Before I get into my latest baking adventure, I have to say that I am so so sad that Alan Rickman died. What a loss of such a great talent and person. I loved him in every movie I’ve seen with him in it. But, let’s be honest, my favorite role was him as Snape in the Harry Potter series. I read the majority of the books, and have seen all of the movies and I thought he portrayed Snape wonderfully and made him likable even when he wasn’t supposed to be. I’ve been wanting to re-read and re-watch the movies, and I think that now is a perfect time.
I wish I could say that I made these Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes in tribute to Alan Rickman. But the truth is I made them about a week prior for my friend’s birthday. She loves Harry Potter even more than I do. I knew I wanted to make something special and fun for her birthday and when I found these Butterbeer Cupcakes, I knew IMMEDIATELY that I had to attempt them. Thank you to Amy at Amy Bites for this amazing recipe!
There are 3 steps to making the cupcakes: the cupcake, the ganache and then the buttercream filling.
First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, and lined my cupcake pans with paper liners.
Then, I combined flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
I put that aside and beat butter in a mixer until it was light and fluffy.
Once light and fluffy, I added granulated sugar and brown sugar and mixed until combined.
After the butter and sugar were thoroughly combined, I beat in eggs, one at a time, and then I beat in vanilla and butter extracts.
The next step involved alternately adding the buttercream, cream soda and dry ingredients until combined. So first I measured out the buttercream and cream soda.
Then, I added some of the dry ingredients (about 1/3 of it) into the butter/sugar mixture and beat until combined.
Next, I added the buttercream and beat until combined.
Then, I beat in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then added in the cream soda and then beat in the rest of the flour mixture.
Now that the batter was done, I scooped the cupcake batter into lined cupcake pans. Note: Amy’s recipe says that it will make 18 but I made 12 and just made them a little bit fuller which also meant that I had to cook them a little bit longer.
After about 18 minutes, the cupcakes were done. The kitchen smelled heavenly while the cupcakes were baking and I just wanted to eat them all as soon as they were out of the oven!
While the cupcakes were baking, I worked on the ganache that would be the filling of the cupcake.
The butterscotch ganache was infused into the cupcake, and mixed into the buttercream frosting, and used on top of the frosting. I was initially scared, as I worried it would make everything too sweet and too butterscotch-y, but it wasn’t. And, if there wasn’t a lot of butterscotch, it wouldn’t have been Butterbeer Cupcakes!
It’s super easy to make. Amy’s recipe calls to use a double boiler (or in my case because I don’t have one, a pot and heat-proof bowl) to melt butterscotch chips and heavy cream together. I put water in the bottom of the pot, brought it to a simmer, and added the bowl with the ingredients on top of the pot, continually stirring until totally melted and smooth. I didn’t want to risk burning it so I took it off the heat as soon as it was totally melted and continued stirring until completely smooth.
Once the ganache was smooth, I let it cool. Then, I filled up my frosting plunger decorator thing (I don’t know the real name of it, there’s a photo later in the post though) with the ganache (not all of it though as I needed some for the buttercream), inserted the plunger tip into the middle of each cupcake and filled the cupcake with the ganache until it started to flow onto the top of the cupcake. You can kind of see the ganache on the top of the cupcake in the picture below.
Almost done. Now, I just had to make the buttercream.
First, I had to cream some more butter until light and fluffy. Then, I added some of that leftover ganache, vanilla and butter extracts and salt into the butter and mixed until it was completely combined.
To finish the buttercream, I slowly added in powdered sugar, beating after each addition until combined. And voila, it was done.
All that was left to do is frost the cupcakes. I used that frosting plunger thing again that I used to fill the cupcakes with the ganache. I call it a plunger because it has this thing on the back that pushes the contents of the container down as you squeeze the handles. It’s from OXO Good Grips, and looks like this:
See that little circle thing? That’s what I mean by the plunger, hence my oh-so-clever name for it.
Anywhos, I filled that up and used an open star tip to frost the cupcakes.
They were a little messier than I hoped, but it was my first time using the decorating tool and took a little getting used to.
Once frosted the last step was to add the remaining butterscotch ganache onto the frosting.
I made these the night before I went to visit my friend and celebrate her birthday. Between having them in my apartment and then in my car while traveling to Delaware for the celebration, I’m shocked I didn’t eat them all. They smelled AH-MAZING. I was so happy when we arrived at my friend’s house and all dug into the cupcakes. They tasted scrumptious, and definitely not overly butterscotchy, like I had been worried about. And they were a hit. My friend loved them and sent me a text the next day… “and those cupcakes” with the heart for eyes face emoji, and then she told me that her other friend was mad because the cupcakes were so good and she couldn’t stop eating them hahaha. I’m so happy she liked them and that I got to celebrate the birthday of one of my oldest and dearest friends. Crazy to think we’ve been friends for over 20 years!