butterscotch pudding popsicles

[It’s Popsicle Week, wherein I admit that I had something of a popsicle incident this summer, wherein incident = gotta a little carried away, made too many and now can’t let summer end without sharing the queue with you. This is Popsicle 2 of 3.]

Once you realize that popsicles are more than juice, frozen on a stick, but are in fact a format in which to reformat your favorite desserts, things go downhill. I mean, one minute, you’re slurping your summer away on fairly innocent banana purees and there’s not a thing on earth you would change, and the next minute, you’re wondering why none of your so-called loved ones have ever loved you enough to make you a strawberry cheesecake popsicles (something I came soclose to making last week but my husband begged me to give our freezer a break). I may have even assembled the ingredients for tiramisu popsicles before realizing that my husband had a point, that maybe things were getting out of hand? But it was too late for the butterscotch popsicles, which were already setting up in the freezer, and after he tried one, all the arguments stopped.

this is all you'll need to make butterscotch
this is how we make butterscotch sauce

Of course, who likes butterscotch pudding, anyway? I mean, yeech, right? Brown sugar, butter, cream and sea salt bubble together until dark and syrupy with the complex notes of everything worthwhile in this world (vanilla, brown butter, aged bourbon, kittens) then expanded with milk and a little thickener into a pudding that sets as it cools. I cannot imagine anything worse to eat. In Opposite Land.

this is butterscotch

it thickens! just a little. just enough.
cooling the butterscotch pudding batter

Here, I should give you the final hard sell on why you should make these. I could tell you how thick and creamy they are (rather than icy and drippy), how the butterscotch flavor does not get lost, that the sweetness, miraculously, doesn’t overwhelm (a rarity in Butterscotchlandia), that you can make them with the most generic baking ingredients. But, pshah, I’m not going to. If making them just because you can isn’t sufficient, well, all the more for us, right?

from the freezer
to unmold, a brief warm bath
butterscotch pudding popsicles
butterscotch pudding popsicles

Popsicles, previously: Fudge Popsicles; Banana, Nutella and Salted Pistachio Popsicles; Strawberry, Lime and Black Pepper Popsicles and Key Lime Pie Popsicles

What’s the difference between caramel and butterscotch? I break it down for you, over here.

UK Book Tour: Just in case you missed it, last week I announced a UK book tour the other side of the pond (no big deal) (SUCH A big deal). Early details over here; more to come. [The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook UK Book Tour]

Three years ago: Perfect Blueberry Muffins
Four years ago: Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza, Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting and Melon Agua Fresa
Five years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Six years ago: Double Chocolate Torte

Butterscotch Pudding Popsicles

No popsicle molds? You could any kind of tiny cup to mold them instead, but my favorite is a champagne flute for shape; you could even use those disposable plastic ones. When the mixture is halfway frozen, insert a popsicle stick and now no retro popsicle mold needs to come between you and Popsicle Week.

Yield: 8 (not the usual 10) 1/3-cup or 3-ounce popsicles

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, or to taste (use less of a fine sea salt)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Combine the cream, brown sugar and butter in the bottom of a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally in the beginning and more frequently as it reduces and thickens. You’ll know it’s done when it becomes a bit darker, more syrupy, and smells toasty.

Add cornstarch and slowly whisk in milk. Raise heat to medium. Cook mixture, stirring frequently, until it thickens slightly, anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and sea salt. Taste mixture and adjust salt, if needed.

Cool mixture to lukewarm before pouring into popsicle molds. You can hasten this along by setting the pot or bowl with the butterscotch pudding batter in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, and stirring it for a few minutes.

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze as manufacturer directs. If using makeshift molds, let popsicles freeze about halfway (30 to 60 minutes, depending on size) before inserting popsicle sticks, then freeze the rest of the way.

Popsicle molds: I use these guys. I have the metal version, which was all that was available when I bought them a couple years ago, but the metal parts are not dishwasher safe and don’t hold the popsicle sticks in place as well as I understand the plastic ones do, so if I were buying them again, I’d opt for plastic.

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225 comments on butterscotch pudding popsicles

    1. Emma

      you Instagram and the text before the recipe say bourbon, which drew me in, but it’s not in the recipe itself… how much bourbon? when is it added?

  1. Mia

    Hey! Just wanted to say I got your cookbook for Xmas and I love it!!! One question, Would this work if I used 2% milk instead of Whole?

  2. Killian

    Dammit, Deb. I was on the edge after the Key Limes, but now it’s just over. I HAVE to go buy those popsicle molds you have so I can make copious amounts of popsicles.


    I have chronic ear/sinus/tonsil problems, so I have an excuse to eat popsicles all year round, right? Right?

  3. Butterscotch Popsicles?? It’s like you have a window into my heart! Or possibly my stomach. These will be made this weekend & my boys will have fabulous things to say about my kitchen talents. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be taking all the credit.

    Also, your rice stuffed tomatoes were a huge hit!

  4. Petra

    Oh my goodness. I just ordered the popsicle kit along with 100 extra sticks a month ago. So after making 4 batches of the banana/nutella, 2 batches of the strawberry and today was key lime pop day, you mean to tell me the individual plastic pop holders can be removed from the base! I’M IN TRIPLE HEAVEN! Cannot wait to try these butterscotch pudding pops. You out of control Deb and we are thrilled to be making more delish pops!

    1. Maria V

      Ok. These are getting made!! I’m only mad that this only makes 8, when my mold is for 10…but I’ve already forgiven you:)

  5. Amanda

    Seriously, for someone who INSANELY loves butterscotch I never eat it. Why do I think that you would have to succumb to box mixes to get to enjoy it? I am making these!!

  6. Oh pllllleeeeease make tiramisu popsicles! After your key lime post I was complating how to make that work and the boozy cake part had me stymied. These sound/look amazing I loooove butterscotch pudding.

  7. 1. Woohoo for popsicle week!
    2. So excited for your UK book tour, I’ve just booked my train tickets to Bath.
    3. Did I mention woohoo for popsicle week? Omnomnomnom.

  8. deb

    Popsicle molds — Are from Norpro. I ordered them on Amazon a couple years ago. The metal lid ones look pretty, but the metal parts are not dishwasher safe, so I’d recommend the plastic ones instead. [Link]

  9. Stephanie

    Oh my. This sounds absolutely delicious. I’m going to try these in my Zoku popsicle maker. Have you tried that yet? I was skeptical, but it makes popsicles in about 10 minutes. Seriously. My in-laws got it for my daughters for Easter, and it’s been a hit. We pour in a little raspberry lemonade and 10 minutes later, voila! Popsicles. The only problem is you can only make 3 popsicles at a time…

  10. Ditto.
    How do you store them?
    The prospect of a big clunky rack with popsicles in the molds cluttering up my tiny freezer always deflates any aspirations I have to make them.

  11. JP

    Although butterscotch does sound delicious, would you please consider a chocolate variation because homemade fudgesicles that actually taste like chocolate would be marvelous! So glad I have my very old Tupperware popsicle set still (even though some of the plastic sticks are showing teeth marks from the kids!)…I like the size and shape of them and they do not take up much room in the freezer.

  12. Amanda

    Holy cow, girl! These popsicle recipes are awesome, keep ’em coming!
    I do think I will stick this one in my ice cream maker, though! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  13. Ohhhh Deb, this is phenomenal. I used to be the only on in my family who dug on butterscotch pudding, so these popsicles are a dream (and not in Opposite Land!)
    Sometimes though, I have issues getting my popsicles out of the molds. Is that photo above the popsicles soaking in some water so it’s easier to remove them? I feel like I need Hulk arms sometimes to get those babies out!

  14. jennyb

    Just made the strawberry lime pops and was wondering the same thing about storage, since now I am also pop-obsessed and want to make all the pops. Do you wrap the individual pops in plastic wrap or parchment, or just stick them all in a freezer bag? separate plastic baggies?

    @Ruthy, to get mine out, I’ve been running hot water over the molds of the ones I want to eat. Just takes a few seconds before those babies pop right out. Had no idea the molds came out of the tray, though, mine seem pretty locked in.

    1. John

      These look awesome. I’m trying them out this weekend for a family party. Hiw would one go about adding Bourbon to this recipe?

    1. deb

      To unmold — The photo above was just to unmold one (my molds let you pop them out, but it’s kind of hard and sometimes breaks their tops, which you can see happened to that one, so I wouldn’t recommend it, at least for the metal-topped model I have). To unmold all at the same time, I’d dip them in a warm bowl of water. I give them a tug every couple seconds to see if they’re loose yet because I don’t want to soften them any more thn absolutely necessary. If the stick comes out before the popsicle (boo!), they just weren’t frozen enough. You’ll want to freeze most popsicles for 5 to 6 hours, just to be certain they’re hard enough to unmold.

      To store popsicles — Here’s how I do it: I put a tray in the freezer and cover it with waxed or parchment paper, just long enough for it to get cold. I unmold all of the popsicles and place them on the tray, and refreeze them for 10 minutes out of their molds before putting them in a freezer bag. This extra step ensures that any melting/softening that happens when you unmold them doesn’t mess up their shapes or cause them to stick to one another. You can also separate them in their freezer bags by extra strips of waxed or parchment paper. Then you can wash the molds and use them again, for Popsicle 3 of 3 on Friday. :)

      susan — I have never used one before but don’t see why it wouldn’t. The important thing is to let the mixture cool to lukewarm (only a few minutes stirring over ice water) as I don’t imagine most popsicle molds are made to hold warm liquids.

      Laura — There’s no scotch in butterscotch; it’s the brown sugar that makes butterscotch different from caramel. See more.

      JP — Beat you to it.

      Sweets versus savory — I’m surprised at the number of comments and emails (well, just a few, but that’s a lot) I’ve gotten today complaining about all of the sweet recipes in a row for Popsicle Week. I thought it might be helpful to note that for the seven years of’s run so far, I’ve almost always alternated sweet and savory (usually dinner solutions, overwhelmingly vegetarian and almost exclusively seasonal with whole ingredients) recipes, because I enjoy cooking in both categories. I tried to be clear at the beginning of each post that this week is something different, a one-off feature just to switch things up a little. Knowing this was coming, I made sure the balance (someone once told me I like balance because I’m a Gemini? Heh, so be it!) of the month before this leaned towards great dinner solutions, though I think for the first time ever, there might be one more sweet recipe this month than savory. If you’re still looking for something savory, something you could make tonight, may I recommend…
      * Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes
      * Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts
      * Burst Corn Galette with Corn and Zucchini
      * Charred Corn Crepes (with a lot of different meal suggestions)
      … all from earlier this month?

      And please don’t miss the One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes from July, because I think it’s one for the yearbook. Plus, there’s a whole Summer category, all geared towards warm-weather cooking and produce. Enjoy!

  15. Julie

    Butterscotch is 2 of 3….hmmmmm….dare I to hope that some kind of peach popsicle is headed our way? (Please say yes….please say yes)

  16. sara-hare

    Hi Deb, what if I actually wanted to eat the pudding as pudding? Can I just put it to chill in the fridge instead of in the freezer? Or are there adjustments that should be made? Thanks so much!

    1. deb

      Hi sara-hare — I knew someone was going to ask. :) But, I still can’t say for sure. It would definitely need more thickener (maybe 3 to 4T?), and you’d probably then want to cook it longer to make sure it didn’t seem chalky. Otherwise, the proportions should be roughly correct. And it might seem a tad bit too sweet for pudding (though, I’m not positive). If so, you could drop the cream and sugar to 2/3 cup.

  17. sara-hare

    PS. Dang, I can’t believe people would be complaining about the sweet/savory balance – who cares?! It’s your blog! And it’s summer, and popsicles are nice, and so are you, and geez, some people should get a grip. Serious ingrates.
    Your comment form doesn’t think popsicles is a word. Shame on it, too.

  18. Christine

    Butterscotchlandia? Can we please move there?! I have been saying for years that all the best things are in butterscotch. I take pudding one step further by browning the butter… and definitely do not forget the bourbon. Think I could maybe add a verrry scant amount of bourbon here? A couple teaspoons maybe? No greedy babies here to share with. I think I’m going to try it. Can’t wait!

  19. Garima

    Hi Deb,

    Your popsicle obsession is perfectly timed for me since I bought these fantastic Zoku popsicle moulds just last month. These butterscotch ones are definitely getting a try this weekend! I was wondering if you have a recipe that can incorporate some sort of Tiramisu-ish flavors – Coffee, mascarpone, sugar in a popsicle as well. I’m a sucker for that flavor combination :)


  20. On behalf of those of us who are fussy and perfectionist, but too lazy to dig it out of you (and because I sorta hope you’re hooked up as an Amazon partner), could we have the link to that particular set of molds.. again, please? Maybe on #3, too, for those of us who can also add “supremely lazy” to that fussy-perfectionist description?

    1. deb

      Hi Marti — No problem! I linked to them again in Comment #24. And yes, I think next time I will remember to put them in the post.

      (True story: I play this “What are people going to ask and can I answer everything before they ask it?” game with myself before I post, not because I don’t like responding to comments but because being a mom makes you secretly delight in accurately anticipating needs. This time, I added all the previous popsicles as well as a whole side post about the difference between caramel and butterscotch, as well as a suggestion of what to do if you don’t have popsicle molds. So close!)

  21. Leslie

    I bought these Popsicle molds from Amazon, after reading tons of reviews on different ones and which worked best as far as getting Popsicles out, etc. I love them, because you don’t have to buy separate sticks, and they have drip catchers, which is nice for, the separate Popsicles will come out of the stand that holds them, so you can keep them in their molds, but still store them in a bag or in nooks and crannies in your freezer. I can’t wait for the third recipe on Friday! I’m going to the store today and can’t decide if I want to make these or the fudge pops first…

  22. I am currently as enamored with my brand-spanking new ice cream maker as you are with your popsicle molds. I was able to successfully alter the strawberry, lime, & black pepper pops to be a lovely scoopable sorbet with a bit of pectin & some corn syrup traded for some of the sugar. And I want to ice-creamify this amazing concoction, too. I know my husband would love it. Is there anything you’d suggest changing? Thank you!

  23. Heidi C

    That tiramisu popsicle idea has got to happen sometime. Please, Deb, you can’t just mention that and leave us hanging! Perhaps next summer when the too-many-sweet-recipes-naysayers have had a break?

  24. I CANNOT believe this post. As I was driving to work today, I thought, why not make butterscotch pudding ice cream? (I’m always thinking about what kind of ice cream to make next) After all, it’s just a custard, why not just leave out the cornstarch and freeze it? And just now, I was clicking through my blogroll to see what was new, and here is your post! This has made me very happy!

    1. deb

      Jello pudding pops — But I do! I do have a recipe for fudge pudding popsicles.

      Em — I don’t know if Australia is in the works but I would so love it if it were, too!

      Popsicle molds — I finally added a link at the bottom of the recipe to the popsicle molds I use.

  25. K

    How, oh how, could you do this to me? I was strong. Super human strong. Grownup strong through all the other popsicle recipes. But butterscotch? In popsicle form? I’ve just barely got my summer corn and tomato pie obsession from last year under control and now you hit me with this? You’ve done me in. What’s next? A whiskey sour-sicle? Wait. That sounds gooooood. I wonder….

  26. Amy P

    Alex, no! We need her to tell us how to make tiramisu popsicles!
    Also, you’ve reminded me to attempt an ice cream made with that speculaas cookie spread. Mmm. That’ll be good autumn ice cream!

  27. Limes

    If I make this, and I probably will, I am not sure that the deliciousness will make its way to the molds. It’s not my fault I loves all the sugar!

  28. Beth

    Whew! And I thought all I was going to have to worry about this week was making every peach recipe in your repertoire with the peck of peaches I hauled home today! Now I have two kinds of popsicles that, alas, I must make as well. And probably I should stick a dinner or two in there for a bit of balance. Or I could just eat popsicles for dinner and blame it on pregnancy like everything else.

  29. Yet another Anna

    Until all this popsicle stuff started, I was apparently content to just let those unwanted-in-the-first-place leftovers clutter the freezer, but now? Actual motivation to do something about it.

    Thanks, deb!

    (Never let it be said you didn’t do something helpful with your popsicle posts.)

  30. Brown sugar, butter, cream and sea salt bubble together until dark and syrupy with the complex notes of everything worthwhile in this world (vanilla, brown butter, aged bourbon, kittens)…

    Wait, I didn’t see kittens in the ingredients list!

  31. Em

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Looking very yummy!!! Congrats on the book tour of the UK, when are you coming to Australia??? (Sorry about all the exclamation points and question marks, but I am THAT excited/curious!)

  32. Rebekah

    You got me. I broke down yesterday when you posted part 1 of 3. I was kind of on the fence before, thinking I should get molds for my sister, but after yesterday I threw caution (and my money) to the wind and bought the mold you linked to. It should arrive soon. Ideally before Labor Day. So that I could spend Labor Day (in Nor Cal, where it is strangely 57 in the morning but 81 at 5pm) waiting impatiently for my popsicles to freeze.

    I want to hug you. Instead, I will cheers you with whatever popsicle I make (and maybe do an after-bedtime dip).

  33. Betsy

    I just recently figured out that dairy now makes my eyes and nose run and itch. AND that wheat is what has been causing my skin rashes. Becoming a woman “of certain age” was supposed to bring wisdom not food intolerances! I wonder if soy creamer would work in place of dairy in some of the popsicles?

  34. susan

    I can’t believe you took us here! Here is good, better than good, even, but where was butterscotch when you made ice cream cake? You got me to dreaming up ways to incorporate butterscotch into a grown-ups version of that special occasion delight. So…here I go again. Any thoughts?

  35. You always come up with those outrageous flavours. To me anyway. These are flavours you absolutely cannot find in stores over here. I still haven’t gotten myself some popsicle molds yet. Can’t find them! Ah well, we are in tropical weather so popsicles are legit any time of the year. I can make and eat this whenever I want!

    1. John Cambria

      These look awesome. I’m trying them out this weekend for a family party. Hiw would one go about adding Bourbon to this recipe?

  36. Jessica

    Hi Deb,
    Please consider this my official plea for you to post nothing but popsicle recipes for the rest of this month. Because YES.

  37. Cecilia

    Hi Deb,

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your receipes, wit and pictures, thank you for bringing all these good things to us, I can never get enough of smitten kitchen!
    One question: I love your popsicles ideas, but I do not have the molds and recently invested in an ice-cream maker that I love. Could I use the receipes your propose for popsicles to churn ice-cream in my machine instead? Thanks for your advice!

    1. deb

      Cecilla — Good question. I suspect that some would freeze better than others. All are a bit thinner than ice cream custards (often with egg yolks) so they may not be as rich. But they’re also thicker than most popsicles (these especially) so it might be just fine. In any case, the flavor would be great, the texture just might not be as creamy and thick.

  38. Leah

    Strawberry shortcake popsicle recipe please? I have the Paletas book coming soon, so if it’s in there, I can wait. I am curious how you incorporate the shortcake part as I have only failed miserably when trying to make ice cream cake. Frozen cake=yuck.

  39. Sarah B

    Last night I dreamt of cheesecake popsicles with a full toppings bar of infinite possibilities. As you can imagine, I woke up quite disappointed that there were no such popsicles in my freezer. It’s all your fault.

  40. I must confess that I simply ended up with key lime pudding. We don’t have popsicle molds and Oakland doesn’t demand frozen desserts in August the way NYC does. But I was thinking how very close you were coming to my absolute favorite as a kid: pudding pops. And then you went ahead. Yet another example of you seeming to read my mind. How serendipitous.

  41. Amy

    I have an allergy to cane sugar, so brown sugar is out of the question for me (sigh). I typically substitute palm sugar for can, but haven’t found a great sub for brown sugar. Would it work with palm sugar? It would be more caramel flavor than butterscotch (double sigh).

  42. Deb, I just simultaneously realized that, 1) it’s been far too long since I’ve had a popsicle, and 2) it’s been far too long since I’ve had pudding. These pudding pops are the answer!

  43. Bethany

    Hi Deb!
    BAH these look incredibly delicious. Do you think it would be possible to substitute almond milk for the milk in the recipe?

  44. Sarah U

    Thanks for ending summertime in an officially awesome and lip-smackingly delicious way:) Speaking of savory, I made the one-pot-wonderful farro dish (first time using farro) last weekend with my neighbor’s tomatoes and it was DELICIOUS. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to making it again this weekend with quinoa – only because I’m out of farro!

  45. Leslie

    I just finished off one of these, and while the flavor was divine, the texture was kinda weird. They were definitely creamy and rich, but they left kind of a filmy after taste in my mouth that I didn’t really like. I was thinking perhaps it was the cornstarch, but your fudgesicles recipe has the same amount and those didn’t leave this same after taste…perhaps it was the butter? Maybe because there’s so much butter it leaves a weird texture? I don’t know…I will still eat them because the flavor of the butterscotch is amazing, but I’d like to try and figure out what makes that texture. Would you get the same butterscotch flavor with less butter? Perhaps half the amount?

    1. deb

      Leslie — Yikes, I’m sorry you found that. I hadn’t noticed it in my batch but I’m definitely going to take note of it if anyone else mentions it in the comments. There was butter in the fudge ones, too, but it was added at the end. Maybe?

  46. ohhhhhh myyyyy… (a la, George Takei). Please believe these are getting made tonight with mini water cups and plastic knives as I don’t yet have popsicle molds. As such, remedying this problem is easy as 1-2-3 thanks to your rec on Until the molds arrive, the DIY method should suffice :) I cannot wait to try these bad boys, and your blog looks awesome, so glad I found it on pinterest!! Keep up the goods! My kitty mr. boba fett thanks you for the recipe too ;)

  47. Tamar

    Deb! First of all, I made a concord (OK, it was “Thom-Cord” grapes from Trader Joe’s because real concords aren’t in season here yet) last week and it was delicious. Grapes didn’t get too runny and it wasn’t to hard to keep them from falling out of the dough.
    Second of all, and popsicle related: what do you think about a peanut butter and jelly popsicle?? Thought of this concept last night and have been salivating at the thought! A peanut butter pudding pop seems pretty simple but not sure how to go about making the jelly/jam portion. Thoughts? Thanks for all the popsicle recipes! About to make the butterscotch to have over the weekend.

  48. RG

    Ah, but the thing stopping me from making this isn’t the lack of molds but my inability to consume all things milk. Would soymilk work just as well? Is there a non-dairy version of heavy cream? Can there be a butterscotch heaven for those who cannot consume the butter?

  49. Nancy

    Now, I read all the comments for most of the recipes on this blog, and I can’t help but think these popsicle commentators are a particularly witty bunch of people. I’ve been chuckling my way through their comments…

  50. Lauren

    Like others- I have resisted… but since I have sold my house and am moving this month I have been going through a lot of “stuff”..and lo and behold the old Tupperware popsicle mold from the 80’s surfaced …so I have determined that it was FATE that made me find them during “Popsicle Week” ( good as new BTW…) and now greed and gluttony will make me make all of these recipes! My kids will never even know, but both always had “kitten” radar ( as did I) so it is a darn good thing that the worlds cutest and most entertaining animal is NOT on the ingredients list… or I would have to ‘fess-up and then probably SHARE. When we had a kitten ( or several) in the house it was the only sure-fire way to guarantee that the TV would be turned off in favor of what we lovingly called “the kitten show”.

  51. JP

    @Tamar#118: If not peanut butter and jelly, how about a peanut butter popsicle dipped in chocolate, perhaps using one of those homemade magic shell recipes with chocolate and coconut oil I have seen about lately? I don’t think you can fail with that peanut butter chocolate mix. ;)

  52. Brian

    This sounds like a great recipe. Actually since I went corn free, I haven’t had any pudding at all. I would even enjoy butterscotch pudding. Because I am allergic to corn, could I substitute potato flour or arrowroot flour for the corn starch or do you have a better alternative? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Brian — I think arrowroot works best as a cornstarch substitute. Both are supposed to, but potato starch’s bond seems especially fragile so arrowroot is the safer bet.

  53. katy lesser

    deb, have you seen the ZOKU popsicle situation? I call it a “situation” because it’s so much more than just a popsicle mold. anyway, do you think it would work for these? they look fantabulous!!!!

    1. deb

      zoku — I haven’t tried it but have heard about them enthusiastically from you guys. Not the in the market for new molds just yet. ;) Unless the manufacturer says otherwise, I see no reason you cannnot put any popsicle mixture in there that you could put in other molds.

  54. Deb. oh. my. god. I just pulled these from their molds and ate the little half one that I ran out of pudding for. And then I died and went to popsicle heaven.

    Even though I already made the strawberry ones and the key lime pie ones, I like these the best. So, as with basically every Smitten Kitchen recipe, thank you for bringing amazing things from your kitchen to mine. I feel like the majority of my recipes are your recipes, and they always rock.

    Thank you from the bottom of my very well-fed heart. <3

  55. I made these the other night after deciding I could no longer resist. I was a little disappointed – not in the flavor (they were delicious) but in the cornstarch. Whenever I work with cornstarch it usually requires you to mix it with a little of the milk first to create a slurry, then add it in. Since these directions just had you dumping the cornstach in followed by the milk, I went for it.

    Well, now I’ve got hard little lumps of frozen cornstarch throughout my otherwise fantastic popsicles. :( But I’m not deterred – they are so butterscotchy-delicious I’ll give it another go and I’ll mix the cornstarch with a little of the milk first.

    1. deb

      Brittany — I’m sorry you had lumps. I can assure you, I was convinced this would be a problem the last time I made a popsicle like this. (The fudge ones.) But every time I made it, it cooked right in with the milk and there was nary a lump. I didn’t have any lumps here, either (and my cornstarch is very lumpy). So, that was a total of four+ testing rounds with no lumps, thus, I felt confident telling people they didn’t need a slurry, just to give you some background, even if it’s little consolation.

      Grittiness — Yikes, I’m sorry this happened for a few of you. So, I was at a friend’s place this evening, my friend Anna who is a pastry chef, and she thinks that it’s that the cream and butter go in too soon and that the cream might be splitting a little, which makes sense. She thinks it’s best to start by just melting and caramelizing the brown sugar first, then stirring in the butter and cream the way you would with a regular caramel sauce [like we do here], which makes a ton of sense, right? I *hope* to have time to retest these tomorrow and let you guys know. Do understand, I hate it when things like this happen (i.e. publishing a recipe then post-publishing retesting, of little consolation) but it does from time to time. I hope the end flavor of the popsicles makes up for the slightly off texture.

      1. Amy

        So what’s the new recipe? I made these before reading all the comments and mine were gritty :( not smooth & delicious :((

        Should I follow this technique instead? Do you ever bring the cream to a boil?

        1. Jen

          I’m wondering this as well.

          I made these years ago when they came out, and had the same issue with the filmy texture. Flavor was great, but the mouthfeel on these…ick.

          Having read through all the comments, I’m still a bit unsure where to go from here. I really want to re-try but the memory of the last time has me nervous.

        2. Stacey

          Did you guys make the slurry with the cornstarch, or just throw it in like it called for? I wonder if that was the issue. Hard to tell how to do the cream….maybe just make sure it gets hot, not a full boil? IDK lol. I think that’s how I’ll try making them, but I gotta get some molds first, hopefully tomorrow

  56. Jenny

    Does that mean we can have the tiramisu-Popsicles after all?? Because I may need them for my life to be complete. Though these look amazing enough to keep me going in the meantime!

  57. Cara

    We’re having a bunch of people over tomorrow, so I’m using popsicle week as an excuse to go crazy. So far I’ve made the key lime ones and now I just made these and stuck them in the freezer. Once they are solid, I’m on to a peach-ricotta recipe of my own creation. Can’t wait to serve them tomorrow! Thanks Deb!

  58. holy creamy delicious. butterscotchlandia is an insane place to be. a deliciously insane place!!! also, my mind was just BLOWN that you can remove each pop individually. i have the same popsicle mold and have been holding different sections under hot water under the sink… oh my.

    LOVING these popsicle posts, deb!!!

  59. Krista

    I got kind of a weird texture like Leslie did. I’d probably describe it as a little grainy? They were delicious and creamy and we loved them, but I couldn’t quite shake the worry that there was something a bit off. Could something in the cooking process cause that (too hot during a step? not hot enough during a step?)? Thanks for popsicle week!!!

  60. Jen L.

    Like Leslie, I had the texture issue. The flavor was amazing, but they left a strange coating in my mouth that was off-putting, and my boyfriend had the same issue. I used all fresh ingredients and followed the instructions exactly… I’m about to eat another one so it clearly hasn’t deterred me entirely, but I probably wouldn’t make them again. Anyway, this is the first recipe out of the 100+ I’ve made from your site that I didn’t absolutely love, thanks!!

  61. Savanarola

    We eat this great stuff in Mexico called Cajeta – it’s caramel made from goat’s milk. It’s SUPER with salt. New York City has to have it somewhere: you can get jars of it. Give it a try, and you will see what I mean — it practically cries out to be mixed into a frozen yogurt pop with a touch of fleur de sel.

    And these butterscotch things sound overwhelmingly fantastic!

  62. Topol

    The butterscotch mix is lushly delicious — a little smoky, not too sweet, and creamy.

    Unfortunately, my popsicles don’t seem to freeze solidly. These are indeed pudding pops and not, say, ice pops. I may make them in ramekins in the future.

  63. Stacy

    Leslie – I made these today and had the same texture issue you did. They left a filmy layer on my mouth. I loved the flavor and had trouble stopping eating the mixture before putting it into the pops. But, once they were frozen and we ate them, they were very disappointing in the end! And, I used 2% milk to try to lighten them up, I can’t imagine how fatty they would be if we had used the whole milk the recipe called for!

    This was a great Butterscotch Pudding recipe, but I’d refrain from making them into popsicles.

  64. Molly

    Ditto Stacy and Leslie’s comments. The flavor was divine, but texture was less than ideal- cornstarchy and waxy/buttery/filmy feel after each lick. Of course this did not stop us from finishing every last butterscotchy drop, but we were wishing we had just made it into pudding instead of frozen pops so we didn’t have that frozen waxy feel in our mouths. Sad thing summer’s practically over b/c the flavor is so epic that I want to keep experimenting with these. I’ll have to remember for next summer. Thanks Deb!

  65. Lyell

    Not so much with the Zoku – we tried last night and it was just too soft the sticks kept popping out. But we scooped it all out and added it to ice cream maker and it was divine!

  66. Topol

    I did not have the gritty texture some have experienced. The popsicles are luscious, and have a (very) satisfying fatty feeling no doubt from the butter.

    Mine were a variation on the Smitten Kitchen recipe. I no longer keep brown sugar in the house but use white sugar and molasses instead. The difference between white and brown sugar is basically the presence of molasses. To make regular brown sugar, add 1 Tablespoon of molasses to 1 cup of white sugar. Add more when you want darker brown sugar, less for lighter brown sugar.

    I’ve found that the molasses brings a richer flavor, and a hint of smoke. Of course, it also saves me having to buy light, regular, and dark brown sugars.

  67. Nikki

    I can’t wait to make these!

    But Deb… I’m going to be devastated if we don’t get that tiramisu Popsicle recipe before long. I can’t wait another year!

  68. Kris

    hi deb – thanks for all that you do! i noted that you gave sara-hare the means to transform this into a butterscotch pudding recipe; any chance we could have a pudding week once the weather gets a little cooler?? i’m hoping to be able to cobble together a decent butterscotch pudding based off of this recipe and your 2010 caramel pudding recipe, but it would be lovely to have a deb-tested and approved butterscotch pudding…. :)

  69. Oh. My. God. I made these this afternoon, left the house for work, thought about them at work, thought about them as i was biking home, walked in the door, didn’t even take off my shoes and headed straight for the freezer. They are creamy. Dreamy creamy. If there were such a thing as a *sweet* Umami taste, this is it. Perfectly balanced and rich and just- AUGH. I didn’t have any texture problems, waxy film residue in my mouth, or gelling issues. I used Tovolo pop molds that I bought at Whole Foods. I did take your friend’s advice and pre-caramelize the brown sugar before adding the butter. I wasn’t sure how long to caramelize them, but mine came out pretty dark, and i loved the deep toasty flavor. I also took the preventative measure of making a cornstarch slurry with the milk. Maybe those things helped? Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love your blog and cookbook with a passion.

  70. Kyla

    That does it! I thought the key lime pie popsicles looked divine, but I know my husband will wail and gnash his teeth if I buy more “kitchen clutter” so I resisted buying popsicle molds, but these….. oh, they look amazing. Surely he won’t mind me buying some if I make these for him?

  71. Sandra

    Deb-it never ceases to amaze me how your posts always seem to coincide with whatever food item or obsession I’ve got going on lately! We just got back from a week in Oregon where we went not once, not twice, but three times to Irving Street Kitchen where they serve this incredible butterscotch pudding with a caramel topping. I will be making these in the hopes they rekindle the awesome deliciousness we experienced in Portland. Also, I second the pudding week idea suggested by a reader above.

  72. These butterscotch popsicles look simply divine. Butterscotch is one of my favorite puddings and I would never have thought of making popsicles. Yummy for the tummy!

  73. Theresa

    Echoing the delicious-but-strange-filmy-texture comments. I hadn’t thought before reading the comments that maybe it was the butter causing the filminess – I assumed it was the corn starch, and wanted to ask to potentially sacrilegious question of whether the cornstarch is necessary, since the butterscotch mixture is being frozen rather than thickened into pudding. Again, like most everyone else, the slightly off texture has not stopped me from eating these, they are rich and sweet and a great idea, Deb!

    1. deb

      Hi Theresa — It’s not the cornstarch, but you can skip it if you wish. It makes the mixture more thick and pudding-like, creamy. I’m 99% sure it’s the cream curdling, but I’m having such a busy couple weeks, I haven’t been able to retest this and get it right. :(

  74. Leslie

    Alrghty Deb, just now decided to check back and read through the comments, and perhaps your friend was right. The flavor was so amazing, that I’m totally going to re-test these tonight if I have enough dark brown sugar left. Tho I’m wondering if you don’t do the butter with the sugar if you’ll get as good of a flavor since you’re not “browning the butter” along with the sugar? I’m going to try it anyway and let you know how it goes. I was like others and totally ate all the popsicles anyway cuz the flavor was so amazing, but wouldn’t have made them again. I did however find a butterscotch pudding recipe from David Lebowitz, and while it had the same amazing flavor (tho was too sweet, I’d reduce the sugar next time), I got a gritty texture :/, a problem I’ve never had before when making pudding. But, I did use your technique and add the butter with the sugar in the beginning, thinking it would give it a better flavor as with the popsicles. Obviously tho, that doesn’t work for whatever reason. I’ll let you know how the popsicles turn out without that :). Do you think you need to let the sugar cook as long? In the David Lebowitz pudding recipe, he says to only cook the sugar once melted for a couple minutes as opposed to 10.

  75. Leslie

    And I’m relieved to know I wasn’t the only one with that weird filmy texture. It wasn’t gritty at all by the way, just left a weird film in your mouth that was as others said, “off putting”…it was still as smooth as can be. Anyway, hoping that adding butter and cream later works.

  76. ash

    I halved the recipe and did what some other commentators suggested: caramelised the sugar first, then added butter before adding the cream. I also made a cornstarch slurry before adding it to the mixture with 2% milk. Got three popsicles! It has a fantastic, cushiony texture really reminiscent of pudding.

  77. StephanieR

    I made these after reading through all the comments and decided to follow the updated approach, adding the butter and cream after the sugar had melted. It worked wonderfully well and all 8 popsicles didn’t even last the weekend! Everyone loved their creamy texture and toasty flavor.

  78. Christina

    I can’t seem to stop making these now! The first time I tried, I was worried they would be too sweet, but freezing them curbed the sweetness a little bit. They didn’t freeze solid, but we didn’t care; we scooped it out of the molds and ate it like ice cream, which was just as good. They turned out super rich and creamy. The second time I made them, I tried cooking the sugar first and then adding the butter and then cream, and it changed the flavor completely! Not in a bad way at all, though–but it went from butterscotch to toffee. Both are delicious, so I’ll probably switch back and forth between techniques depending on my mood. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  79. Sabina

    I wish I’d read the comments before making these and browned the sugar first. I, too, got the grainy texture and the weird film in my mouth and on my lips. It feels like I’ve been sucking on a butter stick after I finish one. I’m not sure where I went wrong, it sounds like many people didn’t have these problems.

    Anyway! I’m sorry for the slightly negative comments. I don’t want you to think I’m a jerk, I just want others to know that things can go wrong. I’m on a popsicle-making streak and I’ve made almost all of the recipes you’ve posted on here in the past week! This is the only one I wouldn’t try to make again.

  80. Oh my goodness that looks unreal! It is now my mission in life to make a vegan version. It shouldn’t be too hard, just with some substitutions. It will probably taste a little different but anything close to what you’ve pictured above is worth it! :)

  81. Hila

    Hi Deb, I have a question about you popsicle molds- I made both these popsicles and the key lime pie ones, and liked the idea so much I want to buy good molds and make pops that actually look like pops and not the weird shapes I have now :P
    On Amazon, some owners of the plastic version of your molds told me that a single mold cannot be separated from the batch, but I see in your photos that you did- is this a feature of the aluminum-lid molds, or did you customize them yourself? I really want to get them, but as I live in Israel and the delivery rate is a bit high I want to make sure I’m getting exactly what I want.

    1. deb

      Hi Hila — I only have the metal ones so I don’t know if the plastic ones can be separated; if reviewers say they can’t be, I’d listen to them, but I also don’t know why they’d be different. It’s not easy to separate the metal ones; I don’t think you’re really supposed to, I just live on the edge (ha) and do it anyway, and have the cracked edge of one to show for it.

  82. Martha Magarey

    A Christmas pudding popsicle! The answer to Australian summer temperatures vs English Xmas traditions (Hi Deb, so much fun – I’m doing the entire vegetable list each night for the next forever!!) So a pudd usually has nuts and alcohol soaked fruits in it – I’ll leave out the pennies. Plan is to make the mixture using the butterscotch recipe with some twiddling for brandy custard inclusion – let the wild experimenting begin! Can anyone tell me whether including alcohol will affect the freeze?

  83. krista

    my kids and i made these today with the recommended alteration of melting the brown sugar first. the texture was amazing and perfect! the flavor was a bit too strong for us grown-ups, but the kids didn’t have a single complaint. maybe i cooked my brown sugar a little too long? might try to use a bit less next time and cook it a little less as well. i used the same mold as deb, and it worked great. will be trying these again!

  84. Susan

    For butterscotch pudding, you have to try the one from America’s Test Kitchen. Different technique than the typical cornstarch pudding and a little more involved (but can be simplified) but I am sold. It really cooks that brown sugar and butter, practically candies it, before diluting it to a workable base. They use 1 tsp of rum with 2 tsps. of vanilla for flavor. It was awesome! I wrote it out from the TV show but I’m sure it must be online, somewhere.

  85. Priscila

    These are the best popsicles I’ve made yet. I bought the Paletas book and it is wonderful and delicious, but these are the best. Yum. Thank you so much!

  86. Shante

    I made these today with milk instead of cream, and they still came out delicious! The texture was quite lumpy (maybe due to the same problem others had?) but it didn’t bother me at all. I’m excited to try the other recipes as soon as I get the ingredients!

  87. Adrienne C

    When my children aren’t listening and run away from me in crowds I always threaten, er warn them “If you don’t stay in sight you’ll be stolen by a family who doesn’t make cookies!”. Now I need to add “doesn’t make popsicles” to the threat!

  88. Yet Another Anna

    What? You can’t NOT make strawberry cheesecake popsicles!! Tiramisu? You must!!

    I hope you come to your senses and get back to work on these treasures very soon!

    (How about a popsicle cookbook?)

  89. Carly

    I followed the suggestion in the comments to cook the sugar first, as if making a caramel, and I can confirm these Popsicles come out delicious– no weird texture, just like the richest gelato Popsicle. I would write more but I need to go make sure my husband doesn’t eat the last one (this pregnant lady called dibs). Thanks!

  90. Julie

    Don’t judge me…but how could I add alcohol to these? Ratio? It has become a tradition at my toddler’s birthday party to have adult popsicles and kiddie popsicles. Rum or bourbon would work well in these!

  91. Lise

    OK, I haven’t had the desire to make popsicles in forever. That situation has just changed, NOW. Gonna have these….very very soon. THANK YOU!

    1. deb

      Kristen — You can add a splash if you so desire. The kind will not matter. All bourbon is aged so it’s a bit of wordplay. Everyone has their favorites (I like Basil Hayden and Blanton the most.)

  92. Anna

    Sad to report that I also got the weird mouthfeel, probably because I was so darn excited to make these that I didn’t read the comments first. Funny because I didn’t get it at all when I made the fudgesicles last week. They are still so delicious, but I think next time I’ll just make the actual pudding.

  93. Karissa

    Hey! These look delicious – just wondering about how much bourbon you’ve found to be delicious and when you added it in the recipe??

  94. Kristen

    my question: in the past when I printed any of your recipes, there were generous borders on both sides of the paper. Now when I print the left margin is so small I can’t think about putting hole punches in it to store in my binder. I don’t see that I have any control to change this. Is there something you can do on your end?

  95. Jenna

    SOoooOOOOO good!! I read something about weird mouthfeel on other reviews, but I didn’t have that issue at all. I followed the recipe and ended up using the max time listed (used full 10 minutes for both cooking intervals). They were so pudding-y and fudgy in texture. My guests loved them too (Unfortunately! No left overs for me!). Also random sidenote: I wish I’d bought the molds Deb uses, but I didn’t read the recipe until it was too late. So if you’re using the Zoku Classic pop molds like I did, this fills 4 molds with just a little excess left. (Although after I licked the bowl, I found there was no excess).

  96. Megin

    I’m making this now, just waiting for them to freeze before eating them tonight. It was all I could do to NOT eat it directly from the pot. So delicious!!!
    I’ve made a number of recipies from this site, and they always turn out amazing. Thank you, Deb!

  97. Angela

    I know this recipe is super old, but maybe you’ll see this question anyways. Do you think that this would also work in an ice-cream maker instead of popsicle molds?

  98. Ashby

    These were mixed bag for me – on one hand, the flavor is AMAZING, super rich and delicious without being too sweet (once frozen). Alas, mine also had grainy texture, and they never froze up totally – they were solid enough to eat as a popsicle, but barely. I made the key lime pie pops at the same time, though, and THOSE were perfection on a stick.

  99. Hello, I made these and had an issue removing the popsicles from the molds – only the stick came out. After reading the comments I saw the suggestion that the popsicles weren’t frozen enough but they had been in the freezer for over a day. And, I tried awfully hard to remove them slowly and soak them in warm water beforehand, etc. So I was wondering if perhaps I cooked the custard too long and there wasn’t enough water (?) to allow the pudding to adhere to the wooden stick? Should I be soaking my sticks ahead of time? Or, maaayybe my decision to add toasted pecan pieces disrupted the binding abilities of the pudding?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated, I’d love to make these again successfully.

    1. deb

      Not sure how your freezer is, but mine has warmer and cooler parts. Closer to the front, ice cream, for example, always stays scoopable. In the middle or back, it gets hard. I’m wondering if there’s a better spot for your popsicles to be in. I can’t imagine that binder or wetness should really matter. I assume you’re using regular (wooden) popsicle sticks, right?

      1. Hi Deb, thanks for replying! I’m really excited and wish I had seen sooner. My freezer is old and might not be cold enough but they seemed thoroughly frozen, my ice creams freeze well, and the yogurt berry swirl pops were removed without issue. I did use regular wooden sticks, purchased at Target in the craft section…and my mold is the same as your (old) plastic one with the stainless top (but I purchased it at a thrift store). Next time I will try cooking the custard for less time and see if that helps. My thinking there is that with the right amount of water there would be more ice crystals to make the popsicle more crystalline and rigid (?? psuedo ice cream science). Thanks again for taking the time to reply :)

  100. Patty Arroyo

    You mention aged bourbon? Would love to add some here. I wonder how much could be added without affecting the texture and solidity of the freeze?

  101. Christine

    The flavor of these popsicles was wonderful but I also found the texture gritty when they were made. I read Deb’s comment about making them like a regular caramel sauce. I combined the brown sugar and butter, brought it to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then, I whisked the cornstarch into the whole milk and cream and added that mixture to the brown sugar and butter and followed the rest of the recipe as written. The popsicles turned out absolutely fabulous. I will definitely be making them again.

      1. Trae

        Good afternoon Kristen! I make butterscotch and caramel all the time and what Deb describes as boiling is correct. Check out the third picture in the main body of the text and you can see it in action. Don’t do it too fast and never leave sugars cooking when you can’t devote your full attention to them. There are some delicate temperature ‘check points’ for arriving at different consistencies for various candies and desserts. I hope this helps some.



      2. Shawnah

        I noticed that the Instagram post for the butterscotch pudding popsicles mentioned aged bourbon, but I didn’t see any alcohol listed in the recipe. Could you recommend an amount and when to add it?

  102. Christina

    I made this a couple weeks ago and loved them. One problem I had was with the corn starch not mixing in correctly. It clumped up and I wasn’t able to get all the clumps out. So my popsicles had some small balls of cornstarch in them. Next time I would take the time to make a slurry with it and some of the cream so I don’t get lumps!

    1. Christina

      I also used Popsicle molds from Target! Koji brand I think. You can remove them from the base which is really nice.

  103. Meghan

    I really should have read the comments before I made this recipe. I followed all of the instructions, but it was lumpy and not from the cornstarch. I didn’t even bother freezing them because the texture was clearly so off. I’ve been dreaming of butterscotch popsicles for weeks, and I’m so disappointed.

  104. Sophie

    Ok, so I was so excited to make these… and the taste is delicious, if a bit sweet for my taste, think I would cut the sugar by a third! The weird thing is, I just ate my first one today, and as I was eating it, there was the weirdest texture, and something was coating my mouth and sticking to the roof of it. I realised the butter was separating from the popsicle. I don’t know hot on earth that happens! But it was very unpleasant, did you not experience that? Like I ended up chewing on straight butter. I think if I attempted making something like this again I might have to skip the butter and just get the butterscotch taste from the cream and sugar. I’m curious about how scientifically the ingredients managed to separate from a mixture that seemed so well blended!