Creamy and indulgent, this vegan butterscotch pudding is really simple, and made with just six basic ingredients. And because it only takes 15 mins or so to cook (plus a bit of time in the fridge to chill), it’s perfect as a weekday dessert, Sunday teatime treat, or even as a kids’ party pudding!
When I was a kid, I loved butterscotch Angel Delight; my gran would whip some up for Sunday tea time, and serve it with a glacé cherry on top.
Side note: I have always loathed glacé cherries! Even as a child, I would pick them out of every dish I found them in. Which was actually everything because there was a little-known law in 1960s Britain that meant you could go to prison if every sweet dish, and at least 53% of savoury dishes, didn’t contain glacé cherries. 😉
Butterscotch Angel Delight vs vegan butterscotch pudding
Butterscotch Angel Delight, as much as I loved it, nevertheless had a bit of a soapy aftertaste to it, and I’m guessing it was due to whichever thickener was used. Probably wallpaper paste.
(Actually, Angel Delight and wallpaper paste are both made with methylcellulose – aka modified starch. It’s also found in sweet pie fillings.)
My vegan butterscotch pudding has no soapy aftertaste, and is completely, 100%, irrefutably, delicious. And is therefore, 1,762 times better than butterscotch Angel Delight.
Ingredients for vegan butterscotch pudding
Fortunately, my butterscotch pudding is not made with wallpaper paste (yay!), and it has no flimmin’ glacé cherries on the top (double yay!). What it does contain, however, is just a half a dozen simple ingredients which most, if not all of us have to hand;
- vegan spread or butter
- dark brown sugar and/or coconut palm sugar
- sea salt
- cornflour (cornstarch)
- some kind of plant milk (I veer between Oatly or cashew – I make the latter in my Froothie Evolve blender)
- and a bit of vanilla extract (or the seeds from one vanilla bean)
And no Scotch! (That’s whiskey to all of you across the pond reading this!)
Butterscotch with no scotch? WTH?
Why is it called butterscotch then? Well, no one’s a hundred percent certain but it’s likely to be because the original butterscotch – which was apparently invented in Doncaster in the middle of the 19th century – was in the form of boiled sweets (candies), which were then ‘scotched’ (scored) as they hardened, in order to make them easier to break into pieces.
Another possible explanation is that scotch is a corruption of the word, ‘scorch’… but that would imply the ingredients were scorched, and I’m not convinced at all. If that were so, the resultant confectionary would have a somewhat bitter taste instead of being all lovely and creamy.
Whatever the explanation, I’m sure we can all agree that butterscotch pudding is the stuff dreams are made of. Dreams where you have a bowl of butterscotch pudding that’s as big as your head, and no one is making you share.
What, you’ve never had those dreams?
How to make this vegan butterscotch pudding recipe
Honestly, it’s sooo easy…
- Melt together the vegan butter and brown sugar, then let bubble for a couple of minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn.
- Make a smooth paste by stirring in the salt and cornflour.
- Whisk in the plant milk, and bring to the boil – whisking all the time to ensure it stays smooth.
- Once boiling, simmer for another couple of minutes, not forgetting to stir occasionally.
- Once the butterscotch pudding has thickened, take it off the heat, and stir in the vanilla.
- All that remains then is to decant it into suitable vessels, and when cool enough, chill in the fridge for an hour or so.
- If you want to make it even more special, garnish the top just before serving.
While you’re here, do check out some of my other vegan desserts!
Notes and tips for making vegan butterscotch pudding
Can I use white sugar instead of dark brown sugar?
Only if you want to end up with salted caramel sauce. 😉
Do I have to use coconut palm sugar?
Narp! I use a mix of both because it gives a lighter-tasting pudding but if you want to make a richer butterscotch, then do go ahead and use only soft dark brown sugar.
Can I use a sugar substitute, such as erythritol or stevia?
No. Absolutely not. Quite apart from polylols not behaving in the same way as sucrose (they don’t caramelise, for a start), they are known to have a laxative effect. In addition, erythritol can also be used as an insecticide – not convinced I’d want to ingest that! As for stevia – it has a bitter aftertaste, and that’s not what you want in this butterscotch pudding!
What’s the best plant milk to use for this vegan butterscotch pudding?Oatly is my #1 all-rounder but honestly, if you’re fine with nuts, and you have a good high-speed blender, such as the VAC2 or Evolve, then home-made cashew milk works just as well as Oatly. Plus, you can add as many or few extras to it as you like. Soy milk is also good in this recipe, due to its creaminess.
Could I use coconut oil instead of vegan butter or margarine?
TBH, I haven’t tried but if you do, you’ll need to reduce the amount by about 20% (because vegan spreads tend to be around 80% fat). And if you do use coconut oil, do let me know how you got on with it, so that I can pass it on to other readers!
Do I have to use organic vanilla extract?
Not if you’re not bothered about it being vegan. However, do be aware that many extracts that list ‘natural flavouring’ actually contain castoreum, which is taken from the scent glands of beavers. Read more in my article here (it’s about halfway down the page). As always, check the label!
Help, my pudding has gone lumpy!
No problem, use a blender (normal or immersion) to get it smooth again.
Do you really hate glacé cherries that much?
Oh, yes, yes, I do. Y’know that thing your stomach does when you see a bad injury? That thing that feels as though your stomach has just flipped over? That’s what biting into a glacé cherry does to mine. Plus, they are grossly over-sweet, horribly sticky, and don’t even taste of cherries.
They have no redeeming features, other than to serve as a warning to always refuse dinner invitations from anyone who uses them. 🙂
You’ll love this Vegan Butterscotch PuddingBecause it’s…
- utterly scrummy!
Pop a cherry on top if you must … in fact, no, please don’t. Ha ha! Why not decorate it with some grated chocolate and a goodly dollop of whipped vegan cream instead? Or some chopped nuts. Anything but glacé cherries!
Whatever you decide, enjoy!
Did you ever have butterscotch pudding as a child?
Vegan Butterscotch Pudding
- 30 g vegan butter / margarine
- 50 g soft dark brown sugar
- 50 g palm sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp cornflour
- 700 ml plant milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Whipped vegan cream
- Grated vegan chocolate
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Chopped pecans
- In a large heavy-based pan, over a medium heat, gently melt together the vegan butter and brown sugar. This will take around 10 mins.
- Once melted, allow to bubble for 2 mins, taking care not to let it burn.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the salt and cornflour, to make a thick paste.
- Return the pan to the heat, and raise to medium-high. Gradually whisk in the plant milk, making sure there are no lumps.
- Bring to the boil, whisking all the time.
- Reduce the heat to low again, and simmer for 1-2 mins, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
- Remove the pan from the heat again, and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Decant the butterscotch pudding into glasses, cups, ramekins, etc., and set aside to cool.
- Once at room temperature, chill in the fridge for an hour or so to finish firming up.
- Garnish the top of the vegan butterscotch pudding with some whipped vegan cream, grated chocolate, chopped pecans etc.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml