Curious to try butterbeer? This simple frozen butterbeer recipe will transport you to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and it can be made dairy-free)!
We recently visited Universal Studios California and a lot has changed since the last time I visited. On our last visit, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter wasn’t even built (it’s been awhile), so that was the first place we hit up.
Wizarding World Photo Tips & Best Time to Buy Butterbeer
Here’s a tip for nice Wizarding World photos. If you arrive when the park opens, head to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ASAP. Heading there first will get you some nice clear photos of the buildings and employees in their costumes without any unknown people or crowds in your image.
It’s the same if you want to try butterbeer. The later in the day, the longer the lines become to purchase this Harry Potter drink. So, if you don’t mind drinking a cold beverage in the morning, this would be a good time to grab butterbeer without the wait.
Frozen, Non-Frozen, or Hot Butterbeer?
Okay, back to the frozen butterbeer recipe. I think it’s a given that one must try the butterbeer if visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There are three kinds of butterbeer: frozen, non-frozen, and hot. Get the frozen! It’s a personal preference, but something about the frozen butterbeer just tastes better. I can’t place my finger on it, but the non-frozen butterbeer falls flat compared to the frozen butterbeer. Of course, one can always buy both and compare 🙂 FYI – Hot butterbeer is only sold at the Three Broomsticks restaurant. This would be a good choice during the cooler months.
Naturally, when we came home, my daughter wanted to immediately try making butterbeer. There are tons of butterbeer recipes on the web, but most are made with a dairy topping. While I can technically have a tiny bit of dairy, my stomach would prefers non-dairy items. If that’s you too, this simple frozen butterbeer recipe can be made with a tad bit of dairy (Smucker’s butterscotch) or fully non-dairy by using butterscotch extract. Just note that the fully non-dairy version will have a slightly different taste.
Frozen Butterbeer Ingredients
- Virgils Vanilla Cream Soda – I’ve tried other cream sodas, but this is the one that has the flavor closest to the frozen butterbeer at Universal Studios. This can be found at Sprouts or health food stores. If you can’t find this soda, other cream sodas can be used, but the flavor will be quite a bit sweeter than what is served at Universal Studios.
- Powdered sugar
- Butter Extract – This could be omitted, but it does give the butterbeer the ‘butter’ flavor.
- Country Crock Plant Cream – This is a fairly new product and it’s delicious! Unlike other plant base heavy cream substitutes, this one doesn’t have a coconut base or flavor to cloud the cream taste.
- Smucker’s Butterscotch Syrup – Use non-dairy butterscotch, butterscotch extract, or non-dairy caramel sauce/syrup to make this drink fully dairy-free. Update 5/10/2022 – After trying the butterbeer at Universal Studios again, the topping is quite a bit sweeter than I make it. If you prefer it sweeter, add more butterscotch syrup till you get the sweetness you like.
Tools for Making Butterbeer
- Large bowl
- Electric Mixer
- Ice cube tray – 1 tray should hold one 12 ounce can/bottle of soda
- Liquid measuring cups
- Measuring spoons – 1/2 tsp & 1 T.
- 16 oz. cups – 2 cups or 1 large cup for single serving
- 1 - 12 oz. can Virgils vanilla cream soda, poured into a plastic ice cube tray and frozen (see notes)
- 1 - 12 oz. can Virgils vanilla cream soda, will only use 10 oz. or 1 1/4 cup (If you can't find Virgils soda, use your favorite cream soda brand)
- 1 1/2 tsp. butter extract
- 1/2 cup Country Crock Plant Cream (this is the best non-dairy cream substitute)
- 1 T. powdered sugar
- 2 T. butterscotch syrup (use more if you want it sweeter) or substitute with 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. of butterscotch extract
- Before making this frozen butterbeer, freeze one 12-ounce can of cream soda in an ice cube tray. This may take up to 4-6 hours, so do this ahead of time.
- In a large bowl, add all the foam topping ingredients. Using an electric mixer on high, whip the ingredients until it thickens. Set aside.
- In a blender, add the entire tray of frozen vanilla cream soda, 10 ounces or 1 1/4 cup of vanilla cream soda ( entire 12-ounce can be used for a less thick frozen butterbeer), and butter extract. Blend everything together until it becomes a slushie. Pour evenly into two 16-ounce cups.
- Top frozen butterbeer with foam topping and serve (see notes).
- The butterbeer at Universal Studios is served without a straw and unmixed. It is recommended to sip it from the cup to get a bit of the drink and foam topping at the same time. Do not mix the foam and drink together in the cup.
- Soda will expand when frozen in the ice cube trays, so do not place a cover on the ice tray. Also, never freeze soda in the can or it can explode.
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Virgil’s, Zero Sugar Vanilla Cream, Great Tasting Zero Calorie Keto-Friendly Soda (12- 12oz cans). I recommend visiting your local Sprouts or health food store to buy this as it usually costs about $6 or less for a 6 pack.
Imitation Butter Extract 2 oz
Smucker's Sundae Syrup Butterscotch Flavored Syrup, 20 Ounces
LorAnn Butterscotch Super Strength Flavor, 1 ounce bottle
Domino Powdered Sugar ( 2 pack ). If possible, buy powdered sugar at the market. It's less expensive at the market.
Kitch Ice Tray Easy Release White Ice Cube Trays, 16 Cube (Pack of 2)
Ball Wide Mouth Mason Jars 16 oz [5 Pack] With mason jar lids
Nutri Ninja BL642 Personal and Countertop Blender with 1200-Watt Auto-iQ Base, 72-Ounce Pitcher, and 18, 24, and 32-Ounce Cups with Spout Lids