I’m back again, introducing you to yet another one of my creations. Yes, this cake is from MAY. I know — behind much? BUT, at least I am finally officially revealing it. If you didn’t read my last blog post about Photobooth Cakes, be sure to click here to do so before continuing on so you don’t miss any of the good stuff!
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, GREAT — this cake will make loads of sense! If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, I will try to explain everything, I promise!
So without further ado, I introduce you to the Daily Prophet, Photobooth Cake style.
Yep. Here it is, in all its glory! Probably my favorite cake to date. Although I tend to say that with every new cake I make so I guess it should hold onto that title tightly before I make my next cake! If you’re looking at this cake and trying to wrap your head around what exactly it is that you are looking at, let me shed a little light on the situation.
But first … a little back story, of course!
My husband and his family are die hard Harry Potter fans. Not to the extent that they each own a cloak, but pretty close. I have about a million ideas running around my head on where to take my Photobooth Cake invention next, and time to experiment in my cake studio doesn’t come very often. So when I see an open opportunity for a babysitter and a practical cause, I take it quickly! Which is EXACTLY what happened when I was asked to make a joint graduation/birthday cake for two of those giant Harry Potter fans I mentioned earlier.
So, here it was. I needed to make a graduation cake, that could also pass as a birthday cake. The recipients happened to have a common interest that they were passionate about. And I needed to satisfy the urge to make another EPIC Photobooth Cake.
My Photobooth Cakes generally have three major components:
- Hanging Cake – Generally in the form of a hat of some sort – Ha! Pun ABSOLUTELY intended!
- Sculpted Cake – Generally in the form of a bust or something for the forefront of the scene.
- Photobooth Frame – This ties the whole piece together and makes it recognizable as a working photobooth. This can be anything -a poloroid frame, instagram frame, etc.
And……begin brainstorm session.
My husband and I bounced ideas off of each other for about fifteen minutes before deciding that the Sorting Hat was an absolute must – somehow in my years of caking I have never even had the opportunity to make one, so here was my golden opportunity. Component one, hanging Sorting Hat cake — CHECK.
If you are not a fan of Harry Potter, here are some Muggle terms for you from a trustworthy source before I get too excited and start speaking in practically another language!
- Firstly, Muggle: is a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born in a magical family.
- Hogwarts: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, shortened Hogwarts, is a fictional British school of magic for students aged eleven to eighteen, and is the primary setting for the first six books in J.K.
- Sorting Hat: “The Sorting Hat is a sentient hat at Hogwarts that magically determines which of the four school Houses each new student belongs most to. These four Houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.During the opening banquet at the beginning of each school year, the first-year students are lined up and their names read aloud alphabetically. Each then takes a seat on a stool and the hat is placed on her or his head. The hat is battered and old; it’s patched, frayed, and extremely dirty. In order to speak and sing, a tear along the brim opens like a mouth. After a time of consideration, the hat announces its choice aloud for all to hear, and the student joins the selected house.”
- Great Hall: The Great Hall in the Hogwarts Castle is the main gathering area in the school, which is located off the Entrance Hall. The Great Hall is the main place where students receive their meals and daily owl post. They also have certain special events, such as the Sorting Ceremony and the Hallowe’en Feast.
- The Daily Prophet: The Daily Prophet is a wizarding newspaper based in London. It is the primary source of news for British wizards.
You can also watch this video which will explain a lot, and also bring you an immense amount of joy if you are a fan.
This is pretty much how the rest of the design process went, and since it all happened way too fast and we were both entirely too excited, I also have no idea who said what. All I know is that we came up with a pretty cool idea in a VERY short amount of time! It went a little something like this:
“So we have a hanging Sorting Hat cake, now wha–?”
“Holy CRAP!!!! How awesome would it be if everyone who took a picture with the cake was being “sorted” into a house?!?”
“Yessss! So the bust would have to be in the school uniform. Would they (cake recipients) be Gryffindor?”
“Eh, probably — but I don’t know, maybe Hufflepuff for Con–”
“Well we have to pick one so Gryffindor it is.”
“Okay, well what about the frame? Should we do a plain frame and a giant Great Hall backdrop?”
“Ummmmm….. **Thinking**…. wel–”
“THE DAILY PROPHET!!!! We could do the giant newspaper with graduation as the headline and have the date and everything!”
“OMG! And since the newspaper moves it will be JUST like the movie!!” (We are screaming at this point)
“AND we can make it play the soundtrack!!”
“Yesssss — we can video it and everything!” (<—-Guess who totally forgot to video it? ME. FACEPALM. Ughhhhh. Still kicking myself for that one!)
(Looking back on this now I should have totally made all four ties and let everyone place their corresponding tie on the bust before taking their photo! Ugh, don’t you hate when you come up with an incredible idea AFTER it’s too late?!? Or forget to do something like RECORD it which was your WHOLE IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!! — I’ll put this in my new blog series, “So, what did I learn with this cake?”.)
And that was it, design process complete. I roughly sketched out the cake concept and its three major components.
- Hanging Sorting Hat Cake
- Student Bust Cake in Uniform (Gryfinndor Tie)
- Custom Giant Daily Prophet Frame with Date
In addition to the main components, I had to create some photobooth props, and since I am ALL about Interactive Cakes, a sound button playing the Harry Potter soundtrack was a MUST. I also had additional paper printed for the background of the photobooth to really tie the whole thing together. The structure was built, the cakes were made, and we were ready to make history! (Okay, a little dramatic, but I’m literally getting excited again writing this 7 months later.)
Sometimes, no matter how much you plan, things just don’t work out. And that’s okay. If there is only one thing I’ve learned in my years of caking, it’s to adapt. If something goes wrong, fix it or hide it — that’s your only two options. There is more truth to that statement than you will ever know. So much truth that I’ve decided to start a new blog series about it soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Fast-forward to party day and after an hour and a half long ride with all of our precious components, we were ready to assemble. Woo-hoo!
And then it happened.
Something went wrong.
It’s pretty much the story of my life, but like I said — ADAPT. My husband is the backbone of all of my operations, he always helps in times of crisis and has this way of putting me straight into “fix it” mode even when I’m surrounded by chaos.
Long story short, the sheer size of the frame indoors created some serious issues. We developed a pretty clutch backup plan which would have went off without a hitch if it wasn’t for that thing called the outdoors. The cake was supposed to be set up indoors, however our only option was to move the entire cake outside. If I lived in California or someplace where the weather was all unicorns and rainbows we would have been all set. But here’s the thing — I live in Louisiana. You know, the place where the humidity is like 1000% at all times and you can simultaneously fry an egg on the sidewalk?! Yeah, that place. (Side-note, it randomly snowed here for the first time in years yesterday by some freak accident, and now its hot outside and everything is melted … so there’s a little insight for those of you who are unfamiliar with my territory.) So the cake was moved outside, and set up just the same. The ONE day the wind decided to blow in this Sportsman’s Paradise was, you guessed it, PARTY DAY! Shocker. Other than battling the weather the only thing that changed was the background of the photobooth which kills my soul to this day. Every time I look at the pictures I think about how much better it would have looked it we would have had a wall the cover so the newspaper effect was a little more believable. But, it was still a pretty awesome despite all of the trials we faced.
Everyone LOVED the cake, and the Harry Potter fans were beside themselves! We managed to get some decent photos of the cake but not before the Louisiana sun literally melted the brim right off of the poor Sorting Hat! After our race against time with the heat, I brought the cake inside and sliced up some deliciousness. All in all, it was a FANTASTIC day that proved to be a great learning experience and definitely one for the books! If you want a Photo Booth Cake at your next event, be sure to inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An except from my previous blog post that still very much applies:
“So NOW the party has an awesome photo booth, with an awesome cake, and EVERYONE at the party gets to take a picture with it! All I’m saying is if you are having a party or planning a wedding, you NEED one of these. End of story.
Imagine all of your guests actually getting to see the cake before it’s cut, you getting to see all of your guests pose with their EDIBLE photo props, and now you have photo documentation of everyone who was at your party to enjoy for years to come. Not to mention everyone gets to enjoy some delicious cake!
I have about 7 million themes in my head, so try me!
Interactive Cakes are the next big thing people! If you missed my Interactive Cakes class in Austin be on the lookout, hopefully I will be teaching it somewhere else soon! In the meantime, check out my Photobooth & Hanging Fish Classes :)”
Until next time…