Pukeko Cake | Chocolate Mud Cake w/ Dark Chocolate Ganache

The hubby’s birthday was coming up, so as usual, I asked him what sort of cake he would like this year. As a joke, he said he wanted a pukeko cake. Up to this point,  we had always had store bought cakes. I had only ever dabbled in baking and decorating cupcakes, but I’m always up for a challenge and the competitor inside me was thinking “I’ll show him!!”

The hubby has always been a chocolate lover, so I started my search for the perfect recipe. This Chocolate Mud Cake by Chelsea Sugar was one of the first recipes that came up on google. It had great reviews and the picture looked delicious. It was definitely an easy recipe for the beginner baker and uses everyday ingredients. The cake was rich, moist and decadent – perfect for the chocolate lover! (Recipe below)

Instead of buying a new ball-shaped tin, I baked the cake in a round stainless steel mixing bowl. I layered the cake once, filled with about 1/4 of the chocolate ganache and then covered the entire cake with the remainder of the chocolate ganache.

I originally wanted to use the ball-shaped cake as the body of the Pukeko bird, but as there was a small dip on the top of my cake, I decided to use that as a nest instead. This meant, I had to attempt to make my very first fondant figurine to sit on top of the cake (I will post tutorial for this in another post). The cake was then covered and decorated with fondant, and the chocolate eggs and pocky sticks were shop bought. The hubby absolutely loved the end result!

Chocolate Mud Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing (By Chelsea Sugar)

Prep time: 15 minutes     Baking time: 1 hour



  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 250g Dark Chocolate (broken or roughly chopped)
  • 1 Cup Hot Strong Coffee
  • 2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)


  • 400g Dark Chocolate (broken or roughly chopped)
  • 1 Cup Cream


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a 9″ (23cm) tin.
  2. Mix lemon juice and milk to sour.
  3. Place oil, chocolate and coffee in a microwave bowl and heat gently (stirring often) until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add eggs and soured milk to cooled chocolate mixture and combine thoroughly.
  6. Whisk wet ingredients in with dry ingredients until well combined.
  7. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until when tested, skewer comes up with fudgy crumbs (not completely clean, but not wet).
  8. Cool for 15 minutes in tin, then turn out and cool completely on wire rack.

To make the Chocolate Ganache: Combine chocolate and cream in a microwave bowl and heat and stir in 20 second intervals until cream is just hot to touch and chocolate look melted. Stir with a whisk until smooth (if you can see big bits, microwave a further 10 seconds). Set aside, and cover with gladwrap when cool. I find you get the best spreadable consistency if you leave at room temperature overnight or for at least 4 hours.



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