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How To Make A Butterscotch Milkshake (With Recipe)

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A thick and creamy butterscotch milkshake is one of life’s guilty pleasures! This might not be the healthiest treat in the world, but sometimes we all deserve a nice treat.

We’ve all had a great butterscotch milkshake from a coffee shop or snack bar, but can you recreate this at home? When making a butterscotch milkshake, there are a few methods that work well. The classic recipe blends ice cream, milk, and butterscotch sauce to make a thick and creamy shake. Alternative methods include using crushed ice cubes or substituting ingredients to make dairy-free and healthier alternatives.

Want to learn more about the best way to make a butterscotch milkshake? We have got all the answers and more for you!

We will take a look at the different methods used to make butterscotch milkshakes and give you some tips on the best way to make and serve these delicious shakes.

What Is A Butterscotch Milkshake?

There can’t be many people who don’t know what a milkshake is, but just in case you’ve suddenly returned from an extended trip to outer Mongolia we’ll explain anyway!

A milkshake is a cold, sweet drink, normally made by blending milk with ice cream. This gives a thick, creamy texture to the drink, along with thousands of tiny bubbles that are suspended in the liquid.

Milkshakes, or shakes, are normally served in a tall glass, sometimes topped with sprinkles or ice cream. The best way to drink a milkshake is through a straw, as the icy cold temperatures can be enough to make your teeth curl!

These indulgent drinks come in a huge range of flavors, and if you go to a shake bar you will be overwhelmed with choice!

From fruity red berries to juicy bananas and rich chocolate, the options for flavor combinations in your milkshake are endless.

One of the most popular flavors of milkshake has long been butterscotch.

This dark, thick, rich sauce pairs incredibly well with creamy milk and ice cream, and a butterscotch milkshake will appear on the menu of any respectable shake bar.

But you don’t have to make a trip out to treat yourself to this popular shake, as it is easy to recreate at home!

Let’s find out how to make a butterscotch milkshake, as well as all the variations to suit different dietary requirements.

How To Make A Simple Butterscotch Milkshake – Step-By-Step Guide

This straightforward butterscotch milkshake recipe needs just three ingredients—milk, vanilla ice cream, and butterscotch sauce!

They are carefully blended together to create a rich, thick, creamy shake that makes a great treat at any time of day.


  • 2 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup milk—any type of milk will work, but whole milk gives the best creamy flavor
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of butterscotch sauce (depending on how sweet you like your shake)


  • Pop all of the ingredients into your blender jug (you can use a blender with a jug attachment, or a stick blender in your everyday kitchen jug).
  • Blend until the shake is completely smooth, with no visible lumps of ice cream.
  • Pour the shake mix into a tall, chilled glass.
  • Top with a dash of butterscotch sauce, and enjoy!

How To Make Butterscotch Sauce

Butterscotch sauce is widely available in most grocery stores, but it is quick and easy to make at home too!

The advantage of making butterscotch sauce is that you know exactly what is in it—no nasty sweeteners or preservatives lurking here! 

Follow this step-by-step guide to make a quick and easy butterscotch sauce at home!


  • ½ cup of dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Using a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the brown sugar, cream, and salt and mix well.
  • Keep the pan on low-medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Boil for 4-5 minutes (no more!), stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  • Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract, stirring to mix it through.
  • Transfer the sauce to a container to cool. It will thicken as it cools, so don’t panic if it looks thin to start with!

How To Make Butterscotch Milkshake Without A Blender

Don’t have a blender in your kitchen? Don’t panic, it is easy to make a great shake without one!

And as blenders can be a complete pain to wash up, the blender-free option seems very appealing to us!

All you need to make a great shake without a blender is a way to gently melt the ice cream, so it can be blended with the milk.

The aim is to create ice cream that is semi-liquid but still has enough ice crystals to give a thick texture to your shake.

You have two options here, depending on how much time and patience you have! The first is to allow the ice cream to melt at room temperature. This can take a while, but the process is speeded up if you stir the ice cream regularly.

The second option is to use the defrost setting on your microwave to soften the ice cream. Set it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring well to help it along the way.

Once your ice cream is lump-free, pour in the milk and butterscotch and mix well. Voilá—a sumptuous butterscotch milkshake, without a blender!

How To Make Butterscotch Milkshake With Ice Cubes

If you don’t have ice cream, or want to make a healthier shake, then ice cubes can be used to create an icy-cold, thick shake.

For this method, you will need a blender, as the aim is to crush the ice into fine grains. When added to milk, this icy slush will give you a drink that is nearly as good as the real thing!

For every cup of milk, add 6 ice cubes to your blender. Give them a quick blast until the ice cubes are in small chunks, then add the milk and butterscotch sauce. Blend again until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Serve in tall glasses, with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce for extra sweetness.

How To Make A Healthy Butterscotch Milkshake

If you are looking to cut the calorie count of this indulgent treat, there are a few easy ways to do so.

Firstly, swapping the milk you use to a low-fat variety will instantly make your milkshake healthier. You can also halve the amount of ice cream you use, but your milkshake will not be as thick and decadent.

One way to make a healthy thick milkshake is to add in a frozen alternative to ice cream. Frozen yogurt is a great substitute, and can give you a decedent thick milkshake without the high-fat content of ice cream.

Alternatively, you can add frozen fruit to thicken your milkshake. One of the best pairings for butterscotch sauce is banana, so pop some frozen banana chunks in your blender instead of ice cream.

This will give you natural sweetness without the fat, as well as a thick, creamy shake.

Some things you just can’t skip though, and butterscotch sauce is one of them! You’ve already made your shake as healthy as possible, so treat yourself to a good drizzle of butterscotch sauce for a rich, caramelized sweetness.

How To Make A Deluxe Butterscotch Milkshake

Let’s face it, a milkshake is supposed to be a decadent treat, right? Just a few simple twists can turn the basic recipe into a sumptuous shake that anyone would enjoy!

To start with, you want only the best raw ingredients. So, use full-fat milk for extra creaminess, and treat yourself to some deluxe vanilla ice cream from the store.

You know the stuff: the one made with real vanilla pods and the highest quality ingredients, that you have to hide from the kids and your other half!

Your homemade butterscotch sauce can be taken to the next level with just a few simple additions (as if it wasn’t decadent enough already!).

Top-quality butterscotch is made with melted butter and you can also add a dash of corn syrup and Scotch whisky for extra decadence. If you’re a fan of salted butterscotch, add an extra pinch of sea salt flakes.

Another great way to ramp up the creaminess of your milkshake is to swap some of the fresh milk for condensed milk.

This will bump up the sweetness of your milkshake, so you might want to hold back on that extra helping of butterscotch sauce!

Finally, let’s talk toppings. One of the best things about a restaurant milkshake is the care and attention that goes into making it look absolutely delicious.

To create this at home, you can use a few basic ingredients to turn your thick shake into a gastronomic delight.

Here are some great suggestions for butterscotch milkshake toppings:

  • A spoonful of whipped cream
  • Finely grated dark chocolate
  • A drizzle of thick butterscotch sauce
  • Small marshmallows
  • Crushed cookies
  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed cinder toffee
  • A scoop of butterscotch ice cream

Just remember that if you are adding anything that won’t dissolve in the shake, then you will need a spoon to fish them out! Small items can also be a choking hazard for children, especially if sucked up through a straw.

How To Make A Dairy-Free Butterscotch Milkshake

If you are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet, it can be frustrating that decadent treats like milkshakes are full of dairy ingredients!

However, don’t despair, because just a few simple swaps mean that you can make a great dairy-free milkshake at home.

Firstly, let’s look at the milk. There is a huge range of dairy-free milk options available now, so all you need to do is pick your favorite!

We’d recommend using oat milk or almond milk, as both have a slightly sweet flavor that works well in a milkshake.

When it comes to ice cream, this can be a bit trickier. The freezer section at your grocery store should stock some vegan ice-cream alternatives, so see if you can track down a vanilla dairy-free frozen dessert.

For the butterscotch sauce, all we need to do is replace or omit the cream. Again, look for a dairy-free option in your store, such as plant-based milk or cream.

Alternatively, you may be able to pick up a dairy-free or vegan butterscotch sauce in specialty food stores.

Also, chunks of frozen banana taste great in a dairy-free butterscotch milkshake, as well as giving you a thick, creamy shake!

And To Finish, Some Completely Over The Top Butterscotch Milkshake Toppings!

As with most things edible, the craze for ever more elaborate shake toppings has exploded recently! Here are some of the more wacky butterscotch milkshake toppings we came across:

  • A tower of donuts
  • A carefully balanced cupcake
  • A fruity assortment of sliced bananas and cherries
  • Your favorite candied sweets
  • Caramel wafers
  • Cocktail umbrellas
  • Crushed chocolate-coated cookies

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over how to make a butterscotch milkshake, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

How do you make a thick milkshake?

If you want a thick, luxurious milkshake, step away from the ice! Whilst blended ice is a great quick fix to making a milkshake, you will find that it soon becomes watery as the ice starts to melt.

The best thick milkshakes are those made with ice cream, which gives them a thick, velvety texture.

But for added thickness, we’d suggest adding some frozen fruit too. A splash of condensed milk is also a great way to thicken up your milkshake.

Keeping some chopped fruit in the freezer ready to add to your shakes is a great way to not only make them super thick but also add in some nutritional goodness.

This means you can enjoy a guilt-free shake that still tastes like an indulgent treat!

Is butterscotch sauce the same as caramel?

You will often find butterscotch and caramel sauce side-by-side in the grocery store, but are they the same thing? Whilst you might think that they taste very similar, there are some key differences between these two popular sauces.

Both butterscotch and caramel sauce are made with sugar, but the types of sugar used are different.

Caramel sauce is made with white granulated sugar, and butterscotch is made with brown sugar. Butterscotch also sometimes has cream added, and both sauces benefit from a dash of vanilla and pinch of salt.

The difference in sugar is what makes the flavor of each sauce so distinctive. The flavor of butterscotch is richer and more intense than caramel, which has a smoother and more delicate taste.

However, they are pretty similar, so there are no problems in swapping one for the other!

What is butterscotch shake powder?

Powdered shake mixes have long been popular with people looking for a convenient and easy way to whip up a milkshake.

These premixed powders contain all the flavors and ingredients necessary to make a thick, decadent shake in a matter of seconds. All you need is milk and a way to blend it together!

Shake powders work best if you have a blender, but there are other options available to create a thick and creamy texture. One of the easiest is to pop the milk and powder into a glass jar, make sure the lid is on tightly, then shake!

Whilst this is a quicker option than making a shake from scratch, you will find that shake powder contains a lot of additives, and might not be the healthiest choice available.

But as an occasional treat or store cupboard backup, shake powder can’t be beaten for convenience.

Butterscotch Milkshake

Butterscotch Milkshake

Yield: 1 glass
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This decadent milkshake is incredibly luxurious and guaranteed to be a hit next time you make a milkshake at home!


  • 2 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup milk—any type of milk will work, but whole milk gives the best creamy flavor
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of butterscotch sauce (depending on how sweet you like your shake)


  1. Pop all of the ingredients into your blender jug (you can use a blender with a jug attachment, or a stick blender in your everyday kitchen jug).
  2. Blend until the shake is completely smooth, with no visible lumps of ice cream.
  3. Pour the shake mix into a tall, chilled glass.
  4. Top with a dash of butterscotch sauce, and enjoy!

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