Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce

When I was a child, it seemed this sauce was almost ubiquitous! It would sneak into Church suppers and funeral luncheons, it was served at school hot lunches, in diners, and sometimes found its way home to appear on some dessert or another.

Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce - it can be made with or without Raisins

Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce – it can be made with or without Raisins

I swear I could probably lap it off my plate, and probably did when I was a child – when no one could see me!

Here's the same sauce using Rum & Raisins.

Here’s the same sauce using Rum & Raisins.

If you use vanilla, keep in mind that vanilla is made with alcohol, but the scant amount in the sauce shouldn’t be too much of a worry for most. If you’d feel more comfortable or don’t use any alcohol, perhaps an extract or another flavoring would work. If using an extract, they’re generally strong, so start with a teaspoon and see if you’d like more.

Simple to make and very quick, this is a beautiful, shiny sauce that can dress up anything from fruit to desserts. We serve it over our Irish Bread Pudding on special occasions, use it instead of maple syrup over pancakes and waffles or as an ice-cream topping. If you take sugar in your coffee, consider a small spoonful of this sauce, instead.

Bread & Butter Pudding with Whiskey Sauce - no Raisins

Bread & Butter Pudding with Whiskey Sauce – no Raisins


Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce

  • Servings: abt 1 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon rum, whiskey or vanilla
  • 1 cup of water

Melt butter in small saucepan, remove from heat. Mix cornstarch and sugar together and add to butter. It will be sandy.

Add flavoring, then one cup of water, pouring slowly while whisking. Return to heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick and bubbly.

This will thicken a bit more upon cooling.

from the kitchen of


Based on 2 tablespoon serving: Calories 135; Total Fat 3 4 %; Saturated Fat 2 9 %; Monounsaturated Fat 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 8 mg 3 %; Sodium 22 mg 1 %; Potassium 1 mg 0 %; Total Carbohydrate 26 9 %; Dietary Fiber 0 0 %; Sugars 25 g; Protein 0 0 %; Vitamin A 2 %; Vitamin C 0 %; Calcium 0 %; Iron 0 %

Put your own spin on it:

  • Try this with raisins or dried pears (chop finely and soak them first, maybe in a complementary alcohol, then use the fruit and liquid) or another favorite fruit.
  • Vary the alcohol in this to one of your choosing! Really, the skys the limit!
  • Simmer with dried or whole herbs or citrus and then strain. Cinnamon goes very well.

6 thoughts on “Rum, Whiskey or Vanilla Sauce

  1. I didn’t grow up with many sauces or gravies, for that matter. It’s been fun learning about such things as caramel, butterscotch, rum etc sauces. And then, there are the fruit sauces. So many new things to try.

    • I know right! I want to get some of the old recipes on here for my daughter and son, yet I am amazed at all the wonderful recipes out there and I sometimes wonder why I ever eat the same thing twice! 🙂

Hearing from you makes my day! Comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.