Is butterscotch vegan?

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Butterscotch is a type of confectionery which is made primarily from brown sugar and butter. Butterscotch is used to make a variety of sweet treats including butterscotch sauce, butterscotch chips, and well as butterscotch pudding, brownies, cupcakes and cookies.

The traditional recipe for butterscotch includes butter which is made from cows’ milk and so is not vegan. However, it’s easy to make your own butterscotch by replacing the butter with vegan margarine.

Vegan butterscotch recipes

Any recipe which involves butterscotch can be made vegan. All you need to do when making your vegan butterscotch is to switch animal ingredients such as milk and butter for their plant-based alternatives.

Here are some popular examples…

Vegan butterscotch sauce recipe

vegan butterscotch sauce on ice cream
Photo credit: i.rene.m.hsu

Butterscotch sauce is a tasty sauce to pour over vegan ice cream. It’s sweet, creamy and delicious.


  • 1/3 cup vegan butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Melt the butter or margarine in a pan and add the sugar and salt
  2. Heat over a low heat until it bubbles, then heat for a further three minutes whilst stirring continuously
  3. Add the milk and simmer for three more minutes
  4. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla and stir well.
  5. Leave to cool and thicken

Vegan butterscotch chips recipe

vegan butterscotch chips
Photo credit: Don and Janet Beasley

Butterscotch chips can be used instead of chocolate chips when making cookies or brownies or just eaten on their own as a sugary treat.


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat the butter or margarine, coconut oil and sugar in a pan, whisking them until they’re almost boiling
  2. Turn down the heat and simmer for three more minutes whilst continuing to whisk
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract
  4. Pour onto a baking tray lined with baking paper
  5. Refrigerate for three hours
  6. Cut into small shapes with a pizza cutter
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Vegan butterscotch pudding recipe

vegan butterscotch pudding
Photo credit: Stacy Spensley

Butterscotch pudding is an easy dessert which is usually made with cream, eggs and butter but can easily be veganised.


  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups plant milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Mix the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a pan.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of dairy-free milk and heat over a medium heat. Mix well until everything has dissolved
  3. Add the rest of the milk and stir constantly for three minutes
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter or margarine and vanilla
  5. Transfer to a dish, cover and chill for at least three hours before serving cold.

Making butterscotch vegan

Any butterscotch recipe can be adapted to be dairy-free. It’s as simple as switching the butter for vegan margarine and switching the milk for your choice of plant-based milk, whether that be soy, almond, oat or anything else.

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Featured image credit: Kari Sullivan

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