Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding

butterscotch pudding in tea cups

Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding ~ this silky, crave-able pudding recipe satisfies a primal need for comfort. Warm or cold, homemade butterscotch pudding is always right.

butterscotch pudding in cup with whipped cream

A perfect butterscotch pudding recipe is long overdue on the blog!

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long because one of the best things I’ve ever eaten was a dense, rich, butterscotch pot de creme at a restaurant that haunted me for years after. I eventually made my Salted Caramel Pot de Creme, which scratched that itch for a while, but I’ve been craving a simpler, throw it together on a whim recipe that would give me the butterscotch-y experience without the extra trouble. Enter this old fashioned homey butterscotch pudding, yum.

butterscotch pudding in a cup

This simple butterscotch pudding recipe has been well tested

I must have made 4 different versions till I got it perfect. I’m not complaining, we ate every last bite of every batch. But this final pudding is just what I was looking for.

I first tried the simplest approach, using just cornstarch to thicken the pudding. But I didn’t get that super thick lush texture I was after. I discovered that you can’t really leave out the eggs in a great classic pudding without sacrificing richness and texture.

butterscotch pudding with whipped cream

What exactly is butterscotch?

Butterscotch is a simple mixture of  brown sugar a butter. It can be a hard candy, or a sauce, or a flavor profile like it is in my pudding recipe today.

The difference between butterscotch and caramel? Caramel uses white sugar and also includes heavy cream.

butterscotch pudding in a blue cup

Pro tips for making butterscotch pudding ~

  • Use a good heavy bottomed pan so the pudding cooks evenly without scorching.
  • Adding a little bit of water helps your sugar melt evenly.
  • Don’t stir while your brown sugar is bubbling.
  • I like to have both a whisk and a silicone spoonula available while the pudding is cooking so I can switch back and forth as needed.
  • When adding the butter at the end, I make sure to whisk very well to get it all incorporated.
2 cups of butterscotch pudding

Warm or cold?

I love to eat at least one serving of pudding warm, right out of the pan, there’s nothing like it. But it won’t be as thick as it is after it’s been chilled. I like to enjoy it both ways.

If you’re making this for guests, allow at least 2 hours of chilling time.

Butterscotch pudding with whipped cream.
4.96 from 95 votes

Butterscotch Pudding

Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding ~ this silky, crave-able pudding  satisfies a primal need for comfort.  Warm or cold, butterscotch pudding is always right.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 497kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp bourbon (optional)


  • Over medium/medium-low heat, melt the brown sugar with the salt and the water. The water helps the sugar to dissolve and melt evenly. Heat until bubbling, and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes more, keeping a close eye on it and making sure it doesn't burn. Don't stir it while it is cooking, but you can swirl the pan around a bit to distribute the heat if needed.
  • Allow the melted brown sugar to cool for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of the milk, and whisk until very smooth. Add the egg yolks, and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the corn starch slurry to the rest of the milk and cream, and whisk briefly to combine everything.
  • Add the milk/cream mixture to the partially cooled brown sugar, whisking as you go. The sugar will seize up and become hard, but don't worry, everything will melt once the pan goes back on the heat.
  • Return the pan to the heat, and gently bring the whole mixture to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Once all the brown sugar has dissolved and the mixture is beginning to thicken, switch to a silicone spatula so that you can scrape the bottom and sides of the pan as it thickens.
  • Once the pudding comes to a boil, (it should be quite thick), take it off the heat and immediately pour it through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Add the butter, vanilla extract, and whiskey (if using), and whisk vigorously to combine (I whisked mine for a good minute or so to get the butter well incorporated.)
  • Pour the pudding into serving containers, and enjoy warm, or allow it to fully set in the fridge. It will be fully set in a couple hours.


Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 257mg | Sodium: 430mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 1431IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Marlene Roberts
    April 27, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Can this delicious sounding dessert be made in advance? It would need to be two days on this occasion!

  • Reply
    James cagle
    April 6, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    4 stars
    Maybe some pectin or gelitan sparingly. Otherwise youll get a “jell-o” type texture

  • Reply
    Lenore Litwin
    January 30, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    5 stars
    This pudding is so excellent! I’d like to use it in a pie shell and make it sliceable…any suggestions on how to thicken it further to achieve this?

  • Reply
    January 29, 2022 at 9:22 am

    5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS! We made it healthy with coconut sugar, oat milk, tapioca and arrowroot starch, and cashew cream with the exact same measurements. I kept back half of my portion of the serving and refrigerated the rest, as recommended. It was delicious cold and warm!

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