Chocolate owl cake

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 1 hr


Serves 25
A fun chocolate birthday cake decorated with buttons, biscuits and marzipan - bound to be a hit with young children

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal527
  • fat30.6g
  • saturates18.3g
  • carbs57.4g
  • sugars47.3g
  • fibre1.4g
  • protein6.6g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 325g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 325g plain chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 325g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 450g light soft brown sugar
  • 5 large egg
  • 300ml soured cream

For the icing

  • 250g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 350g icing sugar, sieved
  • 50g cocoa, sieved
  • 2 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…


  • 8 giant white chocolate buttons
  • 2 packs milk chocolate buttons
  • 2 chocolate Flake bars
  • 60g yellow marzipan
    Marzipan cake



    One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…

  • 125g pack chocolate finger biscuit
  • candles (optional)
  • writing icing (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 4. Base line a 20cm round and a 18cm square cake tin.

  2. Put the butter and chocolate into a saucepan and stir over a very gentle heat until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

  3. Sieve the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the sugar, breaking up any lumps if necessary. Beat together the eggs and soured cream and pour onto the flour mixture. Add the melted chocolate and mix all well together until smooth.

  4. Divide the mixture equally between the two tins and bake in the oven for about 55 mins - 1 hour. A good way to check that the mixture is equally divided is to put a cocktail stick into each mixture and the levels should be the same.

  5. To make the icing, put the butter into a bowl and beat until creamy. Add the icing sugar and cocoa a little at a time beating well between each addition. Add the milk to mix to a soft spreading consistency.

  6. To assemble, place the round cake on a large wooden board or tray (the cake will need to served on this). Place the round cake tin on the square cake about 12cm from one edge and cut around the edge of the tin. Remove the smaller piece and place at one end of the round cake to represent the ears.

  7. Using the remains of the square cake cut almost in half to give an oblong (for the fence) and a semi circle (for the wings). Place the oblong at the bottom of the owl cake. Slice the semi circle in half horizontally through the middle. Arrange one piece each side of the round cake to make the wings.

  8. Spread the butter icing all over the cake. Cut the flake bars into small pieces and arrange on the wings to represent feathers. Keep the flake crumbs. Arrange milk chocolate buttons over the body. Place chocolate fingers on the bottom cake to make the fence. Using a fork, mark the icing to make the owl’s ears. Use the flake crumbs to make a v-shape between the ears like a 'widow’s peak'. Arrange the white chocolate buttons in two circles to make the eyes and place a milk chocolate button in the centre of each. Use a third of the marzipan to shape a beak and use the remaining marzipan to make two feet.

  9. Place the candles on the ‘fence’ part of the cake. You can also pipe a child’s name or message on the fence using writing icing.

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Comments (57)

luvlybubbly's picture

Have just made the sponges ready for icing tomorrow and the cake has exploded in the oven! Anybody any idea why? I think i can salvage it by covering it in icing but i must have lost about 1/5th of the mixture in the bottom of the oven :-(

alex101's picture

Same I also have an exploded cake in my oven! I'm not sure what it will end up tasting like but about 20% of it all over the inside of the oven. :(

cheflambey's picture

I had the same problem, but it didn't seem to loose much of the cake as it tripled in volume. Did yours turn out ok in the end?

cheflambey's picture

I made this cake for my daughters 5th birthday and it was my first attempt into the realms of birthday cakes and was impressed with the finished product. It is simply chocolate heaven, the sponge is the best chocolate cake i have ever made or tasted. And it had a wow factor when unveiled at the party. All the mums where flocking around me after that.....under the watchful eye of the wife of course!

janelewis26's picture

I wanted a new chocolate cake recipe and used this to make a chocolate sponge cake. I have made it twice now, once with milk chocolate and once with 2 Terry's dark chocolate oranges and both times I had nothing but compliments!!! It's a fantastic recipe!!!

missmap's picture

I made this for my son's first birthday and it looked and tasted great (despite my lack of cake decorating skills). I used Oreo biscuits with the top taken off for the eyes and yellow jelly beans or the beak and claws. I would definitely make this cake again.

simbasurrey's picture

I made this gorgeous cake for my sons second birthday yesterday. Easy to make and everyone was impressed. I sliced both cakes and added the icing and covered the cake in chocolate ganache.

simbasurrey's picture

I made this gorgeous cake for my sons second birthday yesterday. It was so easy to make and everyone was impressed. I sliced both cake and added some of the icing inside and covered the cake with a chocolate ganache. Will make it again.

cookies123's picture

very nice 5stars

konier1's picture

I made the cake without soured cream, just same amount of milk... still turned out most delicious cake ever!! all the family loved it, definitely recommend it as birthday cake for people both young and old! I made it for my brother in law's 25th (or 26th, i can't remember...) and he (and everyone else) loved it! 5 stars!!

last edited: 16:06, 21st Jun, 2013
chloehodges44's picture

Made this for my little boys 1st birthday, he loves owls. Easy to make, delicious and everyone loved it. I used the chocolate buttons to make mine a brown owl with a white and brown speckled chest and I also used more flake so that I covered the wings completely not just the tops. It looked brilliant, would def recommend this recipe!!

jolal9's picture

Just made this cake for my daughter's 18th, she loves owls. It looks great and was the easiest cake I have ever made!

grumpyoldtrout's picture

What a fantastic cake! Very easy and quick to make, and decorating it was surprisingly straightforward. I do like my chocolate cakes, and this has overtaken my previous favourite as my go-to recipe. It looked amazing at my 5 year old's birthday, and it tasted delicious even 3 days after it was made. It was light, was very well-flavoured, had a good close crumb and stayed moist. Brilliant!

babyblade's picture

This cake is HUGE! Made it this eve in preparation for party tomorrow and can't find anywhere to store it! It is however a gorgeous cake. Tried some offcuts & left over icing & they were lovely. Can't wait to see my daughters face tomorrow :-)

mrscoyne's picture

I made this for my daughters 1st birthday. Everyone loved it; not just due to its looks but also the taste. I used vegetable oil instead of butter as i find it gives a lighter, softer texture to cakes. It tasted divine. I opted to mix the white chocolate buttons and milk chocolate buttons to cover my owls body. It was very easy and fun to make.

charlottehenderson's picture

Fantastic cake that I made with my daughter who was in chocolate heaven (some of the buttons did not make it onto the cake). Feedback from the 'eaters' from my daughters class was very appreciative and one little girl said I should get 'class star of the day' for my cake so what more could you ask for.

gill1981's picture

Made this for my 2 year old twins birthday, went down a treat. Really easy to do even for me, an inexperienced cake maker. The end results were fab and it looked great. Tasted amazing too. It did cost a bit for all the ingredients but so worth it. Would definitely recommend making this cake to anyone :-)

rmj1989's picture

I loved making this cake and I was so happy and proud with final results! It looked exactly like the picture above. Cost a fair bit to get all the ingredients but well worth the time and effort. Not only did it look good but it tasted delicious too! The whole process was fun but the decorating was the most enjoyable :)

Zootfruit's picture

IT WORKED!!!! Lovely cake and not too hard to put together. Ok so mine didn't look exactly like the picture but had much praise for it so must be alright!!

ginadicamillo's picture

Hello, I think this owl cake looks awesome any suggestions on how to make a white version of this cake?

Or would there be a way that you could food color white or cream cheese icing brown? While i love chocolate cake, i don't like chocolate incing i prefer cream cheese icing or vanilla!

I love anything with an "owl " theme have been collecting owl figurines etc. etc. since i was 8 years old....


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