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If you love those Butterscotch Squares from your favorite candy shop…this recipe is for you!

Overhead shot of butterscotch squares in white bowl with title

I’ve mentioned before about my See’s Candy addiction. Growing up, a pound lasted less than a day. The chocolate factory is in my hometown, so that whenever I smell the inside of See’s store, I think I’m home.

If I had to pick one kind of See’s Candy to eat for the rest of my life it would be the Butterscotch Square. There would be no deliberation, hesitation, or hemming and hawing. Butterscotch Squares: they’re my favorite!

The boxes of See’s we’d get when I was a kid came with one butterscotch square. And it was mine – always. Everyone knew to back away from the square. My mom got the divinity, my dad the bordeaux. Me? I got the butterscotch square.

Of course, in true Dorothy fashion (and since I didn’t know the name for the longest time), called them brown sugar squares. I’d polish it off and then tell everyone I knew how much I hated butterscotch.

Yes, I’ve learned the error of my ways. Butterscotch and me, we’re BFFs.

And now I’ve made a copy cat of my favorite candy. So you can make it at home.

I’m not entirely sure if that’s good…or bad?

Stack of half eaten butterscotch squares in white bowl with title

The base of the recipe is a cooked mixture of butter, brown sugar and heavy whipping cream. When that trifecta boils together, you get a rich butterscotch candy.

Have you ever heard of penuche? This recipe is very similar to penuche candy/fudge. The difference is the amount of powdered sugar used at the end. Also, some of the penuche recipes I came across used evaporated milk. I tried that in this candy and it did not work. Learn from my mistake!

Overhead shot of butterscotch squares in white bowl

I did a lot of searching online for a copy cat recipe and kept coming up with the same base recipe (some with just a few changes or additions) over and over. I finally traced it back to the oldest one I could find, but I’m not sure where that one came from.

I do recommend using a candy thermometer for this recipe. The recipe I used as a guideline just gave times, and the first time I made this it really did not turn out. After doing some research on penuche, I realized I really did need to use my candy thermometer. They’re relatively inexpensive, and I highly recommend getting one. Using one also takes the guess work out of candy making. No more “is it done???” and praying; if you use the thermometer you know when it’s done!

A note about the finished candy: it’s very brittle. If you’re not careful when cutting it into squares, it will break into pieces. Here is how I suggest you cut it:

  • Use a large kitchen knife.
  • Remove the candy from the pan using the foil. Cut it in quarters. Some little pieces may break off.
  • Cut each quarter into slices, then cut each slice into squares. Make small cuts to avoid breaking the candy.

Then dip them in chocolate (I love using Candiquik) and enjoy! They’ll take you back to childhood, I promise.

And, like in childhood, I’m not sharing. 😉

Two picture collage of  butterscotch squares in white bowl with title

Overhead shot of butterscotch squares in white bowl with title

Butterscotch Squares {copycat recipe}

4.17 from 86 votes


  • 2 cups brown sugar I used light
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces melting chocolate for dipping such as Candiquik or almond bark


  • Line a 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Place brown sugar, cream, and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until melted. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to low and place a candy thermometer in the pot.
  • Stir occasionally and simmer until the mixture reaches 236º, about 7-8 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Whisk in powdered sugar. Pour into prepared pan and allow to set at room temperature (a few hours, but this can be done the day ahead).
  • When ready to cut, remove from pan. Use a large kitchen knife and cut the square into quarters. From here, use small cuts to cut them into small squares.
  • Be sure to use small but swift cuts. The candy is fragile and is prone to flaking and breaking, so a quick cut will make the candy stay together.
  • Melt chocolate according to package directions and dip each square, tapping off excess. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill to set.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

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Last Updated on May 13, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. I love this recipe! It is so close to See’s. I recommend milk choc chips from Ghirardelli for dipping. If you melt slowly in a plastic bowl in the microwave, it doesn’t break the temper and it’s real chocolate. Mmmmmmm!

  2. I make this regularly to give as gifts. But I cool it in the fridge and when it has set up but still soft-ish, I cut it with a pizza cutter. Then, when it’s fully firmed up it can be removed from the pan and dipped in chocolate.

  3. I want the recipe for butter scotch squares that we used to get in school. There was no chocolate or nuts in it at all. There was no peanut butter either.

  4. Great recipe, I followed it with the exception of dark brown sugar instead of light. I also poured the hot mixture into silicone gummy molds instead of a pan, then inserted toothpicks for easy chocolate dipping and not messing up cutting the squares and having them break up. Only thing I want to change is to try to thin out the chocolate a little, so the coating isn’t as thick.

  5. I’ve made these a few times and they’re delicious! My question is could you pour the hot liquid into silicone molds (like for gummies) instead of a parchment lines pan? I’m thinking this might cut down on the breakage and crumbling.