Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Butterbeer recipe

by: Jo

Butterbeer recipe
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UPDATE: I’ve tweaked this recipe based on more research done at Universal. Be sure to take a look at our updated Butterbeer recipe to see the new ingredient!

I’ve been a huge Harry Potter fan since the second book came out and my husband brought it home on the recommendation of a co-worker. I stayed up until the wee hours in the morning with my eyes bugged out so I could finish reading the first and second books. Yes, this was before our kids were in the picture. My husband and I stood in line for all of the rest of the book releases and even named our horses after characters in the book — Dumbledore, Hermione, and Hagrid.

So we were very excited when we had the opportunity this summer to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. We stood in line forever in the sunscreen-melting heat to get inside. We were not alone, either. See the throngs of fans crowded into the streets of Hogsmeade? We had a great time exploring the Three Broomsticks, Hogwarts, Honeydukes and the train station.

Butterbeer recipe

As fun as it was that day, it was also hot. VERY hot. One of our favorite things turned out to be the mugs of cold Butterbeer (a popular drink in the book) that could be had in souvenir mugs for a small fortune. But we paid that fortune, over and over again, just to get more of this delicious and refreshing drink. They did a fantastic job of coming up with a recipe that tastes just like you would imagine it would. Here’s a couple of pictures of the Butterbeer truck at the park. They served the drink two ways — frozen or regular — and despite the name, they were not beer at all, but a delicious, non-alcoholic drink with what we thought was a cream soda base.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

On that hot afternoon, I preferred the frozen version (a slushie consistency) but I liked the regular drink a little bit better overall.

The mugs were really cute as well. We drank so much we had plenty to give away to friends and family and felt a little silly lugging around the giant bag of them. We looked in the shops for a glass version of the Butterbeer mug but couldn’t find one. This seems like a huge marketing oversight by Universal. Hmmm… perhaps I could make one to go with the Butterbeer recipe that I knew I just HAD to duplicate at home!

But how would I make the mug? First, I had Chica create a Butterbeer logo for me. Then we got some stencils made with the logo, so we could etch the design onto glass mugs. Glass etching is really easy, and I’ll show you how I did it, and I’ll even share our Butterbeer recipe so you can make your own at home. You will love it!

I picked out some really pretty glass mugs that I wanted to use, making sure that were big enough for my stencil, which measures about 4″ x 2-3/4″.

Butterbeer Recipe

Start by thoroughly cleaning your mugs with rubbing alcohol.  Then decide which side of the mug you would like the stencil to appear.  Chica and I actually had a rather lengthy discussion about this.  She wanted the stencil to be placed so that the words would face you when you were drinking the Butterbeer.  I wanted to place it so the words were facing outwards as I drank the Butterbeer.  We thought about doing it on both sides but thought it might look funny.  However, one of our readers sent us a picture of having it on both sides and it turned out great.  Our solution, at the time, was to do one each way so that we both won.  There is no right choice here, just personal preference.

Now VERY carefully remove the white backing from your stencil.  If any blue sticks to the white, press it together again and peel more slowly, until it all comes off and you are left with a blue stencil in one hand and a clean piece of white paper in the other.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

Carefully position your stencil where you want it over your mug.  Once it starts to stick down, it is REALLY hard to move.  I mean it’s pretty much impossible, so don’t do like I did and not realize how close you are to the mug before it is too late!  Lesson learned.  After you have it positioned, gently press it down, smoothing out all the air bubbles and wrinkles.  With a stencil this small, I could just use my fingertips for this process, but you mind want to use a stiff card or bone folder to help you.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

When the stencil is smooth, remove the clear layer of transfer tape from the top of the stencil, making sure all the blue sticks to your mug this time.  Now is the time for the etching cream. Follow the instructions on the back of your cream, since they can vary from brand to brand.  My version said to apply a thick layer of cream and then wait for 3 minutes.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

Once the allotted time has passed, rinse the cream off with hot water.  Remove the blue sticky stencil.  We used a small knife to get the tiny parts off the glass.

Butterbeer Recipe

Butterbeer Recipe

Glass etching always turns out way cooler than I think it will.  I am so pleased with the design and the stencil quality, and therefore with the end result!  This mug is just begging to be filled with some Butterbeer now!

Butterbeer recipe

But wait, there’s more! We had some new stencils made after that first mug, and these came with all the cut pieces still in place, so you can easily peel away the ones you want to create positive or negative designs.

Huh? What? Well, take a look at the two pictures below to see what I mean.

Butterbeer mug

Butterbeer mug

See how the mug on the left has the letters peeled away and the area surrounding it still masked with the stencil? By contrast, the one on the right has the letters still there, and the area around them peeled away. These will give you two totally different end results because the etching cream will be exposed to different areas.

It’s easy to do, too. Just put the whole stencil in place, then use an X-ACTO knife to peel away the parts you want to etch.

Butterbeer mug

Butterbeer mug

We really like the look of the design with the clear letters and the area around them etched.

Butterbeer mug

Butterbeer mug

For those of you who might like the idea of a Butterbeer mug but don’t want to mess around with stencils and etching, we have an alternative for you. We’re put our Butterbeer design on mugs (and shirts and more) at Zazzle, where you can purchase your own and save the crafting for another day.

Butterbeer mug

Now that you’ve got the mugs, it’s time to move on to the best part… the recipe!


The ingredients are simple. You will need the following to make two drinks:

Start by measuring your heavy whipping cream into a bowl.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

Next, add your powdered sugar.  Begin to whisk briskly.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

I quickly tired of whisking briskly and asked Chica if she had a container I could shake it in.  She had this perfect little squeeze bottle that allowed me to quickly shake to the right consistency and then dispense the cream onto the top of my drink.  What is the right consistency?  Good question.  You want it to thicken slightly, but still be loose. I shook this until when I squirted a little out of the bottle, it stayed in a nice circle on my finger tip.  It only takes 10-20 seconds of vigorous shaking.  You could also use a stand mixer or stick with the whisk and bowl if you need an arm workout.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

Once your cream topping is ready, add your vanilla butter nut flavoring to your cream soda and stir gently so you don’t get rid of all the carbonation in the soda.

Butterbeer recipe

Pour your flavored cream soda into your Butterbeer mugs (if you made them) or into any chilled glass.  Gently squirt on the whipping cream mixture so that it floats on top (or spoon it on if you don’t have a squirt bottle) in a layer about a half inch thick.

Note that you won’t need all of the whipped cream, but if we had started with less, you would have a hard time whipping it. If you are making several servings at once, only whip half as much cream.

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

Trust us, it tastes even better than it looks! We would love to hear feedback from others who have tried the original Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Try our recipe and see how you think it compares!

NOTE: I did some more research on a recent trip to the parks and there is flavoring in the cream and very little flavor in the drink. I actually think our version of the soda tastes better than what they served at Universal but I did like their cream better. It even had a slightly bubbly consistency to it that I am currently working on reproducing. I will make sure and add tweaks to my recipe as soon as I can!

Oh, and if you’re looking for an alcoholic version of this drink, stir a couple tablespoons (to taste) of Dekuyper Butterscotch (a.k.a. Butterscotch Schnapps) in to the soda before you top it with cream. The result is fantastic!

Butterbeer recipe

Butterbeer recipe

In case you’re looking to share this recipe with others or put it in your recipe box, I made a nice downloadable recipe card for you.

cold Butterbeer recipe card Download our
Cold Butterbeer
recipe card


If you’ve got a friend who is a huge Harry Potter fan, we think a Butterbeer set would make a great gift. You can easily fill a basket with a couple of mugs (made with our stencil and tutorial), a bottle of the special flavoring, a couple bottles of cream soda, and our recipe cards, printed onto white cardstock (and maybe even laminated).

In fact, we assembled just such a gift box to be used as a door prize for a private screening of the new Harry Potter movie in L.A. Don’t you love how it looks packaged in a decorative trunk? I know quite a few people who will get one of these for Christmas!

Butterbeer gift basket


And, if you are wanting to throw a party and serve lots of Butterbeer, consider making your own barrel!

Butterbeer dispenser barrel

UPDATE: Hot Butterbeer recipe

But waithot Butterbeer recipe! Are you like many Harry Potter fans who think that Butterbeer should be served warm? Then check out the hot Butterbeer recipe that we developed. It’s so yummy we can hardly resist it. We’ve even figured out just the right thing to add to it if you want an alcoholic version.  This is now Jo’s favorite winter time drink.  Be sure and read the comments below for some more ideas on how to make Butterbeer.

Butterbeer recipe
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136 comments so far:

  • 1
    Jennifer 04/30/2011 at 8:47 am

    This is, by far, the best Butterbeer recipe on the internet – and I’ve tried quite a few.
    The vanilla butter and nut flavoring really makes the drink taste like the real butterbeer at Universal!
    I remember the whipped cream tasting a little like marshmallow cream. Do you think they mixed a little of that in with the whipped cream? I’d love for you to try that combination and tell us if it works out.
    Thank you so much.
    I like your cold butterbeer recipe much better than the hot butterbeer recipe.

  • 2
    Jo 04/30/2011 at 9:19 pm

    Jennifer, thanks! The whipped topping seemed to fizz a bit on my tongue and I made note of that our last trip there. We are working on a variation to make the topping more like that. I will try adding some marshmallow cream and see how it goes. Thanks!

  • 3
    Gimmee4 05/10/2011 at 4:19 pm

    Looking forward to trying the Butterbeer receipe.
    I paid a small fortune for six souvenier tankards of delicious Butterbeer but were able to refil them for about $3 and use them in the rest of the Universal parks for 79c coke products.
    Just a note, we got to the park early (saw the opening!!) and walked straight on to the Hogwarts ride twice without any lines!

  • 4
    Jo 05/10/2011 at 5:26 pm

    Gimmee4, thanks for the tip on reusing the tankards. Had no idea you could do that!

  • 5
    Jennifer 06/26/2011 at 5:08 pm

    We just came back from Florida and I tried to recreate the Butterbeer. I thought it tasted like melted vanilla ice cream with butter extract in it. (You can find butter extract anywhere they sell cake decorating supplies or through Wilton.) It has been a couple weeks since our visit and I am interested to see what a local would say about the melted ice cream on top. I am definitely going to try the whipped cream next time. My boys loved the Butterbeer.

  • 6
    Kamrunissa 07/13/2011 at 11:55 pm

    I just stumbled upon ur website and I loved the idea of butterbeer mugs and the recipe…The thing is I live in India and would like to get the stuff from your store? Do u do an international delivery in any case?? :)
    plssss do let me knw…

  • 7
    Chica 07/14/2011 at 7:02 am

    Hi Kamrunissa, and welcome to our site! We do ship internationally. Please send us an e-mail at with a list of the items you want to purchase, and we’ll send you a quote for shipping cost to India.

  • 8
    Em 07/15/2011 at 5:55 pm

    I found this great craft project via StumbleUpon several months ago and I must say I was really intrigued with the idea of home glass-etching. Those mugs look phenomenal. I was wondering what material it is that you make your stencils out of. I do something similar with t-shirts and freezer paper, but I wasn’t sure what that sticky material was that adhered to the glasses for etching. Can you find it at craft stores or is it something special?

  • 9
    Chica 07/16/2011 at 10:02 am

    Hi Em! We have not explored the idea of creating our own etching stencils at home, so I’m not sure what to recommend. Something like adhesive vinyl might work, but I don’t know if it would hold up to the chemicals in the etching cream. We get our Butterbeer stencils custom made for us from a company that specializes in etching stencils. Email us if you’d like more information on how to contact them.

  • 10
    Lindy G 07/24/2011 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Chica & Jo! My husband Sean left a comment for you just before Christmas about how spot-on your ButterBeer recipe is compared to the WWoHP version. You responded to him saying y’all were going back in February & were planning on seeing if you could find any tweaks to make to your version. We were just wondering if you had any as of yet? I saw the comment where you mentioned a slight fizz in the cream & would try to duplicate it & another comment from someone mentioning a slight marshmallow flavor? Anyway, if you have any tweaks, we’d love to hear them but if you’re still in the process of figuring it out, please take your time! We understand you just can’t rush perfection like your first recipe! Thanks for everything!

  • 11
    Jo 07/24/2011 at 9:09 pm

    Lindy, hey! We did go back and there is a slight fizz to the cream but I haven’t perfected how to do it yet. I am trying and will let you guys know as soon as I come up with it.

  • 12
    Marissa 08/23/2011 at 10:55 pm

    I’m having a sleepover tomorow night (with a fellow Potterhead) and this is definitely going on our list as a to-do. Thanks for the recipe!

  • 13
    Robert 09/06/2011 at 6:06 am

    Hey guys!

    Great recipe! I love it a lot! I have made a couple of variations of this exact recipe using imitation butter extract and pure almond extract and it tasted great.

    ^^ Lindy’s question about the fizz. I think I may have the answer. After spooning the layer of foam on top, serve and have the drinker give it a quick stir. That fizzes for a couple of seconds and expands the foam while turning the color of the drink to what looks like the Butterbeer in the HP movies.
    =D Hope that helps

  • 14
    Jo 09/06/2011 at 8:41 am

    Hey guys! I have a solution for the fizz that I will be posting later this week!

  • 15
    nasreenwaris 10/31/2011 at 3:46 pm

    nice recipe,i like it.

  • 16
    Gako 03/04/2012 at 4:27 pm

    Wouldn’t Brandy work a little better than butterscotch schnapps? Not much obv. I always thought butterbeer would taste like liquid brandy butter.

  • 17
    Chica 03/04/2012 at 4:48 pm

    Gako, I’ve never had Brandy, so I have no idea. You can certainly mix your Butterbeer however you like it :)

  • 18
    Carolyn 03/19/2012 at 12:39 am

    Somebody said the butterbeer made the “Harry Potter” book characters feel warm because they thought it was alcoholic.

    I really disagree! The drinks were made with MAGIC! So when the weather was cold, the drink was (and remained) warm and made the person feel warm…and vice versa.

    Another note: I believe that in at least one of the movies, the kids drank butterbeer from bottles when they wanted to cool off.

  • 19
    wagner Alexandre 04/11/2012 at 9:08 pm

    Gostaria de receber,se possível, essas formas de resciclagem em portugues, sriam muito utéis na escola publica que eu leciono.
    Agradeço desde já

    Wagner Alexandre
    taquarana- Alagoas- Brasil

  • 20
    psmith 05/01/2012 at 8:57 pm

    Have been meaning to write in for some time and just now have gotten around to it. The stencils worked fantastic and we LOVE our Butterbeer mugs! We have been to the HP Park in Universal and your recipe tastes just like the one in the park! It is actually BETTER because we get to drink in in our Butterbeer mugs! So fun! Thanks!

  • 21
    Chica 05/02/2012 at 6:54 am

    Thanks for the follow-up, psmith. So glad to hear you enjoyed the drink and the mugs!

  • 22
    Jan 07/26/2012 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I have my niece and nephew visiting and we’ve experimented with a couple of recipes. My niece’s comment was, “This one’s a keeper!” they spent a good 10 minutes playing with their ‘butterbeerstaches’ (mustaches). You helped create a fun vacation memory for them. Thanks so much again.

  • 23
    Jan 07/26/2012 at 8:54 pm

    Just started reading above comments and have a thought on the fizz issue. Kefir has an effirecence to it. It tastes like buttermilk to me. Those who are interested might look into using it somehow.

  • 24
    Ayla 09/04/2012 at 5:34 pm

    My brother has a friend who works at the park, and surprised be i may, your recipe is about dead on.
    Luckily my brother has great connections and his friend gave the recipe to him as payment for a job my bro did.
    only difference is since they make it by the can, they use 1tbs of vanilla butter nut extract to each 12oz can of cream soda. =)

    I had been googling recipes all day to compare, and when he gave me the official, i typed in ‘vanilla butter nut extract’ and ‘cream soda’ and you and only 1 other person has it down. =) Just thought i’d chime. in. <3 enjoy.

  • 25
    Summer 09/10/2012 at 4:38 pm

    Not sure if this was mentioned as i didn’t read all of the posts, but if you put a spoonful of the whipped cream in your cup first you will get a beautiful, frothy foamy glass of butterbeer. Cheers!

  • 26
    Chica 09/11/2012 at 8:50 am

    Thanks for the tip, Summer. We’ll have to try that out!

  • 27
    guest 10/06/2012 at 3:14 pm

    I went to the park and I loved the beer! I am very excited to try this version

  • 28
    guest 03/12/2013 at 3:52 pm

    I want to make this for a big event at my dorm however I am unsure if I’d be able to put the topping. Would the drink taste fine without the topping?

  • 29
    Chica 03/13/2013 at 7:16 am

    Guest, the drink will still taste good without the topping, but it will taste GREAT with it! Try to find a way to add it if you can :)

  • 30
    guest 03/13/2013 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for the speedy response! I will make an attempt! : D

  • 31
    yenta1957 10/18/2013 at 3:36 pm

    Wow! I’m late for the party as usual. Justa want to say..yet AGAIN…how much I LOVE this site. Great job Chica + Jo!! My oldest child attended college in FL + went to the “parks” frequently. She LOVED this butterbeer. Finding the recipe on your site…I really want to make this for my entire family. Just need to find the butter nut flavoring.
    Many thanks.

  • 32
    Chica 10/19/2013 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks, yenta1957. Hope you and your family enjoy the Butterbeer!

  • 33
    Lex 03/22/2014 at 7:49 pm

    I’m wondering if this recipe can be multiplied for the butterbeer dispenser you showed. I’m having a party and I want enough for everyone!

  • 34
    Chica 03/23/2014 at 9:19 am

    Lex, our Butterbeer recipe can definitely be multiplied and used in this barrel project. The only ingredient that you’ll need to adjust is the whipped cream. You don’t need the entire 1/2 cup quantity called for in the recipe, but if you start with less cream, you’ll have a had time whipping it. Once you multiply all your ingredients out, you’ll only need about half the whipped cream count that you get. Enjoy!

  • 35
    Alex 07/14/2015 at 4:17 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! I am having a Harry Potter Sweet 16 party and am desperately trying to find a Butterbeer stencil to make the mugs for my favors. Please direct me to where I may find the stencils. They are beautiful! Thank you!

  • 36
    Chica 07/14/2015 at 6:57 pm

    Alex, we custom designed these stencils, but unfortuantely we’re all out and aren’t planning to re-stock. We do, however, have some Hogwarts crest stencils available on Etsy.

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