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Fantastic Feasts: Harry Potter's 11th Birthday Cake (gluten free)

To celebrate Harry Potter’s 20th Anniversary, I am creating some Fantastic Feasts by cooking my way through the whole Harry Potter series. Starting with Harry’s 11th birthday cake, as seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This cake is moist, chocolaty, covered in buttercream frosting and topped with a lovely personalized message: “HAPPEE BIRTHDAE HARRY”. This is a simple one bowl chocolate cake that’s rough/rustic decorating job gives it an authentic charm.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 1 9 inch Cake


For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 ½ cup (255g) 1 to 1 Gluten Free baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
  • 100 g unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (112g) vegetable or other neutral flavoured oil
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste can be substituted with vanilla extract, but the paste is so good!
  • 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water or milk I use water
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee

For the Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 340 grams 340g unsalted butter softened
  • 570 grams powdered sugar
  • 3 - 4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste can be substituted with vanilla extract, but the paste is so good!
  • Pink and green food coloring


For the Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (with convection). Grease 2 9-inch round or square baking pan and set them aside
  • In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients and instant coffee together and sift dry ingredients into the bowl. Then mix until smooth.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans evenly, and bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes (or until toothpick comes out mostly clean).
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting and letting cool completely on a wire rack.
  • You may need to cut off a bit of the top of the cake to flatten the layers for assembly. Not to worry, you just get to enjoy a little snack!

For the Vanilla Buttercream:

  • Whip buttercream until pale white and fluffy about 5 mins
  • Add sugar (sifted), in 2 stages, waiting about 3 minutes between each addition
  • Start on low speed and once it’s combined, raise the speed for a few more minutes and repeat.
  • Add vanilla and half of the cream, whip on high and add more cream if necessary. Give the bowl a scrape and whip until it’s ready.
  • You are looking for a smooth spreadable consistency.
  • Separate a bit of the buttercream to the side to color green for your writing.
  • Color the rest of your buttercream pink! Keep covered when not in use to prevent drying out.

For Assembling the Cake:

  • Place one layer of cake down and spread a nice amount of buttercream across the surface. Gently place your second layer on top.
  • Cover with buttercream and have fun here! You want to cover the whole cake, starting with the top and then the sides. Don’t worry too much about this, Hagrid’s cake decorating skills are a little rough so feel free to leave the cake looking a bit rustic to give it the authentic look.
  • Pipe on the writing and make sure to get your spelling correct! That means incorrectly here… HAPPEE BIRTHDAE HARRY.
  • Don't forget to sit on the cake before serving, it still tastes great!
Keyword Dessert, Easy, Fantastic Feasts, Geek With Me, Harry Potter, Holiday