This hedgehog cheese ball is perfect for a boy's baby shower, a woodland themed first birthday party, church potlucks or casual parties with friends or colleagues. With only 35 minutes of prep time, plus some chilling time, it's super easy to make!
Wondering what ingredients you need to make your own hedgehog cheese ball? Fortunately, you don't need anything fancy or hard to find! Let's talk about the key ingredients.
- Cream Cheese: This soft cheese holds everything together and gives the cheese ball its creamy texture. Make sure it's at room temperature before you start.
- Cheddar Cheese: We like to use extra sharp cheddar because of its wonderful flavor, but any semi-soft cheese will work here.
- Spices: This recipe needs a lot of spices because we start by making a homemade French onion soup mix.
- Nuts: I use a mixture of pecan halves and walnut pieces to give the hedghog its signature prickly appearance. Feel free to use any type of nuts you like.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Spicy Version: Add more cayenne.
- Nut Free: Use pretzel sticks instead of the nuts.
- Healthier Version: Use low fat cream cheese or the American version of Neufchâtel cheese. Serve it with carrots and celery instead of crackers and bread.
How to Make Hedgehog Cheese Ball
- Grind the spices for the homemade onion soup mix together. (image 1)
- Beat together the cream cheese and grated cheddar until fluffy and smooth. (image 2)
- Add all the other ingredients, including the onion soup mix to taste. Scrape down the sides and mix until well blended. (image 3)
- Chill the mixture for 2 hours. (image 4)
- Place the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a ball. Shape part of the ball into a point to make the hedgehog's body. (image 5)
- Unwrap the hedgehog and put it on a serving board or plate. Stick rows of pecans and walnuts on its back to create spines, then add raisins for the eyes and nose. Serve with crackers and enjoy! (image 6)
Cheese balls are made from a mixture of a soft cheese, such as cream cheese, with a semi-hard or semi-soft cheese, like extra sharp cheddar. This creamy combination of cheeses is then seasoned with a variety of spices, condiments, or other flavorings.
This happened because you probably used a hard cheese (like Parmesan) instead of a semi-hard or semi-soft cheese (like cheddar). The hard cheese can't blend well into the soft cheese, meaning that it won't hold together properly.
It should last for a week in the fridge. Make sure to keep it tightly covered with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to seal out fridge odors and to keep it fresh.
Yes, cheese balls freeze very well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap in aluminum foil. Seal it inside a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost the it in the fridge overnight before serving.
Crumble up a leftovers and sprinkle over hot pasta. Stir until melted and combined. Cut into cubes and toss with a green salad. Spread on bread and make a sandwich. Melt it in a saucepan and serve as a warm, cheesy dip. Add to omelettes or frittatas. Stuff chicken breasts or pork tenderloin with the cheese mixture. Serve with crudités.
Want to serve this hedgehog for a first birthday party or baby shower? The guests will love this adorable snack if you serve it on a slice of wood or cutting board. Decorate it with rosemary sprigs, frosted cranberries, and a cute sign.
If you're looking for other appetizer recipes, make sure to try our recipes for Bisquick sausage balls, sardine salad, British sausage rolls, and Hawaiian meatballs. You'll also love these pigs in a blanket rolls!
- Make your own soup mix. It's a lot tastier and healthier than the store bought packet!
- Grate the cheddar yourself. The pre-grated kind will make the cheese ball gritty.
- Keep your hands clean by shaping the mixture when it's wrapped in plastic wrap, then peeling it off when you're done.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week, or freeze them for up to 1 month.
Other Appetizer Recipes
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Woodland Hedgehog Cheese Ball
For the Homemade Onion Soup Mix (⅓ cup, 42g)
- ¼ cup dried minced onion
- 1 ¼ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon celery salt
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
For the Cheese Ball
For the Decoration
- 1 cup pecan halves
- ⅓ cup walnut pieces
- 2 dried black beans for the eyes
- 1 raisin for the nose
- Few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Crackers of your choice
Making the Onion Soup Mix
- Stir together all the spices in a small bowl until well combined.
- In a few batches, grind the spices a little smaller using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Making the Cheese Ball
- Beat the cream cheese and cheddar with a hand-held electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and additional spices. Add the homemade onion soup mix to taste.
- Blend until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides for an even mix.
- Chill the cheese mixture in the fridge for about 2 hours to firm up the mixture. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days at this point if you want to make it ahead.
Shaping & Decorating
- Once the mixture has chilled enough to handle, place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the wrap around the cheese, then shape it into a smooth ball. Use your hands to shape one end into a point to make the hedgehog's head.
- Unwrap the hedgehog and place him on the serving board. Make any adjustments to the shape, smoothing holes or creases with the back of a spoon.
- Once you're satisfied with the hedgehog's shape, stick on the two dried beans for eyes and the raisin for a nose. Decorate the hedgehog's back with rows of pecan halves and walnut pieces to look like spines.
- Curl a few sprigs of fresh rosemary around the hedgehog to look like pine branches in a forest. Serve with crackers.
- Make your own soup mix. The store bought kind contains preservatives and extra salt.
- Grate your own cheese. The pre-grated kind will have a gritty texture in the cheese ball.
- Wrap the mixture in plastic wrap as you're shaping it to keep your hands clean, then peel it off when you're done.
- Want this spicy? Add additional cayenne pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week, or freeze them.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.