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A silver spoon inside a small dessert jar of butterscotch pudding with salted caramel and whipped cream.

Butterscotch Pudding

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 4 Hours 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Grandma’s butterscotch pudding boasts the sumptuous flavor of caramelized brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salted caramel. Crown with whipped cream and garnish with your favorite toppings.


Units Scale

For Butterscotch Pudding

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon rum or bourbon


  • Salted caramel sauce – homemade or store-bought
  • Homemade whipped cream
  • Chopped nuts, Heath English Toffee Bits, or mini chocolate chips


  1. In a bowl with a spout, whisk together the whole milk and heavy cream. Set aside. In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together until pale yellow – about 1 minute. Set it aside as well.
  2. On stovetop over medium heat, whisk together water, brown sugar and salt in a (high-sided) medium saucepan. Without stirring, let the mixture cook until it begins to bubble. Then gently swirl the pan so the mixture doesn’t burn – but do not stir it! Once the mixture bubbles cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until the temperature reaches 240°F/116°C on a candy thermometer. (Use of a thermometer is optional.)
  3. Remove the pan from heat. Very slowly, while whisking constantly, add the milk/cream mixture to the pan. It will bubble and splatter, so stand back while pouring carefully. Once the milk has been fully incorporated, return the pan to heat. Cook until the mixture begins to steam – about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove 1 cup of the hot mixture. In a slow steady stream, pour it into the (heat-safe) bowl of egg yolks/cornstarch while whisking constantly. Keep the mixture moving so the eggs don’t scramble. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pan in a slow steady stream while whisking constantly. Turn the heat down to low. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Immediately remove the pan from heat.
  5. Pour the mixture into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve (optional) to remove any lumps of scrambled egg or curdled milk. Add butter and vanilla, plus rum or bourbon if desired. Whisk until completely smooth. Place plastic wrap over the bowl of pudding. Gently press down on the plastic wrap so it touches the entire surface to block out air. This will help prevent a skin from forming on the surface. Place butterscotch pudding in the fridge until cooled and thickened – about 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
  6. Divide pudding between 6 dessert cups. Add salted caramel sauce on top. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and desired toppings. Serve and enjoy while the dessert is still chilled. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Whole milk & heavy cream: For the best consistency with an ideal texture, do not substitute with lower fat milks. The pudding will be thinner with a less luxurious mouthfeel.

Egg yolks & cornstarch: This is the thickener for our pudding so it’ll have the best consistency.

For a deeper butterscotch flavor: Dark brown sugar has more molasses than light brown sugar. Feel free to use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar. It will also give the pudding a deeper shade.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • 4 Hours: Chilling Time
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American