A Hedgehog Tipsy Cake 18th Century

Gladys Langley, Acton, 1931


  • A stale oval-shaped sponge or Madeira cake
  • fruit syrup, or wine to soak
  • apricot jam 2 tablespoonfuls
  • powdered chocolate a tablespoonful
  • raisins 2 for the eyes
  • sweet almonds 3 oz.
  • cream Β½ pint
  • orange juice ΒΌ pint
  • or custard Β½ pint
  • castor sugar 3 oz.
  • red currant jelly 2 tablespoonfuls.


  1. The day before this sweet is required cut the cake to represent the body of a hedgehog, fining off one end to represent the head and nose.
  2. Place the hedgehog in the dish in which it is to be served, scoop a piece out of the middle of the back to form a cup.
  3. Fill this with wine or sweetened fruit juice. (If a piece is not cut out it will be difficult to soak the cake thoroughly, but it must of course be replaced.)
  4. Keep on pouring the syrup over and over the cake, which must be soaked through and through (wine may be used instead of fruit juice, and homemade orange wine is very good for this purpose).
  5. Next day brush over with apricot jam and dust over with the powdered chocolate, stick in two raisins for his eyes.
  6. Blanch the almonds, split them lengthwise, in three or four thin strips, and brown them in the oven.
  7. Put one across each raisin eye to improve their appearance.
  8. Stick the almonds into the cake beginning at the back and sloping them backwards so as to present a fine backward sweep when the whole back and sides are covered.
  9. Put 4 oz. orange and lemon juice, and 3 oz. castor sugar in a basin.
  10. Add the half pint of fresh cream and whisk until very thick; this is a Solid Sillabub, and should be piled in the dish round the hedgehog; if cream is not obtainable make some custard. Finish by putting some red currant jelly just in front of the hedgehog to look as if he is eating it.