You guys. I have a TREAT for you today! Or maybe it's just a treat for me because it's chocolate and Harry Potter mash up. Honestly though, whether you're into Harry Potter or not, you're going to love these! Get ready for some Harry Potter Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Butterbeer Frosting!!!
Yup. That's right. Butterbeer frosting. Some serious research when into this to make sure the butterbeer taste was accurate, and I may have tasted some first hand...Have you ever been to Harry Potter land?? I don't know if you're aware but at this point you probably already know, I'm a pretty massive nerd. When Dan and I got engaged last year, my sister got us tickets to go to Harry Potter Land in Universal Hollywood and it was the best. Thing. Ever. Oh and my fan and I all definitely went to the one in Florida the year it opened...along with Disneyworld...when I was in college...Apparently, I'm still a kid.
Every Halloween and Christmas season, I marathon the Harry Potter movies. ABC family does it every year so how could you not?? I've even taken to rereading the books around the holiday season. Harry Potter paraphernalia is definitely part of my Halloween decor (as evidenced by these photos), and I may or may not have a nerd shelf above my desk that the wand and chocolate frog packaging hang out on all year round. So really, it was only a matter of time before some Harry Potter inspired food showed up this Halloween season.
About those chocolate pumpkin cupcakes and their butterbeer frosting. Do you remember that awesome (if I do say so myself, I'm still super proud) Halloween Chocolate Pumpkin Cake I made last year?
Yup! Same cake filling recipe here, just scaled down to make about dozen cupcakes, or even 24 mini cupcakes if you so desire! Dense, moist, and uber chocolatey, you can have your cake and eat it too! AKA if you want the deliciousness of that Halloween cake but don't want to deal with three layers and all the chilling necessary to frost it, definitely go this easy peezy cupcake route. To be totally honest with you, I didn't even sift anything this time ???? and they were still fantastic (I do still suggest following any sifting instructions for the cake version, cakes are a whole different ball game). Also, note that the filling is VERY thick; you'll be scooping it out of the bowl and into the pan as opposed to pouring it in.
Alright. Chocolate pumpkin cupcakes aside, let's talk about that butterbeer frosting. The secret? Butterscotch morsels and a smidge of cream soda. Seriously, just 3 tablespoons worth of cream soda will do the trick. To be honest, I briefly considered making the butterscotch from scratch but I mean, I didn't even sift the filling. This is tastiest, and laziest, cupcake and frosting recipe I've ever made and omg is it worth it. Also, I added some vanilla paste to the frosting instead of straight vanilla extract to get some actual vanilla beans in there. Always adds some nice pizazz to any frosting or whipped cream.
Take note that, as is, the butterbeer frosting is a little on the lighter side. It's plenty sweet but if you want a thicker frosting that is easier to pipe, you can always add more powdered sugar! Otherwise, use a basic piping tip or even just a spoon and knife: dollop some on and smooth it out. Now decorate to your heart's content and enjoy some Harry Potter themed Chocolate Pumpkin cupcakes!
For the Cake
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting
- 11 ounces butterscotch chips
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons cream soda
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a standard 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners (I used 2 cupcake liners per cup). Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl until smooth.
- Whisk in eggs one at a time until creamy.
- Whisk in buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Stir dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined.
- Fill baking cups about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cup comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
- While cupcakes are baking, make the frosting: In a small bowl, stir together butterscotch chips and heavy cream. Microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until completely melted (it might seem a little dry - this will be fixed with the cream soda addition). Alternatively, use a double boiler. Slowly pour in cream soda, a tablespoon at a time, stirring between each interval, until smooth.
- Using an electric mixer, blend the butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour in the melted butterscotch mixture and mix until creamy.
- Whisk in the confectioners' sugar and continue mixing until light and creamy - about 3 minutes.
- Frost cooled cupcakes by piping or with a knife. Top with sprinkles as desired!