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 flavoured cakes 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 cupcakes if you would like to make them yourself!
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 you can get it from 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 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 a cupcake 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 Cupcake recipe, then find it below! I've provided quantities for 24 cupcakes.
I'm linking up with Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Honest Mum.
- 547g Butter
- 165g Dark brown sugar
- 175ml Double cream
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 5 Eggs
- 290g Caster sugar
- 290g Self raising flour
- 4 tsp Butter flavour extract
- 400g Icing sugar
- Gold edible glitter
Start by making the caramel filling. In a pan melt 57g of 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 noticeablyTo make the sponge cream together 290g of the butter and the caster sugarAdd the eggs, one at a time and mixing between each addition. Also add 2 tsp of the butter extract flavouringAdd the self raising flour and mix in. Divide the mixture between 24 cupcake casesBake on 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack to cool fullyTo make the icing mix together 200g of the butter and the icing sugar, then add 2 tsp of the butter extract flavouring and mix inUse 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