My inner geek was pretty satisfied eating a dwelling from a Tolkien novel.
I made this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday and I think he was pretty pleased with it. I normally make cupcakes because I’ve never been a big fan of cake myself, but after I was done putting it all together there was a little feeling of accomplishment. Happy birthday Dragos!
I looked so many places for a little Bilbo Baggins or Gandalf figurine to top the cake with, but the only thing I could find was on Amazon (and I hate paying for shipping, plus I was last-minute with that). There ended up being some Lego pieces from The Hobbit with Bilbo Baggins holding a sword and ring, plus Golum holding a fish. Worked pretty well in the end!
There are a couple of ingredients here that I want to clarify just in case anyone is confused. The main one is “chocolate rocks”, which are small, colourful chocolates that are coated in a shiny, hard-looking candy. This is what makes up the border of the pathway (see photo) and you can find them at some bulk stores or craft stores.
Another ingredient I would like to clear up is the green food colouring paste. Do not use regular food dye! The colour of the grassy icing surrounding the hobbit hole will turn out too light—it doesn’t matter how much you add. The paste colouring allows for a darker colour and it comes in a little container; I got mine from a specialty baking store but it is also available at places like Bulk Barn. Just a warning to those who don’t like getting your hands dirty: it stains. My fingers are green while I’m writing this up.
Makes 1 big awesome cake
- 2 boxes 515g moist chocolate cake mix, prepared in separate bowls but not baked
- 1 450g container chocolate icing
- 1 450g container white icing
- 1 tsp. green food colouring paste (I used Wilton’s “Kelly Green”)
- 1 large round dark cookie of your choice
- 1 white chocolate chip
- 20-30 chocolate rocks
- 1/4 cup toffee pieces
- 1/2 piece of Bounty bar, cut cleanly in half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and lightly flour a 28×18 baking pan (If you have a size that’s similar, you can use it; this is going to be the base of the cake. Just adjust the baking times accordingly). Pour batter into pan and bake on middle rack for roughly 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.
Grease and lightly flour a small oven-safe glass bowl (I used a 322 Pyrex), and pour as much cake batter from the second box that will fit. You should fill the bowl to about an inch or so from the rim, just so the cake has space to rise. There will be leftover cake batter—you can do whatever you want with that. Bake on middle rack for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow both cakes to cool completely. Remove the first cake (this is the base) from its pan, and place on a large serving plate. Smooth 3/4 of the chocolate icing evenly with a rubber spatula over the surface and sides.
Remove the smaller cake (this is your mound) from its bowl by placing a clean plate overtop of the bowl. Place one hand on the top and securely turn the bowl upside down, making sure the cake doesn’t fall or crumble in the process. The cake should come directly off onto the plate. With a bread knife, cut away any uneven edges around the bottom and cut a small portion of the mound away to make a flat side for the door.
Spread a small amount of chocolate icing over the flat side of the mound, and press large cookie of your choice into the centre (as a door). Secure the white chocolate chip to the cookie as a door handle with any remaining chocolate icing; you will only need a dot. Place mound right-side up on the base.
Spoon entire container of white icing into a medium-sized bowl, and mix in the green food colouring until completely blended in. Spread just enough icing over the mound and lower edges of the mound to cover it, then pipe the rest on to create a “plant” effect. To pipe the icing as grass/plants onto the mound part of the cake, I used a Wilton #1 tip (it’s really small).
Once you are done piping the grass on, make the outline of a pathway out of the chocolate rocks. Use about 10-15 on each side of path. Carefully sprinkle the toffee pieces in between the rocks placed, making sure none fall out of the pathway. If they do, carefully remove them with a toothpick so you don’t mess up the base icing.
Take the piece of Bounty bar (for the chimney) and place firmly into the roof of the mound. Do it hard enough so it will stay in place, but be careful not to damage the mound’s shape. Serve after icing settles and enjoy!