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How to Make a Chocolate Hedgehog Cake

Yvonne has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles focus on everything from world travel to crafts and recipes.

Meet Heidi the chocolate hedgehog. Or could this be Harry, or Henry? You decide!

Meet Heidi the chocolate hedgehog. Or could this be Harry, or Henry? You decide!

A Stunning But Easy Cake to Make

The first time I had this cake, I was seven years old and it was my birthday. I thought my mother was a genius for making such an amazing cake. On my younger daughter's fourth birthday, armed with my mother’s recipe, it was my turn to be the genius.

It turned out that making a hedgehog cake wasn’t quite the arduous task I had imagined it to be when I was little. In fact, although this cake looks complicated, making it is easy.

Essential Equipment to Make the Hedgehog Cake

The essential piece of equipment is an ovenproof pudding bowl (a round-bottomed bowl for US readers) that can hold at least 2 pints (1 liter). It will be about 6½–7 inches (about 17 cm) across the top. A pyrex bowl is ideal, but earthenware should also work fine.

Ingredients Variations

I find most cake recipes too sweet, and as this one has a lot of icing (frosting for American readers) I sweeten the cake itself with date puree instead of sugar. However, I have also included quantities for sugar, so the choice is yours.

You could also use your own favourite chocolate cake recipe or even a chocolate cake mix, because what makes this cake so special is not the cake itself, but the shape and the decoration. I do, however, recommend using organic cocoa or chocolate cake mix because non-organic chocolate has been found to be high in pesticide residues.

This is what a rounded tablespoon looks like.

This is what a rounded tablespoon looks like.

Chocolate Hedgehog Cake Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 5 oz/140 g/1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 oz/30g/2 rounded tablespoons of cocoa powder (see photo)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 6 oz/170 g/1½ sticks of butter (soft, spreadable butter is ideal, but if you use hard butter, be sure to let it soften for a while first.)
  • Either: 4 oz/110 g/½ a cup of date puree (see below)
  • Or: 3 oz/85 g/⅓ cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs

For the Frosting

  • 3 oz/85 g/¾ stick of butter (again, use spreadable or softened butter)
  • 6 oz/170 g icing sugar/1 cup of confectioner’s sugar (I use unrefined sugar, but you can use your usual brand)
  • 2 rounded tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • A little hot water

To Decorate

  • Chocolate buttons. You will need about 2–3 oz/60–85 grams of buttons, though this will depend on the size of button and how many you eat as you decorate!
  • 2 raisins
  • 1 glace cherry or dried cranberry

How to Make Date Puree

  1. Roughly chop 4 ounces/110 grams of dried dates.
  2. Place in a small pan and add just enough water to cover them.
  3. Cook over medium heat until the dates are soft and beginning to break up.
  4. Leave to cool. (It’s okay to puree while they are warm, but not hot.)
  5. Puree them in a blender or liquidizer. (A hand blender is ideal as you can do them in the pan.)

Instructions

  1. Grease the bowl you will use for baking.
  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients and mix until no white flour shows.
  3. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. You can do this with a wooden spoon if you want to develop big muscles or if you are using spreadable butter. Otherwise, I recommend an electric beater! The butter should be smooth when you are done and lighter in color than when you started.
  4. Mix in the sugar or date puree.
  5. Beat the eggs lightly.
  6. Add the eggs to the butter mix with a little of the flour. (The flour stops the eggs and butter curdling.) Beat well together.
  7. Fold in the rest of the flour. Mix until no dry flour is visible.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the greased bowl and smooth flat.
  9. Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes at 180°C/160°C fan oven/350°F/ Gas mark 4.
  10. Check a few minutes before the time is up to test if cake is ready. To do this, insert a metal skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is ready; if cake mixture sticks to it, the cake needs a few minutes more.
  11. Leave the cake cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto a rack. It should be easy to remove from the bowl, but if it sticks at all, run a knife around the edge.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t look much like a hedgehog yet!

Now you can see why a round-bottomed bowl is essential for this hedgehog cake!

Now you can see why a round-bottomed bowl is essential for this hedgehog cake!

Make the Chocolate Frosting

As the cake cools, make the buttercream frosting. To do this:

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together. (Tip: To avoid getting covered in sugar powder, beat the butter till smooth, add the sugar and stir until all the sugar is coated with butter. Then beat until the mixture is smooth.)
  2. Place the cocoa in a cup or small bowl with about 2 tablespoons of hot water, and mix until the cocoa has dissolved.
  3. Add the cocoa to the butter and sugar, and stir until the mixture is even in color.
Slice off the top, and turn the cake over.

Slice off the top, and turn the cake over.

Prepare the Cake for Frosting

When the cake is cool it is ready to ice. You are going to use it upside-down, so if the top is very raised, use a very sharp knife to cut the top off and make it flat. (Again don’t worry too much about getting this exact, because the buttercream covers a multitude of mistakes!)

Coat the cake with frosting.

Coat the cake with frosting.

Shape the face.

Shape the face.

Decorating the Cake

Spread the frosting thickly over the cake with a palette knife (or any table knife will do if you don’t have a palette knife). You don’t have to be too careful about this, as it should look rough!

At the base of the cake, choose a part to form a point with some extra buttercream—this is the hedgehog’s face and nose.

(And try not to lick your fingers! Bet you can’t manage that!)

Cut buttons in half and insert cut side down.

Cut buttons in half and insert cut side down.

 Someone can hardly wait!

Someone can hardly wait!

Making the Hedgehog Face

Mark it with a fork to look like a furry little face. Add a cranberry or cherry for the nose and two raisins for eyes.

Cut the chocolate buttons in half and push them into the frosting as shown in the photos. Then eat the cute little hedgehog! Aah!

Tip: You can double the quantity of the mixture and use a larger and smaller bowl to make a parent and baby hedgehogs. The photo above shows Heidi and baby at my daughter’s fourth birthday party.

Information on Finding Chocolate Buttons

I used Montezuma’s Giant organic chocolate buttons, but you can use any kind you choose. Readers in the UK will have no difficulty finding chocolate buttons, but for readers in the USA or Canada it may be more challenging to find these in your supermarket.

The most common type of buttons available in the US are those for melting to use in recipes. These are suitable to use in this recipe though they may be dull rather than shiny.

Several varieties of chocolate button are available on Amazon, including the classic Cadbury’s chocolate buttons and organic buttons by Chocolate Decadence.

© 2012 Yvonne Spence

Comments

Valene from Missouri on August 24, 2016:

This looks like so much fun! I would have wanted this for my birthday.

Marija Arsic from Serbia on May 12, 2015:

I can taste it in my mind, looks delicious.....oh dear, it`s so hard to be a chocoholic !

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 25, 2014:

Thank you Missolive!

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on June 24, 2014:

Guess who is pinning this to her new chocolate board on Pinterest? :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 12, 2013:

Thanks Claudedog, glad you liked the recipe and yes I'll take a look at yours.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on October 28, 2013:

Thanks Zoe.

Anne Goetz on October 27, 2013:

What a cute cake! Love it!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on October 21, 2013:

Heather Says,

thanks for your comment and glad you enjoyed the hub. sorry for the late reply, I'm not on Hubpages much these days.

SamitaJassi,

thanks for your comment!

Heather from Arizona on September 12, 2013:

This is one of the cutest cakes I have ever seen. I love little baby hedgehogs in real life and this dessert is every bit as cute. Outstanding job! And I love all of your pictures! Thanks for the great hub :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 01, 2013:

FlourishAnyway, thanks for your comment and glad the recipe brought back good memories for you.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 30, 2013:

This is adorable! I have never heard of hedgehog cakes. I have similar memories of a cake my mother made when I was a child -- creative, a little off-the-wall, but she made it just for me. It ws a CandyLand themed cake.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on April 10, 2013:

Hi Faith, sorry for the delay in replying - I've been away. Glad you enjoyed this and thanks for your comment!

Faith A Mullen on March 26, 2013:

Oh my goodness! Such a cute idea! My family loves hedgehogs, so I will have to make this for them some time. Love it!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 17, 2012:

idigwebsites, hedgehog cakes are fairly traditional in the UK. And very cute! Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for your comment.

idigwebsites from United States on December 17, 2012:

How come did you think about making a hedgehog cake?!? It's so cute, but at the same time looks scrumptious! Thanks for sharing. :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 11, 2012:

Magdaleine, glad you like it, and thanks for your comment!

Magdaleine on December 08, 2012:

Wow, this is amazing! thanks for sharing the recipe :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 06, 2012:

Hi Lemonkerda, glad you enjoyed a trip down memory lane. The hedgehog cake is definitely still going strong, and we love it!

Thanks for your comment.

lemonkerdz from LIMA, PERU on December 06, 2012:

Oh my, talk about going down memroy lane. When i was young my mother used to make this at least once a month. i thought nobody ever made these anymore, reading on......obviously wrong. looks like the hedgehog is revived. thanks

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 18, 2012:

Thanks to you Jackie!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 18, 2012:

This is sooo cute I have to make it soon. Thank you!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 15, 2012:

Thanks Angela. I guess it could be a groundhog too, without the spikes.

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 15, 2012:

This is so cute. We really need to promote this around groundhog day and promote the cute little dude as a ground hog!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 13, 2012:

Webscapeseo, thank you.

Webscapeseo from United Kingdom on June 13, 2012:

Wow what a lovely idea for a childrens birthday party! I will definitely be giving this a try!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 08, 2012:

Thanks pennylu.

Penny Lulich from Indiana on June 08, 2012:

Wow! This is a great birthday cake for a child! Thanks for this delightful recipe from your childhood.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 07, 2012:

Hi TFScientist,

Glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing.

Rhys Baker from Peterborough, UK on June 06, 2012:

Wow. Great recipe with great photos to guide us through. Congrats on the HOTD for this. I am already tasting it!

Voted up and Pinned! :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 01, 2012:

Thanks Eliza, especially for sharing!

Hi AM Hanson, thanks hope you enjoy the cake when you make it.

Adam M. Hanson from Mankato, MN on June 01, 2012:

this.....this is amazing....like, really, awesomely amazing....I'm making this soon haha

Lisa McKnight from London on June 01, 2012:

Gorgeous! I want to eat Heidi. I am sharing this on Facebook.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 26, 2012:

Thanks Robie, glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for sharing it.

Robie Benve from Ohio on May 26, 2012:

This is a stellar hub, great recipe and wonderful photos. I just shared it on pinterest. :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 26, 2012:

Hi ShalahChayilJOY,

I’m glad you enjoyed the hedgehog. I don’t know how, but we managed to eat the cake! :-) Hope you enjoy making and eating it as much as we did, and thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 26, 2012:

Hi Marcy,

Thanks so much for your comment and for pinning. I had a look at your boards just now and thank you for all you’re doing!

Shalah Chayil from Billings, Montana on May 25, 2012:

Your hedgehog picture made my day! What a delightful little fellow. How can it be eaten when it's so cute? I will have to make this one for sure?

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on May 25, 2012:

This is such a cute idea - I have just started Pinning things, so I dropped back by so I could pin this one.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 19, 2012:

Hi Stevew13,

It tasted good too! I think your cousin will be delighted that you’ve made her this cake. Just make sure you get a piece, and do come back and let me know how it goes.

Thanks for your kind comment.

Steve Wright from Norwich, England on May 19, 2012:

This looks so good, I am now so hungry and dinner time is still an hour away! I am going to be giving this a go for my little cousin's birthday next month, I think she would love a hedgehog cake! Awesome hub!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 16, 2012:

Hi Modern Lady, thanks for your comment.

Modern Lady from Chicago, IL on May 15, 2012:

This is absolutely adorable! It's brilliant to bake it in a glass bowl to get the shape.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 15, 2012:

Vinaya, I can think of no better cake to start with. It’s easy to do and everyone will love the cute hedgehog when you are finished. (But then you’ve got to eat it!)

Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 15, 2012:

Thanks emily. It is delicious!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on May 15, 2012:

I have never baked cake, but I want to use this recipe to make my first cake.

emilybee on May 15, 2012:

So awesome and must be so delicious!!! Awesome hub!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 15, 2012:

Thanks Jools.

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on May 15, 2012:

Looks yummy! Voted up n pinned

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 15, 2012:

Hi Suelynn,

It is great fun to make special birthday cakes isn’t it? My kids are hitting the teenage years but we still made this cake.

Thanks very much for your kind comment.

Suelynn from Manitoba, Canada on May 15, 2012:

Wonderful hub Melovy! :)

I remember making some lovely cakes for my son's birthday parties and they were special times indeed. LOVE your hedgehog cake and the fact that you remembered it from your own childhood experience. You put this hub together so well - BRAVO! Voted across the board.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 15, 2012:

Hi mythicalstorm.

Glad you enjoyed this. It is really tasty, adapted from an old traditional cake recipe. I loved it as a kid and still love it. Thanks for your comment.

mythicalstorm273 on May 15, 2012:

This was so cute! I loved the little hedgehog! Add chocolate cake and I can see why this would be a hit! Amazing and cute idea!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 07, 2012:

Hi Abujafood,

LOL! It would be tough if the spikes were hard, but chocolate - the hardest thing is not eating too much! Thanks for your comment.

Abujafood from Abuja, Nigeria on March 07, 2012:

Hedgehog, sounds like a tough piece of cake to handle. Nice of you to share this recipe with others.

Freedom4All from Planet Earth on March 06, 2012:

You are so welcome!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

@ Freedom4All

@Nare Anthony

Thank you both.

Freedom4All from Planet Earth on March 05, 2012:

I know! B)

Nare Gevorgyan on March 05, 2012:

Yeah it does :)

Freedom4All from Planet Earth on March 05, 2012:

That looks so cool!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 05, 2012:

Hi Gracenduta, hope you enjoy it, and thanks for your comment.

Gracenduta from Kenya on March 05, 2012:

I now know how to make one, thanks for the hub

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Hi tbrain123, thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Hi Better Yourself, thanks for your comment.

tbrian123 from colombo, Sri Lanka on March 04, 2012:

Ahhh... This is what i was looking.. Thank you..

Better Yourself from North Carolina on March 04, 2012:

What a precious cake! Thanks for sharing!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Htodd, thank you.

htodd from United States on March 04, 2012:

That's nice info...Thanks

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

panhamail, thank you.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Yes, Nare Anthony, it is.

panhamail from Phnom Penh on March 04, 2012:

Great News. LOVE THIS POST.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Sidds123450 thank you.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

parwatisingari, thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Nare Anthony, let us know how it goes, and thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

brsmom68, I don’t think kids ever grow out of it. I’m making it for my teenager’s birthday soon! Definitely easier to deal with than a real hedgehog.

Thanks very much for you comment and for sharing.

Nare Gevorgyan on March 04, 2012:

The next comment is mine? :D

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

zEric7x, thank you for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Yes, Anamika, forget the calories and enjoy! :-) Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

greatstuff, thanks for you comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Hi JS Matthew, thanks for the compliment and congrats, and for sharing! Date puree is my favourite sweetener, so glad you like it.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 04, 2012:

Susanm23b, I’m sure this could work as several small hedgehog or even ground hogs. If you do a hub let me know and I will link to it! Thanks for the vote up and congrats.

sidds123450 on March 03, 2012:

Many many congratulations on selection of Hub of the day, and thanks for sharing..!!!

parwatisingari from India on March 03, 2012:

This is trail for 11th march.

Nare Gevorgyan on March 03, 2012:

Wow! This looks so yummy! I am gonna make it tomorrow!!!

Diane Ziomek from Alberta, Canada on March 03, 2012:

That is absolutely adorable! Voted up, interesting & pinned. I have also bookmarked this Hub for future reference. Although my kids are teenagers now, I am thinking this may be an option for my daughter's 16th birthday. She asks for a hedgehog every now and again; this will be one I will only have to clean up after once. :)

Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

zEric7x on March 03, 2012:

That is certainly one of the most interesting looking cakes I seen.

Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on March 03, 2012:

Wow! That cake looks so yummy that I am prepared to forget the calories and have a bite of it. Voted up!

Mazlan from Malaysia on March 03, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD. I have not seen this Hedgehog Cake before in my country, sounds yummy.

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on March 03, 2012:

First of all, Awesome photos! Second of all, Congratulations on the Hub of the Day! You certainly earned it with this recipe! I like how you supplemented the sugar with date puree! This really is a great Hub! Voted up and SHARING!

JSMatthew~

susanm23b on March 03, 2012:

This is so cute! I like to do things in individual servings and this is perfect. I think this would be fun to serve on groundhog day. I know groundhogs and hedgehogs aren't the same, but maybe I could tweak it a bit. What a cute, fun idea! Congrats on Hub of the Day :) Voted up!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

Hi Moonlake and thanks so much for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

Hi cardelean, glad you enjoyed it, I’m sure your kids would love it - they’re the right age! Thanks for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

Thanks Kelley!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

Bldg an Architect, thank you for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

urmilashukia23, thank your for your very kind comment and for sharing.

moonlake from America on March 03, 2012:

It looks like a really good cake. Great photos. Congratulations on Hub of the Day.

cardelean from Michigan on March 03, 2012:

What a FUN cake! I loved all of the photos and your step by step directions. Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

Thank you Susan, and if it hadn’t been for you asking for cake recipes to link to I might never have done this hub. So thank you many times over!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

The Dirt Farmer, thanks!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

Patty Inglish, a hedgehog in the snow sounds wonderful. I might try your idea next time we make it. Thanks very much for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 03, 2012:

Thanks Brian! It’s taken me a while to get this far, but it’s quite a milestone and here’s to the next one arriving quicker!