Preparation Time

240 minutes




Note: This recipe contains several specialized pans and other ingredients.

  • 5 round pans, sizes 10", 8" or 9", 6", 4", 3"
  • Pound Cake (enough to fill all the pans) or 2 to 3 boxes of cake mix (with pudding in it)
  • Chocolate buttercream frosting recipe doubled or 3 cans of store bought frosting
  • 5 lbs chocolate rolled fondant
  • 2 oz white rolled fondant
  • Piping gel
  • 16" round cake board
  • 10" and 6" cake circles
  • Cocoa powder
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Fanci-foil
  • Dowel rod
  • Toothpicks
  • Pasta machine
  • Rolling pin
  • Fondant cutter/embosser
  • Pastry brush or new large blusher brush


In advance, cover a 16" cake board with Fanci-Foil. Dust a clean dry surface with Coco powder, and knead chocolate fondant until workable. Roll out to 18" round by 1/4" thick, to cover the cake board with an inch overhang all around. Lifting and moving as you roll. If necessary add more Coco powder to the surface to prevent sticking. Lift the fondant onto the 16" board gently. Cut a 10" circle out of the center of the circle. To secure to the board, brush piping gel under the inside edge of the fondant. Fold under the overhang to make the brim of the hat. The rougher the better, remember this is an old hat. Place crumpled paper towels under the outside edge of the brim to give it shape.

Use the Fondant Cutter/Embosser (with the ridged wheel) to mark a 6" slit on the front of the brim. Use a toothpick to make small holes 1/2" on either side of the slit. Roll out a very thin rope of fondant (1/8" wide or smaller), and cut into 1 1/4" long pieces. Use the toothpick to push the ends of the rope into the holes across the slit. These are the stitches. Using the pastry brush or a new large blusher brush, dust the brim with Cocoa powder. Let this dry in a cool dry place away from sunlight for at least 24 hours.

Bake cakes according to recipe or directions and cool cakes. Place 10" cake on 10" cake circle, and frost the top. Cover with the 8-9" cake and frost the top. Place 6" cake on 6" cake circle and frost the top. Cover with 4" cake and frost the top. Prepare cakes for stacked construction by inserting wooden dowels or lollipop stick into the 10" and 8"-9" cake and cutting them off flush. Place the 6" and 4" cake on top of the 10" and 8-9" cake. Place 3" cake on top of 4" cake and frost the top. Sharpen one end of the Dowel Rod, and insert down through the center of all the cakes and cake circles to secure leaving about 2" of the dowel sticking out above the cake. Take a 2oz. size ball of chocolate fondant and roll in the palm of your hand, pressing on one side of the ball to form a cone. Bend the end of the cone over and attach to the end of the dowel rod on the top of the cake to form the tip of the hat. Trim cakes into a cone shape, reserving some of the trimmings. Use the trimmings to create the nose, mouth and eyebrows. Secure these with Lollipop Sticks. Frost the entire outside of the cake now, making sure to keep it as smooth as possible.

Dust a clean dry surface with Cocoa powder, and knead chocolate fondant until soft and workable. Roll out in a triangle shape large enough at the bottom to go around the 10" cake, and as tall as the cake is plus 2 in. Lifting and moving as you roll. Add more Cocoa powder if necessary. Gently lift fondant over rolling pin or lift with support of both hands, taking care not to tear. Position the fondant on cake with the seam on the back of the cake. Be sure you cover the tip of the hat as well. Pinch together any tears with your fingers. Gently smooth out any air bubbles with your hands and press the fondant into the eyes and around the nose and mouth with the heal of your hand or fingers tips. Press the seam at the back together with your fingers. Trim off extra from around the bottom with a knife or pizza cutter. Work out any air bubbles or pop them with a pin and smooth out the area. Place the covered cake in the center of the brim covered cake board.

To make the hat band use a pasta machine to roll out a thin strip of chocolate fondant long enough to go around the base of the cake. Cut the strip 1 1/2". wide using a pizza cutter or the Fondant Cutter/Embosser. Brush the base of the cake with a small amount of water and place the strip around the cake at the bottom to cover the seam between the cake and brim.

Mix 2 oz white fondant with 2 oz. chocolate fondant to make a lighter brown and roll it out thin. Cut "Patches" out using a pizza cutter or the Fondant Cutter/Embosser. Brush the back of the patches with water and place over seam in back of the hat. Using the Fondant Cutter/Embosser (ridged wheel) outline the patches to make "stitch marks" and secure them to the hat. Dust with powdered sugar to highlight the stitch marks.

Sorting Hat Cake - Figure 1

To make the hat straps, roll out 2 thin strips of chocolate fondant 2" wide, and as long as you want. Cut one end of each in a zigzag fashion. Place the strait end under the edge of the brim of the hat, and let the zigzag end hang out and down. You will need to put the cake up on a pedestal or cake stand to let them hang down.

Dust the entire cake and brim with Coco powder to make it look like old suede.

Final Product

Sorting Hat Cake


This cake was made by Margie Williams, who may be reached by e-mail if you have questions. People from central Maryland, south central Pennsylvania, northern Virginia or Washington D.C. may also get in touch with her if they would like to hire her service to have such a cake made for them by her.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.