It’s birthday party time in the Mumonthebrink household and that means here’s another super easy birthday cake. Another castle cake, this one a knight’s castle cake with lots of chocolate: The request was for a Mike, the knight party and a chocolate cake.
I took inspiration from the super easy pink princess castle cake to make a boy’s castle cake, this knight’s castle birthday cake.
This birthday cake was surprisingly easy to make! If you can make cupcakes, then you can make a knight’s castle cake! This home-made birthday cake won’t necessarily look immaculate, but have a look at some medieval castles- they are a real hotch-potch of textures and shapes. We’re just replicating real life in chocolate and delicious cake! 😉
So go for it!
Knight’s Castle Cake Ingredients
- I took the easy route: 2 packs of cake mix (My favourite is Wright’s baking Chocolate fudge cake mix that I order from Amazon)
- 4 packs of round biscuits, something like Oreos
- 3-4 large bars of chocolate (this can be cooking chocolate or something more luxurious too)
- 2 tubs of cream cheese- I prefer a cream cheese icing over a butter icing because it feels lighter and the slight tangy taste really goes well with a lot of flavours, including chocolate.
- 2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 3 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar
Step 1. Make the Castle walls
Make 4 walls for your knights’ castle from a cake recipe of your choice. It can be a simple sponge or, like me, be a bit more adventurous, but cheat at the same time- I used a chocolate fudge cake mix.
The walls need to be atleast 2-3cm (c. 1″) thick and roughly square.
As you see from the picture I was “very accurate” in distributing the mix between my baking trays, so I ended up with different wall thicknesses…just like a lot of medieval stonemasons.
Once baked, let the cake sheets cool on a wire rack. (You may be lucky and your wire rack might leave some great lines on your cake, which look just like bricks.)
When the cake is cool, cut the turrets out at the top and carve the gate out of one side.
The gate cut-out will be your drawbridge.
The turret cut out go perfectly well with your cuppa. 😉
Don’t worry if your cake castle walls are floppy!
Chocolate will solve the problem: just melt enough chocolate to cover the walls in a good layer on one side of each castle wall.
Step 2. Strengthen the walls with chocolate
To melt the chocolate: do this by breaking the chocolate and placing the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.
Sit the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it all along. Don’t let it overheat or it’ll go all crumbly. Once melted, pour chocolate on each cake & spread evenly.
While the chocolate is warm your can also score the bricks of your castle wall.
Step 3. Every castle needs towers!
Next task is to make the towers.
To simplify life I made these out of chocolate Oreo biscuits, which were the right colour and texture to blend in without having to be covered in icing or fondant.
I “glued” the biscuits together with melted chocolate. (See, you really don’t have to be that precise with the amount of chocolate you melt as there are lots of uses for it! 😉 )
Also make sure you account for your biscuit consumption when buying the biscuits. 😉 If you are like me then you have to buy more so you can do these steps:
- take biscuit,
- spread with molten chocolate,
- stick to bottom biscuit,
- take biscuit,
- stick in mouth and eat biscuit
Repeat steps 1-5 till the tower is tall enough.
Once the chocolate has cooled the towers become pretty robust. (Alternatives for the towers can be swiss rolls for example, or you can bake your own in a log-shaped cake tin, or calve the cake towers from a larger cake.)
Step 4. Assembling the castle
As all the chocolate covering cools it gives each element a rigidity.
Melt a bit more chocolate, because that is going to be your mortar. When you are assembling the castle you can choose to have the chocolate covered side on the outside or the inside.
My cake had the chocolate on the inside, because I wanted to add a layer of icing on the outside.
I used a glass bowl to stand one side up against and then drizzled chocolate where the tower and the wall met. I then waited for the chocolate to solidify, holding the wall in place with tupperware.
I went gradually around adding tower, wall, tower, wall and so on.
Step 5. Icing the cake
Once my cake was assembled it was time to add the finishing touches:
I covered the outside with a cream cheese, cocoa powder and sugar mix and scored it in a rough grid pattern to make it look like a stone wall. (This bit can easily be avoided if you leave the chocolate on the outside, however it does add a lovely moist covering and another layer of flavour to your cake. Think chocolate cheesecake…Yummy!!! )
Bonus Step: Embellishing your castle cake
It’s always fun to let your imagination out to play and get creative!
With the castle standing, next was adding the drawbridge and the approaching knight (a new addition to my Little Man’s growing Playmobil collection)
A banner of marzipan added above the gate with Hugo’s name. To write his name, I used a special pen with food colouring in it (this is available at our local supermarket or on Amazon). You could use writing icing too if you have steady enough hand.
The dragon was an inspiration from another blog and I made it from marzipan (and a bit of green food colouring). The marzipan with the food colouring added was a bit sticky to work with, ideally I should’ve made this up a couple of days earlier and let it dry a bit. It was slipping off the tower too, so I pierced 2 toothpicks through the body into the cake to hold it in place.
… the speckles on the dragon? Edible holographic glitter… because every birthday cake needs a bit of sparkle. 😀
Tip: use food colouring paste instead of liquid and it will work a LOT better.
The moat around the knight’s castle birthday cake was made with green jelly that I prepared separately and let set in an oven dish and then cut into cubes. I added red jelly inside the castle; kids always love jelly and different colours too. The jelly was a big hit with the party guests as it wobbled and resembled water.
My frogs and chocolate rocks around the knight’s castle were another afterthought, as I had both marzipan and cake mix left over. This is the beauty of a home-made birthday cake: you let your fantasy, time and talent (or lack of it) guide you in how much you do.
Final tip: This cake needs a very sharp knife to cut it because of the thick layer of chocolate, but it is delicious!