It is without a single doubt that I can say, I am not the world’s best baker. Don’t get me wrong, we do baking with the kids and I can make the odd cupcake but I’m not going to be signing up for The Great British Bake Off any time soon. However, when I saw that a dear friend had posted a photo on her Facebook page of a Pigs in Mud Cake saying she’d love it for her birthday I decided to push the boat out a little bit and give it a go.
I have had a great many questions about how I did it since then so I’ve put together this quick how-to. I can honestly say that I tried to find the easiest way to make this pigs in mud cake; I hope you find it straightforward.
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The cake is your basic chocolate sandwich cake with a buttercream centre. I used 20cm tins and the recipe below is for one half of the sandwich cake, so you would need to do this twice. I personally prefer to make two separate mixtures rather than doubling up. It may take extra time but it’s how my mum taught me to bake and it’s what I know!
- 170g butter
- 170g caster sugar
- 115g self raising flour
- 55g cocoa powder
- 3 medium eggs
You will also need 20 two finger kit kats for the outside of the cake.
For the buttercream:-
- 110g butter (room temp)
- 170g icing sugar
- 55g cocoa powder
- 1-2 tbsp milk
For the ganache:-
- 250ml double cream
- 200g dark chocolate
Butter two tins or use lining paper if you prefer (again I go with what I was taught and use butter)
Beat all the ingredients together adding a drop of milk if the mixture is too thick. The mixture should drop off a spoon when tapped gently. Place mixture into tin and level out. Repeat (as above)
Bake the two tins side by side at 180C/160C fan oven/Gas 4 for 20-25 mins until your sponge springs back when lightly pressed.
Leave to cool. If you wish to speed the process up you can place the cakes in the fridge for an hour or so. If your cake is not completely cooled then the buttercream will just melt and seep out. This happened to me as I was in a rush and hadn’t waited but luckily as you can’t see the cake underneath the decorations I simply scraped the buttercream off and started again.
When the cake has cooled, make up the buttercream using the recipe above. You should have a thick, but well mixed consistency. It needs to be thick in order to hold the kit kats in place around the cake. Mix the ingredients together bar the milk which you can add at the end. Do so sparingly and then spread on top of one on your cakes. Sandwich the other cake on top.
Use the remaining buttercream and spread around the cake. Press your kit kats (don’t break them in half) lightly onto the buttercream. Once you have got your kit kats in place, tie a ribbon around the cake to hold them steady whilst the buttercream sets. It also works as a cute decoration once the cake is finished. Bonus!
Prepare your ganache.
Bring the cream to the boil in a pan and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate, broken into pieces. Stir until the chocolate melts. Removed from the heat the mixture will thicken. I had to do this again as I burnt my first lot (you may start to see a pattern emerging….) waiting for the mixture to thicken whilst on the heat.
Leave it to cool for around 15-20 minutes before pouring into the top of the cake. If you panic like me and think it will all seep through the gaps in the kit kats you might want to do a cement job and use some buttercream to fill any slight gaps you may have.
I was pretty new to working with fondant so I tried to keep it as straightforward as possible. Rather than attempt to colour icing myself I simply bought some supermarket own pink icing and then pretty much made it up as I went along. There are a number of tutorials online if you want to follow some advice.
The only thing I would offer, which I learned as I went, is that you need to warm the fondant between your hands before starting to model. The warmer it is, the more pliable it will be.
To stick my pieces together I used water. You can purchase edible glue but I was unable to find any and in the end, I saved myself some pennies as water worked just as well.
For the tails, I rolled out a thin piece of fondant (as thin as I could work with) and wrapped it around a piece of spaghetti. I set them aside for 5 minutes allowing them to set before I stuck them to my pigs bottoms.
Once you’ve made up your pigs, pop them in the ganache and leave the whole thing to set, preferably overnight.
Hey presto, pigs swimming in mud!
This is the type of cake which I think is quite simple and straightforward to make but which looks very effective. Since making the Pigs in Mud, I have also made a chocolate drizzled strawberry kit kat cake. For this, instead of ganache I used buttercream, sliced some strawberries and layered them in circles finishing with a whole strawberry in the centre. I melted some milk chocolate and white chocolate and drizzled it over the strawberries in a criss cross pattern. To preserve the strawberries as I popped this cake in the fridge overnight.