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The legendary chocolate hedgehog cake. It’s a classic 80s birthday cake 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 chocolate buttons! I’ve used photos from a few that I’ve made over the years, so they look slightly different.
Read on for my chocolate hedgehog cake recipe, and see how easy it is to make a real crowd pleasing birthday cake.
Chocolate Hedgehog Cake Basics
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 delicious. It’s baked in a pudding basin, to help you get the shape of a hedgehog. I use a 1 litre pudding basin, and that’s the perfect size.
In this hedgehog cake recipe I have the normal version and also a version with a surprise Smarties core, so you can follow whichever you prefer.
How To Make The Hedgehog Birthday Cake
Ingredients for the chocolate 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 cocoa
- 1 small orange
Method for the cake:
1. Grease and line your pudding basin – I used a 1 litre one like this one and that was plenty big enough. I like to make two strips of baking paper and cross them over with the ends hanging out – this makes it really easy to remove the cake.
2. Cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy using 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 180/350 degrees for around 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
TIP: Pop a small amount of cake mix in a cupcake case and bake for 20 minutes, so you have something to put the candles in!
How To Construct The Hedgehog Cake
Next comes the construction… This means a great deal of chocolate butter cream icing.
Ingredients to decorate the hedgehog cake:
- 350g/12oz icing sugar
- 25g/1oz cocoa
- 175g/6oz butter – use a block if you can as it will set better
- 2 packets of chocolate buttons – I use 1 packet each of giant and regular
- Raisins or Candy Eyes
- Jellybean or Smartie for the nose
- Optional: 2 tubes of Smarties to make a fun surprise core
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. Don’t worry if it didn’t, it will still taste as good.
If you want to make a chocolate hedgehog cake with a surprise Smarties centre, follow these instructions:
Carefully scoop out the inside of the cake with a spoon and save the cake. Then place a handful of Smarties on the plate, spread icing on each of the parts of the cake that need to stick together, and manoeuvre the pieces of cake over the smarties. You can use the scooped out parts to make the snout.
If you don’t want to bother with the Smarties core, follow these instructions:
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.
How to Decorate your Chocolate Hedgehog Cake
Now just smother it in icing. Depending on the icing consistency you may be able to make it quite smooth, but it works just as well if it’s a bit lumpy!
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.
Add eyes (two raisins works well, or you can use candy eyes.) Add a jelly bean or Smarties nose, and you’re finished!
TIP: Pop the cake into the fridge if you can, to help the icing set.
The Finished Chocolate Hedgehog Cake
Ta da! Here are a few of the chocolate hedgehog birthday cakes I’ve made over the years:
So the big question is, did the birthday girls like it? Judge for yourself!
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 chocolate hedgehog birthday cake recipe for later?
[…] 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. […]