Butterbeer Cupcakes for Harry Potter

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My initial idea for this week was to post a different Harry Potter inspired recipe leading up to the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. And maybe even getting a few more out there after just to get the recipes swimming in my head out of my system. Apparently I wasn’t the only evil genius because everywhere I look today, there are Harry Potter recipes running amok.

It’s crazytown out there, folks. But calm yourself because I have made you some of the BEST cupcakes to ever grace my kitchen.

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When I first read about Butterbeer in the Harry Potter books, I imagined butter… and beer. And that did NOT sound tasty to me at ALL (not to mention that I was wondering why these 11 year olds are drinking beer!). Oh sure, I’m all for butter, my baking world would be lost without it. But in beer? Blegh.

But it turns out that Butterbeer really has nothing to do with beer at all. At least not the recipes that I’ve found. Most of them include butterscotch and butter flavors.

These are pretty sweet so if your sweet tooth isn’t as hardcore as mine, I suggest skipping the butterscotch filling and just sticking with the cupcakes and frosting.

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Butterbeer Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Sweet Tooth

For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda

For the butterscotch ganache:
1 11-oz package butterscotch chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb powdered sugar
Splash of cream (as needed)

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Making the Cupcakes:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl and a hand mixer), cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffly, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing until well incorporates (about 1 minute), scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
5.  Add in vanilla and butter flavoring, mix for about 1 minute.
6.  Combine buttermilk and cream soda in a small bowl (or measuring cup for ease).
7.  Alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk mixture with the mixer on low, starting and ending with the flour.
8.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full (I would fill 2/3 full) and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

Making the Butterscotch Ganache:
1.  Melt the butterscotch chips and heavy cream together using a double boiler until completely smooth (or in a heat safe bowl in the microwave). Cool to room temperature to allow the ganache to slightly thicken.
2. Set 1/3 cup or mixture aside and fill a plastic squeeze bottle with the remaining ganache. Insert tip into each cooled cupcake about halfway down, squeeze gently filling until the ganache starts to slightly overflow.

Making the Frosting:
1.  Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add remaining 1/3 cup of ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar and allow it to come together for about 2 minutes. Add cream a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
2.  Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with a large tip and drizzle leftover butterscotch ganache over each.

Recipe yields 18 cupcakes.

For more Harry Potter fun, check these out:
Pumpkin Pasties
Sorting Hat Pita Bread
and stay tuned for more :)

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