Monday, July 18, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Last week, I came across recipe after recipe for Harry Potter-themed treats in honor of the final installment of the saga which was (in case you live under a rock or something) released on Friday.   Chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties, rock cakes, oh my!  I loved Rebecca's Harry Potter dessert menu!

But more than anything, I loved the idea of butterbeer cupcakes.  Butterbeer is something of a Harry Potter mystery, since 12-year-olds seem to be allowed to drink it without adverse effects, but it can seriously intoxicate house-elves.  And who knows what it tastes like?  Cream soda?  Root beer?  Hard cider...ish?  I once had a "butterbeer" at a HP book release at Borders, and it was like a butterscotch latte, which was weird.  

So these cupcakes, if you want, could also just be called butterscotch cupcakes.  The cake is exceptionally moist, and is flavored with both cream soda, vanilla extract, and butter flavoring.  A word about butter flavoring: I had my doubts.  It says "artificial" right on it, which usually makes me crinkle my nose and walk away.  But you know what?  Once in a while, you just have to take a chance.  When I opened the bottle and smelled it, my nose did not crinkle.  Not one bit.  And it's only a little, and it's not like you're making these cupcakes daily (right?).  So just go with it.  Go with the butterscotchy goodness.  

They are also filled with butterscotch ganache, and frosted with butterscotch buttercream frosting, and then drizzled with more butterscotch ganache for good measure.  Have I said butter enough times?

Did you see HP7P2 yet?  What did you think?  Did it live up to the hype?  To your expectations?  Did you weep for about half the movie, like me?  I thought that scene when the Hogwarts teachers are putting all the defensive spells around the castle was such a powerful allusion to prayer, that I had tears streaming down my face.  I am sad that there are no more Harry Potters to look forward to.  But at least we still have cupcakes.

Butterbeer Cupcakes
adapted from this recipe from amybites

Also awesome?  Golden Snitch Butterbeer Cake Pops.

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda

For the ganache:

1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the buttercream frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until well incorporated.  Beat in vanilla extract and butter flavoring.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat to combine.  Add buttermilk, and mix.  Add next 1/3 of flour mixture, mix.  Add cream soda, mix.  Add remaining flour mixture, mix.  Fill each cup 3/4 full, and bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine butterscotch chips and heavy cream in the top of a double-boiler, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (be careful not to let the bowl touch the simmering water).  Stir until the chips melt and the mixture is smooth.  Set aside and cool to room temperature.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy.  Add ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt, and mix to combine.  Add the powdered sugar and beat, slowly at first (don't want to end up covered in sugar) until it's incorporated, and the quickly to reach a light and fluffy consistency, adding a little milk or cream if it's too thick, and a little more sugar if it's too thin. 

Transfer room-temperature ganache to a small plastic squeeze bottle.  Poke the spout into the center of each cooled cupcake and squeeze slowly until ganache starts to come out of the top.  Continue until all cupcakes are filled.  Frost, and drizzle with more butterscotch ganache.

Makes 22 cupcakes.


  1. These look so yum! your whole blog looks so yum!

  2. Hey again!

    i had to blog about the video you posted in LOL. :)

    Here is the link.

    Let me know if you want me to add / remove something ok?