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Harry Potter Butterbeer Cake (Butterscotch Cake with Marshmallow Topping)
Butterbeer Cake – Tender butterscotch cake layers, with butterscotch frosting, butterscotch caramel sauce and marshmallow cream, make up this Harry Potter inspired Butterbeer Cake.
Harry Potter Birthday Cake
A few years ago, Ryan and I took the kids back home to Southern California for a much-needed family vacation. We spent a week at the beach, watched our beloved Dodgers play at Chavez Ravine, visited friends, and enjoyed a full day at Universal Studios.
Universal Studios was definitely a highlight of the trip because it was our first time going to Harry Potter Land and experiencing Butterbeer.
To be honest, I was a little skeptical that I’d like Butterbeer. I’m not a huge fan of butterscotch. But, WOW! It did not disappoint! We were advised by many to get the frozen version of the drink and it was absolutely delicious. So good, in fact, that we went back to Harry Potter Land a second time to get another round of drinks at the end of the day.
As I drank my Butterbeer, all I could think about was how I could turn this amazing drink into a cake. Of course, there’s butterscotch, but I also loved the creamy foam on top. It tasted like marshmallow fluff!
Here’s a link to make your own Butterbeer.
Once home, I got right to work on my Butterbeer Cake. It took me a couple of tries on the cake layers, but I’m so happy with the results. The cake itself is tender and moist and full of butterscotch flavor.
The key to making the cake so light and fluffy is the mixing time in the beginning. After you’ve added the eggs to the butter and sugar, make sure to mix on medium-high speed for a few minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then.
But when it’s time to add the dry ingredients, turn the mixer to low and keep your mixing time short. Over-mixing your cake batter will cause it to sink when it’s baking.
How to Make the Butterscotch Drip
The drip on this cake is a little different than other drips I’ve done. I first tried adding heavy cream to my butterscotch chips but felt like that took away from the butterscotch flavor.
I then tried the butterscotch sauce, like the kind you pour on ice cream, with my butterscotch chips to make the drip and was much happier with the outcome.
The drip is a little thicker and more like caramel, so I actually used a spoon to pour it over the sides of the cake. I also added the butterscotch caramel sauce in between each layer too.
The Marshmallow Fluff
And to resemble Butterbeer even more, I added homemade marshmallow cream to the top of my Butterbeer Cake! You’ll remember this marshmallow fluff from my Ultimate S’mores Cake. It’s super easy to make but this is the very last element you’ll want to do. It doesn’t hold well at room temp for too long. I’d suggest making the fluff and putting it on the cake as close to serving time as possible.
I hope you love this Butterbeer Cake as much as I do!
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting, make sure you follow my tips over at: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM
These steps are written up for my vanilla buttercream, but are supposed to be applied to any of my buttercream recipes.
- Sift your powdered sugar
- Use slightly cold butter
- Use heavy whipping cream
- Beat for 5 minutes
- Stir by hand
You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step.
OTHER CAKES YOU’LL LOVE
- Ultimate S’mores Cake
- Banana Nutella S’mores Cake
- Banana Peanut Butter Caramel Cake
- Peanut Butter Dream Cake
- The Best Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cake
Butterbeer Cake.Butterscotch cake layers with butterscotch frosting, caramel butterscotch drip and marshmallow cream.
For the Cake
- 12 tablespoons (169.5 g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk room temperature
- 3 teaspoons (12.6 g) LorAnn Oils Butterscotch flavoring
- 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (16 g) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (4.2 g) salt
For the Frosting
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons (12.6 g) LorAnn Oils Butterscotch flavor
- 2 tablespoons (28.8 g) heavy whipping cream
For the Drip
- 1 cup (150 g) butterscotch baking chips
- 2/3 cup (200 g) store bought butterscotch or caramel sauce
For the Fluff
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.4 g) salt
- 1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
- 1 cup (300 g) light karo syrup
- 2 tablespoons (29.5 g) water
- 1 tablespoon (13 g) vanilla bean paste or clear vanilla extract
For the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans by spraying each pan with non-stick spray, covering the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and spraying the parchment paper with non-stick spray as well. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg whites and whole egg one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the butterscotch flavor and then turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for another 3 to 5 minutes until the batter has lightened in color and is fluffy in texture.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated, only about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low for another 10 to 20 seconds.
- Divide batter evenly between the pans, about 16 oz. of batter in each 8-inch pan or 12 oz in each 6-inch pan. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Level each cake layer before assembly. If you’re not using the layers right away, wrap each cake layer with plastic wrap and freeze.
For the Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla, butterscotch flavoring and heavy cream.
- Continue to beat the frosting on medium-high speed for an additional 5 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in color and texture.
- Before frosting your cake, make sure to use a wooden spoon to beat the frosting by hand to push out any air pockets.
For the Drip
- In a small microwave safe bowl, heat the butterscotch sauce for about one minute. Pour the sauce over the butterscotch chips and allow to sit for a few minutes. Stir to combine.
- Let cool for a few minutes before using. The consistency of this drip is a little "sticky", so I use a spoon to pour it over the edge of my cake instead of a drip bottle.
For the Fluff
- I recommend making the marshmallow cream last, near the time you’re serving the cake, so it’s fresh and stays puffy.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the eggs and salt until fluffy and frothy.
- Meanwhile, heat the sugar, corn syrup, water and vanilla paste. Heat over medium flame until the sugar is dissolved and just simmering, about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add a tiny bit of the hot sugar mixture to the egg whites at a time. (Temper the eggs – don’t scramble the them)
- Eventually, all of the sugar will be added and then turn the mixer up to high. Beat the mixture on high for about 5 minutes or until very stiff and shiny.
- Place your first cake layer, top side (leveled side) up, on a cake board. Spread about one cup of frosting on the cake layer, creating a little rim around the edges with your offset icing spatula.
- Pour about ¼ cup of the drip/butterscotch caramel sauce on the frosting and spread evenly.
- Place the next cake layer, also top side up, on the filling. Spread another cup of frosting on the cake layer, followed by more drip.
- Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the filling and coat the entire cake with a thin coat of frosting to lock in the crumbs. Remember, this coat of frosting does not need to look pretty, It’s just a thin layer of frosting to hold the crumbs in. Freeze the cake for 10 minutes.
- After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the rest of the cake.
- Using a spoon, pour the remaining butterscotch caramel sauce over the edges of the cake. Top with the marshmallow cream and enjoy!
- Cake can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a week. Serve at room temperature.
Hey! I have a question about this cake…I creamed my butter for the cake, added eggs as directed and everything looked great…until I added my cream soda. Everything curdled and no amount of mixing could save it. Do you know what I may have done wrong? I added it slowly and became so disappointed! I’m excited to try to again if you have some good suggestions for me. Thank you!
Oh now! I’m so sorry to hear that. It’s important to beat the sugar, butter and egg mixture really well (about five minutes). You want to make sure that mixture is completely creamed together before you add the cream soda. Once you add the cream soda, you need to mix again for about 5 minutes (sounds like you did). I wouldn’t worry if it separates a little once you add the cream soda because the flour will help bring it back together. If you’re worried about it happening again, you can always replace the cream soda with buttermilk.
Hello! OMG, this cake is adorable! If I am wanting to just make a butterscotch cake, what can I replace the cream soda for? I really enjoy your blog!
Just use buttermilk instead 🙂
I made this cake and the flavors were good but the cake itself was crumbly and very dense. I followed it exactly but I did freeze the cake layers. Could that be why?
Hmm, that’s strange. Crumbly cake usually means it’s dry, and overbaked a little. But freezing the cake shouldn’t make it dense. This cake should be light and fluffy. Your oven might run hotter, and you need to cut off a couple minutes of baking time.
I did this cake last week for my son’s birthday. Just like some other comments, the cream soda was almost impossible to blend. I wish I used buttermilk instead. I also think it would have made the whole cake less sweet. This cake, as is, is VERY sweet, almost too much. None if the kids were able to handle their slice. I also think it might be because the “butterscotch flavouring” is overwhelming, but that could be a personal taste… one last comment: I suggest you add the marshmallow cream just before serving. I completed the cake a few hours before serving, and by the time we served it, the cream had completely sliced on the side. It was kind of funny! 🙂
Thank you so much for your notes. I think it’s a great idea to switch out the cream soda for buttermilk. I didn’t have a problem with it, but since it’s been an issue for others, it’s worth changing.
So excited to try this! I plan on bringing it to a Harry Potter themed party. Just one question – What method did you use for adding the marshmallow cream?
That will be so fun. I just used a spoon to spread it out.
I want to make this cake for a Harry Potter-themed bridal shower. Another recipe I looked at used cream soda and I noticed you specifically revised yours to use it without. What difference did you notice?
I noticed that it was more moist with the buttermilk instead of the cream soda.
Hi Courtney. Are you using the LorAnn oils or the LorAnn extracts for this cake?
I’m making this as a gift for a friends daughter. Should I tell her to add the marshmallow later before serving? And homemade fluff sounds amazing, but could I use store bought fluff since I won’t be able to add it myself?
Store bought fluff won’t really spread the way that homemade will so you can just leave it out.
Do I need the Lorann Oils flavoring or can I use a different brand of butterscotch flavoring?
Any is fine!