Saturday, 26 March 2011

Magical Sherbet Lemon Cake - Harry Potter Time

Well here it is at last, the Magical Sherbet Lemon Cake! And what took me so long? And why is it purple and blue? And how is it magical? In the glittery sparkle, we have golden stars and, hidden in the grooves of buttercream, are fizzy popping explosions. Underneath we have whirls of  green, red and yellow and finally in the centre the very English, sharp, sherbet lemon cream...

Suddenly ...

there were cupcakes too!

And carried away in a magical, cake making frenzy, popping cake pops were made as well!

I had been playing with the idea of a 'Sherbet* Lemon Cake' for a long time and made some very nice variations on this theme. I made various yellow cakes with a great lemon tang but they ultimately looked so boring. Inspiration for this cake is a *lemon sherbet; an English candy with a hard candy lemon flavoured body and shot through the middle with sherbet powder, just like the picture on the left. Luckily for me, one  brain synapse was still working and a thought transmitted across to another random cell;

'If Dumbledore had wanted a Sherbet Lemon Cake, it would have to look at least magical, if not very special and, probably not an obvious yellow colour'. 

So how did we get to Harry Potter fiction from a Sherbet Lemon ? click here . Meanwhile, a quick visit to Madame Rosmerta's Recipes via Muggle Net and, one of my other favourite Harry Potter fans; Britta Peterson (who has a web site with lots of creative ideas as well as a very good Butterbeer recipe ) I realised where I was going wrong. Too much ‘muggle’ !
The good news is that is really is a fun cake to make and does not need any special equipment. It gets it’s magic from colour and sparkle, especially the laser cut holographic glitters and gold stars. Take your favourite cake recipe and add colour.

I used a lemon basic (pound) cake recipe:

Text Only Printable Recipe


Cake :

8oz (225g) Butter
8oz (225g) Golden caster sugar
4 Eggs
8oz (225g) Self raising flour
2 Lemons
Food colouring red and green
Inner Butter Cream :

4oz (110g) Icing sugar
1 oz (30g) Butter
Juice only from lemon

Sherbet powder ( 2 Sherbet fountains or two packets of Dib Dabs)

Outer Butter Cream :8oz (2250g) Icing sugar
2 oz (60g) Butter
Few drops of Vanilla essence
Purple Food colouring
Holographic edible Glitters - Blue and Purple
Gold edible icing stars
Space dust or Popping Candy
White chocolate for cake pops ( 100 g bar )
Coloured sherbet powder for cake pops

Preheat oven 140c/120c Fan/275F/Gas Mark 1.

Grease a dome/ 1L pyrex bowl and line bottom with baking paper, put 6 cup cake liners in a tin. This recipe is enough to make one cake and 6 cup cakes.  If you trim the dome cake, it should leave you enough crumbs for 12 cake pops too.

Remove zest from both lemons. Cream the sugar and butter together. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the lemon zest. Fold in the flour and add the juice from one lemon. 

Divide the mixture into three and add food colouring to two of the portions. Place three colours of batter into the cases or tin, take a cocktail stick and give them a good swirl.

Place in the centre of the oven. Check after 20 minutes. Remove cup cakes.

Turn oven down by another 20 degrees and cook main cake for a further 40 mins. Cook until risen and a skewer comes cleanly out. Allow to cool and make icing. 

Simple butter creams – whisk soft butter, icing sugar, flavouring and colour together to form a soft spreadable icing. Add water as necessary.  For the inner lemon butter cream; the idea is to get a real tang, so we have added the juice of a large lemon and some sherbet powder. Has your face puckered up yet? Good, that is what you are after, the zing in the centre of the sherbet lemon!

Trim your dome cake to the desired shape and save the off cuts for the cake pops.

Gradually crumbing the off cuts for cake pops. Mix with a spoon full of zingy lemon butter cream and a spoon full of cream cheese. From into balls and place into fridge until firm enough to put on stick, coat with chocolate and magical sprinkles. Cake balls, not sure? click on Bakerella.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, cut the cooled cake in half and make a central hole with an apple corer. This is for your zingy, lemon cream centre just like the sherbet lemons. Spread the icing over the two halves and them pack sherbet powder onto the icing. Put a mix of sherbet powder and icing into the central hole too. Assemble the cake and then cover in purple buttercream. A thin crumb coat works best, chill, the follow with a second coat and add upward swirls with a fork. Sprinkle glitter and stars for magic.

The cup cakes get the same treatment with the centre cut out, filled with buttercream and sherbet powder and the centre inverted to make a shape for a wizard hat. Cover with the purple buttercream and add swirls with a fork on both the large cake and the cupcakes.

Sprinkle glitter and stars for magic. There seem to be plenty of suppliers for these glitters. (I ordered mine and the edible gold stars from Cakes and Shakes UK via Amazon as they had lots of other tempting things on offer.)

I have to concede that the cup cakes were the most popular, although the large cake tasted really good, people actually wanted to hold the cup cakes and look at the sparkle for quite awhile! What was slightly more tricky was the fizz and pop.....

Also, known as 'space dust' in the UK, this gives a popping sensation in the mouth as it reacts with moisture. I mixed some with the glitter and sprinkled it over the cakes at the last moment and round the edge of the large cake to serve up with a slice.
Strangely enough, the most successful were the cake pops that really did 'Pop'.  I put the space dust in the mini cases the cake pops were drying in . I covered the cake balls in coloured  chocolate , some coloured sherbet powder and put them on top of the popping candy in the cases. It all went in the fridge to firm up.
The small cakes lost a lot of their pop, the large cake was second best and, the pop cakes went 'Pop, Fizz, Pop'. Producing silly smiles on all the adults that could actually remember it first time round. Click on this for a UK supplier, A Quarter Of.

For  white sherbet supplies there are two main types readily available in the UK

So a sherbet lemon in the UK is a candy. I also learnt that I had been spelling it wrong for years as a 'Sherbert'. However, I am not the only sinner here and it can be found on many an English site.  I hope you enjoy the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows film again which I found  'darker' than the others, ( then again I am a real coward ) but enjoyable too. It was great fun using the holographic glitters that kept well and so did the stars. It would be very easy to produce the cupcakes and it seemed, according to my tester groups, adults liked them just as much as the children. Happy Magical Baking !


  1. what an incredible cupcake! You really did a wonderful job with the different colours, kind of a psychedelic cupcake...I need to make these for my girls, and love anything that has to do with Harry Potter!

  2. I love that you posted this today! My hubby and I spent all of last weekend having a Harry Potter Marathon since we'd never seen them before! Awesome cakes!

  3. These are so fun! I love that cake, my nephew would go wild for it.

  4. Oh, my gosh!!! Those ARE magical! What incredibly fun and creative kids would be thrilled with these :)

  5. What an amazing cake. My Harry Potter loving children would be in heaven if I served them up one of these. I didn't even know there were so many edible decorations like that.

  6. Pauline, YOU are magical with these brilliant cupcakes and cake. I love your technicolor wizardry, the witty narration, and the whimsical sense of exploration in the kitchen. Brava!

  7. You are magical yourself :-) These are just fantastic! All the bright colours, sparkles and of course with the fizz. Next time I'm in the UK I must look these out. Reminds me of the space dust we used to have as kids when it exploded in the mouth! Great post.

  8. Mrs Mulford strikes again - what a fantastic cake! I love space dust - I didn't know you could still get it so thanks for the order info. Love the stars, love the glitter. Wow!

  9. Mrs Mulford strikes again! What a stunner of a cake. The stars are really magical against the purple icing. I love space dust so thanks for the supplier details - I haven't seen it around for years and years.

  10. What a fun cake...I adore the color!

  11. Thanks for all the great comments. These last two cakes have had the 'bling' factor and real interest shown in the products used in the design. After visiting Universal's Wizarding World last Christmas, I should have thought of this sooner, the theming there is excellent. Am now a confirmed Butterbeer addict too!

  12. Mmm, sherbert! Love it!
    I didn't need the explanation of how they were magical - I BELIEVED after looking at the first photo!

  13. How FREAKING COOOOOOL! My nephews would just adore me if I made this with them!

  14. Pauline, now this is baking wizardry! Your cupcakes are magical....they have Harry Potter written all over them!

  15. I love all of the color! These cakes would make anyones day a little better :) So sparkly.

  16. This is just amazing! Amazing! I love every part of it! I especially loves how you used the cut off pieces for pops! And that fizzy goodness? Wow! ♥- K

  17. Wow! These look so exciting and fun! And the sparkles on top truly are magical... great job!!

  18. Pauline,
    As usual you've waved your magic wand in the kitchen and it's time for some rewards coming your way.

  19. it's so "magically" scrumptious ! :)
    thx for sharing it also. I have something for U at:

  20. Your Mrs. Mulford's Cake looks incredible! I thought it was not a cake! Wow.

    1. Thanks Christine, you don't see many purple cakes well not magic ones anyway!

  21. Incredible looking cakes but awful recipe and instructions I attempted to make this cake for a family do and the cake didnt rise and the cake mix was wqy too runny even though I followed the instructions and ingredients to the letter

    1. Hi Becci

      So sorry to hear you had problems with this recipe. It is in fact a basic Victoria Sponge recipe and instructions- check the proportions - the 'magical' bit is the colouring and flavouring to the final presentation. I am at a loss to know why it was so runny ?
      I noticed you posted 3 times so I guess you were pretty fed up but all comments are screened first to take out the spammers.
      :-( you were disappointed.