3 Canary Creams on a piece of brown butcher paper surrounded by a Gryffindor scarf on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

Canary Creams from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Canary Creams are an invention of Fred and George’s for their wizard joke shop. Make your own at home with a shortbread cookie and filling.

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Fred and George Weasley had many snacks and treats to offer with a wide variety of pranks included in each one. When they first started, they were passing them out in the Gryffindor Common Room. One such treat was the Canary Creams, which would turn the person who ate it into a canary and then back again after they molt their feathers.

Of course, I couldn’t make something that would actually turn the eater into a canary, but I used the idea of a custard cream, which the snacks are based on, and made it canary yellow.

“It’s all right,” he [Fred] said. “I haven’t done anything to them. It’s the custard creams you’ve got to watch-“

Just then, Neville caused a slight diversion by turning into a large canary.

“Oh – sorry, Neville!” Fred should over all the laughter. “I forgot – it was the custard creams we hexed-“

Within a minute, however, Neville had molted, and once his feathers had fallen off, he reappeared looking entirely normal. He even joined in the laughing.

“Canary Cream!” Fred shouted to the excitable crowd. “George and I invented them…”

-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Of course, in April, when our Harry Potter Club was watching Goblet of Fire, I wanted to make any food associated with that book. I found a recipe here for Canary Creams. But it called for custard powder which I was never able to find in the store. I wanted to order online but forgot until it was too close to the club night, so I had to find a substitute.

If you can use custard powder, that would be preferable to make these more authentic. But if you can’t find it, you can substitute cornstarch in equal amounts and add a bit of vanilla extract to give it flavor.

Canary creams are a type of custard cream. Not being from the UK, I wasn’t sure what that was. So I had to look it up online. It’s a biscuit (which we call a cookie in the US) with cream in the center. The cookie is similar to a shortbread cookie. It can be rolled out in the same way as sugar cookies. Bake the cookies. Then put them together with the cream filling in between.

Step by Step

Start by preheating the oven to 350F. Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to cream the butter completely. Then add the sugar. Mix it again until it’s combined. This takes about 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the vanilla and stir.

Creamed butter and sugar in a stainless steel bowl on a white and grey marble surface

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, custard powder (or cornstarch if you don’t have custard powder) and the baking soda.

Four, cornstarch, and baking powder in a stainless steel bowl next to a flour sifter on a white and marble surface

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture while stirring on low speed until it forms a dough. The dough may be crumbly. Knead a few times to bring it together.

Ball of dough on a floured white and grey marble surface

Lightly flour a clean working surface and roll out the dough to be about 1/2″ thick. Use a round biscuit cutter or other cookie cutters to make shapes and place those on a baking sheet. Continue to cut shapes and re-roll the dough until you use up all of the dough.

Dough rolled out with circles cut into it next to a round biscuit butter and a wooden rolling pin on a white and grey marble surface

Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until they just start to brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

While the cookies are cooling, make the filling by creaming the butter as before, then adding in the sugar. Stir in the vanilla and a few drops of yellow food coloring (to give them the canary color). If the filling is too thick, add a splash of milk as needed.

Creamed butter and sugar with yellow food coloring in a stainless steel bowl on a white and marble surface

To make the canary creams, put the icing in a piping bag or tool and pipe the filling onto half of the cookies.

Canary creams filling in a stainless steel bowl next to a wire rack topped with baked cookies on a white and grey marble surface

Use the other half to place on top of the filling, making them cookie sandwiches.

3 Canary Creams on a piece of brown butcher paper surrounded by a Gryffindor scarf on a wooden surface (vertical)

Recipe

Originally Published On: July 3, 2018

Last Updated On: March 30, 2020

3 Canary Creams on a piece of brown butcher paper surrounded by a Gryffindor scarf on a wooden surface

Canary Creams

Canary Creams are an invention of Fred and George’s for their wizard joke shop. Make your own at home with a shortbread cookie and filling.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, British
Keyword: cookies, custard, Harry Potter
Servings: 10 cookies
5 from 10 votes

Ingredients

Cookies
  • 12 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup custard powder (substitute cornstarch if needed)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
Filling
  • 2 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp milk

Instructions

Cookies
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer
  • Add the powdered sugar and cream for about 3 minutes
  • Mix in the vanilla extract
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, custard powder (or cornstarch), and baking soda
  • Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until a dough forms
  • Lightly flour a clean working surface and roll the dough out to 1/2″ thickness
  • Use a biscuit cutter or cookie cutters to make cookies
  • Continue to make shapes by rolling the dough out multiple times as needed until all of the dough is used
  • Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until they start to get brown
  • Transfer to a cooling rack
Filling
  • While cookies cool, cream the butter with a mixer
  • Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and yellow food coloring
  • Add the milk, as needed, if the filling is too thick
Prepare Canary Creams
  • Put the filling in a piping bag and pipe onto half of the cookies
  • Top the cream with the remaining half of the cookies to form sandwiches
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Nutrition Facts
Canary Creams
Amount Per Serving
Calories 214 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 147mg6%
Potassium 22mg1%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 415IU8%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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36 thoughts on “Canary Creams from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes”

  1. Anything butter, flour, sugar and CUSTARD – I am so so so game for, if I could eat it, haha! And you might find this crazy but I have never read or seen the HP movies/books!

  2. It would be amazing to taste all the goodies in the HP universe! These look delicious. And thank you for not making it magic, I really don’t want to be a canary lol.

  3. Tonya Michelle

    I love Harry Potter and what a creative idea! These look great and can’t wait to try these one day.

  4. I remember when I was in the UK and heard about biscuits and tea. What I got was so much different than I imagined. It looks like you did a good job here. I know my daughter would have loved this at her Harry Potter Party.

    1. I’ve definitely had to do a bit of research into typical British food for all my Harry Potter recipes. Like you, quite a few things surprised me as to what they actually are!!

  5. I have never seen these but we LOVE Harry Potter! What a fun idea. When Liam is old enough to watch it would be fun to make these!

    1. They never are seen in the movies, just mentioned in the books. We’ve been slowly reading the books to the boys and letting them watch the movies as we finish a book.

  6. Wow, these look super delicious! I can admit that I never heard of these before (but I kind of read the books and watch the movies). But I would love to try to make these.

    1. They aren’t mentioned in the movies, only in the books. It’s a small part, but my friends and I have fun picking out small mentions of food to make for our movie and book club meetings 🙂

  7. I love this Canary Creams perfect for snacks I’m starting to cook since the quarantine starts and I would love to try this at home I hope it works 🙂

  8. I love shortbread cookies! The addition of the cream makes this a recipe I definitely want to try. I have a lot of time for baking now.

  9. When I saw those cookies I knew that they must taste divine. They look so good and I’d like to try the recipe.

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