My daughter Katie just turned 6, and she is completely enamored with all things relating to Harry Potter, so of course that needed to be the theme for her birthday party. When we looked at examples of Harry Potter cakes, the Monster Book of Monsters was her immediate first pick.
I decided to model the cake after a movie prop replica that I found on the Internet.
I used gumpaste for the tentacles, eyes, gums, teeth, and tongue, so that it would dry hard and hold a perfect 3-dimensional shape even in the face of the heat and humidity of an August birthday party. Thankfully I had some gumpaste left over from some recent projects, so it was easy to mix up the colors I needed to create the pieces, and I painted on the irises and monstrous pupils with food coloring gel mixed with a bit of vodka.
I formed the tentacles and gums onto toothpicks, so that they could be inserted into the cake at the proper angles, and a mix of 2 parts vodka and 1 part corn syrup gave the perfect creepy shine to all of the parts.
I baked a 2-layer 15×11″ cake (vanilla, per the birthday girl’s request) and iced it with Italian meringue buttercream. The cake was filled and three sides of it were iced with vanilla buttercream, and a Wilton decorating triangle made the perfect impression of pages. A Wilton #233 fur tip did a great job of creating the furry cover.
Of course I’m a little embarrassed to admit that out of the whole cake, the part that impressed my daughter the most was the appearance of pages. I do have to agree that I could have asked for that to be better.
No kiddie birthday party would be complete without favors, so Chocolate Frogs in pentagonal boxes were the order of the day. Of course each box contained a Wizard Card, and some lucky guests were fortunate enough to get a card of the birthday girl herself.
Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and chocolate-covered pretzel wands were also quite popular among the guests.
It turns out that the cake isn’t any less creepy when it’s mostly eaten…but it made a certain little girl extremely happy.