The festive season has started, and chances are you will be rocking your inner chef way more often than anyone was ready for. With quarantine outside the window, an endless flow of cooking shows on TV, and a Yankee candle in warm apple pie slowly smoldering, a cake may come to your mind.
Now, bear with me, ‘cause this is where we get serious. If you find yourself wanting to make a hedgehog cake, by any chance, please give yourself some time and do whatever you need to do to think of another delicacy. Because trust me, there’s a proper reason why hedgehog cakes are, hands-down, the meme of our times.
This time, Bored Panda has compiled you a list full of attempted hedgehog cakes that are tributes to human persistence, confidence, and expectations. But as we know very well, many expectations may not turn into reality. And chocolatey hedgehog heads are a rare example where it happens to be a rule.
Bored Panda talked to Lily Vanilli, a renowned cake designer and book author, about the hedgehog cake trend, which Lily is totally into. “I wanna just start off by saying I LOVED the crazy hedgehog cakes from this series. One of the big trends that I loved seeing emerge from this year and lockdown was a huge uplift in people tackling more creative cakes at home and making weird and wonderful creations.”
Lily said she loves accounts like @gr8kakes and @treatsfortrolls that celebrate creative freedom with cake art and design. “There have been so many cool, freaky cakes this year that don’t conform to traditional standards or techniques, which I love to see. Don't let anyone judge your cake making! Just do it your way,” said the cake artist.
When it comes to the famous hedgehog cake, Lily agreed it’s a tricky one. “It's more sculptural than traditional cake making.” Lily also said that she doesn’t want to discourage anyone from making their own rules and style in baking since there’s no right or wrong way.
Having said that, she suggested getting the shape of the cake even when you’re carving the body. Plus, making sure the buttercream and facial features are formed evenly helps a lot as well.
“Then it's really just having lots of patience when you add the spines, so they're evenly spaced. Toasted almond flakes work well, or you could pipe them on with darker chocolate icing.”
If you google hedgehog cake, you’ll be surprised to realize that half of the 23,200,000 results represent the failed versions of this glorious delicacy. Surfing around the internet, hedgehog cake fails have become a meme on their own by showing how expectations didn’t meet reality.
Recently, the meme “On a scale of hedgehog cake, how are you feeling today?” resurfaced on social media from Facebook to Reddit, encompassing all the emotions we’ve been feeling lately in hedgehog cake terms.
Part of the joke comes from the fact that many people initially see nothing too hard about making a nice hedgehog cake on their own. And it isn’t. According to BBC Good Food, all it takes is 9 steps, 9 main ingredients, and 8 ingredients for the icing. But this is where it gets tricky—the whole charm of the chocolatey hedgehog head is the icing that forms spikes, curious eyes, and a cute little nose. Well, this is the point where your cake goes against the plan.
The hedgehog cake meme was also inspired by the SNL skit where Eddie Murphy was competing in SNL’s Holiday Baking Championship skit. The bakers were asked to bake cakes based on holiday childhood memories.
Eddie, who played Mitch, explained that one of his favorite memories was playing video games on Christmas, hence the Sonic the Hedgehog cake.
The absurdity reached the boiling point when everyone except him realized how bad his hedgehog cake really looked. In fact, it even opened a portal to hell. After being posted back on December 21, 2019, the YouTube video amassed 6.5 million views.
Note: this post originally had 72 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.