Having spent much of your time indoors recently, you may have found yourself taking up baking as a hobby.
From cakes to biscuits to pies - there's plenty of simple dishes that you can bake at home. Why not try out something just a little more advanced this time? Not only will your kids absolutely love this spiky hedgehog chocolate cake, but it's also perfect for a birthday, or even just a special treat. Take a look!
For the Cake: 150g of butter, 150g of milk chocolate (chopped up into small pieces), 150g of plain flour, half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda, half a tsp of baking powder, 200g of muscovado or brown sugar, 2 eggs, 150g of soured cream and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
For the Icing: 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, 2 tbsp of boiling water, 150g of butter, 300g of icing sugar, 8 x 32g flake bars, and 3 Malteser balls.
1) Preheat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan, then grease and line two 20cm cake tins with butter and baking paper.
2) Melt together your butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, and stir gently until melted and fully combined. Then, remove from heat, and place aside.
3) Place your flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and sugar into a large bowl - and mix well.
4) Use another bowl to beat together your eggs, soured cream, and vanilla extract.
5) Combine the two mixtures in the bowl with the flour, and mix together well until smooth.
6) Split your cake batter evenly between the two cake tins, and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes on the same shelf.
(Note: Before removing the cakes from the oven, insert a knife or a skewer into the center of each one. If they don't come out clean, quickly put both back in for a few more minutes.)
7) Allow both cakes to cool completely and then remove them from their tins.
8) Now, it's icing time! Beat together the butter and icing sugar, until soft and smooth.
9) Mix the cocoa powder and water together until a paste is formed, and then add this to the butter mixture - stirring until fully combined.
10) Sandwich your cakes together with your buttercream icing, and then slice off a small section of both sides of the cake - creating an almost squared cake with a rounded front and back.
11) Use your knife to carve the front of the cake into a pointy, triangular shape - this will become your hedgehog's nose.
12) Spread some icing on the top of the cake, and then use the pieces that you cut off earlier to stack this on top - rounded edges upwards. This will add some height and shape to your hedgehog.
13) When you're satisfied with your hedgehog's shape, carefully cover the entire cake in the delicious chocolate icing, and then carefully move this onto a cake board.
14) Gently break or cut your flakes into pieces of different lengths, and begin inserting them around the cake - angled slightly backwards.
(Tip: The appearance of your chocolate hedgehog cake will look far better if you use shorter spikes towards the front of the cake, and longer ones towards the back).
15) Place a Malteser ball onto the tip of the hedgehog's snout, and position the remaining two as a pair of eyes.
16) Allow the icing to set for a short while, and your easy chocolate hedgehog masterpiece is complete! Dig in, and enjoy.
Tips and Recommendations:
1) We'd recommend leaving the cake overnight before digging in for the best results - the icing will have had enough time to set and harden slightly, making for a clean and easy slice and delicious texture.
2) Your tasty cake can be kept out at room temperature for 2-3 days, or stored in the fridge if you're worried that your kitchen is a little too warm/humid for the icing to survive.
Additionally, you could even freeze the cake - but be wary that the freezing/defrosting process may ruin some of your decorations as things tend to expand or change shape slightly in the freezer.
3) To prevent your leftover cake from getting dry once it's been sliced, you can either cover the area with cling film or quickly whip up and spread some additional buttercream icing on the area to lock in moisture.
4) Kids aged over one or two years old may enjoy the soft sponge of this hedgehog cake, but we'll leave it up to you when it comes to eating the flake spikes. Either way, with parental supervision, kids aged four and over will have a fantastic time creating this special treat with you!
5) If you're looking to make a vegan/dairy-free alternative, try out the recipe above with vegan butter, vegan chocolate, and either unsweetened apple sauce or soy yoghurt as an egg replacement.
6) You don't have to use Maltesers for your hedgehog's nose and eyes if you don't want to. There are plenty of substitutes for decoration such as chocolate buttons, chocolate chips, or even smarties. If you don't want to decorate with flakes, you could even use chocolate fingers or buttons (pointing up) instead.
Rachel grew up in Switzerland and currently lives in north-west London. She is an avid reader, writer, and a real foodie and loves discovering new hotspots and trendy places to go in the city. She also enjoys planning days out for her family, she especially loves taking her little cousins swimming and to the park. When she has some free time she loves going to concerts, baking, or visiting her family at their home in Essex. She can sometimes be found travelling a bit further than Essex and loves meticulously planning and researching a trip before heading off to explore new places in Europe and further afield.