Do you know what makes caramel sauce even better? Whiskey! My whiskey sauce is super easy to make, smooth, creamy, and addictive.
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.
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.
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.
Stir in vanilla and salt.
Once it cools, transfer the whiskey sauce to a sealed container and store refrigerated for up to three weeks.
Expert Tips and FAQs
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.
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.
Yes! You can freeze it for up to three months.
- 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.
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