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Murray the Sheep Cake

Serves 6 +
Prep time: 2 - 3 hrs
Cooking time: 30 - 60 mins

Brought to you by the Great New Zealand Birthday Cake Book



  • 400 g Pams milk chocolate pieces or buttons
  • 200 ml Pams cream
  • Cake tin: 25 cm round
  • Pams milk 320 ml
  • Pams cream of tartar 1½ tsp
  • Pams oil 160 ml
  • Pams eggs, lightly beaten 200 g (4 eggs, approx.)
  • Pams vanilla extract 2 tsp
  • Pams plain flour 360 g
  • Pams cocoa 140 g
  • Pams caster sugar 580 g
  • Pams baking soda 2 tsp
  • Pams baking powder 1 tsp
  • hot water 200 ml
  • 500 g Pams dark chocolate
  • 750 g white marshmallows
  • 2 Moro Gold bars or other type of chocolate bar
  • 2 small chocolate drops
  • 1 tin cutter (made by cutting the top off a standard 400 g tin)
  • 4 skewers
  • Stencil of Murray the Sheep – head
View the method
  1. Download and print the 'Murray the Sheep' stencil. You can find these at the top left of this page, just beneath the Great New Zealand Baking Book logo.
  2. Place a medium-size stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the chocolate and cream to the bowl, and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has just melted and is combined with the cream to a nice glossy finish. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Ganache can be made in advance. Covered in the fridge, it will keep for up to 2 weeks. Before using, bring it back to room temperature then mix well. It should be the consistency of toothpaste – not runny, not solid and just a little sticky. If it is too hard to stir, warm it slightly by giving it short 10-second bursts in the microwave or, alternatively, in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. If it is too runny, leave it to cool in the fridge.
  4. To Make The Head: Trace the head stencil onto baking paper. Instead of cutting it out, lie it flat on a baking tray. Melt milk chocolate in a double boiler or microwave and spoon it into the middle of the stencil. Use your spoon to gently push the melted chocolate out to the edges of the stencil shape. Refrigerate the chocolate shape until set.
  5. To bake the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C on standard bake (160°C on fan bake, but avoid using fan bake as it causes excessive peaking during baking). Prepare cake tin by spraying liberally with oil spray.
  6. Place milk and cream of tartar in a small glass, stir and set aside for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, place oil, eggs and vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
  7. Into a large mixing bowl, sift flour, cocoa, caster sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
  8. Scrape all of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and stir, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Using a hand mixer, mix to combine, then slowly add hot water and mix well until you have a smooth batter.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, checking the cake regularly during the last quarter of cooking time, or until a cake skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
  10. Cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cool, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container if you plan to decorate it the following day, or wrap it in tinfoil, followed by plastic wrap and then freeze it.
  11. If you know your baking isn’t cooked through but it’s looking crusty on top, carefully place a sheet of tinfoil on top of the cake. This will stop it from getting any darker on top but will allow the cake to continue cooking until it’s fully done.
  12. Carefully holding the tin cutter, place the tin in the centre of the cake’s dome and push it down all the way through the cake to punch out the middle. Discard the cake centre. Do not level the cake.
  13. Cover the cake with ganache to a smooth finish.
  14. Fill the centre hole with marshmallows and then press marshmallows into the ganache, completely covering the cake.
  15. Once the chocolate head has set hard, remove it from the fridge and carefully peel it back from the baking paper. Flip it over so that the flat side faces upwards. Secure the head to the top of the cake with a little ganache.
  16. To Make The Eyes: Cut 1 marshmallow in half horizontally using scissors, and attach the 2 sticky sides to the chocolate face. Attach chocolate drops to the eyes with a little ganache.
  17. To Make The Legs: Cut each Moro Gold bar in half, push skewers into the cut ends, then push the skewers into the side of the cake.
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