Easy Vanilla Butter Sauce Recipe (2024)

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With 4 simple ingredients, this rich, buttery vanilla sauce is ready in less than 10 minutes. While it might seem basic and simple, the flavor is out of this world. Use this vanilla sauce for bread pudding, bundt cakes, regular cakes and it’s rather dreamy over ice cream.

Sauces can add so much moisture and flavor to baked goods; this vanilla sauce recipe is one you will want to keep handy; drizzle over pear bundt cake, Kentucky Butter cake, it takes this Cranberry Christmas cake over the top or this fan-favorite Cinnamon Swirl cake.

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I enjoy giving precise details in my recipe posts to lead my readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, use the Jump to Recipe to head straight there!

A little history behind this epic vanilla sauce

I have had a love affair with this sauce for over a decade. Back when my boys were toddlers, I was part of MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) and one evening, during a meeting, our hostess served us amazing pear cake slathered with vanilla sauce.

If I am honest, most of us thought, “uh, pear cake, how boring” but as the plates were handed out, this cake and sauce became legendary.

You could hear a pin drop as each woman, gracefully (or not) gobbled up this cake and vanilla sauce. Finally, one of the gals, said, “would it be rude if I licked my plate?” We all laughed and I am pretty sure each and every one of us ladies, licked our plates clean. THIS VANILLA SAUCE IS AMAZING!

I have been making it ever since, if you need a slam dunk dessert sauce, this is vanilla sauce is your recipe!

Simple Ingredients for Vanilla Sauce

  • Butter | Use real butter, remember if it’s soft coming out of the fridge it’s a blend, the results won’t be the same results.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream | Another must here, no fat-free stuff in this decadent vanilla sauce, uh-uh!
  • Sugar | I use all-natural cane sugar in my baking, but regular refined white sugar is fine, too.
  • Vanilla Extract | The good stuff, in fact, I encourage you to make your own homemade vanilla extract, try this bourbon vanilla too!

Get the full recipe in the recipe card below.

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I made bread pudding for 100 for a senior lunch and made this sauce to go with it. The seniors said it was the best sauce they ever had. A keeper for sure!

Janet

How to make vanilla butter sauce

In a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan (I like this one), over medium-low heat, melt the butter, sugar, heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and has a syrup consistency.

That’s it! The butter sauce will thicken as it cools, so if you need it thicker, just make ahead and allow it to cool.

Fresh Tips

  • It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
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Sauce is best served warm, it will thicken as it cools, so if you need it thicker, allow it to cool until desired consistency.

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What are the types of dessert sauces?

Here are 9 sauces you need to have the recipes for, these will serve you well to make a dessert a bit more fancy.

  1. Hot Fudge Sauce | A classic sauce! My favorite of favorites, over ice cream there is nothing better! Use on Mud Pie, drizzle over half baked chocolate chip cookies or on this easy Fried Ice Cream cake and of course for the class Hot Fudge Sundae!
  2. Salted Caramel Sauce | I’ve taken this one a step beyond and added a splash of bourbon, however; feel free to omit! Drizzle over Dutch Apple Pie, even in place of frosting these carrot cupcakes.
  3. Crème Anglaise | A classic dessert sauce, it will elevate any dessert! I love it on this Chocolate Bread Pudding.
  4. Easy Chocolate Ganache | An essential recipe in every bakers kitchen, keep it runny and use as a glaze on cakes or let it thicken up and slather between cookies, the sky is the limit with this amazing sauce.
  5. Butterscotch Sauce | A sticky, sweet sauce with that classic butterscotch flavor.
  6. Strawberry Sauce | Make this fresh strawberry syrup, in minutes! Pour over strawberry shortcake for wow!
  7. Blueberry Sauce | Made with fresh blueberries, this sauce is amazing, if you are looking for a syrup, try this one!
  8. Chocolate Shell | Yes, you can make this super simple chocolate shell, using a little coconut oil to help it firm up as soon as it hits the cold ice cream.
  9. Praline Sauce | Pour over pumpkin pie, any vanilla based bundt cake or snack cake, or over vanilla ice cream.
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Storage Tips

Seal this sauce in an airtight jar or container and tuck in the back of your fridge. It will last up to 2 months, maybe longer, do the sniff test. 🙂

How to reheat vanilla sauce

When ready to rewarm your sauce and use, place the contents in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Whisk in a splash of cream or a teaspoon of butter if needed.

Or you may microwave it, make sure it’s in a microwave-safe container and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each heating until hot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze vanilla sauce?

Yes, but honestly it will last in your fridge in a well-sealed jar for several months. Reheat when ready to use.

Why is sauce important in dessert?

The right sauce will enhance a dessert in both appearance of course added flavor. A sauce such as this vanilla butter sauce, can also add moisture to cakes and other baked goods.

How long will vanilla sauce last in the fridge?

Since this sauce has cream in it, I store it in the fridge. It will last in a well-sealed container for over a month, if not longer.

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Best Containers for Storing Sauce

I love WeckJars, I get asked about these jars all the time. These heavy glass jars are sturdy enough to stand up to high-pressure canning, yet pretty enough to give as a gift, like this DIY Sugar Scrub. Here are a few of my favorites, I might have a bit of a fetish with jars!

  • Mini Tulip Jars | I use these for gifting from hand scrubs, to pumpkin pie spice to these pumpkin yogurts.
  • 12.5 oz Tulip Jars | This is what I used in these pictures, a slightly larger jar perfect for gifting.

Variations

For a simple way to change up this sauce, you can use different types of vanilla or extracts, try these:

  • Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • Almond extract | try this one by Rodelle, so pure and good.
  • Use Vanilla Bean Paste for those gorgeous little flecks of vanilla.
  • Try using a teaspoon of rum, whiskey or brandy, yum!
  • Try a teaspoon or two of your favorite liqueur or cordial.
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How to use Vanilla Sauce:

  • Pour over any cake, like the pear cake above; especially delicious on vanilla-based cakes, you can pour on hot, for a glaze that will sink in; making the cake incredibly moist, or wait and drizzle it on for serving.
  • This vanilla sauce is incredible for bread pudding, or try over my friend Amy’s Sticky Toffee Pudding or this amazing Gingerbread Bundt Cake.
  • A little drizzle over this pumpkin spice cake would be dreamy!
  • Definitely over ice cream! It will harden slightly and get chewy, so delicious! Try it over my old fashioned chocolate ice cream or easy vanilla ice cream.
  • Fruit | Keep it simple; vanilla sauce is terrific over fresh fruit.
  • Drizzle generously over this Chocolate Croissant bake for more of a dessert than a breakfast!
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Try my other popular sauce recipes

  • BestHibachi SauceRecipe (Yum Yum Sauce)
  • Easy Secret Smashburger Sauce Recipe
  • Best Homemade Italian Marinara Sauce Recipe or my Grandpa Frank’s Spaghetti Sauce
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Easy Vanilla Butter Sauce Recipe

Vanilla sauce is ready in less than 10 minutes. While it might seem basic and simple, the flavor is out of this world. Use this vanilla sauce for bread pudding, bundt cakes, regular cakes and it's rather dreamy over ice cream.

4.82 from 38 votes

Click stars to rate now!

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Prep Time: 3 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 serving (approx 2 tablespoons)

Calories: 251kcal

Author: Kathleen Pope

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter use real butter, nothing soft coming out of the fridge
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream not fat-free, or heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar I used all-natural cane sugar but you can use white granulated
  • 1 ½-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

  • In a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan (I like this one), over medium-low heat, melt the butter, sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla.

  • Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and has a syrup consistency. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

  • Sauce is best served warm, it will thicken as it cools, so if you need it thicker, allow it to cool until desired consistency.

Last step! Leave a RatingRate this recipe here. This helps other readers and helps support this website.

Notes

STORAGE

Since this sauce has cream in it, I store it in the fridge. It will last in a well-sealed container for 1-2 months, if not longer. It may be frozen as well. If your sauce crystalizes at all, just place desired amount in a small saucepan, reheat over low heat, whisking constantly until warm and sugars have dissolved. If necessary, whisk in a teaspoon of cream or butter.

VARIATIONS

  • Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • Almond extract | try this one by Rodelle, so pure and good.
  • Use Vanilla Bean Paste for those gorgeous little flecks of vanilla.
  • Try using a teaspoon of rum, whiskey or brandy, yum!
  • Try a teaspoon or two of your favorite liqueur or cordial.

Ways to use Vanilla Sauce:

  • Pour over any cake, like the pear cake above; especially delicious on vanilla based cakes, you can pour on hot, for a glaze that will sink in making the cake incredibly moist, or wait and drizzle it on for serving.
  • This vanilla sauce is incredible for bread pudding, or try over my friend Amy’s Sticky Toffee Pudding.
  • A little drizzle over this pumpkin spice cake would be dreamy!
  • Definitely over ice cream! Any and all kinds, it will harden slightly and get chewy, so delicious!
  • Fruit | Keep it simple, vanilla sauce is amazing over fresh fruit.
  • Drizzle generously over this Chocolate Croissant bake for more of a dessert than a breakfast!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 19mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 573IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.03mg

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Easy Vanilla Butter Sauce Recipe (2024)
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