Gluten-free Butterbeer Cupcakes

As long as you don’t live under a rock, you’d know that today, July 15th 2011, is the day that the last Harry Potter movie came out. And if you do live under a rock, hey, I do too. But after 10 years and 8 movies, they’re all over. Boohoo. Actually I’m not too sad about it. I mean, I’m upset but…not… I kind of felt like they all went downhill after the 3rd movie. I mean, who was the hairstylist for the Goblet of Fire that thought that LONG hair on all the guys was ok…???? *ehem* Anyway. In memory of the end of an era, I decided to make *drumroll please* Butterbeer cupcakes! If you don’t know what butterbeer is, it’s pretty much the only thing the characters in Harry Potter drink. I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to taste like, but if it’s anything like these cupcakes, ummm, yum. I adapted the recipe from the Butterbeer Cupcake recipe off of Amy Bites, one of my new favorite blogs. The only real change I made was to make them gluten free. And, if I do say so myself, they were absolutely fantastic. Here are some actual phrases uttered by my family while they were eating the cupcakes: “Wow. These are amazing” “These are so dumb. For real.” “*indistinct baby chatter*…..BOB!” So, decrypting all that, I have concluded that everyone liked them as much as I did. If you want to recreate the epicness, here’s the recipe. Enjoy, you crazy Potter nerds. And if you’re not a crazy Potter nerd, I apologize for the name calling.

First off, get all your ingredients out before-hand.  That way you’ll make sure you have everything AND you’ll look like you’re on a cooking show. Well, I guess in order to look like a total cooking show, you’d need to have everything out in pre-measured bowls…which is why I hate cooking shows.

Really quick, I just wanted to talk a bit about making them gluten-free. I use a flour mix with 2 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca flour. This recipe only calls for 2 cups of flour, so I don’t know what you’d do with that other cup…but I usually just make up a bunch of it and use it in pretty much any recipe to replace regular flour. It tastes EXACTLY the same. It’s lovely. And yes, I’ve decided to stop saying amazing and awesome so much and switch to lovely. Audrey Hepburn says it and she sounds sophisticated. End of story.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with liners, or grease them. Whatever floats your boat. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt (if you’re using unsalted butter). Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream your butter. Then add brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until well blended.

Beat in your eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Quick fact, did you know you’re supposed to let your eggs sit out for a 1/2 hour before you use them in a recipe? If you did, wow, you’re weird… but it’s true. Apparently if they’re room temperature, they work better or something. Moving along… After you’ve beat in the eggs, add vanilla.

Alternate adding cream soda, buttermilk and the flour mixture until all are incorporated.

Look at these pictures now, they’re really not my best. I was in a rush and simultaneously making these cupcakes and spaghetti tacos for dinner. So they’re not as good as I’d like them to be. But live with it, ok?

Add the cupcake batter to your liners/greased cupcake tin…thingie…and fill 3/4 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool slightly, then transfer to wire rack.

For the butterscotch filling, melt butterscotch chips and cream in a double boiler, stirring until silky and smoove. Oh really fool? Cool to room temperature. (don’t worry, it will thicken up as it cools). Again, sorry for the slightly icky picture. The filling decided to come alive and start attacking the stove. And that’s the story I’m sticking with.

Fill a squeeze bottle (or in my case, a medicine syringe. It actually worked quite well. Don’t laugh) and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow.

For the frosting, cream MORE butter. Then combine 1/3 cup of the butterscotch filling (you’ll have a lot left over. Save it and put it on ice cream. Or just chug it. Not that I was going to do both of those. At the same time, if possible…) and vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time (I ended up using 1 1/2 cups total) until reaching desired consistency. If it gets too dry, add more milk or cream. Frost cupcakes and top with a drizzle of the butterscotch filling. And tada, you have butterbeer cupcakes. Enjoy.

Oh, and don’t forget to drink lots of cream soda. It’s quite lovely.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Makes 18 lovely cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour (if using the brown rice flour mix, also add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter. If you’re using salted, skip this)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, please google. I’m tired and don’t feel like putting up how to make it…)
1/2 cream soda

For the butterscotch filling:
1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1/2 pint heavy cream

For the buttercream frosting:
1/2 stick unsalted butter (again, if you’re using salted, skip the salt. Don’t ever use salt and salted butter. It’s like goofing up baking soda and baking powder. You make that mistake once.)
1/3 cup butterscotch filling
1 teaspoon vanilla
about 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Milk or cream (as needed)

For the cupcakes-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line or grease cupcake tin. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter then add sugars. Beat until well-combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mixing well after each addition. Then mix in vanilla.

Alternate adding cream soda, buttermilk and flour mixture until all are well mixed. Pour batter into cupcake tin, filling each spot until 3/4 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool briefly and transfer to wire rack.

For butterscotch filling– In a double boiler, melt butterscotch chips and heavy cream, stirring until smooth and totally combined. Cool to room temperature. Fill a squeeze bottle with the filling and insert into the center of cooled cupcakes, squeezing until the filling starts to overflow.

For buttercream frosting– Cream butter, then add 1/3 cup butterscotch filling, vanilla and salt. Mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, until reaching desired consistency. Add milk or cream if the frosting gets too dry. Frost each cupcake and top with a drizzle of butterscotch filling.

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19 thoughts on “Gluten-free Butterbeer Cupcakes

  1. *wow*. first off – love the recipe!! Will totally have to try. :D Second – I LOVE your sense of humor. “The filling decided to come alive and start attacking the stove”. hahahaha! :D Nice post, piccolaitaliana!

    -Tia

    • The recipe is pretty amazing…errr…lovely. You definitely have to try it when you can! It’s a little time intensive, but totally worth it. Haha, and thank you :) I hate when people don’t get my odd sense of humor. They’re like wait….are you being sarcastic? Kind of defeats the purpose… But thanks for reading and commenting!!!! :)

      • Yeah I know exactly how you feel – I make those kind of jokes…and people are like “you’re hard to talk to”…. oh well! it’s good to know I’m not the only one with this type of humor! I think we’re just special. We know true humor. :D haha

        -Tia

  2. I first saw this and was like, Gluten-Free = win. Buttttttter = win. BEER= WIN! and then yeah, cupcakes = complete win.

    and to top that all off, there’s a Snow White sticker on the Tapioca flour… :)

  3. Butterscotch (your filling looked awesome and I would be happy to lick the spoon) is a very favorite flavor of mine, so I know that I would like your Butterbeer Cupcakes. I used to order scutterbotch malts (much better than shakes), which were delicious.

    I would imagine that STL had Harry Potter Marathons like they did in my area. For only $35 (unlimited popcorn and soda included), one could watch all eight films in order. The event began at 6am and included all eight films in order. I am more into the Narnia thing, having just finished reading a biography of C. S. Lewis written by a lady from Melbourne (FL).

    Enjoy your time spent at the Maxwell Plantation!!!

  4. I’m not a huge Harry Potter devotee, but I am definitely going to have to try these! They look so yummy. And I like your pictures too. So when I’m making my version, I can look back and say “hmmm… mine don’t look as pretty as hers do”. :)

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        • Gawky indeed! The third movie somewhat disappointed me in that it strayed from the books and didn’t really explain the whole thing, but I still enjoyed it as a movie. The rest of the movies? Horrible. Awkward. Painful to watch. Each one is worse than the other, although the seventh movie is a slight improvement on the sixth. But that’s not saying much, is it? ;)

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