This nostalgic rendition of Harry Potter’s 11th birthday cake features moist and fluffy chocolate cake, chocolate ganache layers, pink cream cheese frosting, and green lettering to take you back to the first time you read the books.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line the bottoms of three 6” cake pans with parchment paper rounds. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together melted butter, oil, eggs, and buttermilk until the eggs have broken up. Pour this into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix on low speed with a hand mixer until mostly combined.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly stream in hot water and mix until batter is smooth and glossy. Don't overmix.
Divide batter into cake pans until about ⅓ full.
Bake cakes for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
Let cakes cool for 10-15 minutes before running a knife around the edges of each cake pan and flipping them out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely. With a serrated knife, cut off the domed tops of each cake layer until each layer is flat and about the same height.
In a small pot or microwave, heat the whipping cream just until it comes to a simmer. Pour over the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and let sit undisturbed for about 2 minutes.
Stir the ganache until the chocolate has all melted and combined with the cream to create a glossy and thick ganache. Let ganache cool for about 10 minutes to thicken into a spreadable consistency.
Place one cake layer down on a turntable. With an offset spatula, spread a thick layer of ganache on top of the cake layer and smooth to the edges. Place the second cake layer on top and repeat.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Add in whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
Divide out a small amount of frosting into a small bowl. Add pink food gel to the larger amount of frosting and green food gel to the small bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
With an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of pink frosting on the sides and top of the cake as a crumb coat. Chill cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Finish frosting the cake by spreading a thick layer of pink frosting all around the cake and smoothing the sides with a bench scraper. This doesn't have to be perfect!
Transfer the green frosting to a piping bag and cut the tip off. Pipe 'Happy Birthday Harry' on the top of the cake.