Day 318 – Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes for the Birthday Girl’s 18th

Our middle child, our daughter turned 18 today.
It just doesn’t seem possible.
So much has happened in her 18 years and at times, she hasn’t had it easy going through 6 surgeries for her hip dysplasia with two of those being major reconstructions.
She was first diagnosed when she was 3 1/2, then after finally potty training her (she was the stubborn one) she spent six weeks in a spica cast, which encased her body from her chest down to both ankles with a bar in between her legs.
She spent a lot of those 6 weeks on the floor, but was able to spend a lot of quality time with her brother who was also on the floor a lot being 6 months old at the time.
Her 5 year old sister was a huge help assisting with whatever her sister needed and playing, coloring or reading books.
Our daughter’s been strong “like bull” as she used to say, through it all.  I know it’s helped to shape her into the incredible young woman she is today.
She is a fully functional and healthy young woman.
Oh, that kind of freaks me out.  We now have two grown women as children and beautiful children they are.
I know I’m not alone when I say my children are beautiful – every parent thinks that of their children and if they don’t, they should.
My husband and I have been completely blessed.  These young people that we’ve raised are happy, responsible, and respectful.
Yes, we’ve had our issues as every family does I’m sure, but they’re unique to us and exactly what our family needed at that particular time.
It;s helped us grow.
As individuals, but also closer together as one cohesive unit – our family.
Being on a school bus in high school and looking out the window into the cars of moms with kids in car seats, I knew right then and there that nothing was more important to me than to…
Be. A. Mom.
I cherish every day that I’ve been able to spend with each one of our children, every moment, every breath.
Even those when they were little and I thought I’d lose it or those times when I’d go into a room away from the childhood chaos and cry.
Yes, there were painful moments, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
It’s made us who we are, brought us to where we are and I know we are right where we’re supposed to be.
And for that, I’m grateful.
Very, very grateful.
Happy Birthday, my beautiful daughter.  I love you very much!

I baked today.
Some Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes because she is such a Harry Potter fanatic.
They are sitting in my fridge unassembled because the birthday girl is not here to eat them.
She is celebrating with some friends who’ve “kidnapped her for the night.”
The four of us (our eldest is away at college) spent some wonderful quality time together today playing a couple games of Scrabble (our newest family obsession), going to lunch, and just hanging out.
The cupcakes were made, but she left before I could finish them, so I will post pictures and the review tomorrow.

I adapted the recipe from amybites.

Butterbeer Cupcakes – makes 20

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a cupcake pan with liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until it is light and fluffy.
Add the sugars and beat until well combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in vanilla and butter flavoring.
Beginning and ending with the buttermilk, add the cream soda, and flour a little at a time, mixing well after each.
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary.
Place batter into cupcake liners to about 2/3 full.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Fill a squeeze bottle with the ganache and insert the top of the bottle into the center of one of the cupcakes.
Squeeze until filling begins to overflow.
Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
Frost cupcakes and drizzle with butterscotch ganache.

Butterscotch Ganache 
1 11 oz. package of butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine chips and cream.
Stir until chips are melted and ganache is smooth.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream, approximately

In the cleaned bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy.
Add ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt.
Mix well.
Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
After all of the sugar has been added, frosting will appear dry.
Add cream, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting is smooth and creamy.

Making of the ganache…

Filling the cupcakes with the ganache.

The making of the frosting…

The end result…

I’ll be back tomorrow with pictures, the finished product and the birthday girl’s review.
Busy day coming with the laundry I need to do, a most important Patriot’s football game to watch, and some more baking.
Enjoy your Sunday!

**I rate everything I bake on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best and the birthday girl decided these should be given a 3 1/2.  They are RICH with the wonderful flavor of butterscotch!  They are awfully sweet between the ganache in the middle and the frosting, but they were still really good.
I had just enough frosting to cover all 20 cupcakes.**

I give you BIG baking hugs and muffins!!


  1. says

    Happy birthday to your girl! You sound like you are such a great mom and understand that life is about how we get through the challenges. You and she were thrown quite the challenge and yet all of your family has grown from this and managed to support each other. I do wish her the best and hope she continues to have a wonderful life. I love reading posts like this and they make me feel that there is a lot of hope for our world.

  2. says

    Happy Birthday to your daughter! Such a beautiful post, and you are such a great mom… Your daughter sounds like she’s been through a lot, but she’s blessed to have such a great mom to support her & hold her hand all the way! God bless you and your lovely family! The cupcakes look really good, Lynne! I bet I would love them… bookmarking them! Thanks for sharing :)

    • says

      Marsha, thank you so much for all your wonderful wishes! We are blessed to have a daughter with such a tremendous spirit which makes my “job” of mothering her very easy. I am the blessed one.
      Let me know what you thinkabout the cupcakes if you make them.

  3. says

    I’m just commenting to say that I’ve been following your blog since very early on. I too am a Harry Potter fanatic and was excited for this post. I was very surprised to learn about you daughters surgeries and hip condition. Two months ago i was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and will be undergoing surgery this year. I’m 15. It is so amazing to hear that your daughter has conquered so much.
    I’m curious if she had any PAO’s (that’s the surgery I’m having.)I am glad to hear that she is living a perfect life post surgeries, it amazing to hear that she is doing so well. Hope your daughter has a very Happy Birthday and many more. I look forward to more posts.


    • says

      Emma, thank you so very much for being a faithful reader!! I am very, very grateful for your support!
      Also, thank you for the birthday wishes. My daughter was very appreciative and sends you her best wishes on your upcoming surgery.
      When she was 3 1/2 she had her first reconstruction, but I can’t remember exactly what type it was, and at the age of 5, she had a Salter osteotomy.
      Please feel free to e-mail me at I’m very interested to hear about your progress.
      Sending out prayers for your surgery and recovery, and for your family as well.
      Thank you again, Emma

  4. says

    Averie, thank you for your comments and the birthday wishes! Yes, that butterscotch ganache was pretty darn delicious and I find myself eating the leftover with a spoon because I stored it in the fridge. Reminds me of the butterscotch pudding my mom used to make when I was a kid.
    It is truly amazing to think that our children have grown up so quickly. Enjoy every moment, even those times of struggle, especially when she is a teenager. The moments we have together as a family are priceless.
    I hope Skylar has the most AMAZING 5th Birthday! And congratulations to mom!

    • says

      I’m pretty sure I refrigerated the leftovers. And as to the ganach hardening, I’m thinking it must have, but probably not so hard it would break a tooth. Just take them out and let them sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

  5. Cathy O says

    Happy Belated Birthday to your daughter! made these cupcakes for a superbowl party today and they were a hit! I got 16 of them, and saw your note that the buttercream just made it, so I made 1.5 of the frosting and had just a small amount left over. The ganache was yummy! Adults and kids enjoyed these. I have one left over so I am freezing it for my daughter, who now lives 300 miles away (for school) and is an avid Harry Potter fan. She can enjoy it the next time she visits. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. Isabella says

    Hi, I have to ask. I am from Czech Republic and most of the stuff I need for these cupcakes isn’t avaible in here. So I have two questions – how can I replace butter flavoring? Add more butter? and second, I can’t reach butterscotch chips, so can I just make caramel from sugar and then add the heavy cream? Or should I add something more?

    And even it’s too soon, I wish your daughter happy birthday.



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