This…is the Golden Snitch, and it’s the most important ball of the lot. It’s very hard to catch because it’s so fast and difficult to see. It’s the Seeker’s job to catch it.

Calling all Muggles, Witches, & Wizards! It’s time to catch your very own Golden Snitch! Made with a whole cauldron of magical ingredients! This Chocolate Golden Snitch Cake is the perfect way to celebrate your love for the Harry Potter series. Whether a muggle, witch, or wizard, you’ll want to catch one of these delicious winged winners!

The best part? You don’t need to be a professional cake decorator to make this super easy Chocolate Golden Snitch Cake. All it takes is my super delicious chocolate cake recipe, yellow dyed buttercream, and your wand from Ollivander’s. Okay the wand is optional but it helps.

This Quidditch-inspired cake comes straight from the fields of Hogwarts to your home and it’s amazing to behold at your next special event.

Now I know homemade cakes can be a scary thing for many people. This recipe ideally skips all of the typical fuss and stress around baking a cake. A simplified cake base with a perfectly smooth vanilla buttercream frosting; moist, chocolaty perfection. This is the chocolate cake you’ve been dreaming of!

Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKE

HOW DO YOU MAKE A SIMPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE?

  1. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Add wet to dry mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Bake in prepared pans until centers are springy to the touch.

Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Cold ingredients do not mix well with room temperature ingredients. As with any recipe that calls for dairy products, always be sure to take the time to bring ingredients to room temperature because it will result in a lighter, fluffier bake. 

Proper Measurements

Proper measuring of ingredients is key to perfectly baked cakes & cupcakes, especially when you are making them from scratch. Take a moment to kneel down, get face to face with your measuring cup, and measure liquids at eye level in standard liquid measuring cups.

When it comes to dry ingredients, measure by spooning the ingredient into a measuring cup or spoon, then leveling off the top with a knife or straight edge spatula.

Don’t Overmix the Batter

No matter what you will be placing into your oven, over-mixing the batter can lead to over-developing the gluten, which means your cake or cupcakes will come out dense and heavy.

Bake Immediately

Bake your desserts immediately after mixing the batter. Letting batter stand for too long can cause some of the air you’ve beaten in to escape, making for a denser bake.

No Peeking!

While it can be tempting, resist the urge to peek in the oven on your dessert’s progress. Opening or closing the oven door before the baking time is complete can cause fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst, preventing the bakes from rising. Even if you are gentle with the oven door, a rush of cold air can affect the bake while it is trying to set up, resulting in dense, deflated bake. Try to resist the urge to peek until your bakes are at least 2/3 through their baking time.

How to Test if Your Baked Treats are Done

Test your bakes for doneness while they’re still in the oven by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick into the center. Your bakes are done when the tester or toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs clinging to it; you should see no wet batter. You can also gently press down on the bake and, if it bounces back leaving no dent, then it is done. If removed too early, the bake will sink in the center as it cools and, if over baked, it will be dry.

SOME TIPS TO MAKE THE PERFECT CAKE

WHAT MAKES THE CAKE MOIST AND FLUFFY?

  • Adding the right amount of fat gives chocolate cake a moist crumb. Fluffiness comes from using the right amount of leavening agent; too much and the cake will collapse, too little and it will be dense.
  • Another way to get a moist and fluffy crumb? Creaming the butter and sugar coupled with whipping egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage then folding them into the batter.

HOW DO YOU MAKE A CHOCOLATE CAKE MOIST FROM SCRATCH? 

Use a nice quality cocoa powder, fresh ingredients and remember to balance the sweetness with a bit of salt. Follow the recipe below for the most moist and fluffy chocolate cake imaginable.

Don’t over bake your layers! Watch the batter and remove from oven when the centers spring back when pressed lightly and the edge starts pulling away from the pan.

Be sure to enter the MANCAKE KitchenAid giveaway.

I have 20 KitchenAid Stand Mixers to giveaway & one of them could be yours!

WHY DO PEOPLE PUT COFFEE IN CHOCOLATE CAKE?

Coffee brings out and amplifies the chocolate flavor in baked goods like cake and cupcakes. Adding a little bit will make things taste more “chocolatey” without giving a coffee flavor. Adding a LOT of coffee will create a mocha flavor. If you would like to omit the coffee from this recipe just substitute for warm water or milk. I’ve done this and the cake still tastes great! Just a little toned down in my opinion.

WHAT’S THE BEST FROSTING FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE?

  • I love a chocolate American buttercream. The cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate along with a nice dose of salt really balances out the sugar and creates a decadent flavor explosion! 
  • If you like things less sweet and maybe a bit more subtle then you should try a meringue-based frosting like Swiss or Italian buttercream. The consistency is VERY light and creamy with not too much sugar. 

HOW DO YOU MAKE A CHOCOLATE CAKE MOIST FROM SCRATCH? 

Use a nice quality cocoa powder, fresh ingredients and remember to balance the sweetness with a bit of salt. Follow the recipe below for the most moist and fluffy chocolate cake imaginable.

Don’t over bake your layers! Watch the batter and remove from oven when the centers spring back when pressed lightly and the edge starts pulling away from the pan.

WHAT KIND OF COCOA POWDER DID YOU USE?

I used Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder in order to use a brand that is most widely available to my readers. I’m also fond of using higher quality cocoa powders like Ghiradelli’s or cocoa powders from specialty chocolatier shops, but those are pretty pricey. I don’t recommend using cheap store brands.

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

  • If you are not a coffee fan then sub in milk, or water. The coffee, which you really don’t taste, helps bring the chocolate taste out but I know lots of people either can’t stand it or have dietary restrictions.
  • If you don’t have sour cream handy then plain whole milk yogurt will work just fine!
  • Buttermilk can be annoying to keep on hand as it expires quickly and most recipes use very little. I often use powdered buttermilk reconstituted with water or add a tablespoon of lemon juice into some whole milk to curdle it.
  • I’m OBSESSED with cacao nibs, they’re pure, unprocessed chocolate aka they’re very crunchy and chocolatey but not sweet! They contrast the buttercream nicely and prevent the cake from cloying. DOn’t worry if you can’t find them, you can totally skip them, or sub in chopped nuts. Use your favorite nut and never forget to toast them!!
  • If you don’t like coffee just use water or milk instead. Both will still make a tasty cake

Cake Troubleshooting

Why are the Baking Pans Sticking to the Cake?

While spring form pans make it easy to get the cakes out of the pan with minimal cleanup, they can sometimes stick to the cake. A high sugar content recipe can cause the batter to caramelize against the baking pan, and a lower fat recipe tends to stick more than a batter higher in fat.

If you notice your cakes are sticking to the baking pans, try placing a deep baking pan filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. This added moisture my help prevent sticking.  A cake is also more likely to stick to the baking pan if it has not cooled completely before trying to unwrap it.

How to Store Cakes

Cakes are at their best within the first 2 days of baking. While they can last up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container, they will start to dry out after 3-4 days.

Be sure to let the cakes cool completely. Packing un-iced cakes while still warm can create sticky tops, making it more difficult to get the icing to stick when you are ready to frost them.

Choose an airtight container that is tall enough, so the container lid doesn’t touch the icing. Typically, the container can be left out at room temperature; however, if you are experiencing hot and humid weather that is causing the icing to melt or if the cakes are filled or decorated with something that requires refrigeration (like lemon curd or a meringue buttercream), you can store them in the refrigerator. If you must refrigerate your cakes, bring them back to room temperature before serving.

Freezing Baked Cakes

Un-iced cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure the cakes are completely cooled to room temperature before freezing to avoid condensation forming, which can result in soggy cakes when it’s time to defrost them.

While simply placing the cakes in an airtight container is enough, individually wrapping each cake before placing them in the airtight container will better help preserve the freshness and taste. After removing them from the freezer, let them defrost uncovered to prevent the tops from getting sticky.

Buttercream Tips

Butter: I almost always specify unsalted butter in my recipes then add salt back in. I do this because different manufacturers put in various amounts of salt and I don’t want anyone to make something too salty or not salted enough using my recipes. If you only have salted butter on hand go ahead and use it. You can add more salt to taste if needed.

Confectioners Sugar: Not all brands are equal and some will definitely be lumpier than others. It’s always a good idea to sift it out before using, especially if you’re using piping tips. A little lump can clog the tip and cause a big problem. 

Vanilla Extract: I love vanilla but there are tons of flavorings you can add, I have a whole section on this below. If you are using vanilla try and use a nice one and I would not recommend using artificial vanilla flavor.

Frequently Asked Buttercream Questions

WHAT’S THE BEST BUTTER TO USE?

  • For a whiter buttercream it’s really important to use a pale butter. Almost every recipe will call for using unsalted butter but then have you add salt back in. This is done because various brands of butter have different amounts of salt in their product.
  • Using unsalted butter helps to ensure a consistent result. You can however use salted butter, omit additional salt and have a delicious frosting. 
  • The most important thing to do when whipping up a batch of buttercream is that it’s room temperature!

HOW CAN YOU MAKE COLD BUTTER ROOM TEMPERATURE?

If you need to warm some cold butter up just slice it into some smaller pieces and microwave them on a plate at 50% power for 10 second bursts. Flip them after each burst and they’re be nice and room temperature in no time!

IS BUTTERCREAM OR WHIPPED FROSTING BETTER?

The main difference between buttercream and whipped frosting is butter. Whipped frosting does not contain butter and is a lighter and fluffier icing. Buttercream contains a good amount of butter and has more of a rich flavor; so you be the judge! 🙂

WILL THIS RECIPE MELT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

When buttercream is left out at room temperature, it will form sort of a crust on the outer layer while the inside will stay fairly smooth. If it is very warm or humid, the buttercream can loose structure. This will affect decorations you’ve pipes and may even destabilize layer cakes, causing them to sag or collapse.

HOW LONG CAN YOU LEAVE IT OUT?

You can leave out buttercream frosting for overnight if covered. If the buttercream contains cream cheese, then it should always be refrigerated for it to remain safe to eat. Buttercream that contains dairy will spoil more quickly so should be refrigerated after a few hours.

HOW DO I THIN IT OUT?

If you want to thin out buttercream frosting, you’ll want to add in some extra cream or milk. I recommend mixing in a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

PRO TIPS FOR THIS RECIPE

  • Sift your powdered sugar to avoid clogging piping tips.
  • Scrape the bowl down; to help ensure even consistency throughout.
  • You can use almost anything to flavor buttercream, fruit juice, coffee, orange blossom or rose water, melted chocolate, or Oreos!
  • If your buttercream has been sitting for a while or was chilled and brought back to room temperature it’s always a good idea to give it a quick whip to restore it’s consistency.
  • If you’re looking for a very spreadable and very smooth icing, you can add the full amount of cream in (and maybe even a bit more).

What I Use To Make Cakes

If you’ve tried this tasty treat then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Golden Snitch Cake

Golden Snitch Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ sticks butter at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water or fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream at room temperature
  • Yellow food gel color
  • parchment paper
  • 2 skewers or strands, lollipop sticks, or bendable wire

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chocolate Cake

  1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy on a medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla.
  3. Beat butter mixture at a medium speed for about 1 minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture while alternating with coffee. Be sure to start and end with the dry ingredient mix.
  6. On a low speed, mix until creamy. You should not need to mix longer than a minute at most. With that said, be sure not to over mix.
  7. Pour cake batter into a prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan. After, invert onto cooling rack and let cook entirely.

Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar & set bowl aside.
  2. Cream butter & shortening.
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Scrape down the sides.
  5. Place your mixer on the lowest speed & slowly add in your powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. Do not worry if your buttercream looks crumbly & dry because we will fix that next.
  7. Scrape down the sides one last time.
  8. With your mixer on, slowly add in heavy cream.
  9. Color your buttercream with yellow food gel color. How much color you add is completely up to you. I like to start with 8 drops of yellow.
  10. Turn mixer up to a medium speed until you have light & fluffy consistency you are looking for and your color has fully incorporated (about a minute or so).

Decorating

  1. Level a tiny portion of the bottom half of your bottom hemisphere cake. This will prevent the cake from rolling and allow to lay flat.
  2. Spread a generous amount of chocolate buttercream on top.
  3. Place your top hemisphere and gently press onto the buttercream layer. You should now have a full sphere made of cake.
  4. Beginning at the bottom of your sphere, begin to pipe in an upward motion as your turn your cake turntable.
  5. Gently press your offset spatula against the buttercream and while rotating your cake turntable, smooth out your buttercream so you're left with a smooth finish. I find it best to rotate between a small offset spatula (for all the tiny spots), a standard sized offset spatula, and a flat edged smoothing tool.
  6. Taking a skewer, outline your Golden Snitch details. I've attached a coloring page below.
  7. Once your details have been drawn onto your cake, begin to pipe your yellow buttercream lines while following the lines your drew.
  8. For the wings (template below), draw out on two sheets of parchment paper. I find parchment paper to be the most durable. Once drawn and cut out, attach to your skewers or lollipop sticks, and gently press into the cake. Personally, I couldn't find my stock of bendable wire but if you have some on hand, that would be my suggestion as it really allows for your wings to make your Golden Snitch even more magical.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.
  • You can use this buttercream right away or place it in an airtight container in your fridge until ready to use. Just be sure to whip before using.
  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth mentioning, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk such as whole milk or buttermilk.

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More Cake Theme Tutorials👉 https://bit.ly/2NN3s39Let’s have a Llama Party! I had so much fun working with fondant though more practice will definitely be needed😅 Also been enjoying learning new techniques to share with everyone here so keep sending those comments over on the MANCAKE channel with what you'd like to see make next. I'll see you all very soon with another yummy tutorial so be sure to ring the bell when you subscribe 👉 https://bit.ly/30otZW3

Posted by Man Cake on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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