Dessert Whiskey Sauce

Bread pudding dessert on plate with fork
Manny Rodriguez/Blend Images/Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
76 Calories
4g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 76
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 36mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 7mg 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.)

This is an excellent choice if you're looking for a dessert sauce with a little "spirit". Our easy and versatile whiskey sauce is perfect to spoon over a variety of desserts and can help you give a twist to old dessert recipes that can now be elegantly presented with this delicious sauce on top. Serve over bread pudding, cheesecake, chocolate lava cake, or plain vanilla ice cream. This is a versatile sauce that you can prepare in just 10 minutes, and if needed you can make it ahead and keep covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days, warming it up on the stove before using. Butter, sugar, whiskey, and one egg make a thick and silky caramel-color sauce that has a bold but sweet flavor. Try it with dark chocolate, nut and dried fruit quick breads, crème brûlée, vanilla custards, or apple and pear desserts such as crumbles, pies, and tarts.

We chose whiskey for our recipe, but if you're keener on bourbon or brandy you can easily make the switch. The amounts we use provide enough of the spirit's flavor without overwhelming the palate. You can, however, add more to taste if you want a little more punch. Depending on the whiskey you use, the depth of flavor can change, but in general, if using an oak-aged American spirit you'll end up with a sauce that is woody and characterized by caramel with hints of vanilla. Be mindful that this sauce does contain alcohol and that you would need more than 3 hours of constant cooking to burn off all traces of it—our sauce only goes on the stove for 5 minutes—so this is a preparation that is not suitable for kids, pregnant women, or people who abstain from alcohol for personal or dietary reasons. You don't need to use top-shelf whiskey for this recipe, but simply a medium-range brand that you'd enjoy drinking, too. If you wouldn't drink it don't cook with it, as the flavors do translate to the sauce and there's not enough sugar or butter that can offset the flavor of cheap whiskey.

The whiskey sauce is perfect over slices of pound cake or pie. Enjoy it on ice cream with a few chopped nuts on top, or make a classic Mexican flan and drizzle some of this sauce for a beautiful finish.


  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons whiskey, or Bourbon or brandy; or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Cream butter and sugar together; blend in the beaten egg.

  2. Put mixture in top of a double boiler over gently boiling water and stir until thickened.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey, Bourbon, or brandy. Spoon warm sauce over pudding and serve.