Chocolate owl cake

Chocolate owl cake

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(40 ratings)

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 eggs
  • 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
    White chocolate squares, stacked

    White chocolate

    why-t chok-lit

    To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…

  • 2 packs milk chocolate buttons
    Milk chocolate squares

    Milk chocolate

    mill-k chok-lit

    Milk chocolate is classically made from dark chocolate of low cocoa solid content and a higher…

  • 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, questions and tips

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trinaz's picture
29th Aug, 2015
so easy yet looks so professional!!! Everyone was stunned and amazed!!
foxiroxi0's picture
18th Mar, 2015
This was my first ever attempt at a novelty cake, raising money for 'secret world' animal charity at my library. My was it a terrific success ! It was quite easy to assemble and not only did it look brilliant but tasted wonderful thinking of ways to adapt this cake into different shapes. Highly recommend.
3rd Mar, 2015
Brilliant cake - moist and chocolatey without being sickly. I didn't have the right size square tin (a bit bigger) but didn't matter, and the cocktail stick idea to get the levels the same is a good one - they were perfect, Lots of compliments, will be making it again as different animals for future birthdays (better get planning and practicing soon). If i do another owl though I'll make a fimo beak and feet as I'm not a marzipan fan so I won't be using all that leftover marzipan for anything else. Yum, thanks gf!
3rd Feb, 2015
This turned out lovely. You do need deepcake tins. I don't have a deep square one so just used a bit bigger one and hoped it didn't rise over the top. I didn't have room for the wings on my cake board so just put the flake on the side of the round cake. I used half milk and half dark choc, and jelly beans for the beak and feet. Lots of compliment.. Yum yum
14th Oct, 2014
Could someone let me know what size board I'll need to use?
27th Aug, 2014
Have made this a few times and it is now my go-to choc cake recipe. Tho have always halved the quantities for two 20cm cakes sandwiched, used this icing recipe but done my own decorations. The cake recipe is easy and foolproof. Following recipe exactly it is rich moist and fudgy...fabulous. Have also used caster sugar and flora baking block....light moist and still fabulous. Used milk choc by mistake once...little less choccy but yep, still fab!!! Made it with my three young kids. Yep you guessed..still fab! Oh and always use sainsburys basics flour, chocolate and butter. Yummy, scrummy, love it!
25th Jun, 2014
I made this cake for my daughters 7th birthday and everyone was impressed by the look and taste of it, even my daughter!
25th Jun, 2014
I made this cake for my daughters 7th birthday and she loved it, and the rest of the family did aswell
23rd May, 2014
I made this for my nephew a while ago and it is lovely. I made it a couple of days in advance and it was still really nice on the day.
23rd Mar, 2014
I used the chocolate cake from this recipe for my daughter's birthday cake and it is a real winner. I used half milk and half dark chocolate as it was for little ones and it was delicious. Lovely and moist and still really fresh 4 days later. This is definitely going to be my chocolate cake recipe of choice from now on!


sue b
24th Jan, 2014
Reading the cutting instructions have left me worried. Not sure how you get the semi circle bit for the wings. Anyone help ?
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Jan, 2014
Hi Sue, thanks for getting in touch. Once you have cut the circle out from the square cake you make the wings from the leftovers. Once you have the pieces in front of you it may make more sense, as it can be hard to visualise without them there. Let us know if you're still having issues by getting in touch at Good luck!BBC Good Food team


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