On July 31, 1991, Hagrid showed up to the hut that Uncle Vernon was trying to hide from the wizarding world in. It was the day that Harry Potter found out that he was a wizard and would be going to Hogwarts.
“Anyway – Harry,” said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, “a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here – I mighta sat on it at some point, but it’ll taste all right.”
From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.
-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
This cake was one of the first recipes that I made for our Harry Potter Club. I’ve had a recipe for a chocolate cake for a long time, so I used that as my base for the cake. Then I made my favorite cream cheese icing and tinted it pink. The book doesn’t describe the color of the icing on the cake, just the letters, so I went with the movie version on this cake.
Also, the words are spelled differently between the movie and the books. In the movie, Hagrid spells the words wrong, but not in the book. Again, I went with the movie since it’s more iconic and well-known on sight. Luckily, I had some green icing meant for writing on cakes leftover from one of the boys birthday parties, so I was able to use that. It worked much better than trying to pipe it myself as I did on Nick’s Deathday Cake.
For Harry’s Birthday Cake, I decided to make it a double-layered cake with a bit of frosting in the middle. I posted my chocolate cake recipe a long time ago (you can find it here), but I’ll quickly go over the steps again. You don’t have to make a cake from scratch for this, but since I love to bake, I did. A box chocolate cake would work just as well.
Preheat the oven to 350F then grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. Combine 2 cups of flour, 1 1/3 cups of sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of milk, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix this with an electric mixer for about one minute, then add 2 eggs and 2 oz of melted semisweet chocolate. Mix this on high speed for a minute or two, until it forms a batter. Bake for about 30-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cake cool, make your frosting by combining 4 oz of softened butter with 4 oz of softened cream cheese until they are well mixed. Then add 2 cups of powdered sugar, a little at a time, until the frosting is creamy and smooth. Stir in 1 tsp of vanilla extract, then a drop or two of red frosting to make it pink.
After the cakes are completely cooled, put a small amount of frosting on top of one cake then stack the other cake on top of the frosting to hold them together and form a line of frosting in the middle. Then add the rest of the pink frosting to the cake, spreading it out to cover the entire top and sides of the cake.
I find having an angled icing spatula works wonders for frosting a cake. They are flat enough to smooth out the frosting, and have a good angle to the handle, meaning you aren’t contorting yourself into strange positions trying to get that last bit of cake covered.
Once you have your cake covered with the pink frosting, you may want to give it a few minutes to set. Then use green writing gel to put the words on the cake. You can go book-style and write “Happy Birthday Harry” or movie-style (which I did) and spell it “Happee Birthdae Harry.”
And the wonderful thing about making this cake from Hagrid is that he is not well-known for his cooking and baking skills. So if the words don’t line up well or get larger and smaller, then you can claim it’s just Hagrid’s attempt at baking!
Harry Potter's Birthday Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz semisweet chocolate bars (melted)
- 4 oz butter (softened)
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 drops red food coloring
- green writing gel
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans
- Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl
- Add butter, milk, and vanilla
- Attach flat beater and set speed to 2 for about 1 minute
- Add eggs and chocolate and continue on speed 2 for 30 seconds
- Increase speed to 6 for another minute
- Pour batter into pans and bake for 30-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
- Cool 10 minutes in pan, then transfer to cooling rack
- Add butter and cream cheese to mixing bowl
- Attach paddle attachment and mix on 4 until mixed well
- Turn to stir and add half of the powdered sugar and mix until creamy and smooth
- Add the other half of the powdered sugar until creamy and smooth
- Beat in vanilla extract
- Add a tiny amount of red food coloring to make the frosting pink
- Once the cake has cooled, add a small amount of pink frosting between the layers of cake and stack them
- Cover the top and sides of the cake with the pink frosting
- Use the green writing gel to write "Happy Birthday Harry" on the cake (or "Happee Birthdae Harry" as in the movie)