January 25, 2013

Harry Potter Butterbeer Cake

What a whirlwind start to the year!

I know it’s nothing new, but the years really do seem to go by more quickly as we get older.  It is because were older and wiser?  Because we’re busier?  Because we see our babies grow and we just want time to slow down a bit?  I just don’t know.

But what I do know is that when I get stressed, I tend to shut down, take a day off, and read, read, read!  One of my favorites is The Harry Potter series.  In fact, I just finished reading them all again for the umpteenth time and again I was enthralled by Harry and his quest.  And again I was so sad when the final book ended.  It’s like saying goodbye to a good friend.  I miss Harry when I finish reading his stories, I almost want to go straight back to book 1 and start all over again immediately.

While I was still in the process of reading the stories this last time, one of my friends asked that I create a Harry Potter themed cake for her son’s 5th birthday.  Being the Harry Potter fanatic that I am, I decided to go all out with a carved book cake, complete with a Gryffindor book mark with mini Hedwig, glasses, a wand, and of course the golden snitch.

I also created a butterbeer cake and butterbeer buttercream for the occasion, because Harry Potter cannot have boring cake.  The Butterbeer cake is not simply a butterscotch cake, but instead a combination of butterscotch, brown sugar, cream soda, and butter flavor to make up a completely unique flavor that can only be described as butterbeer.

All in all it is a delightful cake that will make you feel like you’re sitting in Leaky Caldron awaiting your book list via owl post.

Recipe Notes:
*If making a dairy free cake, be sure to check the cake and pudding labels carefully for hidden dairy.

Butterbeer Cake
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz package) butterscotch pudding
4 eggs
¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup cream soda
1 cup water
2/3 cup oil

Butterbeer frosting
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 cup Crisco
1 tbsp meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp butter extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
5-6 tbsp cream soda
Pinch of salt

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x13 inch cake pan with non-stick spray.

Combine all of the cake ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on low until combined, then turn to medium and beat until smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 38-42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Set the cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Then, invert to remove from the pan and cool completely.  Once cool, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, place on a cake board and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Once frozen, remove the cake from the freezer and use a sharp, straight blade to carve the frozen cake into an open book shape.

Then make the frosting. 

Place the Crisco, powdered sugar, meringue powder, vanilla and butter extracts, salt, and 4 tablespoons of cream soda into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on low until combined, then beat on medium until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add more cream soda to thin the frosting, as desired.

Frost the carved cake generously with the butterbeer frosting.  Then cover the cake in fondant and add fondant details, such as a Golden Snitch, Harry’s glasses, Gryffindor scarf bookmark emblazoned with a miniature Hedwig, and Harry’s wand.

In this case, the fondant was tinted a light brown.  I then painted over the entire cake with a mixture of brown food coloring, golden luster dust, and water, to give it a nice aged book look.  Also painted were the snitch's wings (silver luster dust and vodka), the birthday inscription & the mini Hedwig (black gel food coloring and water).

The wand was scultped out of dark brown fondant and left to dry over night. The next day, the handle was also painted with the brown food coloring/golden luster dust mix.


  1. So great! Another Harry Potter fan here! Hopefully my kids will like it one day, now they are too small and still more in cartoons rather than movies

  2. Your cake turned out awesome! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects

  3. This is AWESOME! I love Harry Potter and can totally relate to finishing the books and then missing Harry like a friend has gone away - I just finished them again in December and felt withdrawal for weeks after! This cake is fantastic! I had a go at some different Harry Potter baking ideas way back when I started my blog - including butterbeer cupcakes, cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties!
    Have a great day! New follower here!

  4. You did a fantastic job on this cake. It looks too beautiful to cut into. Thank you so much for sharing this on Foodie Friends Friday.

    Joanne/Winelady Cooks

  5. This looks awesome. When my oldest son was into Harry Potter, he would have absolutely loved this cake!

  6. Fabulous cake! And I know what you mean about wanting to start over again at the beginning. Usually I just do! Or I listen to the books on tape in my iPod on the way to and from work. :-)

  7. Wow! I am speechless! Such a beautiful cake! Pinned it! Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza - see you there again this week with more deliciousness :)


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