Make & Do, Recipes

How To Make The Classic 80s Chocolate Hedgehog Birthday Cake

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The legendary chocolate hedgehog cake. It’s an 80s classic that my mum made me, and my kids ask for year after year. As well as looking super cute, it also tastes yummy thanks to a lot of chocolate icing, some orange and lots of Cadbury chocolate buttons! I’ve used photos from two that I’ve made over the years, so they look slightly different. Chocolate Harriet Hedgehog birthday cake

This recipe is for a chocolate and orange marbled cake, but you could make just chocolate or just orange and it would be just as yummy. It’s baked in a pudding basin, to help you get the shape of a hedgehog.

How to make a chocolate orange hedgehog cake. An easy birthday cake recipe your kids will love. #chocolatecake #birthdaycake #easyrecipes

How To Make The Hedgehog Cake


175g/6oz soft butter or margarine
175g/6oz caster sugar
3 medium eggs
150g/5oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
25g/0.8oz Bournville cocoa
1 small orange

1. Grease and line your pudding basin – I used a 1lb one and that was plenty big enough.
2. Cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy. I used an electric whisk.
3. Gradually whisk in the eggs.
4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold together.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa with tablespoon of boiling water to make a paste, then add about half of the cake mixture and mix together.
6. Grate the zest of the orange into the remaining cake mixture, and add some of the juice, until the mix drops easily off the spoon.
7. Add alternate spoonfuls of the two mixtures into a greased, lined pudding basin.
8. Swirl through once to create a marbled effect, smooth out and bake at 180 degrees for around 1 hour, but keep checking on it.

How To Construct The Hedgehog Cake

Next comes the construction… This means a great deal of chocolate butter cream icing.

350g/12oz icing sugar
25g/1oz cocoa
175g/6oz butter
Cadbury chocolate buttons

1. Cream the butter to soften it, using an electric whisk, or spoon if you’re feeling strong.
2. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa and mix until smooth.

Cut the cake in half and see if the  marbling worked – mine’s pretty good, amazingly!

Sandwich the two parts together, cut side down, with some icing. Cut part of one end off to make a rounded bottom, then stick these left overs at the other end to bulk out the snout.

TIP: Construct it on the plate you want to present it on, I forgot and used a chopping board for this one, but here’s my second attempt, on a strong paper plate. You can also see that this shape didn’t work as well so I’ve had to trim more, and add more in different places. Chocolate hedgehog cake before being iced

Next, just smother it in icing and make it fairly smooth, make some markings on the face with a fork. Then decorate with chocolate buttons cut in half, I did them in rows, interlocking with the row before, for maximum coverage.

I used one packet of small chocolate buttons, near the face, then went to giant ones half way when the small ones ran out. I used a jelly bean for a nose and two raisins for eyes.

The Finished Chocolate Hedgehog Cake

Ta da!

Chocolate Harriet Hedgehog birthday cake

The finished Chocolate Hedgehog Cake

Now, I’m not normally one to blow my own trumpet, but “TOOT TOOT” I am pretty darn impressed with my effort!

TIP: Pop the cake into the fridge if you can, to help the icing set.

So the big question is, did the birthday girl like it? Judge for yourself!Thea and her chocolate hedgehog cake

I’ve made it for Ava too and this time I remembered to reserve a bit of the cake mix to make into a cupcake, to hold the candles.

Ava loved it too.
Ava and her chocolate hedgehog birthday cake

Have you ever made an 80s birthday cake for your kids? It’s great fun. Check out my tutorial for a cute Little Mermaid Ariel Cake here! Or how about this impressive Rainbow Unicorn Cake here?

Why not Pin this recipe for later?

A step by step tutorial showing you how to make the classic 80s chocolate Harriet hedgehog cake.



    12th November 2019 at 9:05 pm

    My mum used to make Harriet every Christmas as we did not like fruit cake, I have made every year for my children and now my grandchildren
    It is a form family favourite & I’m pleased to be able to pass this recipe on

    1. Becky Pink

      13th November 2019 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks so much for getting in touch, and sharing your wonderful memories! I LOVE the idea of making it as a Christmas cake alternative, I don’t like fruit cake either, I’d much rather have this! xx

  2. How we discovered that brain connections shape memories | StuntFM 97.3

    10th July 2017 at 1:57 am

    […] For instance, when asked to remember something about a party, one person might describe vividly their sixth birthday: how the gifts were laid out, the sweet, chocolatey taste of the hedgehog cake and going to bed really late. Another person might not recall this precise detail, but remember that their aunt despised parties and that hedgehog cakes were massive in the 80s. […]

  3. Olive Mavor

    12th November 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I too am making a hedgehog cake – for my four year old grandson’s birthday – having made one in the eighties for my daughter!

    1. Becky Pink

      16th November 2016 at 6:11 pm

      How did it turn out? I thought it was such fun to make and have had a request for another one next birthday! xx

  4. Shirl carter

    14th August 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you for his recipe . I made this for my daughter in the 80s and she has asked me to make the same one for her daughter s 5th birthday. So was very pleased to find the same Harriet heghog recipe. This will bring back memories.

  5. Happy New Year! (And happy birthday to PinksCharming) |

    2nd January 2016 at 11:59 am

    […] My Harriet Hedgehog Chocolate Cake Tutorial was a hit. I haven’t posted a recipe for a while, but I do have quite a few quick and easy eats in my archives, and lots of gluten free options too. One of my earliest posts was about the water saving freebies we got from Anglian Water – it was a really interesting visit, and if you’re in the Anglian area, they are still doing the scheme.  […]

  6. A Moment with Franca

    27th November 2015 at 10:31 am

    Oh wow Becky this looks fantastic and super yummy!! What a great attempt!! You definitely have skills for baking! I’m a disaster in the kitchen but Nick is pretty good so I will show him this so he can do one for us!! 😉 Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS!! I’m so happy to have again for this week!! 🙂 xx

    1. Becky Pink

      27th November 2015 at 11:42 am

      Thanks so much Franca, he tasted great too even though it was a bit sad to cut him open! Hope Nick can whip one up for you! Xx

  7. newmummyblogcom

    27th November 2015 at 8:11 am

    So impressive! I love it ! You really can’t fault 80s cooking… Prawn cocktails, salmon mousse, vol a vents, trifle! I might have to try this for hubby’s birthday 🙂 #kcacols

    1. Becky Pink

      27th November 2015 at 8:22 am

      Oh wow what a great idea to have all 80s food, that would be so funny, you have to do it! You’d need those spiral salt and vinegar crisps too, he he xx

  8. mommyslittleprincesses

    23rd November 2015 at 8:47 am

    Aaaàh that looks wonderfully delicious and oh so cute too. I have no doubt that the birthday girl loved it!xx #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      23rd November 2015 at 9:09 am

      Thank you, I was a bit sad cutting him up to be honest but he did taste good! Xx

  9. Coombe Mill (Fiona) (@coombemill)

    22nd November 2015 at 12:37 am

    It looks wonderful, you should be impressed. #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      22nd November 2015 at 9:34 am

      Thanks so much Fiona, I’ve set myself quite a high bar for next year haven’t I… Might just do the same one again! Xx

  10. The Speed Bump

    22nd November 2015 at 12:10 am

    That is SO cute! I always wanted a hedgehog cake for my birthdays but I was growing up in the 2000s and I think it was seen as a by-product of the 80s but it’s so adorable!!! I am SO requesting one of these for my birthday next year! #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      22nd November 2015 at 9:33 am

      He he they are very retro but taste so great! Xx

  11. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)

    21st November 2015 at 11:14 pm

    This is so cute! I’ve been looking for a cake to make for my daughter’s first birthday and this one has just become a contender 🙂 #KCACOLS

    1. Becky Pink

      21st November 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Yay, try it, it’s so much fun! Kids LOVE it, but if you do make it, start cutting from the tail rather than the head so they don’t get upset… Becky xx

  12. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

    15th October 2015 at 5:13 am

    Toot toot indeed! We did similar for the Toddler’s second birthday, I was in the I’m so sick stage of pregnancy at the time and I just covered any cracks with chocolate buttons! #toddlerapprovedtuesday

    1. Becky Pink

      15th October 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Good work, extra chocolate buttons can only ever be a good thing! Xx

  13. theladybirdsadventures

    13th October 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Looks fab. I had a hedgehog cake as a child!

    1. Becky Pink

      13th October 2015 at 8:51 pm

      They are the best, and all the icing makes them so yummy! Xx

  14. Suz (Beau is Blue) (@beauisblue)

    13th October 2015 at 8:03 pm

    what a fab idea! we will defo need to do something like this with Elliott! Thanks for sharing! beautiful photo! Suz x

    1. Becky Pink

      13th October 2015 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks Suz, it’s a really fun recipe and perfect for birthdays xx

  15. Clare's Little Tots (@ClaresTots)

    13th October 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Snap. We made mini chocolate hedgehog cupcakes (just linked them up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday). Never thought to make a big one. This is just amazing looks so good. My girl would go nuts for a giant one.

    1. Becky Pink

      13th October 2015 at 8:11 pm

      Oooh mini ones sound brilliant, I’ll check them out! Great idea xx

  16. Sara Handy Herbs

    13th October 2015 at 10:52 am

    Wow! That is a very impressive cake – and what cute pics of the birthday girl! Thanks for sharing #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

    1. Becky Pink

      13th October 2015 at 10:58 am

      Thanks Sara, we had a lot of fun making (and eating) it! Xx

  17. Becky Pink

    5th March 2015 at 3:10 pm

    We have the severed head in the fridge now. Creepy.

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