Thursday 9 March 2017

Hedgehog cake (with chocolate fingers spikes)

Sylvia decided her party this year would be a Detective Hedgehog party.  It is a minimally easier theme than her earlier suggestion of a Gothic Diary party.  I spent an afternoon with a friend looking at every shop in a shopping centre for hedgehog products and there were none.  So I just held a party with detective activities and hedgehog cake.

The cake was not too hard to make.  I worried it would not come out of the pyrex bowl I used but it was fine.  Sylvia was adamant that she wanted a vanilla sponge cake and chocolate fingers spikes.  So I did as requested.  I should have bought proper Cadbury's chocolate fingers.  The supermarket only had the supermarket's own brand and they weren't as nice.  But I didn't have time to scour the supermarkets nearby.

I found a recipe using chocolate fingers and when it come to looking at this site while making the cake, the domain name registration had expired.  Anyway how hard could sticking a few sticks in a cake be!  Well as I stuck the last one in the backside, the two halves of the cake split.  Oops.  I did a quick patch up job with icing and the fork.

It actually was harder  to stick in chocolate fingers than I expected.  Firstly they melted if held too long and the hide of the cake was tougher than I expected.  Probably because I had to bake it for almost twice as long in the mixing bowl as the original recipe in the cake tin.  I found it easiest to stick two sticks in from each side to have enough balance to avoid one pushing the cake off the board.  I still think pretzels would be better spikes (and easier to be vegan).

The kids loved the cake.  Though as my mum commented, they would have been just as happy with a cardboard box covered in icing and chocolate fingers.  I was most surprised at how much they loved the green icing grass around it.  I only did this because I had some green icing that I had had for a few weeks and was sick of it being in the fridge.

I am sending this cake to Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa.  You can read more about the detective hedgehog games and food.

More animal cakes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Blues Clues dog cake
Butterfly cake
Monkey cake
Octopus cake
Owl cake
Sparkles the rabbit cake
Viking cat cake

How to make a Hedgehog Cake

Double batch of 20cm sponge cake batter (such as this one)
Chocolate buttercream icing (such as this one)
One and a half 200g packets of chocolate fingers
Raspberry jam, optional

To bake the sponge cake batter, grease and flour a largish round pyrex bowl.  Set aside a little mixture to bake two or three muffins.  Bake until cake is cooked.  The muffins took about 30 minutes and the large cake took a lot longer than flatter cakes but I didn't note the time (perhaps 1.5 hours).  I covered it with foil once it was golden brown so it didn't get too dark.  Once a skewer inserted comes out clean, remove from oven and sit for about 5-10 minutes.  Use a knife to loosen from the sides and turn out to cool.

When ready to shape the hedgehog, trim the flat bottom of the cake if it is not really flat.  Cut cake in half from top to bottom.  Place each piece cut side down.  Push the two flat bottom sides of the cake together to make a higher dome than you originally had.  (See photo collage above for guidance.)  This is the time to put it on a cake board.  You can use jam or some icing to sandwich together the halves.  Put a muffin at one end and shape the muffin into a snout.  Trim to make sure muffin sits flush against the dome.  You might also need to shape (trim) the front of the dome so it slopes towards the muffin snout.

Now spread the buttercream all over the cake, using the buttercream to help shape the snout.  Take a fork and, leaving a little semi circle at the front where the face will be, rake through the buttercream to make it bristly.  To make the face we trimmed a piece of discarded muffin into a round nose and cut two of the chocolate sticks really short and arranged these as eyes and a nose.

Poke the chocolate fingers into the cake in a circle across the front where the fork marks bristles mark the end of the face.  Keep make rows of chocolate finger spikes until you reach the back.  This was slightly tricky as I had to work fast so the chocolate did not melt at my touch.  The cake baked so long that the outer cake was quite tough to poke a chocolate finger through.  I made a few holes with a little knife - wonder if a chopstick would help.  The other problem was that I had to push so hard that it threatened to push the cake off the board so I found that if I did two at a time, one chocolate stick from each side, it had the resistance I needed.  I also had to avoid the join between the two halves of the cake which would split the cake in half.

NB I am sure other spicks such as pretzels or chocolate sticks would work instead of chocolate fingers.

If you wish, you can spread some green icing and little flowers around the hedgehog for the woodland look.  If so, it is best to do this before the chocolate fingers go in.

On the Stereo:
Molly Do Yourself a Favour: The soundtrack to the TV mini series and Molly’s life: Various Artists


  1. You are always so creative!
    best... mae at

  2. As you can think, I love this cake, and a great choice from Sylvia for the theme! :) I wish I could have borrowed you some of my various hedgehog props.

    1. Thanks VegHog - sylvia is aware of your blog and if you were closer I would have been knocking at your door for props - we actually found a few things in a japanese store called Daiso eventually

  3. It's posts like this that make me sure I need to step up my birthday cake game. Such a cute hedgehog cake! Also, I'm sure your mum is right, kids love anything covered in icing :-)

    1. Thanks Lisa - I make these sorts of cakes because it is fun for me (I even did it before she was born) but I know it is not for everyone and I think kids are happy with any cake!

  4. Out of all the child friendly design cakes there are out in the world, the hedgehog ones always call to me, I think it the spikes! As for hedgehog props, yes The VegHog would have def. been able to assist you there :)

    Children and icing...

    1. Thanks Shaheen - it was lots of fun surfing the web and looking at all the hedgehog cakes - I wanted to do a pear with grapes stuck on with toothpicks but ran out of time. I am sure I will see lots of hedgehog props now that I don't need them :-) Wish I could have borrowed some from veghog

  5. I don't know if I ever had this cake but I certainly remember admiring it. You did a brilliant job and the green icing grass is a nice touch - and extra icing must always be a winner for children! Happy birthday to Sylvia.

    1. Thanks Kari - so true - kids never say no to extra icing which is why these icing laden cakes work so well for them!

  6. A detective hedghog party? I want to know more about this fabulous sounding theme partY! :D Sylvia is such an interesting little soul!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I really just did some detective activities and some hedgehog cake - I did dream of making a hedgehog cake with a magnifying glass and a sherlock holmes hat but I have my limits :-)

  7. What amazing party ideas! Certainly made me smile! She is clearly very creative with a fantastic imagination.
    The cake is so cute. It reminds me of a hedgehog cake I used to make when I was younger, but I used to use chocolate buttons or almonds for the spikes.x

    1. Thanks Kate - I saw lots of hedgehog cakes with all sorts of spikes including buttons and almonds (some really cute biscuits with almonds) but sylvia was adamant about the chocolate fingers. She does have a fantastic imagination and really loves these parties!

  8. You really rock this mom stuff Johanna. This cake is completely adorable! I love how creative you are in making fun things for Sylvia and her friends. It's just so cute!

  9. Isn't he cute! I say he, but it may well be a she. Did Sylvia come up with a name for it?? I love how you tackled the cake, and it's actually given me some great tips because I'm planning on making my first hedgehog cake in a few weeks time!
    Angela x

  10. I don't know what a detective hedgehog party is, but I'm super impressed by your hedgehog cake. I'm also rather envious of Sylvia. I've always adored hedgehogs and would have loved to have such a cake when I was a child.

    I'd never really thought about the pitfalls of sticking chocolate fingers into a cake. One day I might manage to make my very own and your tips will come in handy. Thanks for sharing with #WeShouldCocoa.


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