How to make a Harry Potter birthday cake [Vegan Recipe]

Learn how to make a copy of Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry from the iconic movies and books.

” I have something for you. I’m afraid I’ve sat on it at some point, but I imagine it will taste good all the same. I baked it myself, the words and all!”

More thoughtful than a pair of Uncle Vernon’s old socks (and way more appetizing than a bunch of cockroaches), a moist, moist chocolate Harry Potter birthday cake with pink coconut cream frosting bright and green lettering is the perfect way to tell the Harry Potter fan your happy birthday life. This would be the perfect centerpiece for any Harry Potter themed party.

The Official Harry Potter Baking Book shares the recipe for this iconic wizarding world cake with over 40 other official recipes. Flipping through the pages, there were countless mouth-watering recipes that made us hungrier than a hippogriff to try. From Hagrid’s Rock Cakes to a homemade treacle tart from Hogwarts Great Hall. It seemed fitting, however, to test the recipe that had started it all for Harry.

Keep reading to find out how you can bring some magic to your kitchen with a homemade version of Hagrid’s birthday cake for Harry. So get yourself some butterbeer to wash it all down!

How to Make Hagrid’s Harry Potter Birthday Cake

This recipe makes an 8-inch layer cake.


Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 3.5 ounces vegan chocolate, melted


Editor’s Tip: Are you as surprised as we are to see that this cake is vegan? We followed the recipe, as written; however, we imagine you can use milk, chocolate, and food colorings that contain dairy without any issues.

Tools you will need


Step 1: Preparing the cake molds

Preheat oven to 375°F and grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and set them aside.

Step 2: Whisk together the dry ingredients

Harry Potter Birthday Cake Dry IngredientsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and cocoa powder.

Editor’s Tip: You can also mix this cake the Muggle way with a bowl and a spoon. (Bonus points if it’s with one of these Harry Potter kitchen items.)

Step 3: Add wet ingredients

Harry Potter birthday cakeLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Add vinegar, vanilla, dairy-free milk and beat until smooth, creamy and slightly paler; about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Stir in the chocolate

Harry Potter birthday cake batterLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Stir in melted chocolate and stir until completely incorporated.

Step 5: Bake

Harry Potter birthday cake Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans, spreading it into a smooth, even layer. Then bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are firm to the touch (here are more tips for testing cake baking). Quickly remove, loosen the cakes from their pans and transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 6: Prepare the icing

Harry Potter Birthday Cake FrostingLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a saucepan, heat the dairy-free milk and coconut cream until melted and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix with vanilla and icing sugar. Whisk until a thick, smooth, spreadable icing forms.

Editor’s Tip: If the frosting is too thick, you can add a little more dairy-free milk. If it is too runny, add a little more icing sugar until you get the desired consistency.

Step 7: Divide the frosting

Harry Potter Birthday Cake FrostingLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Transfer one-third of the frosting to a mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. Mix until smooth then set aside. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of white frosting base into another small bowl. Add green food coloring, a few drops at a time, stirring after each addition until desired green color is achieved. Put aside.

Grate the beets into a clean bowl lined with paper towel or cheesecloth. Wrap the beets in the tea towel to make a bundle and squeeze them over the bowl to collect as much juice as possible. Discard the beets, then gradually begin adding the beet juice to the remaining frosting base, stirring after each addition, until a bright, vibrant pink color is achieved.

Editor’s Tip: While we appreciate using beets as a natural food coloring, feel free to use a few drops of pink gel food coloring if you don’t want to bother with beets (unfortunately we’re Muggles, after all).

Step 8: Assemble the cake

Harry Potter birthday cake Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

To assemble the cake, generously spread the chocolate frosting on top of one of the cooled cake rounds.

Step 9: Decorate

Harry Potter birthday cake Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Place the second cake on top then, using an offset spatula, spread the pink icing evenly over the entire cake until smooth and even. (Here’s how the pros decorate a cake.)

Then add your “Happee Birthdae” message (remember, Hagrid isn’t the best spelling), personalizing the cake with the name of your choice. Using a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe the letters onto the cake.

Step 10: Sit on the cake

Well, maybe not Actually sit on the cake like Hagrid did. Instead, take a sharp knife and use it to cut a jagged vein down the center of the frosting layer and between the letters, as desired.

Cut into slices and serve with a glass of homemade butterbeer.

Here’s what I thought

We were skeptical mixing this cake. The dough was very thick and quite dry, which makes it difficult to mix. Also, the lack of oil or fat (not even applesauce) made us worry that the cake would be dense and dry.

But we were wrong. In the words of Gilderoy Lockhart, “It’s like magic!” The cake turned out incredibly moist and ultra decadent with a rich chocolate flavor.

As for the icing, we admit that it was a little tricky to work with. In fact, we suspect conjuring a Patronus for the first time may be easier than spreading that frosting. In testing, we found that the frosting set very quickly, making it difficult to spread evenly and smoothly.

However, it might not be meant to be perfectly smooth, so the cake retains a bit of rustic Hagrid charm.

We’re not sure why the authors decided to make this Harry Potter birthday cake vegan. Perhaps they wanted to make sure the recipe in this book was as inclusive as possible for different diets.

Another theory is that they may have thought that Hagrid, being a friend of all magical creatures, would have preferred to bake vegan to ensure no one would be harmed while making this cake.

Whatever the logic, there’s no doubt that this Harry Potter birthday cake is delicious!

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