Simple Vanilla Sauce

bowl of vanilla sauce
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  • 11 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Yield: 3/4 cup (3 servings)
Ratings (39)

This vanilla dessert sauce is made with just 4 ingredients plus water and a pinch of salt. Make this vanilla sauce and drizzle it over pound cake, gingerbread cake, or a moist bread pudding.

You'll find dozens of uses for the sweet buttery sauce. Homemade doesn't get much easier than this!

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Garnish: pearl sugar (or crushed sugar cubes) and / or chopped or slivered almonds

How to Make It

  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cornstarch; blend well.
  3. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture to the boiling water and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Remove the sauce from heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until the butter has melted.
  1. Spoon vanilla sauce over cake, bread pudding, warm fruit, fritters, or a fruit cobbler.

Tips and Variations

  • Cinnamon Vanilla Sauce: Add two cinnamon sticks to the water; bring to a boil and continue with the recipe. Remove the cinnamon sticks before whisking in the butter, vanilla, and salt.
  • Vanilla Rum Sauce: Replace 1/4 cup of the water with spiced rum.
  • Nutmeg Vanilla Sauce: Add about 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg to the water and continue with the recipe.
  • Replace a few tablespoons of the water with Cointreau, apple brandy, or another liqueur.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 226
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 20 mg
Sodium 4 mg
Carbohydrates 39 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 0 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)