This homemade butterscotch coffee syrup is a must-make for butterscotch lovers everywhere. It packs real butterscotch flavor in every spoonful and is sweet enough to sweeten and flavor your coffee with just a spoonful or two.
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!
Watch my Butterscotch Coffee Syrup web story here.
Up Your Coffee Game with This Homemade Syrup
Friends, I am aware you can purchase coffee syrups. I have some storebought ones myself.
But let me tell you why you should make this particular recipe.
For one, I don’t put creamer or cream in it, because I don’t want to be the one who decides how much cream your coffee needs.
Use a spoonful or two of this syrup and then add cream, half and half, or your preferred milk so your coffee is the perfect color for you.
And if you’re one of those people who don’t like cream in their coffee but appreciate some delicious butterscotch flavor, now you can have your cake and eat it too. A delicious, butterscotch coffee with no added cream.
Another point in this recipe’s favor is that there are no artificial ingredients in it.
Let’s just Regard the ingredient list for storebought butterscotch coffee syrup, shall we?
- cane sugar
- 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
So What’s In Your Butterscotch Syrup?
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?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take the lid of the pan and cook mixture to 300-310F.
- Carefully stir in half of the simple syrup into the butterscotch to stop the cooking.
- Add the rest of the simple syrup and whisk until all the butterscotch has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- 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 coffee 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.
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
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.
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.
It is. As written, all the ingredients are naturally gluten-free.
It is not. You can use a sugar substitute for the simple syrup without any problem, but for the butterscotch itself, nothing will caramelize like real sugar. So you can make a much lower-sugar version, but not a sugar-free version.
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.
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 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.
Friends, I cannot stress this enough. Put this 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 syrup to your coffee. So good!
You can also mix some into carbonated water, either plain seltzer or your homemade in your SodaStream sparkling water to make an Italian soda. Caveat here: I’d spoon off any hardened butter that might be floating on top of the syrup first).
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.
If you have questions about this post or recipe, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can leave a comment on the post and I will get back to you within about 24 hours.
If your question is more urgent, please shoot me an email, and I will respond within 4 hours, unless I’m asleep.
A Note About Measurements
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.
Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
This is the scale I use, love, and recommend. If you’re unsure, please read my post about how to use a food scale.
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
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Butterscotch Coffee Syrup
This butterscotch coffee syrup is the real deal. No artificial flavors. Just pure butterscotch flavor!
- 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)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I use Morton's)
- 1 oz (2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
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.
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.
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Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving Calories 66Total Fat 1.4gSaturated Fat 0.9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 4mgSodium 85mgCarbohydrates 14.1gFiber 0gSugar 14.1gProtein 0g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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What Others Are Saying...
I absolutely cannot wait to try this, Jenni!
Jennifer Field says
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
When do you add the vanilla extract?
Jennifer Field says
Good catch, Matt! Add it off the heat after you combine the butterscotch and simple syrup. I’ll update the recipe to reflect that. Enjoy!
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!
Jennifer Field says
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!