I will admit to eating many over the years! Thank you for posting all your wonderful pics, it makes me want to run right to the pantry for the box of dark brown sugar!! :)

  22. Robin Christensen Reply

    I saw the folks on America’s Test Kitchen (PBS) make this on their show – OMG it looked delicious there, but it is even more fabulous on your blog! Girl, I am so going to try this now!

  23. Jaclyn Reply

    This looks perfect! I need more pudding in my life :).

  24. My Linh Reply

    Hello, butterscotch lover over here! It doesn’t matter how full I am, when there’s a butterscotch dessert I have to have it. This sounds divine… Can almost taste it by just reading this post hehe…

  25. Cookbook Queen Reply

    Butterscotch get SUCH a bad rap but OMG how I love it so. This is perfect!

  26. Linda Reply

    My husband hired some lady to make caramel pie for him. He decided what she had made was butterscotch. My daughter caramelized the sugar and I finished it. He said the pie was good. He is not a fan of butterscotch.

  27. sheila Reply

    Butterscotch pudding is my husbands favorite! I will have to make this version for him!

  28. Tiff Reply

    Oh yum! I’ve always been very fond of butterscotch.

  29. Erin | The Law Student's Wife Reply

    Oh I am a HUGE butterscotch person. I think it’s an underappreciated flavor, and I’m so happy to see it represented in pudding, one of my top all-time comfort foods!

  30. Jennifer Reply

    Butterscotch pudding from scratch! Now you’re talking… pinned & printed…my kids are going to love this :)

  31. Lisa@Mummy Made It Reply

    Arrggh! It’s way past my bed time already but I’m contemplating staying up til the early hours of the morning so I can make this RIGHT NOW!! Love the idea…now I’ll have to dream about eating it tomorrow!

  32. Katrina @ WVS Reply

    I looooove butterscotch pudding. This recipe looks great!

  33. David | From Ballparks to BBQ Reply

    Does pudding make anyone else immediately think about Bill Cosby and smile?! :)

    • jk Reply

      I don’t think so…..not anymore!

    • J K Reply

      Are you kidding?
      I’ll never think about butterscotch pudding again with out almost puking! Thanks a lot!

  34. Lisa @ Simple Pairings Reply

    Maybe it’s the little kid in me, but I still love puddings. I loved them as a little girl and still do! I love this simple butterscotch one – what a classic flavor!

  35. Sues Reply

    I seriously just thought YESTERDAY, I need more butterscotch in my life. And here it is :) And it looks delicious!

  36. Silvia Moreno Reply

    A recipe for my mom, she loves the butterscotch. :)

  37. Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs Reply

    I am a huge butterscotch person so this is right up my street :)

  38. Debra Reply

    Yes, I am a butterscotch girl. Always have been. My sisters would have their ones dipped in chocolate, but not me. As a child, I was the one eating potato soup as opposed to tomato soup. Took me years to warm up to tomatoes, lol. Kinda used to being odd man out :)

    • Debra Reply

      edit – * should be CONES, not ones, lol

  39. Averie @ Averie Cooks Reply

    One of my bucket list recipes Ive always wanted to make is scratch butterscotch pudding and this inspires me to get around to it. I loveeee homemade. My grandma used to make it and yes, “thick, creamy, cold salted caramel sauce”. Pinned!

Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe (2024)


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