Today marks the premier of long-awaited movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Part 2, a film very much worth waiting for and an event worth celebrating! As we wrap up our Potter Week festivities, I must admit that it’s a bittersweet day here at Pumpercake. As the battle has ended and the loose ends have been tied, there will be no more books, movies, or exciting plot twists in our favorite wizarding world. While the incredible final movie was everything I hoped it would be, I’m sad to see this saga come to an end. And, I must admit, I’m also a little sad to see the Pumpercake Potter Week come to an end. Many of the recipes of this past week have been some of my favorite to think up and create, and the introductions to each of the posts have been, by far, my favorite to write.
Today’s recipe is inspired by “butterbeer,” every Witch’s and Wizard’s beverage of choice. I created a dramatic and delicious “Butterbeer Layer Cake,” complete with three layers of fluffy, moist cake and multiple frostings and fillings, all flavored in themes of rich and salty butter, sweet and fragrant butterscotch and even a splash of liqueur. To accompany the extravagant cake, cute little cake-pops take the form of the “golden snitch,” the tiny, fluttering ball from Harry’s favorite wizarding sport, Quidditch. It wasn’t until after I made up the treats that I recalled Mrs. Weasley creating a magical snitch-themed birthday cake for Harry’s 17th in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I’d like to give a heartfelt “thank you” to those loyal Pumpercake readers and Harry-loving fans who’ve followed along all week. This week’s new subscribers and viewing numbers have taken a gigantic jump up from Pumper’s average stats, making me the happiest girl in the world, as I truly feel that my hard work this week was well worth it. I hope you enjoyed being a part of Potter Week half as much as I enjoyed organizing it.
Butterbeer Layer Cake
& Golden Snitch Cake Pops
Inspired by: Butterbeer
“I notice that your birthday cake is in the shape of a Snitch,” Scrimgeour said to Harry. “Why is that?”
Hermione laughed derisively.
“Oh, it can’t be a reference to the fact Harry’s a great Seeker, that’s way too obvious,” she said. “There must be a secret message from Dumbledore hidden in the icing!”
-Rufus Scrimgeor of the “Ministry of Magic” questions Harry, Ron and Hermione in order to uncover the secret mission left to them by Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
One batch of this recipe creates the base for the layer cake and also for the cake-pop filling.
1¾ cup cake flour
1½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup cream soda
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
4 eggs plus 1 white, room temperature
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons butter extract
–recipe yield: 1 three-layer cake (trimmed to 7½ inches in diameter), and about 18-22 cake pops.
Butter and flour three 9-inch pans and preheat oven to degrees. In a medium bowl, sift to combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl stir together the buttermilk and cream soda, and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed to soften. Beat in both sugars and cream together until sugars have dissolved completely and mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, additional egg white, and vanilla and butter extracts, beating well after each addition.
Slowly add the dry ingredients in 3 equal parts into the creamed mixture, alternating each addition with half of the liquid ingredients (buttermilk and cream soda). Divide batter between the three prepared pans (about 2 cups of batter in each pan), and tap the bottom of the pans against counter-top to help release air bubbles. Place pans into oven for 20-22 minutes, or until cake is springy and edges are light golden. Allow cakes to cool in pans on wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing and placing directly on rack to cool completely.
Butterbeer Butterscotch-Chocolate Ganache Topping
& Butterscotch-Chocolate Whipped Ganache Filling
2 cups heavy whipping cream, plus 2-3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps
3 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
Heat the 2 cups of whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once cream has been brought to a simmer, turn off heat, and stir in butterscotch schnapps. Dump butterscotch chips and chocolate chips into a large bowl, and add in the hot liquid, pouring it directly over the chips. Whisk to melt the chips completely. Pour about 1/3 of the smooth ganache into a separate bowl, and let sit at room temperature. This is the ganache topping.
For the whipped ganache, cover the bowl containing the other 2/3 ganache with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to set up (at least 4 hours). When ready to use, remove the hardened ganache from the refrigerator, let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and whip until fluffy, adding 2-3 extra tablespoons heavy cream if needed.
Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup butterscotch chips, melted & cooled
1½ teaspoons butter extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons butterscotch custard powder*
3½-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a small cup or dish, sprinkle gelatin powder over 1 tablespoon very cool water. Set aside to allow gelatin to fully dissolve in water, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, cream together butter, cheese and shortening until soft and combined. Add in melted butterscotch, butter and vanilla extracts, salt, and custard powder and mix on a high speed until combined. Gradually beat in about half of the confectioner’s sugar until dissolved, then pour in the milk and lemon juice, mixing well until homogeneous. Gradually add in the remaining confection’s sugar. Heat the dissolved gelatin until just melted, and beat it and the heavy cream into the mixture until fluffy and homogeneous.
*butterscotch flavored instant pudding will work here, too.
Layer Cake Assembly
Using a 7½-inch round pan or a cardboard cutout as a guide, trim down the 3 cake layers, placing the excess cake edges into a separate bowl to be used later for cake pops. Using a serrated knife, slice away the very top dome-shaped portion of each trimmed cake layer, leaving a flat and level surface on each cake. Cake layers can be thinned and leveled to any desired thickness. The leftover cake pieces should, again, be added to the bowl of excess pieces.
Place one trimmed, leveled cake layer onto serving dish or cake plate. Spoon a few large scoops of the whipped ganache filling into a pastry or zip-top bag fitted with a medium round tip, and pipe a circle of the filling onto the cake layer following the perimeter of the round cake. Spoon some more whipped filling into the center of the cake and spread the filling with an angled spatula into an even layer reaching the piped circle of filling. Spread extra whipped ganache, if needed, to ensure that the center portion of ganache is level with the piped circle edges. Gently place second cake layer directly onto the whipped ganache layer, lining it up evenly with the bottom layer. Repeat the piping and spreading techniques with the whipped filling atop the second cake layer, and cover the layer of filling with the final, top layer of cake, lining it up accordingly.
Spoon onto the stacked cake, a few large, heaping scoops of buttercream frosting. Using an angled spatula, spread the buttercream into an even layer on the top surface, as well as the sides of the stacked and filled cake. Add any additional buttercream needed to completely cover the assembled cake, smoothing it cleanly and evenly. Gently re-whisk the ganache topping once or twice, warming it slightly in the microwave if needed, until it has reached a thick, pour-able consistency. Slowly pour some of the ganache topping onto the center of the frosted cake, allowing the ganache to just barely reach the edges of the cake. Using an angled spatula, carefully push the poured ganache over the edges of the perimeter of the cake, allowing the topping to spill over onto the sides of the cake. More smooth ganache topping can be added to the top of the cake, if necessary.
If desired, a quarter cup each of buttercream and ganache (filling or chilled topping) can be re-whipped and transferred into a pastry bag to be piped decoratively around the bottom perimeter of the assembled, frosted cake. Cake can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator.
Golden Snitch Cake Pops
Adapted from Amy Bites
Reserved cake pieces (see above)
Leftover frostings/fillings (see above)
1 cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup butterscotch chips
1 pound gum paste mix
optional: edible opalescent powder (gold)
Use your hands or a butter knife to gently slice through and break down the reserved cake pieces into crumbles. Combine leftover buttercream frosting with a few tablespoons ganache (filling or chilled topping), and gradually add the mixture, one or two scoops at a time, to the bowl of cake pieces. Continuously mix the cake crumbles with the frosting mixture, adding frosting as necessary, until the consistency is pliable enough for moist, sticky cake balls to be formed. Form heaping tablespoons of the sticky mixture into round balls and place onto a parchment-lined sheet. Stab each cake ball with a lollipop stick. Chill the tray of cake balls in the refrigerator to allow them to set and securely fasten to the sticks.
Prepare a double boiler fitted with a small glass bowl containing the white chocolate and butterscotch chips, and melt until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before dunking in the chilled cake balls, one at a time, to be completely coated. Placed coated cake balls back onto lined tray and allow the outer-coating to slightly set, but not completely harden. Use a paring knife to create two small, vertical slits into two sides of each cake ball, and allow coating to finish hardening. Prepare gum-paste as directed on package instructions and roll out to about ¼-inch in thickness. Draw a narrow wing shape on a piece of heavy card-stock or cardboard and cut it out to be used as a template to eventually create the wings of the “snitch.” Use a sharp paring knife and the template to cut out gum paste wings. Store the wings in an airtight container until ready to push into the slits of each cake ball. If desired, use a small, soft paint brush to dust each “snitch” with edible opalescent gold powder.