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Hedgehog Slice

A chocolate, nut and biscuit slice that's been loved for generations in Australia.
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hedgehog slice pieces piled on cake stand.

Hedgehog Slice is a no-bake chocolate treat we’ve loved for generations in Australia.

I’ve tested various recipes, consulted my mum (who made this slice in country bakeries for years) and refined this one to come up with a reliable Hedgehog Slice recipe that delivers that winning chocolate, biscuit and nut combination in a neat little square.

hedgehog slice squares piled up on cake stand.

What is Hedgehog Slice?

Hedgehog Slice is a chocolate slice with a distinctive light and dark pattern through the slice which comes from the combination of chocolate, plain biscuits and nuts.

Its mix of textures, fudge-y chocolate combined with crunchy biscuits and nuts, makes it particularly addictive and more-ish.

Hedgehog Slice is usually iced with chocolate, and sometimes coconut or nuts are sprinkled on the chocolate.

Personally, I love the contrast of the smooth chocolate topping and the mosaic-like appearance of the slice, so have not sprinkled anything at all on top of the chocolate icing here.

The slice seems to have originated in Australia, though its exact origin is unclear.

It was around at least as early as 1937, with a recipe appearing in an Australian newspaper that year.

It shares similarities with the English Tiffin Recipe (upon which the Queen’s Favourite Chocolate Biscuit Cake is based) and the Italian Chocolate Salami (upon which my mum’s Choc Cherry Log is based).

Why is it called Hedgehog Slice?

The spikes of biscuit and rough chopped nuts which can easily be seen throughout the slice are thought to have inspired the name – by resembling the spines of a hedgehog.

Hmm, I think it’s a bit of a jump. But I really can’t think of any other more logical explanation as to how this slice got its name.

And however it happened, the name stuck. And the name is just as distinctive as the look of Chocolate Hedgehog Slice.

The Recipe for Hedgehog Slice

This traditional Hedgehog Slice recipe is based on the old-fashioned versions of the recipe which don’t use condensed milk.

Yes, this is a hedgehog slice without condensed milk.

I did a lot of research and testing to arrive at my own version of the recipe.

I also prefer the taste of the slice when made with eggs and butter. My mum also confirmed that although bakeries she worked in used a pre-mix, it did involve adding margarine or butter rather than condensed milk.

Like most recipes for this slice, it’s a no-bake recipe – but you do cook the mixture (which incorporates the eggs) on the stovetop.

My version of this much-loved recipe is most closely based on one I found in a community cookbook from a rural NSW town and another I found in an Australian newspaper dated 1937.

cook book containing hedgehog slice recipe.
The Binya Cookbook, undated, from community members in the small village of Binya in rural NSW.
hedgehog slice reicpe clipping
Recipe from Mildura’s Sunraysia Daily, 14 June 1937.

Ingredients for Hedgehog Slice

To make no bake Hedgehog Slice, you’ll need:

  • Marie Biscuits (or any other plain, sweet biscuit)
  • butter
  • caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • walnuts
  • egg
  • vanilla extract
  • cocoa
  • desiccated coconut.
ingredients for hedgehog slice.

To ice this slice, which I thoroughly recommend you do, you’ll also need:

  • chocolate
  • a little vegetable oil.

The exact quantities for ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to make Chocolate Hedgehog Slice

Prep

Start by getting the slice tin ready. It should be about 28 x 18xm.

Grease the tin and line with baking paper, leaving excess on the sides to lift out slice once set.

Next, measure out your ingredients and then crush half of the biscuits in a processor or chopper to reach a fine breadcrumb consistency.

Place the crushed biscuits into a large mixing bowl.

Break up the other half of the biscuits into small pieces with your hands. Aim for pieces no larger than the size of a postage stamp.

Place broken up pieces of biscuit into the mixing bowl.

making hedgehog slice 1
making hedgehog slice 2

Melt

Place the sugar and butter into a medium saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the butter melts.

Increase heat and bring mixture to the boil. Remove from heat immediately once the mixture boils.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Next, add the walnuts, vanilla, coconut and cocoa to the saucepan and stir to combine. Add the egg and quickly stir through until combined.

making chocolate hedgehog slice

Return the saucepan to low-medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes.

Mix

Remove saucepan from the heat and pour the mixture into the mixing bowl with the crushed biscuits.

Stir well until the mixture is well combined.

Pour the mixture into slice tin and press into tin evenly using the back of a dessert spoon.

Ice

Place chocolate and vegetable oil into a microwave-proof bowl and place in microwave for 20 second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the chocolate is melted and combined with the oil.

Pour the chocolate over the top of the slice.

icing hedgehog slice

Spread chocolate to edges of the tin and place into fridge to set for at least a few hours.

Once set, remove the slice from the tin and cut into squares using a sharp knife.

Old Fashioned Hedgehog Slice: variations and substitutions

One of the wonderful things about this recipe is that you can come up with so many versions to fit your preferences.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Hedgehog Slice without coconut: ditch the coconut and add a few extra nuts
  • Mix things up with chocolate or ginger biscuits instead of using the traditional plain sweet biscuits like Marie or Arrowroot
  • Make it nut-free: omit the nuts from the recipe entirely or use seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds as a substitute
  • Top it with white chocolate instead of milk or dark chocolate
  • Add some fun with 100s and 1000s sprinkled on top
  • Peppermint Hedgehog Slice: add some peppermint essence instead of vanilla.

Recipe FAQs

Q. Is this the best Hedgehog Slice recipe?

I did a lot of recipe research and testing to come up with a great Hedgehog Slice recipe. I think it’s the best one out there and if you do too, please add a rating and review below.

Q. How long does Hedgehog Slice last in the fridge?

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it should last up to 5 days.

Q. Can Hedgehog Slice be frozen?

Yes. Wrap it well and freeze for up to a few months.

Q. Do you have other old fashioned slice recipes?

Plenty!

People who like this slice recipe often also like Weetbix Marshmallow Slice, Chinese Chews, Peanut Caramel Slice, Vanilla Slice, Caramel Slice and Weetbix Slice.

Q. What are other popular chocolate recipes in the Cooking with Nana Ling collection?

Glad you asked!

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Trifle, Rocky Road, Choc Coconut Slice and Texas Sheet Cake are all great recipes that’ll satisfy your chocolate craving.

hedgehog slice pieces piled on cake stand.

Hedgehog Slice

A chocolate, nut and biscuit slice that's been loved for generations in Australia.
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: hedgehog slice
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 24 pieces
Calories: 172kcal

Equipment

  • 1 slice tin (18 x 28cm approx)

Ingredients

  • 250 grams Marie Biscuits (or any other plain, sweet biscuit)
  • 125 grams butter
  • 125 grams caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons coconut

Icing

  • 230 grams chocolate, milk or dark
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Grease a slice tin and line with baking paper, leaving excess on the sides to lift out slice once set.
  • Crush half of the biscuits in a processor or chopper to reach a fine breadcrumb consistency. Place into a mixing bowl.
  • Break up the other half of the biscuits into small pieces with your hands. Aim for pieces no larger than the size of a postage stamp. Place into the mixing bowl.
  • Place sugar and butter into a medium saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the butter melts. Increase heat and bring mixture to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the walnuts, vanilla, coconut and cocoa to the saucepan and stir to combine. Add the egg and quickly stir through until combined.
  • Return saucepan to low-medium heat and bring to the boil again. Cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the mixing bowl with the crushed biscuits.
  • Stir well until mixture is well combined.
  • Pour mixture into slice tin and press into tin evenly using the back of a dessert spoon.
  • Place chocolate and vegetable oil into a microwave-proof bowl and place in microwave for 20 second bursts, stirring between each burst, until chocolate is melted.
  • Pour chocolate over top of slice.
  • Place into fridge to set for at least a few hours.
  • Once set, remove the slice from the tin and cut into squares using a sharp knife.

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Vitamin C: 0.05mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating




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Kelsie

Sunday 6th of August 2023

Yummo! This recipe was awesome! It was very hard not to devour them all in one go! I love that it used egg instead of condensed milk!! Although next time I would crush some more of the biscuits and also make my broken ones a bit smaller as I seemed to have too many broken biscuit chunks and not quite enough of the pudding mixture to make it all stick together properly so it was a bit crumbly when eating. But this will definitely be saved as a new fave of mine! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Lisa McColl

Wednesday 2nd of August 2023

I was so delighted to find your recipe. This is a recipe that I grew up with and had missed placed the recipe. When I got on the Internet, all I could find was the condensed milk version. Thank you, I have made it and it is just how l remember, yummy 😋

Libby Hakim

Wednesday 2nd of August 2023

Yay! So pleased to hear this, Lisa. My coconut ice recipe is also made in a similar way rather than condensed milk. Enjoy!

Kelsie

Monday 31st of July 2023

Can’t wait to try your recipe! It’s nice to have one that doesn’t contain condensed milk! I have a question, I notice the old recipe asks for the egg to be added BEFORE bringing to the boil. Where as yours says to let cool before adding the egg and then keep on low heat for 3 mins. I wonder when it comes to raw eggs and salmonella would it be safer to follow the original recipe and boil the mixture with the egg already in it so that the egg reaches a higher temperature?

Libby Hakim

Monday 31st of July 2023

Hi Kelsie. Thanks for the question. I've clarified to add that by "cook" again for 3 minutes you do need to bring it to the boil again. Sorry about the confusion! Hope you enjoy it. Happy cooking. Libby :)

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