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Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

Indulge in the lusciousness of this homemade butterscotch pudding. A perfect blend of sweet, creamy, and slightly salty, this pudding is a delightful comfort dessert that will transport you back to your favorite childhood memories. Enhanced with a touch of scotch for that extra kick, this dessert is sure to become a favorite in your house.

Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe
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The key ingredients for this butterscotch pudding are quite common, except perhaps for the dark brown sugar and scotch. Dark brown sugar, which has a deeper color and stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar, is crucial for achieving the rich, caramelized flavor. As for the scotch, it adds a subtle smoky flavor that enhances the overall taste. If you don't usually keep these items in your pantry, you may need to add them to your supermarket shopping list.

Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe Ingredients

Whole milk: This is the base of the pudding, giving it a creamy, velvety texture.

Heavy cream: It contributes to the rich and decadent quality of the pudding.

Egg yolks: They help to thicken the pudding.

Cornstarch: This acts as an additional thickening agent.

Dark brown sugar: It provides the rich, caramel flavor that is characteristic of butterscotch.

Water: Used to dissolve the sugar and help form the caramel.

Salt: Enhances the other flavors and tempers the sweetness.

Unsalted butter: Adds richness and depth to the pudding.

Pure vanilla extract: Vanilla complements the caramel flavor of the brown sugar.

Scotch: Adds a unique smoky flavor, elevating the dessert to a gourmet level.

One reader, Birgit Schulte says:

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This homemade butterscotch pudding recipe is a game-changer! The rich, creamy texture and the delightful blend of butterscotch and vanilla flavors make it an absolute delight. It's the perfect treat for any occasion, and the optional toppings take it to the next level. I can't wait to make it again!

Birgit Schulte

Key Techniques for Making Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

How to caramelize brown sugar: In a medium heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, whisk together brown sugar, water, and salt. Allow it to cook and bubble for about 5 to 6 minutes until it becomes darker brown in color and begins to smell caramelized. Use a candy thermometer to check for a temperature of around 240 degrees Fahrenheit if desired.

How to temper egg yolks: After the mixture comes to a boil, remove about ½ cup of the hot mixture and, in a slow and steady stream, whisk it into the egg yolks. Keep whisking the egg yolks to prevent them from scrambling. Then, pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pot in a slow and steady stream while whisking continuously.

How to thicken pudding: After adding the egg yolk mixture, turn the heat down to low. The pudding will immediately begin to bubble and thicken. Whisk and cook for 1 minute until the pudding thickens.

How to store leftovers: Cover any leftover pudding and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

How To Make Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

You’ll be amazed by how deliciously easy this homemade butterscotch pudding is! Creamy and rich, layered with salted caramel, and topped with whipped cream!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Chill and Cool Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Total: 4 hours 25 minutes



  • cupswhole milk
  • 1cupheavy cream,or heavy whipping cream
  • 3large egg yolks
  • 2tbspcornstarch
  • ¾cupdark brown sugar,packed
  • 3tbspwater
  • ½tspsalt
  • 3tbspunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 1tsppure vanilla extract
  • 1tbspscotch,or rum, or bourbon, optional but recommended

For Optional Toppings:

  • salted caramel
  • Heath Bar toffee bits
  • homemade whipped cream


  1. Whisk the whole milk and heavy cream together. Set aside.

  2. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together. Set that aside too.

  3. Whisk the brown sugar, water, and salt together in a medium heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat.

  4. Without stirring, allow to cook and bubble for about 5 to 6 minutes until darker brown in color. It should begin to smell caramelized at that point.

  5. If desired, take the temperature with a candy thermometer to be certain it is ready. Look for around 240 degrees F.

  6. Slowly and carefully whisk in the heavy cream/milk. It will sizzle and may splatter, so pour in slowly.

  7. Cook on medium heat until the mixture begins to boil.

  8. Once boiling, remove about ½ cup of the mixture and, in a slow and steady stream, whisk into the egg yolks.

  9. Keep those egg yolks moving so they don’t scramble.

  10. In a slow and steady stream, pour and whisk the egg yolk mixture into the pot.

  11. Turn the heat down to low. The pudding will immediately begin to bubble and thicken.

  12. Whisk and cook for 1 minute.

  13. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until completely smooth, then add the vanilla and bourbon.

  14. Cool for 5 minutes, then pour into serving glasses or bowls.

  15. Cover tightly with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding (to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight until chilled and thickened.

  16. Serve with optional toppings.

  17. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  • Calories: 827.37kcal
  • Fat: 55.68g
  • Saturated Fat: 33.82g
  • Trans Fat: 0.73g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 15.95g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.55g
  • Carbohydrates: 73.86g
  • Fiber: 0.04g
  • Sugar: 69.05g
  • Protein: 6.87g
  • Cholesterol: 311.18mg
  • Sodium: 445.43mg
  • Calcium: 203.73mg
  • Potassium: 248.89mg
  • Iron: 0.63mg
  • Vitamin A: 589.89µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.47mg

A Crucial Technique Tip for Perfect Butterscotch Pudding

When making your homemade butterscotch pudding, it's crucial to temper the egg yolks properly. This process involves gradually adding hot liquid to the egg yolks while whisking continuously. This slowly raises the temperature of the yolks, preventing them from cooking too quickly and scrambling. If the yolks scramble, they will create lumps in your pudding. So, always remember to add the hot liquid slowly and keep whisking for a smooth, creamy pudding.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Butterscotch Pudding

Prep ahead: Make the butterscotch pudding a day in advance to allow it to chill and thicken overnight, saving time on the day you plan to serve it.

Organize ingredients: Before starting the recipe, gather and measure out all the ingredients to streamline the cooking process and prevent any last-minute scrambling.

Use a thermometer: Utilize a candy thermometer to accurately gauge the readiness of the butterscotch mixture, ensuring it reaches the desired temperature for optimal results.

Chill efficiently: Pour the pudding into individual serving glasses or bowls before refrigerating to expedite the chilling process and ensure it sets evenly.

Simplify toppings: Opt for store-bought salted caramel and toffee bits for a quick and convenient way to enhance the flavor and presentation of the butterscotch pudding.

Substitute Ingredients For Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

  • whole milk - Substitute with coconut milk: Coconut milk can add a rich and creamy texture to the pudding, and it also imparts a subtle coconut flavor.
  • heavy cream - Substitute with canned coconut cream: Canned coconut cream can provide a similar richness and creaminess to the pudding, and it also adds a hint of coconut flavor.
  • dark brown sugar - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can bring a deep, caramel-like sweetness to the pudding, and it adds a unique flavor profile.
  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can provide a similar richness and creaminess to the pudding, and it also adds a hint of coconut flavor.
  • scotch - Substitute with vanilla extract: Vanilla extract can add a warm, aromatic flavor to the pudding without the alcohol content of scotch.

How to Beautifully Present Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

  1. Elevate with a caramel drizzle: Drizzle a small amount of warm caramel sauce in a decorative pattern on the plate before placing the pudding. This adds a touch of elegance and enhances the overall flavor profile.

  2. Garnish with toffee bits: Sprinkle a generous amount of heath bar toffee bits over the top of the butterscotch pudding. The crunchy texture and sweet flavor will provide a delightful contrast to the creamy pudding.

  3. Add a dollop of whipped cream: Place a small, perfectly shaped dollop of homemade whipped cream on top of the pudding. This not only adds a visual appeal but also provides a luscious, creamy element to each bite.

  4. Serve in crystal glassware: Present the butterscotch pudding in exquisite crystal glassware to showcase its luxurious texture and rich color. The transparency of the glass will allow the layers and toppings to shine through, creating a visually stunning dessert.

  5. Sprinkle with sea salt: Lightly sprinkle a pinch of high-quality sea salt over the top of the pudding just before serving. The salt will enhance the butterscotch flavor and add a sophisticated touch to the presentation.

  6. Drizzle with salted caramel: Create an artistic drizzle of salted caramel over the top of the pudding. The combination of sweet and salty flavors will elevate the dessert and impress the discerning palates of the judges.

Storing and Freezing Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

  • To store leftover butterscotch pudding, cover it tightly with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. This will help maintain its smooth and creamy texture.
  • Place the covered pudding in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Ensure that the refrigerator temperature is set to 40°F (4°C) or below to prevent bacterial growth.
  • If you want to freeze the pudding, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Leave some headspace at the top to allow for expansion during freezing.
  • Label the container with the date and contents, so you can easily keep track of when it was frozen.
  • Freeze the pudding for up to 2 months. However, keep in mind that the texture may change slightly after freezing, and it may not be as smooth and creamy as when freshly made.
  • To thaw frozen pudding, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Do not thaw at room temperature, as this can cause the pudding to spoil.
  • Once thawed, give the pudding a good stir to redistribute any separated liquid and to restore its creamy consistency.
  • Consume thawed pudding within 2-3 days for the best quality and taste. Do not refreeze previously frozen pudding, as this can further affect its texture and increase the risk of bacterial growth.

The Best Ways to Reheat Leftover Butterscotch Pudding

  • The best way to reheat leftover butterscotch pudding is to scoop the desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it reaches your desired temperature. This method ensures even heating and prevents the pudding from becoming grainy or curdled.

  • Another option is to place the pudding in a heat-proof bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water, creating a double boiler. Stir the pudding gently and continuously until it is heated through. This method is slower but provides a more controlled heating process, reducing the risk of overheating or curdling the pudding.

  • If you prefer a cold pudding, simply remove it from the refrigerator, give it a good stir, and enjoy it as is. The pudding will have thickened during storage, so stirring helps to restore its creamy texture.

  • For a quick and easy treat, try layering the reheated or cold pudding with whipped cream, salted caramel, or toffee bits in a parfait glass. This creates an attractive and delicious dessert that's perfect for any occasion.

  • If you find that your reheated pudding has become a bit too thick, simply whisk in a small amount of milk or cream until it reaches your desired consistency. This will help to restore the pudding's silky smooth texture without compromising its rich butterscotch flavor.

A Fascinating Fact About Butterscotch Pudding

The butterscotch pudding recipe is a delightful treat that combines rich flavors of brown sugar and scotch. It's a classic dessert that has been enjoyed for generations.

Is Making Butterscotch Pudding at Home Cost-Effective?

This homemade butterscotch pudding recipe is relatively cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are commonly found in most kitchens, with the exception of scotch, which may be an additional cost. The overall verdict rating for this recipe is 9/10, considering its rich flavor and creamy texture. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, making it a budget-friendly dessert option.

Is Butterscotch Pudding Healthy or Unhealthy?

This homemade butterscotch pudding recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main concerns are:

  • High in saturated fat due to the heavy cream and butter
  • Significant amount of added sugar from the dark brown sugar
  • Use of whole milk contributes to the overall fat content
  • Lacks any nutritional value from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains

However, this recipe can be enjoyed as an occasional treat when consumed in moderation.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace whole milk with low-fat or skim milk to reduce the overall fat content
  • Use half-and-half instead of heavy cream to lower the amount of saturated fat
  • Reduce the amount of dark brown sugar by 1/4 to 1/3 cup to decrease the added sugar content
  • Incorporate a portion of whole wheat flour or ground nuts to add some fiber and nutrients
  • Serve the pudding with fresh fruit, such as sliced bananas or berries, to increase the nutritional value and add natural sweetness

By making these adjustments, you can create a more balanced and nutritious version of this classic dessert while still maintaining its rich, indulgent flavor. Remember, the key to enjoying treats like this is moderation and making smart substitutions when possible.

Our Editor's Opinion on This Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

The homemade butterscotch pudding recipe is a delightful blend of rich flavors and creamy textures. The method of caramelizing the brown sugar adds a depth of flavor, while the addition of scotch provides a subtle warmth. The optional toppings of salted caramel and heath bar toffee bits offer a delightful contrast in taste and texture. The pudding's smooth and luscious consistency makes it a luxurious treat. Overall, this recipe is a perfect balance of sweetness and richness, making it a delightful dessert for any occasion.

Enhance Your Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Tossed in a balsamic glaze and topped with crispy pancetta for a savory and tangy side dish.
Grilled Pineapple: Fresh pineapple slices grilled to perfection and drizzled with a honey-lime glaze for a sweet and tropical accompaniment.
Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus: Fresh asparagus spears wrapped in crispy bacon and roasted until tender-crisp, perfect for a savory and indulgent side dish.

Delicious Alternatives to Butterscotch Pudding

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in. The combination of fresh tomatoes, basil, and cream creates a rich and flavorful soup that will warm you up from the inside out.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Grilled lemon herb chicken is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for a summer barbecue. The zesty lemon and aromatic herbs add a burst of flavor to the tender, juicy chicken, making it a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
Mixed Berry Cobbler: Mixed berry cobbler is a delightful dessert that showcases the natural sweetness of fresh berries. The buttery, golden crust pairs perfectly with the warm, juicy berries, creating a mouthwatering treat that is best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Appetizers and Main Dishes to Serve with Butterscotch Pudding

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory bites are filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for a deliciously indulgent appetizer.
Caprese Salad: This classic Italian dish features ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of sea salt for a refreshing and elegant start to any meal.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish that combines tender chicken with a rich and velvety Alfredo sauce. The flavors of garlic, Parmesan, and black pepper come together to elevate this classic Italian favorite.
Beef Stroganoff: Craft a comforting and hearty dish featuring tender strips of beef in a luscious and savory mushroom sauce. The addition of sour cream adds a tangy richness that pairs perfectly with the earthy flavors of the mushrooms.

Why trust this Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe:

This homemade butterscotch pudding recipe is a delightful blend of creamy whole milk and rich heavy cream, creating a luscious texture. The use of dark brown sugar and a touch of scotch adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile. The careful technique of caramelizing the sugar showcases the attention to detail in this recipe, ensuring a decadent and indulgent experience. With the option to customize with salted caramel or heath bar toffee bits, this recipe offers a delightful twist. The inclusion of homemade whipped cream as a topping adds a luxurious finish, making it a trustworthy and irresistible dessert choice.

Have you tried this homemade butterscotch pudding recipe? Let us know how it turned out or share your own favorite pudding recipes in the Recipe Sharing forum!
Can I use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar?
Yes, you can use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar. The flavor will be slightly different, but it will still work well in the recipe.
Can I omit the scotch from the recipe?
Absolutely! If you prefer not to use scotch, you can simply omit it from the recipe. The pudding will still be delicious without it.
Can I use something else instead of scotch?
If you prefer not to use scotch, you can substitute it with an equal amount of bourbon or rum for a different flavor profile.
Can I make this pudding in advance?
Yes, you can make the butterscotch pudding in advance. Simply cover it tightly with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight until chilled and thickened.
Can I skip the optional toppings?
Of course! The optional toppings are just suggestions for added flavor and texture. You can enjoy the butterscotch pudding as is, or customize it with your favorite toppings.

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