Brandy Butter Recipe (2024)

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Have you ever had brandy butter--also called hard sauce? It's a delightful combination of flavors and is served on top of a warm slice of plum pudding.

You'll want to serve this homemade dessert topping with plum pudding or homemade mincemeat tarts this Christmas. Be sure to try our 9 British Christmas recipes as well.

Brandy Butter Recipe (1)
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  • Ingredients
  • How to Make Brandy Butter
  • Recipe FAQs
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  • Expert Tips
  • More Christmas Recipes
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Brandy Butter Recipe (2)

Curious what you need to make brandy butter? Let's discuss the key ingredients in this simple recipe.

  • Butter: We use a combination of salted and unsalted but feel free to use either one. The salted helps cut some of the sweetness, while unsalted is typically fresher.
  • Brandy: Adding a small amount of this liquor gives this topping its signature flavor. Only add enough to taste, or the mixture will be too bitter.
  • Icing Sugar: This sweetens the mixture and holds it together.
  • Orange Zest: This brightens up the flavors, but be careful not to add too much, or it will be bitter.

See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Brandy Butter

Grab some icing sugar, butter, vanilla extract, orange zest, and brandy.

Brandy Butter Recipe (3)
  1. Put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. (image 1)
  2. Beat together until lightened in color and fluffy. (image 2)
Brandy Butter Recipe (4)
  1. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and brandy a little at a time until you like the flavor.(image 3)
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. (image 4)

Recipe FAQs

How do you eat brandy butter?

This British dessert topping is often served with desserts such as Christmas pudding and mince pies. When spooned onto a warm pudding, the butter melts into it to add extra flavor, or is spread on top of a mince pie before eating.

What does brandy butter taste like?

It has a sweet, buttery taste with hints of vanilla, and a slight bitterness from the orange zest and oak from the alcohol.

What is brandy butter made from?

It's made by whipping powdered sugar and butter together with vanilla, brandy, and orange zest. I like to use a mixture of salted and unsalted butter to help balance the sweetness.

Is there alcohol in brandy butter?

Yes, there is alcohol in it. We used 5 to 7 tablespoons in a batch that makes 3 cups. You can substitute this with fruit juice, such as apple juice, or omit it entirely if you prefer.


  • Leftovers: Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
  • Freeze: Store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Eat within 1 week of thawing.


Any warm, heavy dessert goes well with it. Here are some ideas to get you started, although feel free to experiment!

  • Plum pudding or figgy pudding
  • Mince pies
  • Bread pudding
  • Toasted sweet bread (try cinnamon swirl bread, stollen, plum bread)
  • Cinnamon rolls

If you are looking for another British dessert, make sure to try our recipe for Lincolnshire plum bread.

Expert Tips

  • Use both salted and unsalted butter. The salt helps cut the sweetness, while the unsalted adds a fresher flavor.
  • Add the brandy slowly. It's easy to add too much, and then the flavor is overpowering. If you accidentally add too much, simply add more icing sugar and vanilla to balance it out.
  • Tweak the flavorings to your taste.
  • Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, then serve it cold with Christmas desserts like plum pudding.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, and use within 1 week of thawing.

More Christmas Recipes

  • Traditional Figgy Pudding Recipe
  • Candied Lemon Slices
  • Julekake: Norwegian Christmas Bread
  • Roscón de Reyes (Spanish Kings' Cake)

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Brandy Butter Recipe (9)

Brandy Butter Recipe

Brandy butter, a sweet and fluffy blend of butter, sugar, brandy, orange zest, and vanilla, is the traditional accompaniment to plum pudding at Christmas. Just mix together the ingredients in one bowl to make this delicious gluten free brandy butter. Everyone will love this classic sauce with plum pudding, bread pudding, or mince pies during the holidays!

5 from 1 vote

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: British

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 3 cups

Calories: 122kcal



  • ½ cup salted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups icing sugar
  • 5-7 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest


  • Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl. Sift the icing sugar on top, then beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and lightened in color.

  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a flexible spatula, then mix in the vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix in the brandy one tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired taste. Taste and add additional sugar, vanilla, or orange zest as desired.

  • Serve with hot plum pudding, bread pudding, mince pies, or Christmas cookies. If making ahead, store in the fridge until needed.



  • Use both salted and unsalted butter. The salt helps cut the sweetness, while the unsalted adds a fresher flavor.
  • Add the brandy slowly. It's easy to add too much, and then the flavor is overpowering. If you accidentally add too much, simply add more icing sugar and vanilla to balance it out.
  • Tweak the flavorings to your taste.
  • Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, then serve it cold with Christmas desserts like plum pudding.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge, and use within 1 week of thawing.


Serving: 2TablespoonsCalories: 122kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 5g (31%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mg (7%)Sodium: 41mg (2%)Potassium: 4mgFiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 10g (11%)Vitamin A: 249IU (5%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 3mgIron: 1mg (6%)

Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Beth

    Brandy Butter Recipe (10)
    This is great with plum pudding. Nice and fluffy. It's soft and creamy, making it the perfect addition to figgy pudding as well. The orange zest adds a nice touch.


    • Emma



      • Georgia

        This was an amazing Perfect
        The zest did add a little something to it
        Thank you. I will make it again


        • Emma

          Glad that you enjoyed it, Georgia, and I'm happy to hear that you want to make it again! 🙂


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Brandy Butter Recipe (2024)


What is brandy butter made from? ›

The essential brandy butter recipe involves creaming together butter and sugar, and then adding a slosh of brandy. There's little scope for error, though over-whipping the brandy butter can make it oily, and adding lots of brandy too quickly might make it curdle.

Does brandy butter go off in the fridge? ›

In the Refrigerator- Brandy butter will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for two to three weeks. In the Freezer- You can also freeze this butter for up to three months for later use. Just make sure it's in a well-sealed container. Defrost in the refrigerator and use it within a week.

Why does my brandy butter curdle? ›

If you are over generous with the brandy it will curdle so just beat in more sieved icing sugar and it will come smooth again.

What is another name for brandy butter? ›

The Basics. The name of hard sauce (aliases: brandy butter, rum butter, Senior Wrangler sauce) is a bit misleading, as the dish has more in common with a melt-in-your-mouth butter mint than a drizzly glaze.

How to make homemade brandy? ›

  1. Enough fruit to somewhat fill a gallon jar, (cherries, apricots, crabapples, etc.).
  2. Place fruit, any kind, into glass jar -- pits and all, just cut off the yucky parts.
  3. Add sugar and vodka.
  4. Set on your kitchen counter and flip it every day for three months.

What is the shelf life of brandy butter? ›

Nutritional Information per 100g
Alcohol Content8%
Shelf Life24 Months from production
Shelf Life Once Opened1 month (Refrigerate after opening and use within one month)
Storage Temp - UnopenedAmbient (1°C-30°C)
Storage Temp - Opened1 - 5°C
7 more rows

What do you eat brandy butter with? ›

' Here are our favourite three ways to enjoy our boozy butter.
  1. Mince Pies. Mince pies taste absolutely gorgeous heated up in the oven with a big dollop of brandy butter on top. ...
  2. Christmas pudding. ...
  3. Crumpets. ...
  4. Get on our nice list by reducing naughty waste. ...
  5. Join our milkround.

What is the difference between brandy butter and brandy cream? ›

Brandy butter uses caster sugar, giving the whipped unguent a pleasing graininess that dissolves on the tongue, part of the charm and a foil to the sticky pudding. There's an argument that brandy cream does a slightly better job though, as cream is much higher in milk sugar - lactose - than butter.

Is there alcohol in brandy butter? ›

Specifications. Unsalted Butter (52%) (𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐤), Icing Sugar, Courvoisier® Vs Cognac (4%), French Brandy (3%). For allergens, see ingredients in bold. Keep refrigerated below 5°C.

How do you fix split brandy butter? ›

IF THE BRANDY BUTTER SPLITS/CURDLES you have two choices to fix it:
  1. Add more confectioner's sugar until it's smooth.
  2. Take a heaping spoonful of the mixture and melt it (microwave is easiest), then add it back into the bowl and mix in, and it will be smooth again.
Dec 16, 2023

Can you buy brandy butter? ›

We offer customers both brandy sauce and brandy butter because we can't decide which one we like most! This is made in our kitchens with unsalted farmhouse butter and good cognac. An obligatory accompaniment to Mince Pies and Christmas Pud. Comes in a reusable kilner jar.

Why is my homemade butter so soft? ›

The ideal temperature for churning butter is around 60-65 F. If the cream is too cold, it is harder for the fat globules to stick together, and if it is too warm the butter will be a little too soft and gloopy.

What is the fancy name for brandy? ›

The European Union and some other countries legally enforce "Cognac" as the exclusive name for brandy produced and distilled in the Cognac area of France and the name "Armagnac" for brandy from the Gascony area of France.

Can you have brandy butter on toast? ›

Two versions from me, a brandy butter and a Baileys butter too. Stored in the freezer in individual portions so there's no waste either. If you love a good spread of butter on your toast, teacakes or slice of fruit cake then this is definitely right up your street!

How many units of alcohol are in brandy butter? ›

The drink-drive limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - which as a rough guide means men should have no more than four units of alcohol and women no more than three before driving. 0.7 per serving), brandy butter (0.3 units) and Irish coffee (1.4 units).

Does brandy butter contain alcohol? ›

Ingredients. INGREDIENTS: Butter (Milk) (51%), Icing Sugar, French Brandy (6%).

Where does brandy butter come from? ›

Our brandy butter is made by creaming together butter and sugar with brandy.


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