Surprise your loved ones this Valentine’s Day or make any day a little extra special with this Hidden Heart Cake. Start with a box cake mix and end up with this loaf cake topped with a buttery, powdered sugar glaze.
Heart Surprise Cake
Have you ever tried making a hidden heart cake? Today we’re taking a classic boxed cake mix, your favorite brand and traditional cake ingredients from the back of the box and we’re turning it into a loaf cake with a hidden surprise inside. This easy cake idea is fun for not only for Valentine’s Day, but for birthdays and making any day of the year just a little more special.
Valentine’s Day Cake Idea
If you’re looking for a cute Valentine’s Day cake idea, this hidden heart cake is just the fun surprise.
To make this cake you’ll whip up the batter to a box cake mix, following the directions on the back of the box. (Can you use a from-scratch cake mix? Yes, just be sure it is a cake mix that would fill a 9×13 pan or two round 9″ cake pans.)
Separate out 1 1/2 cups of batter and color it to the color you’d like. Pink, purple, blue, yellow…your choice! Then pour the colored batter into a greased and floured 8″ square cake pan. Bake the colored batter for about 12 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it. Allow the cake to cool and then use a 2″ heart shaped cookie cutter to cut as many hearts as you can from the colored cake.
One of the fun parts of this cake? You can eat the scraps from that pink cake. My kids love it when they get a few cake bites during baking!
After you have the hearts baked, cut out and cooled, it’s time to put together the cake. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. This will help the cake come out cleanly. Pour half of the white batter into the loaf pan. Then stand the hearts side-by-side down the center of the pan. Pour the rest of the of the white cake batter over the hearts carefully. The white batter will bake around the pink hearts, hiding them inside.
And by the way…wouldn’t this make a cute gender reveal cake? You could make the hearts blue instead of pink and surprise people with the news of a baby boy!
Powdered Sugar Frosting
You can eat the cake plain if you’d like, but why not frost it with a melt in your mouth, buttery, powdered sugar frosting? You can make half a recipe if you’d just like a little layer. Tint the frosting pink or whatever color your loved one likes. We like to just leave it plain white so the heart in the center stands out.
Tools to Make This Cake
- Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
- Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
- 8×8 Cake Pan: For small cakes and casseroles.
- Heart Cookie Cutter: 2” in size, perfect for small hearts!
- 9×5 Loaf Pan: These are the pans I use for quick breads, yeast breads, fried mush and more!
Hidden Heart Cake
- 1 box white cake mix (plus ingredients on the back of the box to prepare the cake)
- Food coloring of choice
For the Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter (very soft)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the cake mix batter according to the box directions.
- Scoop out 1 ½ cups of batter and pour it into a small bowl. Add your food coloring to the batter to achieve the color you would like and mix well. You could also add some extract if you would like to flavor the heart.
- Pour the colored batter into a greased and floured 8 inch square pan and bake for about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Using a 2" heart cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes and set them aside.
- Pour half of the remaining white batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Place the colored hearts into the pan vertically, along the center. Pour the remaining batter over the top.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Frosting:
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar and start with 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix well, until all of the sugar lumps are gone. Add more milk if you would like a thinner consistency.
- Spread over the top of your cooled cake, slice and enjoy!