Butterbeer Cookies are thick & chewy brown butter butterscotch cookies topped with ultra creamy butterbeer frosting and a luscious salted butterscotch sauce. These are truly the most unique & delicious cookies you’ll ever taste! If you grew up reading the Harry Potter books and always wanted to stop into the Three Broomsticks for a butterbeer, now you can have it in cookie form!
Harry Potter fans will fall head over heels for these cookies! Come to think of it, anyone who tastes them will agree they’re pure magic. Everyone I’ve shared these cookies with has instantly fallen in love with them. The phrase “best cookies I’ve ever had” has even been tossed around. They’re the perfect treat for a themed movie night, Halloween, or even Christmas cookie plates. Let’s dive into these Harry Potter Butterbeer Cookies!
Why you’ll love these Butterbeer Cookies:
- Chewy Cookies – These delicious butterscotch cookies are baked to chewy perfection, with crisp, crinkly edges! Brown butter takes the flavors to a new level!
- Salted Butterscotch Sauce – A quick butterscotch sauce is drizzled over the cookies & used in the frosting for plenty of butterbeer flavor.
- Creamy Butterscotch Frosting – Adding some of the salted butterscotch sauce to our frosting makes for the most delicious frosting you’ll ever taste!
- Butterbeer Flavor – From top to bottom these cookies are packed with butterbeer flavor – they taste like a cookie version of the butterbeer you’d get at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios! This homemade version isn’t too sweet – it’s a creamy, balanced, less-sickly version of any butterscotch flavor you’ve probably had before.
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer.
- All-purpose Flour – Spoon your flour into the measuring cup, then level it with a flat utensil for best results, or use a scale. Scooping the measuring cup directly into your flour will lead to too much flour, and a potentially dry bake.
- Dark Brown Sugar – Dark brown sugar beautifully enhances the flavors in these cookies – I highly recommend using it! It’s a wonderful addition to most cookie recipes in place of light brown sugar.
- Cream cheese – Use full fat, block style cream cheese for best results.
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite dairy-free butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Gluten-free – I have not tested a gluten-free version of this recipe but I suspect it would work well with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend based on reader’s experiences with some of my other cookie recipes (which share the same base).
How to Make this Butterbeer Cookie Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Butterscotch Sauce. Combine salted butter, dark brown sugar, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir, then don’t touch it! It will come to a boil – let it boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool down before using. It will thicken as it cools.
Step 2: Make the Cookie Dough. Brown your butter (it adds SO much flavor!), then whisk in melted butterscotch chips. Whisk in the sugars, eggs, and vanilla next.
Stir in the flour mixture – flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl well to make sure everything is incorporated. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.
Step 3: Roll into Balls. Roll the dough into balls that are 60 grams in size. Roll balls in granulated sugar. They can be baked off right away, or chilled for 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. See more in the FAQs below.
Step 4: Bake the Cookies. Bake cookies at 365 degrees F. They’ll be a bit puffy when done, but the edges should appear and feel just set. Gently press down on the tops to flatten them out for frosting later.
Step 5: Make the Frosting. Cream together brown butter, cream cheese, some of our butterscotch sauce from earlier, powdered sugar, and vanilla. You’ll have a luxuriously creamy butterscotch frosting!
Step 6: Decorate the Cookies. Dollop frosting onto the cooled cookies, and make swirls with an offset spatula. Drizzle on the butterscotch sauce and add some sprinkles for a little extra flair.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Once frosted, store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. See make-ahead tips in the FAQs below. Serve these cookies at a Harry Potter party or a Halloween themed party!
Expert Success Tips:
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
- Powdered Sugar – Mix this in on low speed to start, so it doesn’t fly out of the bowl and all over your kitchen. Increase to medium as you go.
Yes. Cookie dough balls can be frozen on a lined baking sheet, then transferred to a freezer bag or container for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen, adding 1 minute or so to the bake time. Unfrosted cookies can be stored in a container at room temp for up to 24 hours before decorating. Butterscotch sauce & frosting can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Let frosting come to room temperature for 10 minutes and beat with mixer to get it back to a spreadable consistency.
Yes, any of the components of this recipe can be halved or doubled!
If you stir it at all while it’s boiling, it will turn grainy. You must let it be. I also find that a stainless steel pot works better than a nonstick for things like this.
Your cream cheese was too soft, your butterscotch sauce was warm, or you beat the mixture for too long. Pop the frosting in the freezer or fridge for 10-30 minutes at any point if you need to stiffen it up a bit.
It’s a popular drink and flavor from the Harry Potter series. Butterbeer has a butterscotch flavor and cream soda is often used with butterscotch flavor and butter extract to make the butterbeer drink.
Yes, you can go down to 40 gram balls per cookie to stretch the yield. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
- Cookies – If you’re not into frosted cookies, these cookies are absolutely delicious on their own! You can also just use the butterscotch sauce on top and skip the frosting if desired.
- Butterscotch Pudding Mix – You can use about half a package of dry butterscotch pudding mix in the frosting if you want to skip the sauce.
- Rum Extract – Add 1/2 to 1 tsp of rum extract or butter extract to the frosting to taste.
- Cream Soda – Reduce 8 ounces of cream soda (1 cup) down to 2-3 tablespoons and add to the frosting with or in place of the butterscotch sauce if you prefer more of a cream soda flavor.
- Cookie Scoop – Use this cookie scoop to make your cookies the size I did. It’s technically an ice cream scoop, but it’s the perfect size for large bakery-style cookies.
- Offset Spatula – An offset spatula makes frosting cookies (and cakes!) a breeze.
- Baking Sheets – These are my favorite cookie sheets!
More Cookie Recipes to Love:
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Bakery-Style Monster Cookies
- Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie Cookies
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Looking for another Harry Potter Recipe?
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Salted Butterbeer Cookies with Butterscotch Frosting
For the Butterscotch Sauce:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed 110 grams
- 1/2 cup salted butter 113 grams or 8 tbsp
- pinch of flaky sea salt
For the Cookies:
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp salted butter See note below if you want to skip the brown butter. You'll start with 254 grams and want 206 grams left after browning.
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp butterscotch chips, melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed 163 grams
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 156 grams
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled 390 grams
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Butterbeer Frosting
- 6 tbsp salted butter Brown it if desired, or not if you want one fewer step
- 4 and 1/2 ounces cream cheese This only needs 5 mins or so at room temp
- 2 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup butterscotch sauce
- pinch of salt to taste
- Make the Butterscotch Sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and heavy cream. Then, let the mixture come to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. Do not stir it at all during this time. When the time is up, remove from the heat and stir in a generous pinch of flaky sea salt (to taste). Transfer to a jar or bowl to cool completely before using.Make-Ahead Tip: This can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Store in a jar in the fridge.
- Brown the Butter: (Optional step, see note below.) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking the butter – stirring lazily. The butter will get foamy, then turn golden, then start to turn brown and develop a nutty/caramely sort of aroma. Once it reaches a deep golden color, pour into a heat safe container and pop into the freezer for 10-20 minutes, to cool down to room temperature.
- Make the Cookie Dough: Add the room temperature melted brown butter to a mixing bowl and whisk in the melted butterscotch chips. Whisk in the sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and combined, about 30-45 seconds. Stir in the dry ingredients, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to get any straggler bits of flour.
- Rest Dough & Ball Cookies: Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest in the fridge for 10 minutes. Preheat your oven to 365℉. Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper. Once dough is rested, scoop into balls 60 grams in size. Roll the dough balls in granulated sugar. (Keep extra dough in the fridge while other pans are baking.)
- Bake Cookies: Bake 5-6 cookies per cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will be slightly puffy and the edges will appear set. Gently press down on the cookies with the back of a measuring cup to make them a tad flatter, for frosting. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat together softened butter and cream cheese well with an electric mixer on high speed. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, then add the butterscotch sauce, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth. If your frosting becomes weepy, pop it in the fridge or freezer for 10-30 minutes to stiffen up a bit. Make-Ahead Tip: This can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Cover tightly and store in the fridge. Let come back to room temp for 10 minutes or so and beat with your mixer to get it back to spreadable consistency before using.
- Assemble Cookies: Use a small cookie scoop to drop a dollop of frosting onto each cookie, then use a small offset spatula to spread it and make a swirl. Drizzle butterscotch sauce onto each cookie and add some sprinkles if desired.
- Serve & Store: Enjoy once decorated! They can also be refrigerated for a day before serving once decorated if making ahead. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. They need to be refrigerated because of the frosting and sauce.