Accio Cupcakes! Look at these Butterbeer Cupcakes! The Harry Potter geek in me is freaking out! I haven’t had this much fun making, styling, and photographing a recipe probably ever. I recently went to Universal Studios Hollywood to check out the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I was like a kid in a candy store, literally, because I went to Honeydukes. I got a Chocolate Frog, a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans (and they mean every flavor!), and some pumpkin juice to wash it all down.
While I was there I also got to taste Butterbeer for the first time. It was so fun! It tasted surprisingly good. Very sweet, but hello, it’s me, I love dessert so much I wrote a book about it. The butterbeer liquid part tasted like a rich cream soda and then on top there was butterscotch flavored whipped cream. Yum. It came in frozen and regular, I only tried the regular.
My favorite part (why do I feel like I’m writing a 3rd grade report on my summer vacation? Ha!) was Ollivander’s wand shop. It was soooo freaking cool! I want to start a wand collection now. Is that lame? I don’t even care. The staff that works in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, are so awesome. This super nice lady sat there and asked me all these questions like, what my top 3 qualities are, what house I was sorted into (Griffindor, duh), and then walked around the shop showing me which wands would best be suited to me. You can tell the staff is super into Harry Potter. They get so excited seeing you excited. I got a season pass so I could go back. What?
I was also very excited to buy some legit Griffindor robes. I got a new scarf, and tie as well. These are so real looking, they could be from the movies. They were pricey, but I justified it by telling myself I would dress up as Harry Potter for Halloween this year…and probably forever. I spent dumb money in Harry Potter land, but you know what, #yolo.
In prep for my visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (can I just abbreviate it to TWWOHP yet?) I re-read all the books from start to finish and then watched each corresponding movie after I finished the book. I started before I left for my caribbean vacation because I needed reading material for the plane and finished right before I went, a few weeks ago. Perfect timing. All of the magic was still fresh in my mind. It made the experience that much better!
So if you don’t like Harry Potter, sorry not sorry. You should still try these cupcakes because they are pretty legit. I prefer them made with almond flour, but then again, I don’t have nut allergies. If you do, then these are for you because I used Otto’s Cassava Flour. If you want to use almond flour I found a great deal at Costco in the baking aisle. If you aren’t a Costco member, I’ve been seeing this Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour in regular grocery stores, which is exciting, because it’s way better than their Almond Meal, which isn’t fine enough for baked goods.
So what else has been up besides Caribbeaning and Harry Pottering? Are you actually still reading this? I thought I lost you at wand shop. Well I’ve been dealing with a skin condition. I’ve been to 2 doctors already, my general practitioner and an allergist. I see the dermatologist on Tuesday, but I think what I have is atopic dermatitis.
At first I thought it was hives. I changed my laundry detergent even though I’ve been using it for years and it didn’t improve. The allergist gave me steroid pills, antibiotics, a steroid cream, anti-histamines, and a new inhaler because my asthma started acting up along with my skin issue. Nothing has helped. I have to take cold showers and scratch myself with a boar hair brush because my nails end up scratching then scarring me. It’s been awful. Most nights I wake up itching for at least an hour before I can fall back asleep.
It started out as a small patch on my leg. I thought it was a reaction from tanning (I had to get my pre-caribbean glow on, don’t judge and yell at me). Then as I scratched it started to spread. It started to clear up, and then a few days after my birthday it got really bad and it’s been really bad ever since. Part of me thinks it’s because I ate real gluten donuts and real gluten pizza. Oops. It was a dumb idea, I know. Trust me, I learned my lesson. No more Evil Kenevil stunts for me. I’ve been reading articles that say people with atopic dermatitis should stay away from gluten because it causes so much inflammation. Ugh. Good thing I don’t normally eat it anyway I guess.
Anyway sorry to bring this Butterbeer Cupcake Harry Potter party down! Just catching you up on some health stuff since I kind of write like a food blog about how cleaner food makes you feel better. Just so you guys know I have my health issues too and have to eliminate food from my diet sometimes too even when I don’t want to. I’ve also been doing a Sober October! I know, can you believe it! I feel SO good. It makes me never want to start drinking again, but then that would be so unfair to all the gluten-free beer, wine, vodka, gin and craft cocktails of the world. Oh and we can’t forget Moscow Mules. My fave.
I also started doing hot yoga. I’m obsessed. Not like Harry Potter obsessed, but like I started doing it 3-4 times a week. They heat the room to 115 degrees and each class you do different poses. I leave each class feeling like ten-thousand million dollars. It’s my new jam.
My Mom came to visit. That was fun. We made some Rocky Road ice cream from my cookbook, using the Best Chocolate Ice Cream recipe as the base, then adding mini-marshmallows and chopped almonds. It’s her favorite flavor so we had to! We went to church at my favorite place, The Rock, no, not like Dwayne Johnson, like The Rock Church. We went out to eat, got facials at the day spa and laid out by the pool. It was such a great time.
Okay so I think that’s a pretty good recap on like the last 2 months. Did you see how cute these Harry Potter baking supplies are! I got them on Etsy! I just did an Etsy search for Harry Potter Cupcakes and all this cool stuff came up! I may have also bought some HP shirts and HP jewelry too to wear on my next trip to Universal Studios.
Now go butterbeer! Do it!
- 1 cup (120 g) cassava flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) butterscotch chips
- ½ cup (120 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
- ¼ cup (55 g) palm shortening
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) butterscotch chips
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
- 16 tablespoons (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (135 g) sifted maple sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups cream soda, to make a reduction (see directions)
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper baking cups; set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients—cassava flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon—and stir together using a fork until combined; set aside.
- Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Melt the butterscotch chips, coconut milk, and palm shortening together in a large heatproof mixing bowl set over the simmering water. Stir together using a rubber spatula until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir in the vanilla, and eggs until combined.
- Use a cookie dough scoop or a large spoon to transfer batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds full (they will rise slightly when baking). Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool completely.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, use the bottom flat side of a decorating tip to core out the center of each cupcake. Then make the filling/garnish and Butterbeer Cream Frosting .
- Melt the butterscotch chips and coconut milk together in a large heatproof mixing bowl set over simmering water. Stir together using a rubber spatula until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then transfer to a piping bag or ziplock bag. Snip the corner and fill the inside of each cupcake.
- In a medium sized saucepan, heat the cream soda over medium heat until it boils and reduces down to about 1/4 cup. Let cool completely. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer or stand mixer set to medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy and the sugar is incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of the cream soda reduction, continue to beat until smooth. Make sure the cream soda reduction has cooled enough so it doesn’t melt the butter when combined.
- Use an offset spatula to spread or transfer to a piping bag fitted with desired tip.
- Garnish by drizzling the remaining butterscotch filling mixture over the frosting. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- 1 bag of butterscotch chips will be enough since it's about 2 cups.
- Subs: For frosting sub 2 cups (250 g) organic powdered sugar in place of maple sugar.
- You could use a sugar-free cream soda like Zevia in place of regular cream soda, but there is no need to boil it down since it doesn't have real sugar in it. Instead, just use 3 tablespoons of the soda at room temperature. The flavor will come through much more subtle in the frosting though.
- For the butterscotch chips I used Guittard brand, they have no partially hydrogenated oils.
AngieNovember 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm (6 years ago)
Would I be able to substitute almond flour for cassava flour?
Vanessa BarajasNovember 29, 2016 at 1:13 pm (6 years ago)
Absolutely! In fact I’ll update the recipe to say “Cassava or Almond Flour”. I mention it in the notes, but it should probably be more prominent. 🙂
JessicaDecember 18, 2016 at 9:54 am (6 years ago)
I “made” these for a party yesterday and am sorry to say they didn’t work out. I made the cake twice (with almond flour) and both times they collapsed. Not wanting to throw them away (because the flavor was amazing), I decided to turn them into parfaits. Followed the directions for the buttercream, and even after sifting the sugar, it came out horribly grainy. So I made it again with powdered sugar. Wanted them to work out so badly, and while I was able to make something work, it wasn’t what I was hoping for.
Vanessa BarajasDecember 19, 2016 at 9:13 am (6 years ago)
Hi Jessica, hmm sorry they didn’t come out as expected. The collapsing could be a problem of just over mixing and incorporating too much air into the batter which causes them to rise high while baking, then collapse. When I made them with cassava flour I didn’t have any issues, I didn’t even have to test the recipe twice because they came out great. Sorry to hear that your frosting came out grainy. I haven’t had any problems, but I usually make homemade maple sugar which tends to come out a finer grain than store bought. Most people don’t want to use white sugar, and any natural sugar like honey or maple syrup can be difficult to blend in to the buttercream without being too wet, so maple sugar is a good option. I’m glad to hear that you were still able to make parfaits, they sound delicious!
JessicaDecember 21, 2016 at 9:49 am (6 years ago)
I folded everything together, so I don’t think it was overmixing. I did use fine almond flour. Did you have the same results with almond flour as you did with the cassava?
Vanessa BarajasDecember 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm (6 years ago)
I did, but I went ahead and removed the almond flour as a sub from the recipe anyway until I can test it again.
Tracey DesrochersJuly 12, 2017 at 8:29 am (6 years ago)
Could I try tapioca starch where the almond flour didn’t work as well? What do you think ?
Vanessa BarajasJuly 12, 2017 at 8:34 am (6 years ago)
I’m not sure how just plain tapioca starch would work. I’ve only tried it with Almond Flour (which worked fine for me, but not for someone else) and Cassava Flour. You could even try a mix of Almond Flour, Tapioca Starch and Coconut Flour and you’d have success. I use that as a base flour mixture for all the cake recipes in my cookbook and it comes out wonderful!
LizApril 22, 2018 at 6:57 am (5 years ago)
Hi Vanessa! Could I substitute butter for palm shortening? Or even regular shortening?
Vanessa BarajasApril 30, 2018 at 11:07 am (5 years ago)
That’s a great question! I’ve never tried it! The shortening helps to make them a little more fluffy that a traditional oil or butter, but I say try it out, you never know! 😀 Sorry I know that isn’t much help, lol.