How to Make Brown Sugar Sauce

How to make homemade brown sugar sauce for pancakes and desserts. 

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This Brown Sugar Sauce is our homemade pancake syrup that the kids ( and I)  prefer to all else. It is more commonly used on Christmas puddings and the like (sometimes it’s boozy too) but in my family this is what we ate on pancakes growing up. I am positive that we ate this instead of syrup because we lived in the country and when you ran out of syrup you weren’t heading into town to get some.

This is fast, easy and you will soon love it more than pancake syrup!

Brown Sugar Sauce for pancakes in a small pitcher like container, stack of pancakes in white plate on the background

This is definitely a dessert sauce recipe that you should have in your repertoire. It’s not as sweet as regular syrup – and some kids that visit our house and eat it honestly don’t like it as much as syrup – but I like it SO much better. Perhaps you have to start kids on this first like I did and then they won’t have such a sweet tooth for the regular stuff? I’m not sure, but my kids and my nephew prefer it – basically anyone that has grown up eating this finds pancake syrup almost too sweet now.

close up of Brown Sugar Sauce in a small pitcher like container, stack of pancakes in white plate on the background
Brown Sugar Sauce

This will last in the fridge for a few days, but if you make a batch of my favourite Pancake Recipe From Scratch you will have lots of pancakes and be able to use up the sauce. I plan and make that recipe for two breakfasts (it makes 14 large pancakes) and the kids simply toast the leftover pancakes the next morning and reheat the sauce for anther meal that I don’t have to make. My kids drench their pancakes in this sauce, as do I.

Happy cooking! This is also what we use on my Grandma Marion’s Christmas Pudding Recipe, and I think that’s where it originated from, we just started using it on pancakes and French toast.


How to Make Brown Sugar Sauce

How to make homemade brown sugar sauce for pancakes and desserts. 
4.95 from 17 votes
close up of Brown Sugar Sauce in a small pitcher like container, stack of pancakes in white plate on the background
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Total Time
15 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water

Cornstarch Slurry

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


  • Combine the sugar and butter in a medium sized saucepan. Melt on medium heat, then bring to a bubbling boil, letting the sugar darken somewhat. Do not boil until it’s hard candy however.
  • Once the butter and sugar have started bubbling, let boil for another 2-3 minutes, then slowly and carefully pour in the hot water. It most likely WILL SPIT so be careful! 
  • Stir together and bring to a boil again. 
  • To thicken, combine the cornstarch and cold water, then whisk into the boiling brown sugar mixture. Cook until it thickens up slightly then remove from the heat. 
  • Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 134kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 59mg, Potassium: 27mg, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 175IU, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 0.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Charita Parker says

    Hi Karllyn, I live in the Canadian Praries , Saskatoon Saskatchewan . I am a Norwegian lady with all 4 Grandparents from Norway . Grew up with this exact same recipe , always on top of moms Carrot and potato Christmas pudding . Absolutely delicious . Never thought I would ever see this recipe published in my lifetime . All my norski cousins know this recipe as well .I can just eat it out of the jar . I’m 80 years old and eating like a Queen . Thank you for your lovely recipes . Have tried many . xxoo

  2. Cindy says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe Karlynn!
    My daughters mother-in-law made us a Christmas pudding to have on our Christmas. Growing up my mom always made one and we topped it with the sweet sweet sauce… So good! I’m sure when I make this sauce at Christmas to put on top of our pudding it will bring back great memories and make new ones for my family!5 stars

  3. Klaire says

    How long will this keep in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

  4. Jennifer Hardy says

    I love this sauce. It was so easy and is delicious! Thank you!5 stars

  5. Wendy says

    All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you Karlynn, I have looked for this recipe forever. My family always had it hot on Christmas pudding or spice cake. It was truly a family favourite for more years than I can count. I have googled everything to do with butterscotch sauce (which is what we called it) or caramel sauce, it never occurred to me that it was called brown sugar sauce. Thank you again

  6. Wendy says

    Might put a little less hot water next time but my family loved it!4 stars

  7. Marlene says

    Can I double the ingredients to make a lot of this sauce or will it turn out funky or wierd?

4.95 from 17 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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