Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Butterbeer Cake

As a self-proclaimed Harry Potter fanatic, it's a little shocking even to me that I haven't seen the final Harry Potter movie yet. But when you have young children, the reality is that date nights are few and far between. I'm happy to report that Joe and I have plans to see it during our vacation, and I can't wait!

I made this cake for a coworker's birthday celebration recently (which was Harry Potter-themed since she, like me and so many others at our office, is a huge fan of the boy wizard). Everyone raved about it, and honestly, I think it's one of the best cakes I've ever made. It's a butterscotch cake, topped with butterscotch buttercream and butterscotch ganache. It's so incredibly moist, rich, and decadent, and it tastes exactly like I imagine Harry Potter's favorite drink to taste. I think the secrets to the incredible texture are the cream soda and buttermilk in the cake. The cream soda gives the cake a wonderful fluffy lightness, while the buttermilk makes it so moist.

The original recipe is for cupcakes, which I modified into a two-layer cake. If you want the cupcake recipe, just click the link. If you love butterscotch or Harry Potter or both of those things, you're going to love this cake. The recipe may look complicated, but it's actually very simple, and so incredibly worth the time.

Butterbeer Cake
adapted from The Curvy Carrot

For the cake:

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

For the butterscotch ganache:

1 11-ounce bag of butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream 

For the buttercream frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
Pinch salt
1 16-ounce package (about 3 cups) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cream soda (and more as needed)

1. For the cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Spray two 8- or 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and dust with flour. 

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 

4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light, about 2 minutes. 

5. Add the granulated and dark brown sugars to the butter and continue to mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 

6. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 

7. Add the vanilla and butter flavorings until combined. 

8. Add about one-third of the buttermilk, followed by one-third of the cream soda, and then one-third of the flour mixture. 

9. Alternate adding the remaining buttermilk, cream soda, and flour in thirds until well-combined. 

10. Evenly distribute the cake batter between the two pans and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.  Cool the cakes completely before frosting. 

11. For the butterscotch ganache: In a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, mix the butterscotch chips and heavy cream, stirring until smooth.  Let cool. 

12. For the butterscotch frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light, about 2 minutes. 

13.  Add the cooled butterscotch ganache to the butter, mixing well. 

14.  Add the vanilla, butter flavoring, cream soda, and salt to the frosting and mix well to combine. 

15. Decrease the mixer speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. 

16.  For the assembly: Place one cake on a cake platter. Gently poke holes in the top of the cake and pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of butterscotch ganache across the surface. Top with a layer of frosting, then add the other cake. Gently poke holes in the top cake and smooth another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ganache across the surface. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting, then drizzle with more butterscotch ganache. Decorate with butterscotch chips, if desired.


Mrs. Ca said...

Yum! I think Gabbie and I might have to head into the kitchen soon to whip these up.

Natalie said...

yours turned out beautifully!yum!!

Debbie said...

Oh what a pretty cake!

Cami said...

This was a huge hit tonight for my dad's birthday cake! Thanks for the recipe.