Whiskey Sauce

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Do you know what makes caramel sauce even better? Whiskey! My whiskey sauce is super easy to make, smooth, creamy, and addictive.

Whiskey sauce being poured into a jar from a spoon

Whiskey sauce is most commonly used as a topping for bread pudding. You also see it served with caramelized bananas (like in Bananas Foster). I love it drizzled over cheesecake or added into vanilla frosting.


Whiskey sauce ingredients shown top down

Although the end result tastes wildly different from butterscotch sauce, the ingredients for the two are almost identical. They are both made with butter, brown sugar (I use light brown sugar, but dark is fine if you prefer a deeper molasses flavor), heavy whipping cream, salt, and vanilla.

The key difference in the two is, of course, the whiskey. There is no need at all to use expensive whiskey for this; use whatever you have on hand. If you really love the flavor profile of a particular brand, choose that one, but the sauce is going to be great no matter how much you spend on your bottle.

How It’s Made

Start by getting a medium-sized saucepan. You may think that a small saucepan will do the trick, but you don’t want any risk of molten sugar bubbling over and resulting in having to clean burnt caramel from your range.

Melt butter on medium heat. Once it’s melted, add in the brown sugar, give a stir, and then let it sit until it’s almost all melted. You don’t want to stir very much because that can cause crystals to form.

Adding brown sugar to melted butter in a pot

Add heavy whipping cream and whiskey, give the sauce a quick stir to make sure everything is combined, and then let it come to a boil. Remove the sauce from the stovetop when a candy thermometer inserted reaches 225 F.

Adding whiskey to a a pot

Stir in vanilla and salt.

Once it cools, transfer the whiskey sauce to a sealed container and store refrigerated for up to three weeks.

pouring whiskey sauce into a jar from a pot

Expert Tips and FAQs

Can I use something other than whiskey?

It wouldn’t technically be whiskey sauce, but you could use any kind of alcohol to make a great caramel. Try rum, bourbon, Irish cream, or Kahlua.

Do I have to use a candy thermometer?

Unless you have been making caramel sauces for years and are an expert at eyeballing doneness, always use a candy thermometer [paid link]. You will have much better results.

Can you freeze whiskey sauce?

Yes! You can freeze it for up to three months.

Jar of whiskey sauce with a spoon resting on top
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Whiskey sauce being poured into a jar from a spoon
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5 from 2 votes

Whiskey Sauce

My whiskey sauce is super easy to make, smooth, creamy, and addictive.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 113kcal
Author Stefani



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup whiskey any whiskey will work for this
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt



  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter completely.
  • Add brown sugar and stir just a little. Then, let sit until partially melted, about 3 minutes. Keep the stirring to a minimum to avoid crystal formation.
  • Add heavy whipping cream and whiskey and stir once to completely incorporate, then bring to a boil until the mixture reaches 225 F on a candy thermometer (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt.
  • Cool, store in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to three weeks or freeze for up to three months.


You can use dark or light brown sugar. I use light brown sugar; dark brown sugar will yield a sauce with a slightly more molasses flavor and a darker color.
I always use unsalted butter and add salt to taste, but if you have salted butter in the house, you can use that and leave off the extra salt.
You’ll need a candy thermometer [paid link]. Getting the temperature just right is important to ensure that your sauce has the correct consistency and doesn’t burn.


Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 23mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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