Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Mandrake cakes with the best chocolate cake ever

Fawkes the Pheonix at the best Halloween Harry Potter party ever! Hope everyone had a fun Halloween last night!

A friend of mine hosted a Harry Potter Halloween party,and it was probably the best Halloween party I’ve ever been to. Actually, it was the best house party I’ve ever been to. My friend Katie threw it, and she has officially won the title “queen of theme parties!” The invitations were amazing, there was decor through the whole house, a potions class, and we even competed for house points!

It was, of course, a costume party. I went as Fawkes the phoenix. It was a really fun costume to dream up, and I spent wayyy too much looking at bird makeup on the Internet.

Fawkes the Pheonix at the best Halloween Harry Potter party ever!

As part of the party, Katie asked some of us to bring some Harry Potter themed food from the books. I chose Hagrid’s rock cakes and Mandrake cakes. So today I’ll share the recipe I used for Mandrake cakes!

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

A note beforehand: I’d had this cake several times before and knew it would be delicious. Best chocolate cake recipe I’ve come across. However, I’d never tried it as cupcakes before and it came out crumbly and messy. Best as a cake that you cut. My saving grace was that I put them in mini pots, so it didn’t matter how crumbly they were.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Start with your dry ingredients and mix well.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Then add milk.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Eggs, oil, and vanilla.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Mix this step well before going forward. But don’t overbeat!

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Finally, add the boiling water.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Mix carefully, don’t want to slosh around too much!

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

The final batter is very liquid, warm and bubbly.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

If making cupcakes, ladle into a muffin tin. For regular cupcakes, best to use cupcake liners. For mandrake cakes in pots, skip that.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

It gets a little messy. Wipe it up with a paper towel before you put it in the oven for easier cleanup.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!While those bake, let’s do the mandrake plants themselves! Definitely weird-looking out of context, but this is what we’re going for here.

These are actually plastic babies sold as baby shower props. I super glued chives to their heads for plants. (I figured no one’s eating the babies, so the plants didn’t need to be tasty and the glue is not for eating anyway. No one at the party ate any babies.)

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

When the cupcakes finished, I let them cool and transferred them to pots.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Finally, it’s time for frosting! It’s rich and super chocolate-y, plus has a good dirt color to finish off the mandrake plant look.

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

Then pop the babies in, and you’re good to go!

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

I think they’re pretty hilarious looking cupcakes. And tasty too!

mandrake cakes

Chocolate cake with chocolate icing

Makes 26-30 cupcakes, or an 8-inch two layer chocolate cake

Cake ingredients:
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c milk (I used 1/2 c 1% and 1/2 c buttermilk for extra richness)
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c boiling water
Cake Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sift cocoa powder and flour. Mix with baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  3. Add to that milk, eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil.
  4. Add boiling water to mixture slowly – otherwise you’ll have a mess on your hands.
  5. Ladle batter into muffin tins or 8 inch greased cake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes for cupcakes and 25-30 for cakes
  6. Once they’re out of the oven, let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to racks.
Frosting ingredients:
  • 12 tbsp softened butter
  • 5 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 c cocoa
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Frosting Steps:
  1. Cream the butter. Then add 1/3 of the powdered sugar and mix completely.
  2. Add 1/2 the milk and all the vanilla and mix again.
  3. Add 1/2 the cocoa, mix.
  4. Repeat until all ingredients are in! If it’s too liquid, add more sugar. If too thick, increase the milk.
  5. Wait for cupcakes to cool completely, then frost!

Making Mandrake cakes for a halloween Harry Potter party!

What’s the best theme party you’ve ever been to?

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

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3 thoughts on “Mandrake cakes with the best chocolate cake ever

    • Emma Myrick says:

      I used actual garden mini-pots! I baked them in a muffin tin, then transferred the baked cupcakes into small herb pots before frosting. I used a mix of plastic and terra cotta ones, but I probably preferred the look of the terra cotta. Try a garden store! Best of luck!

      Like

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