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a bite taken from a butterbeer cupcake

Sorting Hat Butterbeer Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes + 1 hour cooling
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes


These moist butterbeer cupcakes are flavored with butter and rum extracts and topped with butterscotch sauce and a sorting hat. Take a bite and it will tell you which Hogwarts house you belong to!


Butterscotch Sauce*

  • 1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum flavored extract

Butterbeer Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (120g) canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp butter flavored extract
  • 3/4 tsp rum flavored extract
  • 1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 3/4 cups (230g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Red, yellow, green, and purple gel food coloring
  • 2 tbsp butterscotch sauce

Sorting Hats**

  • 6 chocolate sandwich cookies***
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp canola or vegetable oil


Butterscotch Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Once melted, mix in the brown sugar and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it bubble for 6 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and mix in the salt, vanilla, and rum extract. It should look thin, dark, and slightly translucent.
  4. Pour into a glass and allow it to cool at room temperature while we make the cupcakes.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a measuring glass, combine the milk and vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, and extracts. It should be clumpy like wet sand.
  5. Mix in 1/2 of the milk mixture, followed by half of the dry ingredients. Once smooth, mix in the rest of the milk, again followed by the rest of the dry ingredients. The batter should be fairly thin, but not watery.
  6. Pour the batter into each cupcake liner, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool inside the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


  1. In a large bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the butter with 1 cup of powdered sugar.
  2. Once smooth, continue to mix in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. When the mixture becomes too thick, mix in one tablespoon of milk.
  3. After all of the sugar is mixed in, add the vanilla and salt.
  4. Now have 4 separate bowls ready, filling each with 3 tablespoons of buttercream. Color each bowl with the individual house colors – red for Gryffindor, green for Slytherin, purple for Ravenclaw, and yellow for Hufflepuff.
  5. To the rest of the buttercream, mix in two tablespoons of the cooled butterscotch sauce and set aside.

Sorting Hats

  1. Split the cookies in half and remove the cream filling. Arrange the cookies, frosting side up, on a plate.
  2. Pipe the individual buttercream colors onto the cookies (each house gets 3 cookies), making a tall witch hat shape. Do so using a round piping tip, or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
  3. Place the hats into the freezer to chill firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. When it gets close to the 30 minute mark, melt the chocolate and oil in a heat-safe container (preferably a 2 cup measuring glass) in the microwave. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each time, until smooth. Allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. When the hats are firm, coat each one in chocolate. My preferred method is to stick a toothpick into the button of the hat. Then, tilt the container of chocolate so that it pools to one side. Dunk the hat into the chocolate and twirl to coat it all around. Lift it out and tap off any excess. Then, stick the toothpick into the bottom of a cardboard box so that the hat can dry without disrupting the bottom (see picture in post for reference).
  6. Otherwise, dunk the hats using a fork and place onto a plate to dry. Chill the hats for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
  7. Pipe the butterscotch buttercream onto each cooled cupcake. Top with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce, followed by a sorting hat.
  8. Now take a bite to join your Hogwarts house!


*BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE – You can also use store-bought butterscotch sauce, it just might be a bit more thin than my homemade version.

**SORTING HATS – If you’d rather not go through the steps of making the hats, you can instead fill each cupcake with the house-colored buttercream. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, core out the cupcakes about halfway through. Then fill with the house buttercream and top with the butterscotch buttercream.

***SANDWICH COOKIES – I highly recommend using an off-brand chocolate sandwich cookie and not Oreo. This is only if you plan to use my chocolate-dunking toothpick method. Many off-brand sandwich cookies have holes in the cookie, allowing you to stick a toothpick into the hats. Any type of sandwich cookie will do, whether that’s chocolate, vanilla or even gluten free. Just as long as it has holes!

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
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