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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alicetranter's picture
10th Mar, 2014
Made this for my sister's 15th birthday and she loved it! The whole family gobbled it within 2 days. A really moist fudgy sponge however icing was quite sweet. Assembling and decoration were easy, overall 5 star birthday cake!
5th Mar, 2014
Made this for my grandson's first birthday. I would recommend using a deep round tin and a deep square tin as it rises considerably. Mine needed an extra 10/15 mins in the oven. Was great fun to make and decorate and looked fabulous. I found it far too rich for my tastes but my grandson certainly enjoyed his very first taste of chocolate! His mum said that it was chocolatey enough to last him until his 2nd birthday! Everyone else loved it.
8th Feb, 2014
Made this for my daughter's second birthday and it was fantastic! Beautiful moist chocolate cake, and so easy to decorate! Five stars.
29th Nov, 2013
Does anyone know if it's ok to make this the night before, or best to make on the day? Am preparing to make for my daughters 1st birthday tomorrow!
Frantic Flapjack
26th Nov, 2013
I made this for my son's 21st birthday and it was a great success. It turned out perfectly and looked very cute. I was really impressed with this recipe as not only does it look good but tastes great too. I would love to see more novelty cakes like this on this site. Tried to give it 5 stars but can't get it to work :(
21st Nov, 2013
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 :-(
26th Dec, 2013
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
12th Dec, 2013
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
20th Nov, 2013
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!
10th Nov, 2013
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!!!


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