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I have been waiting so long to make a butterbeer cupcake.

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

Like too many years.

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

I do not know if you know this, but I am huge Harry Potter fan. I know, I know, who the heck isn’t. I am not one of those die-hards or anything, but I have to say, the Harry Potter books are about the only books I have ever read page for page and truly enjoyed. It’s just my era I guess, but I will always love Harry Potter. The series brings back awesome memories for me.

I will forever love the Harry Potter marathon weekends on ABC family. They will never get old. Never.

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

Ok, and I just have to throw this in there too, ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas? Yeah, that is something I look forward to all year-long. Like no joke, that is my favorite thing. Call me whatever you want but, I will always be a 25 Days of Christmas Girl… and don’t judge, you know you are too.

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

Come every October though, it seems I have Harry Potter on the brain. I mean, it makes sense since October is all about magical, spooky things. Normally, I just watch the movies over and over until I can move on to the Christmas movies, but this year that just was not enough.

I was out hiking the other day and I thought back to these broom stick cookies I made. They were one of my very first posts on this blog and the photos are horrific, but the cookies are cute, and so good. I was thinking about how cute they would be with a butterbeer cupcake and that was it, that was when the decision was made. I was making butterbeer cupcakes… death by butterbeer cupcakes.

Hey, it’s October. Death By Butterbeer just seemed fitting.

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

If you are wondering, butterbeer (or at least the butterbeer in this recipe), is basically just butterscotch mixed with a little butter extract. It’s beyond delicious you guys. Super sweet, crazy “fall” like, and I am not going to lie – so addicting. Literally, the butterbeer glaze could be a dessert in itself? I am thinking small espresso mug filled with warm butterbeer glaze, drizzle of chocolate and marshmallows. OH MY GOSH. That would be good. Gotta do that sometime.

Cupcakes today though.

The cupcake itself is really simple. It’s made with brown sugar and butter extract, but I also added in some vanilla bean and um, chocolate covered toffee bits because they just needed to happen. I have had a bag of bits sitting in my pantry since last fall and these cupcakes just called out to them. They’re a match made in the cupcake heavens. The vanilla beans just add such great flavor. You can never go wrong with vanilla beans. Honestly you just can’t. They work with just about everything and they make recipes that much more special.

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

For the frosting, I had to go chocolate…and chocolate treacle butter!! It may just be physically impossible for me to have an all non-chocolate dessert. PLUS butterbeer and chocolate together seemed like such a good pairing. Topped off with some chocolate covered pretzels? Yeah, why not? It is finally that time of year again, when chocolate, sugar salt, carbs and all the good stuff is totally acceptable – every single freaking day. Or at least in my head it is.

Good months ahead…

Really though, this frosting is oh my gosh, GOOD. It’s the whole treacle butter thing which is really just unsulphured molasses and salted butter. It may seem simple, but when combined with a little butterbeer and a little chocolate? Um just, yes!

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

Finally, I do realize that these photos sort of look like a craft project gone wrong AND most importantly that the scarf is scarlet and white, not scarlet and yellow. I tried so hard to find a scarlet and yellow scarf, but had no luck. I found one online, but I really did not want to wait for it to get it here. So… sorry for the scarlet and white. I tried, really I tried.

And the as for the photos themselves, I was SO close to not even showing you these because they are not “my kind of perfect”, but my mom talked me into keeping them. Sorry for my craft project gone wrong, but I promise the cupcakes themselves are delish.

Double finally, if you have kids these are the cupcakes that will make you the “cool” mom or dad – guaranteed. If I could, I would bring them into Asher’s school on Halloween, but they have this new rule of no sweets for birthdays and holidays. I get it, but at the same time, it’s so lame. For me, in school class parties filled with the homemade treats where the best. ESPECIALLY on Halloween.

Halloween is meant for an all day sugar high.

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Refridgerate 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 18 Cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 536 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



Butterbeer Sauce

  • 1 (11 ounce) bag butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Pretzels


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, canola oil, butter extract, seeds from half a vanilla bean and the buttermilk. Beat until smooth.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add the beer and mix until combined. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin. Stir in the toffee bits - if using.
  • Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Meanwhile, make the butterbeer sauce. Add the butterscotch chips, cream and honey to a small sauce pot. Set over low heat, stirring often until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
  • To make the frosting, melt chocolate in the microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until smooth. You may also use a double broiler. Dip each pretzel in chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheets and chill in the freezer until firm, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the butter, molasses and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer). Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla and butter extract. Beat, scrapping down the sides as needed another 2 minutes or until there are no streaks of white. Beat in 1/3 cup butterbeer sauce + the seeds from 1/2 of the remaining vanilla bean until smooth and creamy. Add 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream and whip the frosting for 2-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar if you like a sweeter or thicker frosting.
  • Now take about 1/3 to 1/2 the chocolate covered pretzels and finely chop them. Stir the pretzels into the frosting. Skip this step if you like a smooth frosting.
  • To assemble the cupcakes, pipe frosting onto each cupcakes (or just smooth it on with a knife). Garnish each cupcake with a chocolate covered pretzel. If needed, warm the butterbeer sauce until just smooth enough to drizzle. Drizzle each cupcake with butterbeer sauce just before serving. Sink your teeth in!
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Death By Butterbeer Cupcakes w/Treacle Butter Frosting + Chocolate Covered Pretzels | @hbharvest

That’s what butterbeer dreams look like. It’s the glaze and the pretzels and the treacle b butter frosting and most definitely the cupcake. Really it’s the whole darn thing!

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    1. Hey there,
      Sure, that should work well for you! I hope this recipe turns out amazing, let me know if you give it a try! xx

  1. 4 stars
    The frosting and the Butterbeer sauce are delicious! The cupcakes themselves were underwhelming. So I made my regular vanilla cupcakes but substituted brown sugar and added a tablespoon of molasses. I also added a bag of butterscotch chips. They were delicious! After I piped on the frosting and drizzled the Butterbeer sauce on top, I sprinkled them with English toffee bits and added a fondant golden snitch. They were a hit at our local Farmers’ Market!

    1. Hey Susie,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! I’m glad to hear they were enjoyed overall:) xx

    1. Hi Torie,
      I’ve used a bunch of different brands, whatever my local grocery store is carrying at the time! I hope you love the recipe! xx

  2. These look amazing! I want to try out the recipe but do you think I could replace the vanilla bean with vanilla extract??

    1. Hey Sarah,
      That would work, I would do 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. My friend is allergic to cocoa so I wasn’t going to do the chocolate covered pretzels but I just saw there is cocoa in the frosting. Would it be okay to just eliminate the cocoa powder from the frostin?

    1. Hi Gabby! Yes you could eliminate the cocoa and just make it a buttercream frosting. Enjoy!

  4. 3 stars
    I made these today with my daughter and we both agree that the frosting is delicious. The chocolate covered pretzels and butterscotch ganache were also a nice touch. The cake, however, was a miss. We baked it for 20 minutes, they were baked through fine but there was just something missing to give them the extra wow factor. We even included the toffee chips.

    1. Hi Ashley! I am so glad you and your daughter loved the pretzels and frosting. I am sorry about the cake though.. Are there any questions I could help you with? xTieghan