Classic Butterscotch Drops Recipe

Butterscotch Drops candy on a white plate

The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth LaBau

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 24 to 32 candies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
189 Calories
7g Fat
33g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 10mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making candy at home is so much fun, and so rewarding. You can keep the edible results for yourself, share with friends, or give as gifts—or some combination of all three. If you've ever wondered how to make butterscotch candy, this recipe will walk you through the process. It's not hard, but it just takes a little prep—and proper equipment.

This recipe for butterscotch drops produces a hard candy with that classic butterscotch taste. They consist of just a few ingredients and definitely taste buttery—that's one of the ingredients. However, the origin of its name has been disputed. Current theories claim it either the candy originated in Scotland, or it instead perhaps referrs to the fact that one of its original ingredients may have been "scotched," or scorched butter. (And in case you're wondering, it never did contain Scotch, either.)

In addition to just a few ingredients, which include sugar, heavy cream, and butter, there's a bit of equipment required. You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe, along with aluminum foil and nonstick cooking spray.


Steps to Make It

  1. Prepare 2 large baking sheets by lining them with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with cooking spray.

  2. Combine the sugar, cream, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the cream of tartar and boil the mixture until it reaches 240 F (soft-ball stage). Add the butter and continue boiling until the mixture reaches 280 F (soft-crack stage).

  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

  4. Using a very small teaspoon, carefully drop spoonfuls of the hot candy onto the prepared baking sheets. It is important to work quickly before the candy begins to set. The drops will spread, so leave a bit of space in between your spoonfuls. Continue forming small butterscotch drops on the prepared sheets until you run out of candy or it becomes too hard to work with.

  5. Allow the drops to set at room temperature, then lift them off the baking sheet. Serve immediately, or place them in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


If you don't want to make the candy into little drops, you can pour it into a greased 9 x 9-inch pan and break it into small pieces once it is set. It will look more irregular, almost like a butterscotch brittle in that case.

How to Store Butterscotch Candies

These candies will keep well if stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of weeks. You can wrap them individually in waxed paper, or layer them in between sheets of wax paper so they won't stick.