Spiders and cobwebs and the Weasley’s ford anglia, oh my!
What better recipe for a showstopper Harry Potter cake than a homemade black forest gateau? I’ve taken some liberties with the traditional recipe — adding a whipped ganache frosting, marshmallow web, and lots of fun decorations to transport us to the Forbidden Forest outside of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.
I’m usually more of a quickie dessert and cookie person. And I’m not gonna lie to you. This Harry Potter cake was a lot of work. But it was also 100% WORTH IT. Adding those little spider eyes and legs? Piping chocolate trees and going crazy with the black sanding sugar? Lots of fun. I recommend enlisting help and making a party of it!
Homemade Spider Treats
Spider treats are so fun and so easy to make! I have seen them done with all kinds of ingredients, so feel free to swap them out for what sounds good to you. I used the dried cherries, because it fit the black forest cake theme. But here are some other substitutions:
- For the chocolate, try adding caramel or peanut butter.
- For the pecans and dried cherries, try subbing other dried fruit, peanuts, crushed candy bar or M&Ms, or pretzels.
I chose to pipe dipping chocolate into little L-shaped legs, and then attach them with a little dollop of melted chocolate. If you’re in a hurry, but still want the spiders, you could also use straight pretzels as legs or simply pipe the legs straight, coming out from underneath the spider body.
How to Pipe Chocolate Trees
This is a spooky forbidden forest! Don’t overthink it or try to imagine what a realistic tree would look like. I did zig-zags and loop-d-loops and all sorts of strange, unrealistic tree shapes. The crazier, the better. Because you want the trees to be strong enough to be pushed into the cake, make sure you are generous in allowing the chocolate to build up nice and thick as you pipe it. That way, it has some structure that you can push into the cake.
My forbidden forest became much more spooky once I added the black sanding sugar. It is definitely a step I recommend not skipping! As I gently pushed each tree into the cake, I followed it up with a blob of melted chocolate piped around the trunk on top of the cake. Don’t worry about this showing up later – you are going to drop more sugar and shaved chocolate to create the forest floor.
Why is there a car in your Harry Potter cake?
After Harry and Ron crash the Weasley’s Ford Anglia into the whomping willow, it lives out the rest of its life in the forbidden forest, appearing at a few opportune moments throughout the remainder of the series.
In other words . . . I couldn’t help myself. And no – I’m not that talented of a sculptor. But David is. He sat in front of criminal minds one night with some fondant I plopped down into his hands after telling him to make a Ford Anglia. (He’s the best.)
Disclaimer: Note that the above links may include affiliate links, from which I make a small percentage. However, I personally use the above products and will only recommend something I continue to use, myself. My opinions are 100% my own. Check out my full policies here.