Moist chocolate cake with creamy vanilla buttercream. Based on the cake in the Harry Potter books. The perfect cake to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday.
Out of all the recipes, we’ve made this cake has to be our favorite. We’ve been fans of Harry Potter ever since we were kids. We can remember when the first movie (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) came out we were so excited. We remember that year at Christmas we got so much Harry Potter stuff that year. That was one of our favorite Christmases.
Sorry for the trip down memory lane. Let’s get talking about this cake. This cake is based on the cake that Hagrid gave Harry on his 11th birthday. In the book, the cake is described as a large chocolate cake with “Happy Birthday Harry” written in green icing. In the movie, it says “Happee Birthdae Harry” on the cake. We wanted to recreate that exact cake the only difference is our cake is a mini version. And we’ve got to say it taste delicious.
We are going to share with you how you can make this cake. Ready to get started?
The ingredients you will need:
For the Cake
- Cake Flour
- Vanilla Extract
- Cocoa Powder
- Baking Soda
- Distilled White Vinegar
For the Buttercream
- Two 6 inch cake pans
Making a cake from scratch
This is just our opinion, but we think homemade cake tastes so much better. It has a better flavor than anything out of a box. We are not knocking box cake at all because it is convenient when we don’t have the time to make a homemade cake.
Making a cake from scratch may seem like a lot of work but it really isn’t. This particular cake is super simple to make.
Cake Flour vs All-Purpose Flour
When we make a cake we always like to use cake flour. That is because it makes our cakes light and tender. This is how you want your cake. Cake flour produces less gluten which makes it great for cake because it will make it softer, tender, and delicate. It will produce fewer pockets of air which produces fewer crumbs.
We’ve used to use regular flour in the past when we would make our cakes and they always seemed to fall apart and would produce a lot of crumbs.
Our favorite cake flour that we like to use is Swans Down Cake Flour.
Prepare the cake pans by spraying them with some non-stick cooking spray and parchment paper. Set aside until ready.
Preheat the oven to 350°(F)
To start making this cake we are going to whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Go ahead and set that aside.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together until light and cream (for about 1 minute).
Add in the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
Slowly alternating and a little at a time add in the flour mixture and espresso until combined.
Why espresso? The espresso will bring out more of the chocolate flavor.
Then add in the distilled white vinegar until combined.
You might be asking yourself why vinegar? The white vinegar is going to act as a rising agent. It will react with the baking soda to make the cake rise as it is being baked and create a more even rise.
Slowly pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
Bake for 35–50 minutes in the oven. You will know the cakes are ready when you take a toothpick to the center of the cake and it comes out clean.
Let it cool in the pan for 30-45 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
While the cakes are cooling we can get started on the buttercream.
This buttercream is going to come together faster than you can say “Aparecium” bonus points if you know what Harry Potter spell this is.
Using an electric stand mixer or using a hand mixer beat the butter until light and airy.
Add in the heavy cream and vanilla extract mix together for about 1 minute.
Half a cup at a time slowly add in the powdered sugar. The recipe calls for 2½-3 cups of powdered sugar you don’t need to use all three cups, but this depends on how stiff you want your buttercream.
If it is too stiff add a little more heavy cream (just a splash). If it is too wet add in a little more powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time.
Separate about 1 cup of the buttercream into a small bowl. Then add in the green food coloring. With a spoon mix together.
With the rest of the buttercream add in the pink food coloring.
We can not give you exact measurements for the food coloring because each food coloring is different.
Our favorite food coloring
- Americolor Soft Gel Paste
- Wilton Food Icing Colors
What is a crumb coat?
A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that we put on a cake to make sure that we don’t get crumbs as we frost the cake. Simply put it is going to hold the crumbs in.
To add the crumb simply frost the whole cake with a thin layer of cake (it does not have to be perfect). Then place it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
Frosting the Cake
We were trying to make the cake look as close to the movie one as we can so when it comes to frosting the cake it does not need to be perfect. We are going to start with the pink frosting first.
Now in the photos of the cake in the movie, there is a split in the cake because Hagrid mentions to Harry that he may have sat on it. It is better to do the split first so we can write the letter around it.
Tip: To get even amounts of frosting in the center of the cake we like to use a large ice cream scooper and place two scoops of frosting in the center. Then with an offset spatula spread it evenly.
After frosting the cake with the pink frosting, it is time to pipe the lettering on top of the cake.
To do this we placed the green icing in a piping bag and used a Wilton Round Cake Decorating Tip 2. Because Hagrid cannot spell the words on top are misspelled as well to say “Happee Birthdae Harry”
After you pipe your lettering you are all done!
All there is now to do is pop in or read your favorite Harry Potter book or movie and enjoy a nice slice of cake.
Harry Potter Birthday Cake
- 2 Cups +4 Tsp Cake Flour
- 2½ Sticks Butter, Softened
- 1½ Cups Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1½ Cups Espresso
- 2 tsp Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 Cup Butter, Softened
- 1½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 - 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream
- 2½ - 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
- Pink and Green Food Coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350° (F) and prepare two 6x6 cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and parchment paper. Set aside
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and cream (about 1 minute).
- Add in the eggs one at a time until each egg is combined. Add in the vanilla extract until combined.
- Alternating slowly a little at a time add in the flour mixture and espresso until combined.
- Add in the distilled white vinegar. Mix until combined.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 35-50 minutes. Until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.
- Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter until light and airy.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and heavy cream until combined about 1 minute.
- Slowly ½cup at a time add in the powdered sugar.
- Separate 1/2 - 1 cup of the frosting into a separate bowl to make the green frosting.
- In the small separate bowl add in your green food coloring. Mix until you reach the color you want.
- For the remaining frosting add in your pink food coloring and mix until you reach the color you want.
- Layer one cake onto a cake stand or plate.
- Spread the pink frosting evenly onto the middle of the cake.
- Place the next cake layer on top.
- Frost the cake with a thin layer of pink frosting to create a crumb coat. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes frost the rest of the cake with the pink frosting.
- Create a small split on top of the cake in the frosting to create a small crack (to look like Hagrid's cake).
- Using a piping bag and decorating tip. Write the words "Happee Birthdae Harry" on top of the cake with the green frosting.
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We hope you all enjoy it! If you made this Harry Potter Birthday Cake recipe be sure to tag us on Instagram @wonderandcharm or use the hashtag #wonderandcharm. We would love to see your photos.
Looking for more cake recipes? You can find them here.