A Slice of Hogwarts

Alison Morris -- April 1st, 2008

So, I’m not TRYING to keep up a cake theme here, but somehow cake-inspired blog pieces just keep falling into my lap. The most recent one came my way via the time-honored tradition of "channel surfing." Yes, Gareth and I were watching television, which we rarely do, when we stumbled on an episode of "Ace of Cakes" on the Food Network and stopped to appreciate the talents of Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Maryland.

Now I know what you’re thinking… A TV show about cakes? But trust me: these are not your average cakes, and "Ace of Cakes" is actually a really entertaining program. Gareth and I had watched the show once or twice before, and at one point I’d been inspired and curious enough to visit the bakery’s web site, where I went again last night, wondering if they’d posted some new cake photos.

Indeed, they had! And one of them (in the "Fun Stuff" category) was a photo of this cake, which Charm City made for the Los Angeles film premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Yes, that’s the Hogwarts castle in its entirety, plus the castle grounds including the lake and the Forbidden Forest.


Here’s the same cake, photographed from a different angle (and obviously at a different time of day):

And here’s a photo of Duff, hard at work, which also gives you a better sense of scale:

A Spellcast interview with Duff reveals what’s beneath that frosted exterior: one part of the cake is chocolate, another yellow cake, one marble, and one strawberry shortcake — very traditional flavors, yes (especially compared to some of the more outrageous flavors Charm City can bake) but surely something to please anyone cake-inclined.

The entire cake "sculpture" took about two weeks to create and decorate. Roughly 80% of what you see is edible and the remaining 20% is food grade PVC pipe, which is used to hold up various elements of the structure.

Obviously I missed the episode of "Ace of Cakes" in which Duff and his staff create this masterpiece, but (of course) someone has posted a clip from it on YouTube, where you can watch the final touches being put on the cake and the star-studded affair that was both the CAKE’s premiere and its demise. The Leaky Cauldron also has a "PotterCast" (Harry Potter podcast) in which they interview Duff and get still more details.

Of course it Harry Potter isn’t your cup of cake, Charm City can bake up almost anything else that’s to your liking, so long as you can afford them. (The prices for their cakes start at $500.) If Baltimore isn’t on your continent, then maybe Zhanna in St. Petersburg, Russia could be of help. The book-lover and explorer in me was particularly drawn to this Zhanna cake:

One thought on “A Slice of Hogwarts

  1. Andrea Beaty

    I love the Ace of Cakes. The creations are so whimsical, but I am always wondering… Do they taste good? And can a cake that takes so long to make still be fresh by the time you serve it? It’s entirely possible a cake can stay fresh for more than 3 hours, but they never last that long in my house! Cool cakes over at Zhanna. Thanks for sharing the post! Andrea Beaty http://www.ThreeSillyChicks.com

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