My version of Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry is a pretty simple chocolate cake, but still ticks all the chocolate boxes. As you bite into it you’ll get a soft chocolate ganache, an airy chocolatey crumb, and melted chocolate chips. What more could you want from a chocolate cake?
Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry, a chocolate cake made with lots and lots of love, was such an unforgettable moment! It’s probably the first birthday cake he can remember, the first time he can remember feeling loved and cared for. The power of food! Sure Hagrid isn’t the best cook ever (*cough cough* rock cakes), but what he lacks in cooking skills, he certainly makes up for in his nurturing ability. He’s been such a loving figure for Harry throughout the series and I hope my cake did him justice.
📖 Book version
There are some differences between Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry in the book and the movie. You do you but for me what is in the book is canon. I get why they covered the cake in pink frosting in the movie, to make the green icing stand out, fiiiiiine. However one of my pet peeves in the movies is how Hagrid is sometimes reduced to be a dumb-witted half-giant. In the movie, they spelled Happy Birthday wrong on the cake (“Happee Birthdae Harry”), like Hagrid wouldn’t know how to write such common words. Arggggh, it still pisses me off.
Anyway, no pink frosting for me, a correct spelling, and I tried to write the birthday message reproducing the font used for Hagrid’s handwriting in the US editions of the book but I’m terrible at piping. The green icing is optional and it produces a bit more than what you need to write a 3 word message. But it’s my go-to buttercream recipe and it is fool-proof.
Here are my top tips to make Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry:
- put the chocolate chips in the freezer: Freeze your chocolate chips while you get on with the recipe, and add them to the cake batter at the end. This way the frozen chocolate chips are less likely to melt and combine with the batter while baking. You’ll get tiny puddles melted throughout your cake.
- wait for the cake to cool down before icing it: If you ice a cake while it’s still warm, the ganache will melt from the heat and keep dripping down. It will be a mess because your cake will still be too soft and crumbly.
- don’t fret over the ganache and icing: The cake in itself is very easy to make; it is the definition of a one-bowl recipe. All you have to do is mix the ingredients in a mixing bowl and voilà your batter is ready! The chocolate ganache and the green icing might seem a bit more intricate but have no fear! They’re pretty easy too but can be dispensed with. The chocolate cake is very good on its own.
I couldn’t make a cake I wouldn’t enjoy on purpose. Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry being sticky is something I would dislike, especially if there are no fruits or caramel involved and the only reason for the cake to be sticky would be the batter. I can tolerate stickiness with a tiny piece of fudgy brownie but not with a whole slice of cake. So this cake is the opposite of sticky.
My version of Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry is light and moist thanks to the batter and the chocolate ganache. It tastes just enough of chocolate that you’ll want to help yourself to a second slice. It’s also a very quick recipe, in half an hour your cake can be in the oven and your ganache to glaze the cake can be prepped. Don’t make it in advance though. Wait for your cake to out of the oven to make it or the ganache will become too thick. If you want a stronger chocolate flavor you could use chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao.
My version of Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry is a simple chocolate cake ticking all the boxes! As you bite into it you get a soft chocolate ganache, an airy and moist cake, and melted chocolate chips.
For the chocolate cake:
250g light brown sugar (1 ¼ cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
120ml whole milk (½ cup)
120ml vegetable oil (½ cup)
190g all-purpose flour (1 ⅓ cup)
11g baking powder (1 tbsp)
60g unsweetened cocoa powder (⅔ cup)
100g semi-sweet baking chocolate (52% cacao), chips or chopped into small pieces (½ cup)
For the chocolate ganache:
140g semi-sweet baking chocolate (52% cacao), chips or chopped into small pieces (5 oz)
180g heavy cream (¾ cup)
For the green icing: (optional: if you want to write the message)
30g butter, softened (I leave it for about 4h at room temperature) (2 tbsp)
½ tsp vanilla extract
80g powdered sugar (½ cup)
½ tsp green food coloring
½ tbsp whole milk if needed
First, make the chocolate cake:
Prepare. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 20cm (10*4 inch) springform pan and line with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a medium-sized bowl. Put the chocolate chips on a plate, covered with baking parchment, in a single layer and place in the freezer. This way the chocolate chips won’t melt too much while baking.
Make the batter. In a large mixing bowl, use the whisk to mix the eggs and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 min. Add the milk and oil and continue whisking until combined. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until combined. Using a spatula fold in the cold chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the lined pan and smooth the surface evenly.
Bake. Bake for 45 min or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 min, then unmold your simple chocolate cake directly onto a rack. If you want to glaze or ice the cake, wait for it to be completely cold first.
Then make the chocolate ganache:
Make the ganache. Put the chocolate chips/pieces in a bowl. Put the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to just below a boil, stirring from time to time. Take the pan off the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Stir gently with a spatula until completely blended.
Glaze the cake. Scrape the glaze into a pitcher and pour it over the cooled chocolate cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
Optionally, make the green icing:
Make the green icing. Put the softened butter and the vanilla extract in a big mixing bowl. Mix with a hand mixer on low speed until fully combined. Add the powdered sugar to the mixing bowl. Mix, still on low speed, until combined then increase the speed to medium for 30 seconds. Scrape the side of your mixing bowl and add the food coloring.
Check the consistency. Mix on low speed and check if the icing is coming together. Add the milk if it doesn’t come together. You might need to gradually add more milk if it still seems too dry for you.
Ice the cake. When the icing is the proper consistency, scrap it in a piping bag, and cut the tip. Check if the glaze has set and then write whatever you want on Hagrid’s cake.
You can keep Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry for up to 3 days under a cake dome at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 493
Keywords: easy homemade chocolate cake, simple chocolate cake, harry potter recipes
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