I’ve been dreaming of making Butterbeer cupcakes or trying to recreate the drink version for a long time. A year and a half ago I was lucky enough to get to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my partner. We were there right before the Hogsmeade section opened, but we had tons of fun in Diagon Alley. We ordered a frozen butterbeer to share (it was after all nine in the morning). The first sip or two was a little weird, but soon we were fighting over who was going to get to finish the cup before we got on the Dueling Dragons roller coaster.
The best way I could describe the taste at the time was like a melted butter rum lifesaver. (We all know back when you could get a whole roll of butter rum lifesavers that that was where it was at! Yeah? No? Hmm…)
So anyway. I decided Halloween was exactly the right time to create a Butterbeer cake. I used a butterbeer cupcake recipe as my inspiration– you can find it here: http://www.amybites.com/?p=623. The “butterbeer” flavor comes from butterscotch, cream soda, and some butter rum flavoring.
I kept the cupcake recipe the same except I subbed in cake flour for the all purpose, and I used 1/4 tsp of extra concentrated “butter rum” flavor I had on hand for making hard candy instead of the butter flavor. I divided the batter into three 8 in round cake pans and baked them for 10-12 minutes. These made really thin layers– next time maybe I’d use 6 in cake pans. (I need to get some of those first though!)
My batter was pretty thin. I don’t know if it was supposed to be, or if it related to the fact that two out of my three eggs had double yolks, or maybe the cake flour. It seemed to bake up ok regardless, but I was a little worried.
I made only half of the butterscotch ganache, because I wasn’t planning on filling the cake. Fair warning that melted butterscotch chips and cream turns a hot chocolate brown color– who knew? It does show up as a lighter color on white icing, but it did NOT look pretty in the bowl.
For frosting I made a whipped cream frosting made by whipping two cups of heavy cream and then adding in 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 cup of the butterscotch ganache, plus a pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla extract. This was good enough to put in a bowl and serve, mousse-style!
I filled the bottom layer of cake with the frosting and some crushed up cornflakes I mixed with the rest of the melted butterscotch chips that didn’t go in the half batch of ganache. The second layer got a topping of some bourbon chocolate mousse I had left over and more crushed cereal. The whole cake got more frosting and then a drizzle of the butterscotch ganache.
This cake is definitely sweet, but I didn’t find it overly so. I was glad I didn’t add more sugar to my frosting though! Next time I’d probably leave out the cereal, I think it needs to be coated in white chocolate or something to keep from getting soggy after a day or two. I gave away most of this cake at work, and everybody said they loved it. If you are a butterscotch fan or have a Harry Potter fan in your life, you should give it a try! It DOES taste remarkably like the drink from what I can remember!