Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Hedgehog and Rabbit Cocoa-Vanilla Chiffon Cupcakes

A dear childhood friend of mine, Sheryl asked if I could make her two daughters' favourite animals, hedgehog and rabbit into small chiffon cakes. My first thought was the animals were really an interesting and unique choice! That was before the thought of how challenging they were sank in :p This is my first time doing animal cuppies with such long ears and even spikes! Lol :D But it was really a fun bake filled with love, so I really thank her for giving me this opportunity! :) 

We decided on cocoa and vanilla flavours which her daughters like to use their natural food colouring to match the animals' colours. I also steam baked the chiffon cupcakes which seem to help with the moistness.

Ingredients (makes 3-4 cupcakes and 1 6-inch tray)
3 egg yolks
20g sugar
39g vegetable oil
42ml milk
60g cake flour
5g cocoa
Few drops of vanilla essence

Meringue for patterning of eyes and mouth
1 egg white
5g sugar
1/6 tsp cream of tartar

Meringue for cake
4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare a tray of water at the bottom of the oven (I used the lowest rack to bake the cake).
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and milk
3. Next add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Patterning: Scoop out 3 tsp of batter over into a new bowl. Add 1/3 tsp of cake flour and a tiny dip of black colour. Make the meringue for patterning by beating 1 egg white with cream of tartar and sugar till stiff peaks are formed. Gently fold in meringue to black batter. Pipe the eyes and features for the animals. Bake patterns for 1.5 min.
5. Divide the rest of the egg yolk batter into 2 by scooping over 16 tsp (for brown batter) and adding 5g cocoa powder. Mix well. To remaining batter, add a few drops of vanilla essence.
6. Meringue for cake: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
7. Scoop over 32 tbsp meringue for into brown batter. Gently fold in in 2 additions. Fold the remaining meringue into the plain batter likewise (top panel, left and right pictures).

8. Pipe and fill the white batter into the white portion for the hedgehog and fill the rest of the space with brown batter. Pipe the nose with brown batter and fill with white batter for the rabbit.
9. Pour the rest of the cake batter into a 6-inch square try. 
*Remember to gently tap the bowls and tray 3x to remove air bubbles!
10. Bake the cakes in bowls for 15 min at 160°C then 15-20 min at 150°C. Bake the 6-inch tray cake for 18 min at 150°C (also lowest rack, steambaking).
*I have a separate smaller oven for the 6-inch tray. Otherwise, you can also bake the tray at 160°C for 14+ min (or until cake lightly bounces back when you gently touch) together and remove.
11. Invert the bowls once they are removed from oven (middle panel, left pic). Unmould when they are cool (middle panel, right pic).
12. After the layer cake cools, flip over the cake onto a clean baking sheet (bottom panel, left pic).

I used a butter knife to cut out the spikes (bottom panel, right pic) and used melted chocolate to glue on each piece! :p For the rabbit ears and paws, I used a combination of round cookie cutters and knife carving.

Aren't the hedgehogs cute? :)

I was really happy that my friend's daughters enjoyed the cakes! She shared pictures of her happy kids which really made my day! :) We sampled the leftover sheet cake and thought the cake was soft and moist, and the chocolatey, vanilla-milky taste was really nice :)

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House.

With love,


  1. Hi Susanne, this is super cute chiffon cupcakes! you are very creative!

    Thanks for linkup with Little Thumbs Up!

  2. Thanks Tze! :) Appreciate you dropping by and thanks for hosting LTU! :) Cheers