This homemade butterscotch syrup is exactly what you need to both sweeten your coffee and impart a delightful and real butterscotch flavor.

For all my butterscotch lovers out there, you’ll want to add this coffee syrup to your butterscotch repertoire along with my butterscotch ice cream sauce. Sauce for all the things!

For ease of browsing, you can find all my butterscotch recipes in one place. Thanks so much for visiting!

If caramel is more your style, try my caramel syrup for coffee.

An open and full jar of butterscotch syrup with the lid next to it. There's a hand holding a spoon with syrup dripping down into the open jar.

Watch my Butterscotch Syrup web story here.

This stuff is so much better than commercial coffee syrups. I made it yesterday and I’m hooked.

Beth from Aunt B’s Kitchen

You’ll Love This Butterscotch Syrup If

Friends, I am aware you can purchase coffee syrups. I have some store-bought ones myself.

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Not all recipes are for everyone.

But let me tell you why you should make this particular recipe.

You’ll love this recipe if:

  • You want to be in charge of how much cream/milk goes in your coffee. This recipe doesn’t contain any dairy other than some butter
  • You love robust butterscotch flavor
  • you’re not a fan of unnatural or artificial ingredients in your coffee syrups

That last one is a biggie for a lot of people.

Let’s just Regard the ingredient list for storebought butterscotch syrup, shall we?

  • cane sugar
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • water
  • natural flavor
  • caramel color

Source: Amoretti website

By my count, that’s three different types of sugars, zero butter, and zero salt. Oh, and zero molasses.

As we all know, and as I say ad infinitum, true butterscotch flavor is made up of sugar plus molasses (or, in modern kitchens, dark brown sugar), butter, and salt cooked together until:

a)the butter browns and
b)the sugar caramelizes

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Ingredients You’ll Need

A collage of the 6 ingredients needed to make this coffee syrup: water, sugar, brown sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla.

I’m glad you asked!

Let’s take a look at my ingredient list:

  • water: used twice, once to make the simple syrup and again to dissolve the brown sugar to make a smooth butterscotch sauce
  • granulated sugar: used for sweetness in the simple syrup
  • brown sugar: gets cooked together with butter and salt plus a bit more water so it dissolves
  • butter: provides the browned butter portion of the butterscotch flavor
  • salt: has to be there, because salt is an integral part of the flavor profile
  • vanilla extract: not strictly necessary, but it does round out the flavor very nicely, and who doesn’t like a touch of vanilla in their coffee?

Procedure

This recipe was easy to follow. The result is delicious. I can’t wait to drop some in my cappuccinos! We enjoyed the flavor just from a spoon today. 

Reader Christy

This is just a snapshot of how to make this recipe.

For the complete rundown, please scroll to the end of the post, or you can also jump there by clicking here.

  1. Cook the water and granulated sugar together until all the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils for a few seconds. This is your simple syrup. Set aside convenient to the stove.
  2. In a pot with a lid on it, cook brown sugar, water, butter, and salt together over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Take the lid of the pan and cook mixture to 300-310F.
  4. Carefully stir in half of the simple syrup into the butterscotch to stop the cooking.
  5. Add the rest of the simple syrup and whisk until all the butterscotch has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla and cool.

To Emulsify or Not

One of the issues with using a fatty ingredient (butter) in a water-based sauce is that the fat will rise to the top.

But for a butterscotch syrup, you really need the butter for the flavor.

What’s a person to do?

You have two choices. One, just heat the syrup in the microwave and stir well before adding it to your coffee.

You can also use your immersion blender to emulsify it.

The only issue with this is, the emulsion will break once you add it to hot coffee.

If you plan on using this butterscotch syrup to flavor your iced coffee, then go ahead and emulsify it. If you’re using it in hot coffee, I wouldn’t bother.

Here are two containers with the same syrup. I emulsified the fat into the syrup in the jar on the left.

A jar of butterscotch syrup next to a small pitcher of syrup. The syrup in the jar is more opaque than the syrup in the pitcher, which has a smll amount of melted butter floating on the top.

All you have to do to emulsify it is to hit it with your immersion blender for a few seconds. The extreme speed with which that little blade spins is enough to force the butter and water into an emulsion.

Q & A

What if I don’t want any butter floating on top?

It’s not really noticeable if you’re drinking coffee with creamer in it, but you may see a bit of a slick of butter on black coffee. If it bothers you for any reason, refrigerate the syrup until cold and then you will be able to scrape the solidified butter off the top. The rest of the syrup should carry enough butterscotch flavor because of the caramelized sugar and the browned milk solids from the butter.

Is this vegan?

No, this recipe calls for real butter. You can veganize it by using a plant-based butter. Most of those are already salted, so you may be able to cut back on the additional salt by a little bit. Taste the syrup after you finish making it and add a little more salt if you think it needs it. The salt will dissolve into the syrup with no problem.

Is this a gluten-free coffee syrup?

It is. As written, all the ingredients are naturally gluten-free.

How long will this last in the fridge?

Your syrup will stay fresh and delicious for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. If you’re like me, you’ll end up needing to make more well before those two weeks are up, too.

How Much to Use

One pump of storebought coffee syrup is 10ml, which is roughly 2 teaspoons. 3 “pumps” yields about an ounce of syrup.

If you measure this recipe out in tablespoons, 2 tablespoons is about the equivalent of 3 pumps of syrup.

So now that you know that, if you’re a person who asks for a specific number of pumps of your favorite syrup when you go to the coffee shop, you should be able to make your homemade butterscotch latte as sweet (or not) as your favorite barista-made number.

The nutritional information for my recipe is written per tablespoon, or for about 1 1/2 pumps.

What If I Want Butterscotch Iced Coffee

As I’ve stated above, the butter will solidify on top of the syrup once it’s cold. This makes it unsuitable, or at least off-putting, for an iced coffee.

If you want to use the butterscotch syrup for iced coffee, you have two choices:

  1. Once the syrup is chilled, lift off the solidified butter and toss it (or use it for something else). The rest of the syrup will carry enough butterscotch flavor for it to come through in iced coffee
  2. Rather than making the recipe with butter to begin with, just caramelize the brown sugar before adding the simple syrup. Leave the butter out entirely. Then add some butter emulsion and stir it in well.

Of the two options, I prefer option 1, but you can use whichever method works best for you. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

A high angle shot of a white mug of coffee with a stroopwaffel balanced on top, offset so you can see the coffee in the mug. There is also a small pitcher of syrup for flavoring the coffee next to the mug.

Friends, I cannot stress this enough. Put this butterscotch syrup in your coffee. Any coffee you like.

I myself am using it in my whipped coffee, replacing granulated sugar and water with some of this syrup and then whipping it together with instant coffee with my trusty frother before adding hot milk.

Seriously, SERIOUSLY consider adding this to your pumpkin spice latte. Butterscotch and pumpkin are a match made in heaven! I think it’d be especially good when subbed in for the powdered sugar in this pumpkin cream cold brew coffee recipe.

And for a butterscotchy white chocolate mocha, add equal parts of my white chocolate sauce and this butterscotch coffee syrup to your coffee. So good!

Use it to flavor your vanilla ice cream base as a shortcut to make butterscotch ice cream.

Use it as a syrup for pancakes or waffles.

A full jar of butterscotch coffee syrup in front of a Chemex of coffee.

A Note About Measurements

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes
A full jar of butterscotch coffee syrup in front of a Chemex of coffee.

Butterscotch Syrup for Coffee

Jennifer Field
This butterscotch coffee syrup is the real deal. No artificial flavors. Just pure butterscotch flavor!
4.95 from 20 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Condiments and Jams
Cuisine American
Servings 8 oz, about 16 1-Tablespoon servings
Calories 66 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz 1 cup water (preferably filtered)
  • 6 oz just shy of 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 oz about 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 oz 2 Tablespoons water (preferably filtered)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt I use Morton’s
  • 1 oz 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Make the Simple Syrup
  • Put the cup of water and granulated sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring a couple of times to make sure all the sugar dissolves.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for just a few seconds, and then remove it from the heat.
  • Leave the syrup in the pan and keep it convenient to the stove.
  • Make the Butterscotch
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan that is taller than you think you'll need, combine the dark brown sugar, the ounce of water, butter, and salt.
  • Stir a couple of times, and then put the lid on the pan.
  • Heat over medium heat until all the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  • Remove the lid and cook the mixture together until it reaches 300-310F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Carefully pour about half the simple syrup into the butterscotch, stirring well. Mixture will bubble up a Very Lot, and the butterscotch may harden.
  • Once the bubbling has calmed down, add the rest of the simple syrup and whisk over low heat until the butterscotch is completely melted.
  • Whisk in the vanilla off the heat.
  • Allow the syrup to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Warm the syrup before serving and then stir well to incorporate any butter that is floating on top.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

If you’re only going to use this syrup in iced coffee, feel free to emulsify the fat into it using a blender or your immersion blender.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1TablespoonCalories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 14.1gFat: 1.4gSaturated Fat: 0.9gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 85mgSugar: 14.1g
Keyword butterscotch coffee syrup, butterscotch syrup, flavored coffee syrup, homemade coffee syrup
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

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25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Used two tbs of clarified butter to sidestep the issue of the butter fats. Promptly burnt the ever living daylights out of it. Don’t know if those two things are directly correlated but I’m trying again with a smaller saucepan. I have a candy thermometer that i thought would be enough but i dont think it goes down far enough for such little amounts in a big saucepan. Attempt #2: in a smaller saucepan brought it up to 215°-220° before it looked right and poured in the simple syrup. Still used the 2 tbs clarified butter. I forgot I was at high altitude. At 4500′, you could probably go until 230° before it starts to burn but 300° just means you have carmelly charcoal tasting syrup. I confess that I’m not a huge fan of butterscotch but my Mom requested some for her coffee and she loves it, so its just what the doctor ordered. Thank you!!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely AWESOME!!!

    I recently stopped going to Starbucks and figured I’d try my hand at making flavor syrups—after attempting caramel syrup a few times and never being happy with the result (it seized up, and once dissolved always tasted just a bit burnt), I thought to look up a butterscotch recipe instead and I’m so happy I found this one!

    I’ve made it twice now; I follow your recipe to a T, and have been adding it to my iced coffee every day (I choose to chill it and then scoop out the solidified butter, strain, and just use the remaining syrup). It’s SO DELICIOUS!! And so much easier/more foolproof than the various caramel recipes I attempted, plus it tastes at least 10 times better! Thank you so much!!!

      1. 5 stars
        For the vegans out there: I just made this recipe with Miyokos cultured plant based salted butter and it was excellent!

  3. 5 stars
    This is perfect in hot lattes although in iced the butter clumps together from the cold regardless of preheating. I’ve tried putting it in a blender to emulsify it but have been unsuccessful twice. I wish the instructions had been more clear on how to prevent this as I’m in Fl and drink iced coffee most of the year.

    1. This is not meant for iced coffees, I’m afraid. It’s a downside for folks who only drink iced coffee. Butter will always solidify at cold temperatures. That’s just what it does. As an alternative for iced coffee, when making it, leave out the butter and add some butter flavoring. Alternatively, remove the butter by refrigerating the syrup and then lifting off and discarding the solidified butter on top. Hope that helps.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this to mimic the butterscotch lattes I’ve been loving at coffee shops. It was perfect, tastes just like it! Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    I just made this, so I haven’t used it in coffee yet, but I think it’ll be great for it! The texture is perfect for coffee. It was pretty simple to make as well, I’d love to make this as gifts for friends!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this recipe on a whim since I’ve been craving a butterscotch iced latte, and this was so easy to make! I’m letting it cool now and tasted some left over on my stirring spoon and WOW I’m so excited! Thank you for making the instructions so clear and easy to follow 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    We made this to use as a flavor in cream soda to make butterbeer! It was delicious! Almost comparable to the flavor at universal studios. Super easy and quick to put together.

  8. I am a sucker for all things butterscotch, and I didn’t feel like buying it if I can make it myself. This is PERFECT for lattes/coffee. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  9. This recipe was easy to follow. The result is delicious. I can’t wait to drop some in my cappuccinos! We enjoyed the flavor just from a spoon today. My end goal is to use this in making a butterscotch tiramisu. I can’t wait to see all the ways I can use this. My family loves butterscotch but had no idea how good homemade would be!

    1. Christy, I’m so happy you guys like the sauce–I was so happy with how it turned out and how the flavor really shines through in coffee! I fully support it to brush the ladyfingers in a butterscotch tiramisu. But I should come over for a quality control taste test, just in case! And since you’re butterscotch fans, you may want to look at more of my butterscotch recipes. It’s my favorite flavor and I have a lot of butterscotch recipes on the site. Enjoy!

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe was great, it’s so amazing to be able to make a butterscotch sauce which has the correct thick texture but doesn’t use cream! The butterscotch flavor is so tasty. I used 3/4 cup of simple syrup (because I already had that on hand instead of making the 1c sugar 1c water simple syrup first) and this turned out nice and thick. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Kristen, yay! I do hope you love it! I put some in my beaten coffee today and it was so good, even buried under all the milk in a beaten coffee. lol In regular brewed coffee, the butterscotch flavor is more pronounced. I think you’ll really like it. 🙂 xo

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