Butterbeer Cupcakes

posted in: Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts        date:

Butterbeer Cupcakes

I can’t believe that, as I write this, I’m preparing to see the final Harry Potter movie. By preparing, I mean trying not to totally freak out at all the things I know are going to be different than the book. Because as much as I love the movies, the books are better (but isn’t that always the case?). If we still lived in Orlando, you can bet that Eric and I would be breaking out our Universal passes and watching the movie at the park after spending the day at Wizarding World. Since we can’t do that, though, I wanted to celebrate the last movie the next best way – with food.

You may recall the Frozen Butterbeer I posted last year. These cupcakes are basically that in dessert form. The original recipe called for butter flavor, but I wanted the cupcakes to be as close to my frozen butterbeer as possible and used butterscotch schnapps instead. The flavor is subtle, but that’s because the cupcakes get a huge dose of butterscotch goodness from the filling and frosting. After baking, they’re filled with a luscious butterscotch ganache, topped with butterscotch frosting and drizzled with the remaining butterscotch ganache. The butterscotch ganache isn’t as thick as a typical ganache; it’s more like a glaze, so it’s perfect for filling and drizzling. The buttery cake helps to balance out the sweetness of the filling and frosting, and the flavor is so close to butterbeer that it’s ridiculous. So even if you’re just a muggle that likes butterscotch, you will love these. I found that I had quite a bit of the butterscotch ganache leftover, and I think I could’ve easily gotten away with using half of it. I have reflected that change, as well as the substitution of the schnapps, in the recipe below. Also, I recommend using a vanilla cream soda (like Virgil’s) for the best flavor.

If you’re looking for other Harry Potter related treats to make this week, check out my Sorting Hat Pita Bread (which doesn’t look a lot like the Sorting Hat but is still pretty cool) and Cauldron Cakes.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

  • YIELD: 18 cupcakes
  • For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon butterscotch schnapps

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • ½ cup cream soda

  • For the filling:

  • 5½ ounces butterscotch chips (a little less than a cup)

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • For the frosting:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • ⅓ cup butterscotch filling

  • 1 tablespoon butterscotch schnapps

  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

  • 3½-4 cups powdered sugar

  • Splash of cream soda (as needed)

  • 1

    To make the cupcakes, heat oven to 350º and line cupcake pans with liners.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add both sugars and continue beating until well combined. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  • 2

    Combine the schnapps and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the cream soda and buttermilk. Mix until just combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

    Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full, then bake for 15-17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  • 3

    While the cupcakes are cooling, make the filling by combining the butterscotch chips and heavy cream in a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and fill each cupcake just until the filling comes to the top.

  • 4

    To make the frosting, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the butterscotch filling, schnapps and salt and beat until well combined. On low speed, beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add cream soda as needed to thin the frosting. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with remaining syrup.

SOURCE: Amy Bites
COMMENTS: ( 42 )
  • I can’t believe it’s all coming to an end. I specifically didn’t reread this book so that I wouldn’t notice as many of the differences (reading the book before #6 ruined the movie for me). These cupcakes look amazing!

  • These look awesome! I love butterscotch as much as I love Harry Potter. I can’t wait to see the last movie this weekend, but am sad the series is coming to an end.

  • Blog is the New Black

    Great job! These look delish!

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I’m not really a Harry Potter fan, but I am a fan of these cupcakes!

  • The Café Sucré Farine

    What a fun, unique recipe!! They are beautiful at the same time! We love butterscotch so these would definitely be a hit at my house!!

  • They look beautiful! I tossed around the idea of butterbeer or butterbeer cupcakes for the premiere, but went with butterbeer. I am so sad it is over!

  • Lauren

    These sound phenomenal! And they are so pretty with that drizzle of butterscotch!

  • Irresistible looking recipe! I think i would have a hard time not drinking that syrup straight 🙂 Lovely recipe indeed and beautiful photos!

  • What an beautiful presentation on a delcious cupcake! My twins are turning 1 next friday (I can’t believe it) and for their birthday party we are doing cakes for them but I wanted to do a cupcake tower for the parents. This would be a great addition!

  • This is awesome! I’m so looking forward to seeing the last movie – the previews alone are enough to make me cry! Maybe I can bake these and sneak some into the movie…

  • Laura McNamara

    these look out of this would, so creamy. Love your inspiration as well, the hype over this movie is incredible.

  • Miss Lou

    I can’t wait for it either <3 I'll be watching it tomorrow around 11am and I CAN"T wait I also obsessed over the things the films missed lol

  • This is really awesome! I love butterscotch and Harry Potter. I’m excited to see the last movie, too. It’s gonna be so good! (But, you’re right, the books are usually better than the movie.)

  • Oh, Em, Gee!! This has officially made my day. These are being made this Friday for the release date. Ahh!! ~Megan

  • These are adorable! A perfect treat to go with your butterbeer! I hope you guys have a great time celebrating before the movie this week. 🙂

  • I have only recently (as of last week) finished reading the books, but I have never seen any of the movies. I’m loving all the Harry Potter-type recipes I have seen this spring. These cupcakes look like no exception. Delicious!

  • Liz N.

    Just made this tonight and bringing some to share with co-workers. Posted a pic and link of the recipe on my Facebook page. I got lots of ooohs and aaaahs! Can’t wait to get feedback from colleagues tomorrow.

    • Liz N

      Just a follow up. My colleagues LOVED these. They said it was so moist and the aroma of the butterscotch/caramel was divine. Thanks for making me the most popular girl at work today!

  • I’m so excited & I WISH I could eat these in the theater.

  • What beautiful cupcakes! I’ve never read the books, and the only movie I’ve seen is the first part of the last one. I know I have to see the second part – but I’m more excited about these delicious cupcakes than anything =)

  • i can’t believe that the movies are about to end…. 🙁 i just added links to your fun Harry Potter recipes on my blog post! thanks so much for them- can’t wait to make some butterbeer!

  • Hope85

    Oh how I wish I had found this recipe yesterday. These would have been much better than pumpkin pasties for the midnight showing tonight.

  • India

    I love the Harry Potter series. I’m rereading it for the 7th time. I can’t wait to see the last movie. I’m said it’s over already. 🙁

  • April

    Could you make the frosting with out the schnopps? I don’t drink alcohol at all, and I know it cooks out when you cook with it, but could I use maybe a butterscotch flavoring instead?

    • Courtney

      You can definitely use butterscotch flavoring, but I’d decrease the amount to maybe a teaspoon. The flavoring is much more concentrated than the schnapps.

  • These cupcakes are beautiful!! I love the height of the frosting. I love how sharp the edges of the icing is, whipped to perfection. I must make these, they sound absolutely amazing!!

  • Teeheehee, too cute! We love HP in our house and have read all the books (yes, the books are definitely better.) So, we’re excited for this movie, but I can’t believe we haven’t even seen Deathly Hallows, Part 1, yet!

  • Meg

    I made these tonight and they are AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing! I wasn’t planning on filling them but it was super easy and makes for a richer, yummier cupcake!

  • Oh my, these are so cool. Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked for a potter party. Kim

  • Porsche

    I made these cupcakes to take to the movies on opening night! They were a hit with all of my friends. They are requesting more! I told them perhaps for Halloween if not definitely Thanksgiving. These cupcakes are delicious! By far my favorite. I left out the Butterscotch schnapps and substituted half the flour with whole wheat though. I will try that perhaps for Halloween 🙂

  • We are huge HP fans and I can’t wait to make these. I think we are going to have a movie marathon this weekend and have these yummy babies. I shared your recipe on my Must Try Tuesday blog post.


    Thanks for sharing!


  • Emma

    Hey! These look great! I’m planning on making them tonight. I was just curious what you drizzle on top, you mention it is syrup but I didn’t see anything else about syrup. Maybe I missed something. Thanks! 🙂

    • Courtney

      The drizzle on top is the same as the filling. The recipe makes quite a bit, so there’s plenty for both filling the cupcakes and drizzling on top of them. I hope they turned out well for you!

  • Chelsea

    I’ve seen this exact same recipe, except it didn’t use the Schnapps. I was going to try and modify it myself to include the Schnapps (just enough to get a house elf drunk), but you’ve made it much easier on me! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Lia

    Made this last night and, needless to say, were absolutely delicious!!

  • Cynthia

    When I made these I had a couple of questions. Where in the cupcake recipe do you add the schnapps? Also, what syrup do you use to drizzle over the finished product?
    Thank you

  • Sarah

    These look delicious and I can’t wait to bake them but I do have one question. On your listing for ingredients for the cupcakes you list butterscotch schnapps but I didn’t see where to add it to the batter in your directions. Maybe I’m just blind but when do you add that to the mix?

    • Courtney

      Sarah, I just added the schnapps to the buttermilk. I did forget to mention that and will update the directions. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

  • Rachel

    I have just discovered your website and came across this recipe and I can not wait to try it! Do you think there is anything you can substitute for the butterscotch schnapps? We don’t drink and while I don’t have any issue with consuming alcohol in food, I wouldn’t know where to find that. Thank you!

  • Rachel

    Ok, nevermind….I see the comment about the butter extract. I will try that. Guess it would help to read the commentary first, but can you blame me for being excited? I am also a huge fan of Harry Potter…wish I would have come across this recipe when the movie came out. Oh well, guess we can whip up a batch and pop in the dvd!

    • Courtney

      Rachel, you can also try butterscotch coffee flavoring, like the kind made by Tornai. Even butterscotch ice cream topping might work.

  • lyssa

    Yummo! Making these this weekend 🙂