Scottish Butterscotch Candy Recipe: Easy and Delicious Treat

Indulge in the sublime richness of traditional Scottish butterscotch candy made right in your own kitchen with this easy-to-follow recipe. Butterscotch candy brings an irresistible sweetness to life, making it a favorite hard candy for many people. The derivation of the name is disputed; some claim it refers to the process of “scotching” or scoring the candy during preparation, while others believe it comes from the word ‘butter’ and ‘scotch’ meaning to cut or chop, indicating that it was once made with scorched butter.

Regardless, this confectionary whose primary ingredients include sugar, butter, and cream is undeniably delicious. It has been enjoyed for generations as a traditional Scottish treat and now you can make it at home yourself. Start creating a comforting dessert from scratch with simple but flavorful ingredients that are readily available.

Follow this recipe that includes water, granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, and unsalted butter alongside a touch of lemon juice, cream of tartar & vanilla extract will sate your sweet tooth cravings. Join me in embracing this classic treat that strikes a perfect balance between chewy texture and sweet caramel flavor.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy
Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy

Are you a fan of sweet, buttery treats that bring back childhood memories? Look no further than this Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy Recipe. This recipe is perfect for those who enjoy the classic butterscotch flavor without having to scour the stores for pre-made candy versions.

What sets this recipe apart is the use of brown sugar and sweet butter, giving it a rich, caramel-like taste that sets it apart from other hard candies. The addition of cream of tartar and lemon juice also adds a tangy kick that balances out the sweetness perfectly.

Not only is it delicious, but this recipe is also very easy to make with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. You can even make substitutions or variations to fit your preferences or dietary restrictions, such as using vegan butter or agave syrup instead of corn syrup.

This traditional Scottish butterscotch candy recipe is not only tasty, but it is also a great way to impress your guests with a homemade treat. Imagine how impressed they will be when you reveal that you made the candy yourself! It’s perfect for holiday parties or as a thoughtful gift for family and friends- after all, nothing says “I love you” like homemade sweets!

One thing’s for sure – once you try this recipe, you’ll be hooked on the rich butterscotch flavor and will always have a batch ready to enjoy at home. So make sure to give it a try!

Ingredient List

 Melting butter in a copper pot, a sweet adventure to Butterscotch land!
Melting butter in a copper pot, a sweet adventure to Butterscotch land!

Before we start making this Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy, let’s check the list of ingredients we need to prepare:

For the Scottish Butterscotch Candy:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1/8 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Scottish tablet is a type of hard candy with a buttery and caramel-like taste. The derivation of its name is disputed but it is widely believed that the term “scotched” originally meant “scorched” and referred to the technique of scorching or cooking the butter mixture until it becomes golden brown. The original ingredient used in Scottish butterscotch was scorched butter.

Optional Ingredients for Variations:

  • Brown sugar, butterscotch chips or honey can be added for variation.

Now that we have all the necessary ingredients, let’s move on to the next section of our recipe: The Recipe How-To.

The Recipe How-To

 Always stirring to perfection; the secret to make your butterscotch as creamy as a lullaby.
Always stirring to perfection; the secret to make your butterscotch as creamy as a lullaby.

Step 1: Prepare Ingredients

Gather 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar, 4 cups of sweet butter, 1 1/4 cups of corn syrup, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 3 cups of water, and 2 tbsp of lemon juice.

Step 2: Cook Ingredients

In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine all the ingredients. Over high heat bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue cooking over medium heat for several minutes until it becomes caramel brown in color.

Step 3: Test for Consistency

Add a small amount of the candy mixture to a bowl of cold water. If it forms a hard ball then you have reached the perfect consistency and it is time to remove the pot from the heat.

Step 4: Pour into Mold

Pour the hot candy mixture into a prepared mold. Allow it to cool completely so that it becomes solid.

Step 5: Cut into Pieces

Once cooled and hardened, remove the candy from the mold and cut into small pieces using a sharp knife or kitchen shears.

Step 6: Store in Airtight Containers

Place the Scottish butterscotch candies in an airtight container and store it at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Substitutions and Variations

 Toffee Lover? Butterscotch it up with this easy recipe!
Toffee Lover? Butterscotch it up with this easy recipe!

One of the great things about traditional Scottish butterscotch candy is its versatility. There are many ways to adapt this recipe to your preferences or make it your own. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try when making this candy:

1. Brown sugar butter scotch: If you want a richer, more caramelized flavor, try using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. You can also increase the butter content for a creamier texture.

2. Butterscotch sauce: If you don’t have the time or patience to make candies, you can turn this recipe into a delicious butterscotch sauce. Simply cook the ingredients until they form a smooth, pourable liquid, and serve over ice cream, cakes or other desserts.

3. Honey butterscotch: For a slightly different flavor, replace the corn syrup with honey. This will give the candy a subtle floral taste and a delicate sweetness.

4. Homemade Scottish tablet: This recipe can also be used to make Scottish tablet – a type of fudge that is popular in Scotland. To make tablet, cook the mixture for longer than you would for candies and then pour it into a greased dish to cool.

5. Butterscotch chips: If you love the flavor of butterscotch but don’t have time to make candies from scratch, consider using pre-made butterscotch chips instead. These can be melted down and added to cookies, cakes or other dessert recipes for a quick and easy butterscotch flavor.

Remember that these substitutions are just suggestions – feel free to experiment with other flavors and combinations as well!

Serving and Pairing

 Sugar, butter and cream making a magic trio in this delicious candy.
Sugar, butter and cream making a magic trio in this delicious candy.

Once the traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy is made, it is a perfect treat to have anytime. The hard candy has a deep butterscotch flavor that pairs well with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. When serving the candy, consider placing them in a decorative jar or container, and put them out for guests at parties or dinners.

For a more indulgent experience, try pairing these candies with some creamy ice cream or drizzle some butterscotch sauce over vanilla ice cream. The contrast of the cold ice cream and the warm candy creates a fantastic texture sensation that is sure to please everyone’s taste buds. Alternatively, the candies work well in any dessert that calls for brown sugar or caramel flavors like fudge or tablet – another traditional Scottish confectionary.

Moreover, if you’re feeling creative, try making your own unique desserts using the butterscotch chips. They can be added to cookies, brownies or muffins. As an ultimate tip, use them in baking recipes that use oatmeal for an even richer flavor!

The beauty of this recipe is not only its sweet flavors but also its versatility as an ingredient in other desserts too! So go ahead and experiment; you might just create the next family recipe for all to enjoy.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The smell of butterscotch taking over your kitchen, like a warm hug on a cold day.
The smell of butterscotch taking over your kitchen, like a warm hug on a cold day.

Do you want to enjoy classic Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy without cooking every time you crave it? Don’t worry! This candy recipe is entirely make-ahead friendly.

You can store butterscotch candy in an airtight container at room temperature, and it will last up to two weeks. If you want to store the butterscotch for more than two weeks, you can refrigerate or freeze it.

To refrigerate, place the candy in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to six months. To freeze, wrap the candy tightly in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer-safe container for two to three months.

When you are ready to serve the candy, remove it from the container and let it come to room temperature before consuming. The butterscotch candy may become sticky or soft when exposed to heat, so it’s essential to store it in a cool place.

If you want to reheat the butterscotch, set the desired amount of candy on a plate and microwave it for 8-10 seconds. Do not overheat as this may harden the candy. Alternatively, heat the candy on low heat on the stovetop until it softens.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your favorite traditional Scottish butterscotch anytime without worrying about cooking it anew.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Simplicity at its best! No fancy ingredients, just basic pantry staples.
Simplicity at its best! No fancy ingredients, just basic pantry staples.

Achieving the perfect butterscotch candy may seem like an elusive goal, but with the right techniques and guidelines, you can elevate your candy-making game to the next level. As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I have crafted this recipe that produces a traditional Scottish butterscotch candy that is rich in flavor and texture. Here are some tips on how to ensure that your butterscotch candy turns out perfectly each time.

Firstly, use high-quality ingredients. The key ingredients in this recipe include granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, sweet butter, lemon juice, cream of tartar and water. It is important to use fresh ingredients and refrain from using any substitutes for optimal results.

Secondly, make sure that your equipment is clean and dry before starting. Any moisture, dust or debris on your cooking utensils can negatively affect your candy’s texture or color. Using a pot with a heavy bottom will help distribute heat better throughout the mixture, preventing hot spots or scorching.

Thirdly, it is vital to measure all ingredients accurately using a kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoons. Candy-making depends on precise measurements as even the slightest variation can alter the outcome of the final product.

Fourthly, be patient and do not rush the cooking process. Slowly bring your mixture up to temperature while stirring constantly to avoid any burning or sticking to the pan. Use a candy thermometer to accurately monitor the temperature of your mixture as you cook it. Once it reaches 300 °F (149 °C), quickly remove it from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Fifthly, let the mixture cool down before cutting into pieces for serving. This step prevents any residual heat from evaporating excess moisture which could create cracks or air bubbles in your candy.

Lastly, store your butterscotch candy in a cool and dry place in an airtight container for optimal freshness. To avoid sticking, place a small square of parchment paper between each layer of candy. Follow these tips for a delicious treat that will transport you to Scotland with every bite.


Before we wrap up this traditional Scottish butterscotch candy recipe article, I will be answering some of the frequently asked questions about this delightful confectionery. Whether you are a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, it is always helpful to have answers to some of the common queries that may arise while making this recipe. So, let’s dive into some FAQs and clear any doubts you may have about this recipe.

Did butterscotch originate in Scotland?

The origins of the term “butterscotch” can be traced back to its association with Scotland, as it is often referred to as “buttery toffee.” It is speculated that the word “Scotch” may have been coined from the term “scorch,” as the candy-making process involves heating and caramelizing butter and sugar. Records show that the first known use of the term “butterscotch” dates back to 1817 in Doncaster, a city located in Yorkshire, England, where Samuel Parkinson began producing this delectable treat.

What is traditional butterscotch?

Butterscotch is a sweet treat made using butter and brown sugar as the main ingredients. Some variations of the recipe add additional components like corn syrup, cream, vanilla, and salt, while some earlier versions used treacle (molasses) instead of or in combination with sugar. Butterscotch has a rich history and is believed to have originated in Yorkshire during the mid-19th century.

Why do they put Scotch in butterscotch?

The origin of the sweet and buttery treat called butterscotch can be traced back to England. The term “scotch” in its name might have originated from the word “scorch” due to the process of heating sugar to a high temperature. One can make butterscotch candy by mixing sugar, corn syrup, water, and vinegar, and cooking it until it reaches the hard crack stage at 300°F or 149°C.

What is the main ingredient in butterscotch?

There is a type of candy called butterscotch that is typically created by boiling a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and sometimes corn syrup in water. However, the origins of the candy’s name are uncertain. Some argue that it may refer to the candy’s Scottish origins, while others believe it may derive from the term “scotched” or scorched, which may have been an original ingredient in its creation.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, traditional Scottish butterscotch candy recipe is an all-time classic treat that is both delicious and easy to make. The combination of sweet butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup creates a rich and flavorful taste that will satisfy any sweet tooth. With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you can create a homemade candy that will rival any store-bought option.

Whether you are an experienced candy maker or a beginner, this recipe is for you. The tips and recommendations provided in this article will help you achieve perfect results every time. From serving and pairing to making-ahead and storing, we have covered everything you need to know to create the perfect batch of traditional Scottish butterscotch candy.

Incorporate this recipe into your collection of candy recipes, and experience the deliciousness and uniqueness of Scottish butterscotch candy. If you are looking for a tasty treat that is easy to make with ingredients readily available in any kitchen, then this recipe is for you. Make sure to have fun while creating this candy and experiment with different flavor variations to suit your taste buds.

Overall, this candy recipe is not just about satisfying your cravings for sweets but also about preserving Scottish traditions through flavors. So go ahead and embark on your journey into the world of candy-making with this delicious traditional Scottish butterscotch candy recipe today!

Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy

Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy Recipe

That sweet tooth for which Scots have a reputation means that there are many traditional confectionary recipes. But quite why a brittle candy made from butter and sugar should be named "Scotch" is lost in the mists of time.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Candy, Dessert, European, Healthy, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly, Low Protein, Scottish, Sweet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 lb
Calories 2551.6kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3/8 cup sweet butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • oil, for greasing a baking pan


  • Well oil an 11" x 7" shallow baking tin pan. Put the water and lemon juice in a heavy-based saucepan and heat until slightly warm.
  • Stir in the sugar and continue to heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the sugar has been thoroughly dissolved. Don't allow it to boil.
  • Stir in the cream of tartar and bring to the boil to 242F on a sugar thermometer (or until a teaspoon ful of the mixture forms a soft ball when it is dropped into a cup of cold water).
  • Remove from the heat and beat in the butter. Return to the heat and boil to 280F or when a teaspoon of the mixture forms a thin thread when dropped into a cup of cold water. (The thread will bend and break when pressed between the fingers)
  • Remove from the heat and beat in the vanilla extract. Pour into the oiled tin and leave until it is almost set.
  • Then mark into small rectangles with a knife.
  • When it is competely set, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Serving: 750g | Calories: 2551.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 501g | Protein: 0.7g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 43.7g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 13.1mg | Sugar: 499.9g

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found