Butterscotch Steamer

My butterscotch steamer recipe is ready in 10 minutes ~ this coffee shop style drink is the perfect caffeine free winter warm up!

pouring butterscotch steamer into mug

a butterscotch steamer fulfills that universal need for a warm drink

I have to say we’re getting pretty good at perfecting that classic butterscotch flavor (have you tried our Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding?) I guarantee this is better than anything you could buy at any coffee shop, it has the authentic butterscotch flavor you get from butter and brown sugar. I can’t stand all the artificial flavors in coffee shop drinks these days, this feels indulgent and wholesome at the same time.

what is a steamer?

A steamer is a hot milk based drink popularized by coffee shops. It’s usually sweetened with flavored syrups and can be made with any type of milk, non dairy included. Because there’s no coffee involved, there’s no caffeine in a steamer, which makes them great for kids, or anyone who needs or wants to avoid caffeine.

holding a warm butterscotch steamer

the five (yes, just five!) ingredients you’ll need for a butterscotch steamer

  • butter ~ it’s one of the two essential ingredients in butterscotch, whether you’re making candy, or a warming drink.
  • brown sugar ~ use light or dark. You’ll get a slightly darker, more molasses flavor with the dark, so that’s what I use. If you don’t have it, don’t run out in the cold to get some, regular golden brown sugar will work fine.
  • milk ~ I used whole milk, but low or non fat will work fine. So will non-dairy milks.
  • salt ~ really makes a difference in blooming that butterscotch flavor.
  • vanilla extract ~ works like magic to bring out sweet flavors.
adding a cinnamon stick to a butterscotch steamer

a butterscotch steamer is so simple to make

Here’s the short version, for details be sure to visit the full recipe below.

  1. Grab a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Add the brown sugar with a little water and melt it over medium to medium high heat.
  3. Let the sugar bubble for a few minutes until it gets nice and deep rich brown.
  4. Add the butter and stir to melt.
  5. Add the milk and stir until the caramel has melted into the milk and the pan is steaming. Do not let it boil. Thats it!

can you make a keto butterscotch steamer?

Yes, you can use Truvia brown sugar, and half and half, or cream in place of whole milk.

butterscotch steamer in a glass mug

more coffee shop copy-cats to make at home

5 from 1 vote

Butterscotch Steamer

Warm, sweet, creamy and rich with caramel flavor, this butterscotch steamer is the perfect thing to warm up any wintery day!
Course beverage
Cuisine American
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 2 servings
Calories 397kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • splash of water
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Combine the sugar, salt, and a splash of water in a small saucepan, and set over medium/medium-high heat. Make sure the sugar is evenly moistened, the water helps it melt evenly.
  • Once the mixture starts to bubble, continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes. Monitor the sugar closely so it doesn't burn, turning down the heat if necessary, but you do want it to get nice and dark brown.
  • Remove from the heat, and add the butter to pan. Be careful as it will sputter. Stir it in throughly so that it's fully mixed together, the mixture should resemble a caramel sauce.
  • Slowly add the milk. The caramel mixture will harden up at first, this is fine, it will re-melt together as the milk heats up.
  • Set the pan over medium/low heat and slowly heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts steaming and all of the caramel has melted into the milk. Note: don't let the milk come to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve immediately, topped with frothed milk, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.


Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 379mg | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 745IU | Calcium: 310mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Oh, I can use my Swerve brown sugar and almond milk I’m on it!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2022 at 7:41 am

    Hi looks yummy. Can I ask where you got those beautiful glass drink mugs?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 4, 2022 at 7:51 am

      I get those on amazon, they’re great because the glass is heat resistant and they’re insulated. Here’s a link (it’s an affiliate link)

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