Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
So this is what I did yesterday morning!
I work with a beautiful young lady called Nadia and a few months ago she asked me to make her a ‘Snitch’ cake for her birthday. I was totally confused and looked at her quite blankly until she explained it’s a little flying ball from Harry Potter (I’m sure all you Harry Potter Fans are screaming at me right now telling me what it actually is as I’m sure my explanation isn’t too good). But she then decided to leave it up to me, so my brief was just to make a Harry Potter Cake for her themed party!
You have probably guessed this already, but I haven’t seen any of the films in full. I’ve seen a bit here and there but I don’t know any of the details. So I had to do a lot of internet searching to find something I was happy to attempt. This spell book kept coming up and I thought it looked like a fun cake to make so that’s what I settled on.
Nadia’s favourite cake flavour is chocolate so I made a simple tray bake chocolate cake, but you could make anything as the base for this.
- 75g cocoa powder
- 200ml boiling water
- 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 eggs
- 375g dark musovado sugar
- 175ml sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 275g self raising flour – sifted
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180°C and grease a 23cm x 30cm x 5cm deep baking tin
- Mix the cocoa with the boiling water. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and set aside to cool
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a mixing bowl until blended
- Stir in the flour and the cocoa mixture until smooth
- Pour into the tin and bake for 30-40mins until risen and firm to touch
- Cool in the tin for 10mins then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely
Once the cake has cooled, carve the shape of a book. I found the middle point and cut a line down it. Then I just took a sharp knife and carved the cake down into the middle line:
Once you are happy with the shape, make some frosting.
- 450g icing sugar – sifted
- 150g unsalted butter – softened
- 60ml milk
- 60g cocoa powder – sifted
- In a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment gradually mix together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter on a low speed until combined and there are no large lumps of butter
- Gradually add the milk into the frosting while mixing on a slow speed
- Turn the mixer up to a high speed and beat the frosting until light and fluffy
Spread this all over the cake. Don’t worry about making it neat and tidy as it will all be covered by fondant icing!:
- White fondant/ready to roll icing
- Cocoa powder
- Food colours – brown, red, yellow, gold
- Edible glue
- Icing for writing
PAGES: Roll out the white fondant icing and drape over the cake. Press it into the middle of the cake to define the shape and then cut around the shape of the cake at the bottom. Brush on cocoa powder to create the ‘old’ look. I then rolled out another very thin layer of icing and placed this on the top. This means you can make the top page look more realistic by turning the pages at the corners. Brush with more cocoa powder. To make the page look along the edges just draw them in with something that’s really blunt. You don’t want to cut through the icing, just make an indent (although the odd cut doesn’t matter). Then brush with cocoa powder to create the definition.
I then coloured a small piece of icing red to create a book mark.
SCARF: To make the scarf I coloured some fondant icing – half red and half yellow. I cut them up into blocks, laid them next to each other and rolled them out so they joined together. I then cut a long strip to make the scarf shape and cut the frayed pieces into the end before placing onto the cake.
SNITCH: This is just a piece of fondant coloured with yellow and gold colouring rolled into a ball. I cut out wing shapes and then stuck them on using edible glue
WAND: The wand is just some dark brown fondant icing rolled and twisted into a wand shape. I left it to dry on a board before I placed it on the cake to help it dry flat. I don’t think I left it long enough as it did bend after 5mins of being on the cake
WRITING: This is just piped on using a pre bought chocolate writing icing. I squeezed it out of the tube and into a piping bag as this gave me more control. I then piped on the birthday message and thought a spell on the other side would make it obvious that it was a book of spells!
When I placed it all together, I have to admit I was pretty pleased with how it turned out! I saw a lot of book cakes on the internet and I was really worried about getting the pages looking right but I think I managed it well. And to be honest, I just did it really quickly as I thought if I did it too slowly and perfectly it would look too neat! And I used a lot of cocoa powder brushed over the top as this made a big difference to the way it looked.
Everyone at the party loved it. I didn’t stay long enough to see what people thought of the taste, but I had a sneaky piece of the cake I carved away so was pretty confident that it tasted ok too!
And after all the research, I think I’m now ready to sit down and watch the films!
If you try this, let me know how you get on and send me a photo…I’d love to see how it went!
“We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one, and Voldy’s gone moldy, so now let’s have fun!“