Harry Potter’s Butterbeer Cupcakes

There are ways that I gauge a recipe to tell if it is really, really good.

If it is a savory dish, I make Brian and Abby try it. And if they rave, then I know it is an absolute hit. They are both incredibly picky and have a huge list of dislikes. That list includes avocados, black beans, anything Mexican, eggs and anything with lemons. Oh, and goat cheese. So you see what I’m working with here. If it pleases them, it is most likely to win an award somewhere. It just has to be that good.

If it is a super sweet dessert, I need only to give it to my mom. If she smiles, then it is a home run. Think of her as the Miranda Priestly of desserts. You know, a nod is good. Two nods, very good. But a pursing of the lips? Catastrophe.

My mom isn’t exactly like that but really, when it comes to desserts? I want her approval the same way Andy did Miranda’s. She’s not a big sweet eater, my mom. So when I made these cupcakes and she raved? I KNEW I had a hit on my hands. When she had a second, even better. But a third? Really, it was like a smile from Miranda Priestly herself.

Happy Fall, everyone! Break out those boots, toss on a comfy sweater and whip up a batch of these cupcakes. They are worthy of Harry Potter himself.

Slightly adapted from Amy Bites

Harry Potter’s Butterbeer Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 12

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup cream soda
  • For ganache:
  • 1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • For frosting:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch ganache
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
  • Splash of milk or cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add in vanilla and beat.
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
  5. Alternately add buttermilk, cream soda and flour mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners ¾ to the top. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until cupcakes are cooked through.
  7. Prepare your ganache: place the butterscotch chips in a heavy-duty bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium until it is just scalded. Add it to the butterscotch and let sit for a minute.
  8. The heavy cream will melt the butterscotch. Use a whisk and whip thoroughly to ensure the butterscotch is melted through. Pour the butterscotch ganache into a squeeze bottle.
  9. Once the cupcakes have cooled, take the squeeze bottle and insert it into each one, squeezing butterscotch ganache in until it begins to poke out of the top.
  10. Make frosting: Cream butter in a mixing bowl. Add in butterscotch ganache, vanilla and salt. Whip well to combine. Add in powdered sugar and mix slowly until combined.
  11. Add in splash of milk or cream until the buttercream reaches your desired consistency.
  12. Top cupcakes with buttercream. Use the remaining ganache to drizzle on top.


16 thoughts on “Harry Potter’s Butterbeer Cupcakes

  1. For me, the real litmus test is how quickly something disappears in lab. Five minutes and it’s really good…ten minutes it’s okay…a half hour and it’s awful!

    I can see these being a two minute kind of thing.

  2. YUM! Butterscotch ganache?! Sounds to die for. Making and eating these MAY just induce an exaggerated british accent and random outbursts of “expelliarmus!”

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