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As the evenings close in and we huddle up around the fire with mugs of hot chocolate, our gardens and hedgerows are becoming a hive of activity as a multitude of creatures feast away in preparation for their winter hibernation. Among them is one of our all-time favourites, the splendidly spiky hedgehog. Some might argue that you shouldn’t play with your food, but once you’ve made these cute little cinnamon buns, we’re sure you won’t be able to resist bringing some to life too!  And we promise they do taste as good as they look.



hedgehog harvest baking

 To make 6-8 hedgehogs, you will need:

  • 270g white bread flour (and extra in case the mixture gets gloopy!)
  • 1/2 level tsp ground mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 25g butter, nice and cold
  • 7g pack Easy Bake yeast
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 125ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Dried fruit for the eyes and nose

Then do this:

  • Lightly grease a baking tray and heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7
  • Sift together the flour, spices and salt

hedgehog harvest baking

  • Rub in the butter using your fingers (wash your hands with cold water first, it makes it easier to make a breadcrumb consistency)
  • Stir in the yeast and 55g of the sugar

hedgehog harvest baking

  • Add the egg and milk to the flour and mix with your hands (this is the sticky part – children love it!)
  • Generously dust the worktop and knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it stretches and you can see light through it

hedgehog harvest baking

  • Cut into 6-8 even-size balls and shape into hedgehogs, then use scissors to snip some spikes

hedgehog harvest baking

  • Use the dried fruit to make eyes and a nose; press them in well

hedgehog harvest baking

  • Pop onto a radiator under a piece of cling film, they should grow by about half their size again
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until nice and golden

hedgehog harvest baking

  • Melt the remaining sugar with a splash of milk and brush over to make your hedgehogs shiny
  • Wait for them to cool, and then eat!

hedgehog harvest baking

Top Tip… not a cinnamon fan? Why not replace the mixed spice with lemon juice and zest, for zingy citrus hedgehogs? Or cocoa for a chocolate treat? Coconut will give them a tropical twist. Try experimenting with your own favourite flavours!

Handy Hedgehog Facts:

  • They love munching on snails, slugs, beetles and worms
  • They’re called hedgehogs because they spend their evenings foraging around tree roots in search of juicy bugs and make little grunting noises in the process.
  • They’re nocturnal, choosing to snooze for the majority of the day
  • Hedgehogs have very poor eyesight and hunt using their super-powered senses of hearing and smell
  • They have a soft, furry tummy, which they protect when they roll themselves into a ball, by surrounding themselves with their spikes
  • And talking of spikes, they have over 5000! Each one drops out after a year, and a new one grows in it’s place.
  • If you’re lucky enough to get close to a hedgehog, you’ll probably see one of the 500 fleas that regularly hitch a ride
  • A Mother hedgehog can have up to eleven babies in one litter but after just a month, they will all go their separate ways
  • When the babies are born, their spikes are soft
  • Don’t ever feed a spiky little friend with bread and milk, it can make them so poorly, they die! Instead, give them a little cat or dog food (but no fishy flavours please!)

With thanks to Hannah Leaning and her children for writing this blog post.


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