This Hedwig cake was made for our son’s 9th birthday party, on a Harry Potter theme.  It was a small party, for only five kids including the birthday boy, and 5 parents.  Our son requested a creature cake, and I chose Hedwig because I thought it would be more forgiving than most of the other possibilities.  I did a general Google search to see what other Hedwig cakes were out there, and used what I saw to figure out not only what I wanted to do, but what had not worked well in other cases.  I wound up using a picture of the movie version of Hedwig as my main guide.

How To: starting out, and feathers

I used a pre-made gluten-free white cake mix, baked in two eight-inch round pans, following directions.  I wouldn’t do it again with that particular mix as it was very dry, but it was an experiment.  After baking and cooling, I prepared a straightforward butter cream icing, which I then iced between the two layers as well as applying in a thin coat, reserving the rest, uncoloured, and covering with a clean, damp dish towel.

After using a bamboo skewer to draw on the shapes of the eyes and beak, I used a Wilton No. 47 tip to raise the areas on the outside of the eyes, and then used the same tip to apply the feathers, trying to copy roughly the pattern in the inspiration photo.  I started with the area around the eyes, then around the beak, and finally between the eyes and to the top of the head.  I then made more feathers down 2/3 of the sides (starting from the bottom and going upwards), until approximately level with the bottom of the beak.  I used a Wilton No. 233 to create the fuzzy breast feathers below the beak.

How to: – beak and eyes

I made the black icing by adding approximately 1 Tbsp of melted semi-sweet chocolate, a small amount of black icing color to about 1/8 cup of the white butter cream.  I added corn syrup to make it more viscous, knowing it probably wouldn’t taste great but only represented a small part of the overall icing.  I put that aside, and tinted another 1/8 of a cup of butter cream yellow, for the eyes.  I applied the yellow first in the area I had drawn out, using a Wilton No. 3 tip.  I then piped in the black around the eyes, and built up the beak from the outside in.

Important — that little white dot in the middle of the eyes.  With it, the cake looks (more or less) like a friendly Hedwig.  Without it, it looks a lot scarier.

Finally, I transferred the cake to a plate, and went back to the feather tip to add a ring of feathers around the bottom.

It wasn’t perfect, but our son loved it, and it definitely helped make our Harry Potter party more magical.