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)

Zootfruit's picture

My 7 year old wants me to make this for her birthday and even tho I'm an experienced baker I'm quite nervous about assembling it as I've never done a novelty cake before!! Wish me luck and ill come back and rate it when I've made it!!

katie_m's picture

I've never made a novelty cake like this before and it went brilliantly - cake is delicious and the step-by-step guide got me through without any problems. Very cute cake!

mbruce-smith's picture

i think i slightly undercooked mine as the cake didnt come out of the tins too well but i managed to fix it and it turned out very well.The cake looks incredible and tastes so moist! A great celebration cake but need enough time!

schizopear's picture

not just brilliant in appearance but delicious too!

nemracsenrab's picture

We had this cake made for us at school - a great laugh as well as a really nice cake. I'm not a great chocolate cake person but I was suitably impressed! :)

doreese33's picture

I made this for my daughters birthday and was so pleased at how it turned out,the chocolate sponge cake is the most delicious we have ever tasted and the owl design had jaws dropping !!!WoW!!!

beckyemilyrayner's picture

really easy to make, looks great and is one of the nicest chocolate cakes ive ever made !!

emmi_pemi100's picture

Made it for my sister's 21st, absolutely wonderful! Looks amazing and tastes it too!

hilaryksharpe's picture

I made this for my sons 1st birthday and it looked and tasted great. I added orange zest to the sponge mix and oj to the icing instead of milk and it tasted lovely and moist even after several days. I used low fat creme fraiche instead of sour cream and low fat marg which worked absolutely fine and made me feel a bit better about all the sweets which didn't quite make it onto the cake!

ge0jane's picture

This is a really good recipe. Now, I've never made a novelty cake before and it was thankfully surprisingly easy to construct. The sponge was moist and the buttercream was delicious. The only downside was it was almost too cute to eat! I made this for a friend's (25th!!) birthday and she was delighted. Would make again without hesitation.

schizopear's picture

i will be making this cake to celebrate my love of owls, and cake! looks awesome!

ollyeyes's picture

will be baking this one love owls.

orna1977's picture

The design is amazing. Is the actual chocolate cake any good?

rebecca_hughes1's picture

Cant wait to try this! The kids will love it hopefully.

robbieboy's picture

What a fun way to enjoy owls!

england2012's picture

i can't wait to try this. My mother in law is turning 80 years and loves owls. She will just love it.

winnietherat's picture

Not really into baking cakes but I'm tempted by this one. He looks great!


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