‘Happee Birthdae’ Harry Potter Cake

"It's not every day your young man turns 11 now, is it?" 

If you've seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, you'll remember the scene where Hagrid brings Harry a 'Happee Birthdae' cake on his 11th birthday when he comes to hand-deliver his Hogwarts letter. Hard to pick a favorite scene from that movie, but that one's up there for me! Turns out to be a super easy cake to make; this 'Happee Birthdae' Harry Potter Cake just has to look like "someone mighta sat on it a bit!" 

If you've never seen the Sorcerer's Stone.... honestly I'm super curious how you landed on this page, but you should see it regardless! 😉 

And maybe the best part of that scene? - makers of birthday cakes for Harry Potter fans don't need to look too hard for inspiration! Recipe below! 

(Disclosure: As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, and my posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 

'Happee Birthdae' Harry Potter Cake layers

1 ½ cups all purpose flour 
1 ½ cups granulated sugar 
1 cup cocoa powder
¾  tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
¾ c (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¼ c buttermilk (or buttermilk powder with water is an option if you can’t find liquid buttermilk at your grocery store!)
2 t vanilla extract


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C) or 320 FC (160C) for a convection oven. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with baker's floured spray and/or line pans with parchment rounds

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (or sift the ingredients together). Add in the softened butter until it’s well incorporated into the dry ingredients and no lumps of butter are visible. (This can also be done with a hand mixer). 

Next, add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla together and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.

Fill the pans evenly - I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part, and each of mine weighed out to about 600g. Bake for 30-35 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans, and cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.

While you’re waiting…make your frosting!

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

6 oz (3/4 package) cream cheese, softened
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
5 c  powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
(Save and add later) – few drops red + few drops green liquid food coloring

Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.

Remove about 1/3 c of frosting and transfer to another bowl and color this green – you’ll use this for piping the letters! Add red food color to the remaining frosting. I forgot to count how many drops I used, but I pulled up this video (1 minute 43 seconds in) and just shot for about the color of the screenshot I took!

Additional Supplies/Equipment:

- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
- Small piping bag & small round tip – this set has been one of my favorites!
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use)
- small knife or toothpick

Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle.

(This is an extra step and completely optional, but I filled this cake with chocolate ganache – because I’m a chocolate addict! Frosting would work just as well.)
Chocolate Ganache filling:
6 oz (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz ( ¾ cup) heavy whipping cream
Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Add whipping cream and microwave on half power in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Cool on the countertop of fridge until the ganache reaches a spreadable consistency.

If filling with ganache, pipe a small rim of frosting around the outer edge of your first cake layer to keep the filling from showing on the outside of the cake, and spread the ganache over the layer.
Otherwise, spread the layer with frosting.

Add your second cake layer on top!

Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to set the frosting.

Transfer your green icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. I used a movie screenshot from this clip as a guide when piping my letters – and to make sure I got the mis-spelling correct!

With a toothpick or small knife, add some lines to the top of the cake – you know, make it look like someone ‘mighta sat on it at some point!’ Haha….

And you’re done! Give yourself a high five!

Make this 'Happee Birthdae' Harry Potter Cake? Let me know how it went – or make my day and find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

5 thoughts on “‘Happee Birthdae’ Harry Potter Cake

  1. Thank you for the post! I have a quick question if you’d clarify for me, please.
    The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour and caster sugar but beside both of those is (roughly 2 1/4 c). I was a little confused and wasn’t sure if I should have used 2 1/4 cups for reach or not? I used the initial indicated measurement. I made the cake last night but haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but am excited!

    Thank you in advance!

    1. OH my gosh; I’m so sorry! What you did was exactly right; I scaled this cake recipe from a 3-layer recipe that had initial measurements in grams so I’d converted to cups. When I scaled the measurements I just used cups, but I forgot to take out that second part ‘roughly 2 1/4 cups’ part. I’ve updated the recipe; thank you SO much for catching that!!

  2. Hi! How are you? I wanted to ask: instead of buttermilk, is there something else we could use, because in my country they do not sell it!

    1. Hi! I’m so sorry for the response delay; work’s been insane lately. :/ Yes there is! You can substitute sour cream or even plain yogurt, or add two teaspoons of lemon juice per one cup of milk to make another substitute. I’ve also seen powdered buttermilk online that can be mixed with milk or water. Lots of options depending on what’s sold in your area!

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