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Cauldron Cakes | Harry Potter Series

The lunch trolley came rattling along the corridor, and Harry bought a large stack of Cauldron Cakes for them to share.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling

I needed to know, what really is a cauldron cake? We’ve seen the cute ones at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but is that really what a cauldron cake is?

To get to the bottom of this, here’s what we know about them.

  • cauldron cakes can be bought in ‘a stack’
  • They were given as ‘a batch’
  • They were made by Qizibash Quality Confectionary in Pakistan from 1854 onwards.

The Unofficial Harry Potter cookbook decides they must be pancakes, which is one option.

For my variation, I wondered, if cauldron cakes made in Pakistan, are they made using Pakistani flavours or English cakes that are made in Pakistan?

For this batch, the cakes are shaped like they were baked in the bottom of a cauldron and are filled with a date filling.

I’d love to know what you think cauldron cakes are! Maybe we can pull enough ideas together to create a cauldron cake recipe that we think is the closest to what it really would be. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Cauldron Cakes | Harry Potter Series

  • Author: Bryton Taylor; Food in Literature
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins

Ingredients

Scale

THE GROUND SPICE MIX

  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground anise (you can buy star anise and grind down yourself)
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel seed (if you can only find whole, grind down yourself)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

THE RECIPE

  • canola oil spray
  • 150160g of pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 tsp of the spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup water
  • icing sugar for dusting

TOOLS

  • a round bottom tray. You can find them on Amazon under ‘mince pie pan’ http://amzn.to/2jWIfQD or in Australia you’ll find them in most grocery stores/ kitchen stores as ‘patty pans’

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
  2. Mix together the spice mix and place in a air tight container. You’ll only be using a bit of this mix for this recipe.
  3. Spray the food processor with the canola oil so the dates don’t stick.
  4. In batches, heat up the dates (in a small microwavable bowl) in the microwave for 10-15 secs to soften.
  5. Place in the food processor and blend, then repeat with the rest.
  6. By hand, mix the 1 1/2 tsp of spice mix and 1/2 tsp of almond essence into the date mixture.
  7. Set aside.
  8. In a mixer, beat the butter, then add in the sugar.
  9. Beat for a few minutes until creamy.
  10. Add in the flour, then the water.
  11. Turn out onto a board dusted with plain flour.
  12. Roll out relatively thinly, and cut out circles.
  13. Spray your cookie tray with canola oil spray.
  14. Place one circle into a cookie hole.
  15. Take a small ball of the date mixture, and press with your fingers into a flattened circle.
  16. Place into the cookie tray on top of the dough.
  17. Place another cookie dough circle on top.
  18. Press the middle down, then press the edges together.
  19. Repeat, then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  20. Remove from the oven, use the back of a large spoon to gently press the centres (to keep the indentation), then set aside to cool.
  21. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Notes

This recipe was inspired (although the end process was completely different) by Ma’amoul recipes, in particular from the book An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair

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15 Comments

  1. Thank you! Everything can’t be chocolate. Well, I suppose it can, but I feel like there should be some variety in the treats they have in Harry Potter. I try to be a little creative with my own, so there are different flavors on the treat table. Also, these look totally delicious and I can’t wait to make them for my next HP party.

  2. Can you post a link to find a a round bottom cookie tray, I can not find one online, maybe It has a different name. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kristen, Well that took me a bit to find! They’re known as patty pans, and are found everywhere in Australia- from grocery stores to kitchen stores. But a look in the US turned up nothing. Finally found them online fortunately. You can order them from Amazon UK here –> http://amzn.to/2icjmT0

  3. Hi! What kind of flour did you use? All purpose? Self-Rising? And what kind of round bottom cookie tray did you use? ?

    Thank you!

  4. Is there anywhere on your site that tells how many cakes can be made with one recipe? I have the Eddington mince pie pan. It’s the same one you provided the link to. I need this information soon. Hopefully, you will see this post in time for a reply
    Regards,

  5. Bryton,
    Do you still monitor this site? Still looking for an answer to my question.
    Thanks,
    Shayne

    1. Hi Shayne, apologies, I’ve been only checking comments sporadically. From memory, the recipe made ~6-8 cauldron cakes.

  6. I always pictured the Cauldron Cakes as a simple cake, with small holes punched in the tops and drizzled with honey while still warm. Then dusted with powdered sugar.

  7. Hi Bryton,

    I was hoping to feature this and four other recipes in an article for my campus food blog, but the pumpkin pasties page has started blocking me (http://inliterature.net/food-in-literature/2012/10/harry-potter-pumpkin-pasties.html). Is there any way I can regain access, so I can finish my article.

    All good features, by the way — especially the cauldron cakes. They were easily the best pastries I’ve ever made!

    Thanks!

    Alyssa

  8. These were really good. I must admit though I didn’t use dates because I didn’t have any on hand was making this for a trip the next day. I didn’t have time to buy dates. But I used finely chopped apples and raisins. YUMM–IE. This recipe seems to have nailed cauldron cakes

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