Chili Butterscotch

DrygastDrygast, 2021-12-26

Spicy variant of a Swedish christmas classic.


  • Servings75 Portions
  • AllergensMilk


  • Cook Time60 min


In this recipe, I use a regular Swedish christmas butterscotch recipe and add chili (cayenne pepper) for some heat. Normally I use chopped almonds for this, but I thought it would be fun to give the butterscotch a little sting. The result was really good and the amount of chili is probably small enough for everyone to appreciate them.

"Knäck" is a classic Swedish Christmas candy that has been known since the 19th century. It is a kind of caramel that is made by boiling syrup, sugar and cream to the desired consistency. Depending on the temperature the boil reaches, the knäck can become soft or very hard. In this recipe, I finish the cooking when I reach 124-125°C, which gives a soft and sticky caramel. At 128°C, it becomes a harder knäck that can still be a little soft in the middle. At 145°C it will be a hard knäck.

I use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature while the batter is cooking. It can sometimes seem as if the boil has stopped around 100°C, but wait a bit and it will pick up speed again. On my stove, I choose position 6 out of 9 possible as higher heat can make it go very fast towards the end and that it is then easy to miss the desired temperature. Medium heat so that the knäck simmer is desirable. You should also not touch the knäck too much as it can become grainy.

Keep in mind that you should be a little careful when handling the hot knäck. It is a very hot sugar mixture that you handle and it can cause burns if you are not careful. Never taste the hot knäck, even if it can be tempting.

Never make a double batch of this recipe as it is highly likely that the knäck will solidify before you have had time to distribute everything in the small molds.

A common way to test the batter is through the "kulprovet". You then pour a few drops of the hot batter into cold water and then roll into a small ball. The ball should be tough and fairly firm.

I choose to store the finished knäck in the refrigerator as it comes off the mold more easily when it is cold.

Some variants
  • Exclude the cayenne pepper and add 1 dl chopped almonds - classic Christmas knäck.
  • You can add chopped nuts of various kinds.
  • If you add baking powder (1/2 teaspoon) right after the cooking is done, you get a more porous knäck.
  • Instead of using knäck molds, you can pour the whole batter onto a silicone mat and cut into pieces after it has cooled a bit.
  • Use dark syrup instead of light. It will be a slightly different, less sweet, taste.
  • Sprinkle some flake salt on top.



Nutrition Facts*

 TotalServing100 g
Energy2648.43 kcal35.31 kcal377 kcal
Carbohydrates404.57 g5.39 g57.59 g
Fat113.17 g1.51 g16.11 g
Protein4.64 g0.06 g0.66 g
Sugar403.52 g5.38 g57.44 g
Salt3.44 g0.05 g0.49 g

* The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using the ingredients available in the database. Info will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.


  1. Mix sugar, syrup and cream in a saucepan. Preferably thick-bottomed and larger than 3 liters.
  2. Cook until the temperature reaches 125°C. Stir occasionally. This can take anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes and depends on the size of the bottom surface of the saucepan and the temperature of the hob.
  3. Switch off the hob or remove the saucepan from the hob.
  4. Stir in butter and cayenne pepper.
  5. Pour into small molds, allow to set.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is also possible to freeze the knäck.