This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

These Old Fashioned Butterscotch Brownies are soft, chewy, and incredibly easy! They are made in one bowl in under 30 minutes!

Stacked brown butterscotch brownies cut in squares.

The highlight of my entire Middle School experience was when they served chewy butterscotch brownies in the cafeteria. I got so excited about these brownies that the kitchen staff would pack up a plate for me to bring home!

Even to this day, I can’t get the delicious taste out of my head, so I took it upon myself to recreate those nostalgic blond brownies. Inspired by Betty Crocker’s Cookbook 1984 Edition, I think I’ve finally nailed it! Not only are these mouthwatering but they are remarkably fast and easy to pull together. AND they only need one bowl! It’s my pleasure to add them to the ranks of one bowl desserts with lemon blondies, one bowl brownies, and one bowl chocolate cake.

They are fantastic on their own, but like other bar desserts, they would also be an amazing base for some mix-ins! Inspiration can be found in these caramel chocolate chip blondies or topped with fruit and nuts like these cashew caramel pretzel blondies!

Why you will love these butterscotch brownies:

  • One Bowl! They are made in one bowl! Fast to make even faster to clean up!
  • Infinite flavor possibilities. These brownies are a great base for any mix-in, swirls or toppings.
  • Easily scalable. The only limitation is the size of your bowl and your pans! Just remember different sized pans have different bake times.

Ingredients

  • Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: Using dark brown sugar adds sweetness along with a nice, rich molasses flavor.
  • Whole Eggs: The eggs are here to add fat, and moisture. Eggs also emulsify the batter and keep everything texturally perfect.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor itself, but it also boosts the flavor of other ingredients around it like the brown sugar.

Quality vanilla.  Use a quality vanilla since it is one of the main flavors! I would highly recommend Nielson Massey Vanilla Extract if you can find it.

  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten for a perfectly chewy bar.
  • Baking Powder: Double acting baking powder will react instantly when it is mixed with an acid and then again when it is heated. Because it is double acting, it has a slower, more stable rise than baking soda alone.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is less salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It heightens the flavor here and will keep your bars from tasting dull or flat.
Two butterscotch brownies served on a clear plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Seven Layer Bars Stacked.
FREE! My Best Fall Dessert Recipes!
Subscribe for a pastry chef’s best Fall recipes straight to your inbox!

Variations

  • Mix-ins: These butterscotch brownies are the perfect flavor base! Butterscotch chips to really bring home the butterscotch flavor, but any nut, chocolate chip or dried fruit would be delightful. Create your favorite combination and let us know in the comments!
  • Lemon Brownies: With swapping out the brown sugar for granulated sugar and adding some lemon zest! Follow our recipe for lemon blondies!
  • Toppings: These butterscotch brownies are amazing with the best chocolate buttercream, caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, or the best cream cheese buttercream! The combinations are endless!

How to Make Butterscotch Brownies from Scratch

Use these instructions to make the perfect old fashioned butterscotch brownies every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below!

Prepare your pan and oven:

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Butter an 8×8 baking dish or line with criss-crossed parchment paper.

Make the batter:

Step 1: Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave. I usually do 15 second intervals. This can also be done in a small pot on the stovetop.

Step 2: Add the sugar to the bowl with the butter and whisk until completely incorporated.

Step 3: Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth and no streaks of eggs remain.

Step 4: Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined. You can, of course, whisk together the dry ingredients in another small bowl so that the baking powder and salt are evenly distributed. I always do this but I am persnickety and we know this.

Optional: Fold in pecans or anything your heart desires!

Mix your dry ingredients separately. The brownies won’t be technically one bowl anymore, but I find that whisking your dry ingredients together beforehand will reduce the chance of pockets of salt or baking powder in your brownies. 

Bake and cool the brownie:

Step 1: Place the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. 

Step 2: Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes and remember the baking time will depend on the baking dish you chose. They are done when the edges are golden brown and a cake tester or wooden skewer comes out with only a few clinging crumbs. 

Adjust baking times to your pan. Baking pans that are darker will tend to bake your brownies faster than if you are baking in a ceramic baking dish. Just take a breath, keep checking them and trust your gut!

Step 3: Remove from the oven and cool before cutting. Or pile with vanilla ice cream and have yourself a party in the kitchen.

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

I suggest switching from a whisk to a rubber spatula before folding in the dry ingredients. This will help avoid overmixing and keep the gluten from developing. This is especially important if you are adding in mix-ins.

A stack of butterscotch brownies topped with powdered sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store Butterscotch Brownies?

Store baked and cooled butterscotch brownies in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for four days. For longer storage, store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to two months.

Can you freeze butterscotch brownies?

Absolutely! Cool the brownies completely and cut them. Then store them wrapped in plastic wrap inside an airtight container. They will keep frozen for up to two months! Insider trick: if you cut them into tiny pieces the brownies will make a wonderful addition to any sundae!

Will the recipe multiply?

If you have the proper sized bowl and the pans to bake in, this recipe will multiply nicely!

Do I need to chill the batter before baking?

No, chilling this batter will make it very hard to spread evenly. The butter will solidify and become solid.

What to serve with butterscotch brownies?

The great thing about these brownies is that they pair with almost anything! Top with a huge scoop of French vanilla ice cream or chocolate caramel ice cream then start piling on the toppings! Chocolate chips, hot fudge sauce, salted caramel sauce, sliced fruit and sprinkles!

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

Stacked brown butterscotch brownies cut in squares.
4.83 from 17 ratings

Best Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Brownies

These Butterscotch Brownies are soft, chewy and incredibly easy! They are made in one bowl in under 30 minutes!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 Brownies

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

Prepare your pan and oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Butter an 8×8 baking dish or line with criss-crossed parchment paper.

Make the batter:

  • Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave. I usually do 15 second intervals. This can also be done in a small pot on the stovetop.
  • Add the sugar to the bowl with the butter and whisk until completely incorporated.
  • Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth and no streaks of eggs remain.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined. You can, of course, whisk together the dry ingredients in another small bowl so that the baking powder and salt are evenly distributed. I always do this but I am persnickety and we know this. Optional: Fold in pecans or anything your heart desires!

Bake and cool the brownie:

  • Place the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes and remember the baking time will depend on the baking dish you chose. They are done when the edges are golden brown and a cake tester or wooden skewer comes out with only a few clinging crumbs.
  • Remove from the oven and cool before cutting. Or pile with vanilla ice cream and have yourself a party in the kitchen.

Notes

Flavor Tips –  The vanilla helps bring home the butterscotch flavor so I recommend using a high quality vanilla extract. 
Variations – The variations are endless! Add mix-ins such as butterscotch chips, walnuts, or dried cherries. 
Storage – Store the butterscotch brownies in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for four days.
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook 1984 Edition.
Note: The only thing I modified in this recipe was the butter. Betty Crocker calls for shortening, but, in my humble opinion, it’s not butterscotch without butter.
Yield: 16 bars

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 128
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, chef-developed bar cookie recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




99 Comments

  1. I too have spent many many years searching for the Butterscotch Brownies my mom made in the fifties and sixties. Thank you so much for sharing it. Of course, now I’ve been diagnosed with very advanced celiac disease, so will need to find a way to convert it to gluten free. Just looking at the pictures satisfied a longing for home.

  2. Thank you for posting this recipe. My husband has been talking about his love for Bernice’s Butterscotch Brownies for the last 20 years that I have known him. He would tell me how he would devour them for lunch at his STL middle/high school cafeteria. Sound familiar? So today after google-ing it and reading your recipe, I suspected I found it which was later confirmed after he ate half of the pan. Thank you for making his day awesome. And btw, he is flummoxed on how you were able to get an extra plate on the side….:)

    1. No way!!!!! I am so happy you found the recipe! I got extra because I made friends with the kitchen staff and they would save me some for after school 🙂 I was crazy about them and so grateful for extra! lol

  3. YES! These were delicious!…I am especially happy to say so, since I was told to make a double batch using someone else’s recipe…and they were dry and icky. Luckily, I found your recipe and despite being strictly instructed to use the other recipe, I boldly used yours with beautiful results! AND, I was happy to substitute the shortening for butter..and I wasn’t ashamed to drop them off! Thanks a million!

    1. LOL! You are so very welcome!!! I am overjoyed that you loved them! I am picky about my butterscotch brownies and these are one of my favorites! They are also incredibly easy! If you have a little bit more time you should try these brown butter blondies…omg so goooooood! If you want them plain you can leave out the chocolate chips and caramel…the base recipe is delicious by itself too!

  4. I also have been searching for about 15 years for this recipe, at one time it was listed on the usda recipe site, who’d DID have several of my favorite from school lunches, alas I failed to print the recipes before the new standards went into effect, but now I am pretty sure these Re the same ones, thanks for posting them!

  5. Same recipe as in The Joy of Cooking (1971) entitled “butterscotch brownies” save for 1/2 cup of sifted flour resifted with the baking powder and baked in a 9×9 inch pan. This is my go-to cookbook for the classics!

    1. I don’t have that edition! I have a facsimile of the 1st edition but it has yet to become my favorite probably because of this incident. I got this recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook (1984) – but I substituted butter for shortening. I’ll have to search out the 1971 Joy cookbook!

      1. I just made the JOC recipe and doubled the recipe for a 9 x 13 pan. Twice as much sugar as flour, wow, but they sure are good!! I added chocolate chips.

  6. I remember these as a kid and called them Butterscotch Brownies. My mom still has her 1950s edition of her Betty Crocker cookbook where we got the recipe. She sent me the recipe but I couldn’t find it (hadn’t made them in awhile). I looked on the internet and found your recipe but then subsequently found mine. They are very similar but the Betty Crocker version calls for a cup of light brown sugar (packed) and only 1/2 tsp of vanilla. They sure are good!! I made a blondie recipe recently a friend gave me and they were not nearly as tasty.

    1. Hi Kerrie! These are from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, 1984 edition. She must have revised the vanilla since the 1950’s version! I’ll have to try the older one out. I don’t remember but I probably just used dark brown sugar because that is what I had on hand! 🙂 I’ve tried a couple more modern blondie recipes that I like…some I’ve posted about.

  7. I actually have everything to make these at home! Definitely going to try them 🙂 it’s lime the perfect recipe to make when you want something sweet but don’t want to find yourself stuck in the kitchen for hours. 🙂

    1. It is definitely an excellent, no-fail, easy blondie recipe! My only advice is to double the recipe! Let me know how it goes!

      When you have more time, you should try the blondie recipe from this post. It will blow you away!

      1. Help! I always fail. I never get the slightly crunchy top and gooey center. It’s like a cake. Please help! I had these as a kid and the baker did it perfectly. I know how it should be. Just like the picture.

        1. Hey Stefanie, you probably need to bake them slightly less. Baking them in a pyrex (glass baking dish) can also help because they bake a bit slower than a metal pan and don’t get as crispy.

    2. This was my go to after school sweets recipe. My mom was not into sweets or anything processed but we always had these ingredients on hand. Our recipe came from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book.

  8. awwwwww that’s so lovely that you found your long lost butterscotch blondies! But girl…BETTER than flourless chocolate cake? I dunnoooo 😛

      1. I just made these, and like every other time I have tried to make butterscotch brownies, they were gooey inside. Maybe they’re supposed to be? But chocolate brownies aren’t.. I usually bake them extra long, still gooey.

        1. Hi Liz! They are gooey inside generally. The “gooey” texture isn’t necessarily because they are underbaked but because of the combination of lots of butter and brown sugar. Just cool them before cutting. If you don’t like the gooey texture use a different recipe like these which are less “gooey”