I don't make cakes for a living, but when one of my best friends, who I've known for 13 years, asked me to make her wedding cupcakes I didn't hesitate to agree! Her wedding was Harry Potter themed, so Butterbeer Wedding Cupcakes were requested. If you have seen the Harry Potter films you will know of the drink butterbeer enjoyed by the characters when visiting pubs and taverns. I wanted to share with you how I got on making 100 cupcakes, plus a large cake, and also the recipe for the Butterbeer Wedding Cupcakes if you would like to make them yourself!
Step by step...
So I'll start with the flavour. Butterbeer, is described as "a bit like less-sickly butterscotch" and does have an mild alcoholic content in the Harry Potter stories. However, the butterbeer served at Harry Potter World in Florida contains no alcohol (presumably so adults and children alike can enjoy the beverage!). In order to flavour the icing, the bride-to-be obtained a few bottle of the above pictured butter extract from America. You can get it online from Amazon, and there are other brands that make it too. I also suggested filling the cupcakes with caramel, as butterscotch is essentially a caramel flavour, and to make them extra special.
It was very important to trial the cupcakes for the happy couple, so I made a small batch of about 6 cupcakes for them to taste. Suffice to say they were happy with the flavour! They have both visited Harry Potter World and tasted butterbeer itself so they were able to confirm the flavour matched. They were also huge fans of the caramel inside. For the decoration, a simple swirl of buttercream was requested, along with a sprinkling of gold glitter. The large cake would be filled with strawberry jam and covered in the butterbeer buttercream with a 'spiky' effect all over.
The process of making the sponge was quite straightforward. I started with the large cake, making the two layers on separate evenings, wrapping them up in cling film once fully cooled and freezing them. I then spent the week before the wedding making a batch of 24 cupcakes every evening until I had enough. I also wrapped up and froze these too. Although 100 were requested, I ended up making around 110. It's always good to have a few extra!
Two days before the wedding I made the caramel filling and buttercream. I slightly overestimated to make sure I had enough. I used 3kg of butter and 6kg of icing sugar for the buttercream! I used an electric hand mixer and a flour sifter (to sift the icing sugar) to make the process as easy and fast as possible. As usually I just mix buttercream by hand if it's a small batch.
All the cupcakes and the large cake were also taken out of the freezer by this point and I stored them in cupcake boxes for ease of transport, and also so I wouldn't have to worry about collecting my own tupperware from the wedding venue. They could just dispose of the boxes, or they could be used by guests for taking cake home.
The day before the wedding I decorated and filled the cupcakes at the venue. I started by coring them all using a cupcake corer. Again this made the process easier, and also the holes are much neater than using a knife.
I used a piping bag to fill each hole with the caramel.
Then I piped the buttercream onto each cupcake and sprinkled half of them with glitter. The bride decided that half would have glitter sprinkled on top, and they would be place in cream cupcake wraps. Then the other half would have no glitter, and be placed in glittery cupcake wraps. I also covered the cake at this time. I gave it one base coat of buttercream, then placed it in the fridge, which the venue kindly let me use.
On the morning of the wedding I finished the large cake with a second layer of buttercream and a 'spiky' effect which I used the back of a spoon to create. I also (with help from some friends) put each cupcake into a wrapper and arranged them on the display table, with the large cake in the middle. If you like the cupcake wrappers and heart shaped toppers you can get them from Ginger Ray. If you like the large cake topper it was from a company called Better Off Wed.
This is me with the happy couple! I was so pleased with the whole cake display and how it all looked. They loved it too, which was the biggest thing for me as all I wanted was for them to like it. It is a lot of pressure to make something like this for such an important day in a couple's life so I really wanted it to be everything they had imagined.
After the cake was cut I had to emotionally 'let go'. If you are a baker like me, you will understand what I mean by this! Basically when I make something and I put so much time, effort and love into it, seeing it go to waste or not get eaten can be difficult for me. So at this point of the day I just said to myself that I'd achieved what I wanted, and if some didn't get eaten or had to be thrown away it was ok.
Thankfully, I saw a constant stream of wedding guests eating the Butterbeer Wedding Cupcakes all evening long! I saw couples having fun with them by pushing the buttercream into each others faces, and people nodding in satisfaction as they tucked in. It was a great feeling!
I tucked in to one of the Butterbeer Wedding Cupcakes and really enjoyed the flavour. The caramel is to die for!
So that's my story and I hope that you enjoyed reading it, and if you are asked to do anything like this for a friend, or as a business opportunity, I hope it's given you some helpful tips. If you just came for the Butterbeer Wedding Cupcakes recipe, then find it below! I've provided quantities for 24 Butterbeer Wedding Cupcakes.
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
|Cupcake tin||Electric hand mixer||Piping bags|
|Cupcake corer||Jem 1E Piping nozzle||White cupcake cases|
|Edible glitter spray||Butter flavouring|
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!
Harry Potter inspired cupcakes with a caramel filling and glitterPrint Pin Rate
For the caramel filling
- 57 g Butter
- 165 g Dark brown sugar
- 175 ml Double cream
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
For the sponge
- 290 g Butter or baking spread
- 5 Eggs large
- 290 g Caster sugar
- 290 g Self raising flour
- 2 tsp Butter flavour extract
For the buttercream
- 200 g Butter or baking spread
- 2 tsp Butter flavour extract
- 400 g Icing sugar
- Gold edible glitter
- Start by making the caramel filling. In a pan melt the butter. Once melted add the dark brown sugar and double cream. Bring it to a boil then let the sauce bubble for 5 minutes. Keep stirring it the whole time. Then take it off the heat and mix in the vanilla extract. Pour it into a bowl and cool it fully in the fridge, it will take a couple of hours and will thicken up noticeably
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, line two muffin tins with cupcake cases
- To make the sponge cream together the butter and the caster sugar
- Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing between each addition. Also add the butter extract flavouring
- Add the self raising flour and mix in. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack to cool fully
- To make the icing mix together the butter and the icing sugar, then add the butter extract flavouring and mix in
- Use a cupcake corer to make a hole in the middle of each cupcake. Fill the holes with the caramel using a piping bag with the end snipped off, or a teaspoon
- Put the icing into a piping bag with a star or rose nozzle. Swirl the icing onto the cupcakes then sprinkle gold glitter all over
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place, eat leftovers within 3 days