Butterbeer for all!

It would be tough these days to find someone that hasn’t read and/or seen the Harry Potter series. It’s a magical world that feels almost real thanks J.K. Rowling’s incredible skill as a writer. As you read or watch through the series, you become friends with the characters, imagine what it would be like to wander the halls of Hogwarts castle and pretend to cast their spells – swish and flick!

Harry Potter details made of gumpaste are simple to make but make a fun single tier cake!

Last week, I got to make a a birthday cake for a friends daughter. I knew I had to use a flavor in the cake that had been mentioned in book and the first one that came to mind was BUTTERBEER! You see it over and over in the Harry Potter. especially at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. At Bill and Fluers wedding and the in The Deathly Hallows and the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire, butterbeer was served with a Refilling Charm to ensure a constant supply. And, of course, the charming and eccentric Luna wore a necklace of butterbeer corks, prompting teasing from other students, which Luna promptly ignored. (I just love Luna!)

So I knew that I wanted to use butterbeer in the cake but, unless you are lucky enough to go to Harry Potter’s World, most of us have never tasted betterbeer. It is explained as tasting “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch”. OK, easy enough. So I decided to make a vanilla butter cake with butterbeer icing. i felt like a vanilla cake was a very ‘plain’ choice but there were food allergies to consider among the kids that would be eating the cake and I also really wanted the icing flavor to shine.

And shine it did!

And it’s very easy to make! I decided to make homemade caramel to add to the icing – it really is easier than you think and it is oh so delicious! You can use store bought caramel if you choose but here is my recipe if you want to make it:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

1/4 water

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt, to taste

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the sugar and corn syrup into a medium saucepan. Add the water and stir with your finger to get all the sugar wet ( try not to get sugar up the sides of the pan). Cook over medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes until it achieves a caramelized color similar to honey. DO NOT walk away from caramel when it is cooking!! It can burn in seconds!

Once the sugar is caramelized, remove the pan from heat and add the heavy cream while stirring. Mix until smooth. Add the butter and stir until melted and incorporated. Add the vanilla and salt – a dash of salt for regular caramel or 1/2 teaspoon or slightly more for salted caramel.

Pour into a jar and chill until ready for use.

And there you have it – yummy caramel to top your ice cream, add to icing, drizzle between cake layers or eat straight from the jar.

Just kidding, I never eat it straight from the jar.

Usually. Well, sometimes. OK, I do! By the spoonful but please don’t tell!

Once your caramel is in the fridge to cool, you can start on the icing. Now, the first cake I made for this birthday girl was eaten but not as intended. She got sick on the day of the party and it had to be postponed. Poor thing! I felt so bad for her! I delivered the cake and the birthday girl and her family ate it and loved it.

I offered to make a second cake for the following Friday(today) for her re-scheduled party. But this time they asked for chocolate cake (the birthday girl’s mom’s favorite!). So I made my favorite chocolate cake

and filled and iced it with another batch of Butterbeer Icing. The family asked for a small cake (crazy people – they are super fit fanatics and wanted to limit their sugar intake. There is never too much cake, people!) So, to honor their request, I made a 2 tier cake and had batter left over for cupcakes.

My neighbor was not mad when I offered them the cupcakes!

I wasn’t sure about the chocolate and butterbeer flavor combo but lemme’ tell ya’ – it is amazing!

So, the lesson here is…

Butterbeer for all!

I think this icing would be delicious with so many different flavors. Try it and let me know what you put it on!

Butterbeer Icing

Makes about 9-10 cups – enough to fill and frost a 3 cake 8” or 9” cake


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons butter flavor shortening
  • ½ cup to 1 cup caramel, to taste, homemade or store bought
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp butter extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • About 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or milk, to reach desired consistency
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add half of the cream at this point if the icing is stiff.
  3. Add the caramel, butter extract, vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat on medium high until fluffy. Add remaining cream if needed. You may need more powdered sugar if your icing becomes too loose.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *