A friend/coworker is having a baby, and she's decorating the nursery with all things Harry Potter (yay!). We celebrated her at work with a shower that kept the theme. I was in charge of the cake, and I used the House Unity cake on Bakingdom as my inspiration (I used her banners and the general idea of the cake - but I changed the inside for my purposes). http://bakingdom.com/2011/07/hogwarts-hogwarts-hoggy-warty-hogwarts-cake.html
The general idea of my version is that the cake is split into quarters - each quarter is comprised of the different houses' colors. The cake is frosted white so that the inside is hidden. My coworker and her husband chose and cut a slice of cake - and whatever house colors they got "sorted" their daughter into her future house.
I also wrote a little rhyming song for the sorting hat for the parents so they'd get what the cake was about. It was pretty cute!
She could be red and gold
and brave and bold.
Will she be bronze and blue,
wise, intelligent, too?
Or silver and green,
cunning, and keen.
Yellow and black
and kind to all back.
So choose a slice
(it all tastes nice),
and the piece will be your key.
The colors will show
just where she should go
because you can trust in me.
I baked one color of each house color (8 total!) in an 8 inch round pan. It took 4 doctored cake mixes (and would technically make two cakes or one reallllly tall cake). I cut each color in quarters after freezing the layers to make leveling/quartering easier.
Here are the quarters matched up and starting to be put together. (You can tell I'm loyal to the book colors rather than the movie colors for my house, Ravenclaw).
Here's the cake once crumb coated - it kept it together really well once chilled. I didn't put any frosting between the layers.
And the reveal slice! Baby is in Gryffindor, like her momma. (Daddy is a Hufflepuff, so he had to put his house flag on the cake to be represented.)
If you're interested in what I used to bake, I'm actually a fan of doctored mixes - I think they taste good and are easy to decorate. I just follow the recipe on the box but use milk instead of water and add one or two extra egg yolks in addition to whatever the recipe calls for. I used chocolate for the black cake so that I didn't have to add a ton of black food coloring. And, I used gel colors so that I didn't have to use much. I don't have the amounts/colors used for each layer - I just fiddled until it looked right in the bowl (remembering that it gets darker when baked). For bronze I used orange, brown, and a bit of red. It was the most unusual color to get right.
I'm not a fan of canned frosting or American buttercream, so I used Swiss buttercream to frost. I just used Martha Stewart's recipe, though it's actually not my favorite. Next time I'd go with this recipe with a few tweaks: http://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-chocolate-swiss-meringue-buttercream/
I'd double it, omit the chocolate, and add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter. I always heat the egg white/sugar mixture to 160 to make sure that the frosting is safe--especially if serving pregnant/elderly/young people.
That's it! I loved it!