I celebrated my birthday last week and wanted to make a geektastic Harry Potter butterbeer cake… yep, for myself. Sometimes you’ve got to treat yo’ self. Most of this cake was doled out to others before my birthday itself, but I enjoyed the process and that’s what counts, right?
Oh, and the salted butterscotch ganache. That counts, too. Like, a lot. Yum.
There are a lot of things happening with this butterbeer cake recipe: the butterbeer-flavored cake of course, the brown butter vanilla buttercream, salted butterscotch ganache (recipe here!), and the fondant Golden Snitches (my favorite part to make!).
You can see how I crafted the fondant edible golden snitches here. They’re super easy.
The salted butterscotch ganache is simple, too, since I used a little shortcut with butterscotch chips. Three ingredients and you’ve got a smooth and creamy ganache that you’ll have to hide so you don’t eat it all. On ice cream. Under a blanket. Alone with your cat. Sounds good to me.
Oh, lawdy. That drizzle, though.
Need more Harry Potter recipes in your life? Same. Here’s the archive of Harry Potter recipes for all your party needs.
Or, you know, your own solo Harry Potter party watching every hour of special features. Not that I do that. All that often.
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- 2 cups cake flour (like Swan's Down)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar or brown sugar blend, packed
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp butter flavoring
- Optional: 1 Tbsp SF caramel Torani syrup (I used sugar free Salted Caramel flavor)
- 1/4 cup butter, and 1/2 cup butter
- 3 Tbs flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or brown sugar blend
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line your pan with parchment, then grease and flour it.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until combined.
- Add the softened butter to the mixture on low until the texture is crumbly.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla, butter flavoring, and caramel syrup. Slowly add to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
- While the mixer is on low, slowly incorporate the buttermilk until smooth.
- Add the batter to a 9" cake pan and bake 25-28 minutes, testing the middle with a cake tester or toothpick.
- Once the cake is done, let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Level the cake with a knife as needed if they are domed.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 1/4 cup butter (directions here!)
- Once the butter is browned, add the flour to the pot and whisk together.
- Slowly whisk in the milk, working out any lumps. Keep whisking while bringing the mixture to a boil so it thickens.
- Once boiling, whisk in the vanilla extract and remove the pot from heat and let cool.
- While the mixture is cooling, cream together the 1/2 cup butter with the sugars.
- Once the flour mixture is completely cool, beat it into the mixing bowl with the sugar mixture. Cream both mixtures together until fluffy.
- Put a dab of frosting on your cake plate, then add one layer of cake. Spread frosting over the top of the cake as thickly as you like, then drizzle the butterscotch sauce (recipe here!) over the frosting. Repeat with as many layers as you have.
- On the last layer of cake, spread frosting over the top and sides and smooth around the edges and top. Drizzle more butterscotch sauce over the top of the cake, just enough to cover the top and let some drizzle down the sides.
- Add any decoration you like such as butterscotch chips and fondant golden snitches (recipe here!)
Makes one 9-inch cake. Double the recipe as needed for extra layers.
If you make this recipe, share a photo and hashtag it #BIJOUXANDBITS. I’d love to see what you’re cooking!
Cake recipe inspired by cookingchanneltv.com.
Oh. Em. Gee.
Catherine, I’m just amazed at the stuff you make!!
You’re the best!! I love your comments <3
Jenna @ A Savory Feast says
Oh wow! This cake sounds amazing. My husband and I are both huge fans of Harry Potter and anything Butterbeer, so I think I need to make this cake for him soon.
Definitely! Accio cake!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
Love this beautiful cake! And anything Harry Potter too. So creative.
We tried your recipe! It was amazing. Thank you for sharing!! It’s a bit of work but your directions were so easy to follow!
This one’s a doozy with all the steps. I’m so glad you tried it! I hope it was Potter-ific! 🙂
Natalie Bojesen says
I am making this right now and the batter seems too liquid and I didn’t even put all of the buttermilk in. It tastes amazing! But I’m nervous
It is a little thin, but it should bake up just fine. Let me know if it doesn’t and I’ll see what adjustments can be made. Good luck!
Natalie Bojesen says
They turned out beautiful! Just baked a bit longer but I always have to with my oven. Thank you!
Yay! I’m so so glad it turned out well. Enjoy!!
This recipe is not even close to the photos that are displayed. Starting with the ingredients that are listed for the frosting- none of them will result in the decadent creamy white frosting shown. Butter, brown sugar, flour and milk will not make a butter cream frosting.
Natalie Bojesen says
Yeah, if you brown butter there is no way to get white frosting! Also I think it would have been helpful to mention that she baked two rounds and sliced them in half to achieve the multi layered look shown.
Feel free to sub in powdered sugar and regular butter to better achieve the whiter frosting. I’ve tried it both ways and have photographed it both ways, but I included the brown butter/brown sugar version in the recipe since i prefer the flavor. Your frosting may turn out differently regardless. Thanks, guys!
The frosting has a strange consistency. I followed all the directions but it is pretty greasy and not fluffy.
Is this a moist cake?
Yep, it’s moist and quite dense. 🙂
Catherine -awesome recipe. I’ve made cupcakes with a similar recipe, but what I need now is make a large sheet cake for a comic con-like fundraising event at our local college. We’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.” Do you think your recipe will work tripled?
Good question! The biggest pitfall to doubling or tripling is making sure the mixing time stays the same so you’re not overmixing due to extra eggs or buttermilk that you might be adding in slowly. But overall it shouldn’t cause too many issues. Best of luck with the celebration!
Can I use all purpose or bread flour in place of cake flour?
Absolutely! It will work just as well, though the crumb may be slightly different. No worries, though!
Do you think it’ll work with a gluten free flour?
It should work fine with a ratio of 1:1, but I’d probably suggest adding 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum as well, if you have any on hand. Good luck!
Well, the decorating was a fail… but the flavor was fantastic!
Thanks for a great recipe!
Oh no! Honestly, I’m due to redo this cake for a smoother look anyway. You’re inspiring me to take some new pics! 🙂
I just need to doublecheck something. From the way I’m reading things the recipe as shown only makes ONE cake layer. Am I correct on this? However, the cake is at least 2 layers, most likely each split in half. The center of the cake is not clean cut so its hard to tell but I just need to know what I’m getting from this batter so I know whether I need to bake additional layers or this is it.
I made this cake for my kids Harry Potter birthday party. It was terrible. The frosting as done above wasn’t white or even frosting, it was more like a pudding. I made a buttercream after the fail and added some of the above “frosting” for taste. The caramel ganache was true to the recipe. It looked wonderful and I was excited. Until I took a bite and the cake itself was dry, way too dense and overall gross. Good idea but not one I’ll be making again.
dense, has no flavour and the icing isn’t good, do not recommend worst cake I have made