February 15, 2013

Hidden Heart Cake

As soon as I saw this recipe for a Peekaboo Pumpkin Pound Cake on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  I figured Valentine's Day would be the perfect time to try my own version with a hidden heart instead of a pumpkin.  For awhile there, I thought I'd have a big Pinterest Fail on my hands, but it ended up working out okay and the end result was cute enough to impress my kids for a special Valentine's dessert last night.  (Of course, anytime they get cake for dessert they are excited, but I thought this treat was particularly cool.)

I'll include a few tips to help you avoid a potential fail in this "do as I say, not as I did" post.

Check out this cute cake...

cake with heart baked inside, valentine dessert

Isn't that cute?  Red velvet cake hearts that are revealed when you slice into a white cake.

Here's what you need:  (NOTE: I'm not a "from scratch" baker, so I used all box mixes and premade frostings, feel free to make your own if you'd like)

* box of white cake mix
* box of red velvet cake mix
* eggs, water, oil, etc. to make cakes
* loaf pan
* heart cookie cutters
* frosting (not pictured)

Here's what to do:

1.  Check the size of your heart cookie cutter and make sure it's small enough to fit into your pan.  (This was my first potential problem when I realized my cutter was too big and I had to run to Target to get a set with a smaller heart.)

2.  Bake your red velvet cakes in the loaf pan.  I made two of them because I had plenty of batter.  Allow your cakes to cool.  

NOTE:  After re-reading the initial recipe (after I was done), I realized they recommended refrigerating the cakes for a little while.  I think this will help the cake hold it's shape better when cut.

3.  Cut your cake into slices and then use the cookie cutter to cut out the heart shape.  

NOTE:  I think thicker slices held their shape better than the thinner ones I did in this photo.  Make your slices about the same thickness as the cookie cutter.

4.  Put a little bit of your white cake batter in the loaf pan, then arrange the heart slices down the center.  Pour the remaining batter along the sides and top of the row of hearts.

NOTE:  Here's where things got a little tricky and I thought the whole thing would be a fail.  Because I was trying to balance the hearts on their points (versus the wider base of the pumpkin in the inspiration recipe), they tended to tip over and the thinner slices started to split down the center.  Then, I had enough white cake batter to cover the hearts in one loaf pan but not the second.   Therefore, I'd definitely recommend making thicker slices of the red velvet and refrigerating them to firm them up.  I'd also either use two boxes of white cake mix or make only one hidden heart cake and use the extra batter to make a smaller cake.

However, I forged ahead and baked the lumpy, half-covered cakes and hoped for the best.

As you can see, they're lumpy because I didn't have quite enough white cake batter for two, but it was nothing a little frosting couldn't cover.

Make your slices with a sharp knife and check out the fun little heart in the middle...

valentines cake, cake with a heart inside

With the changes I made above in the notes, I'd definitely do this again.  You could do all sorts of different variations with shapes and colors using different cookie cutters and/or food coloring.

Sharing our cute cake at:


  1. I'm not on pinterest and haven't ever seen this, what a fun idea! Thanks foe your tips. I think it would work too if you did the hearts upside down and then just have the cake frosted upside down. Maybe solve the narrow base problem that way?

  2. So cute!! I tried to do this last weekend, and I had some failures along the way, too!! Didn't think it was even worth blogging about for me--you live and learn for sure! :) I think yours looks great! I'm a new blogger, and I'd love it if you stopped by sometime: www.harvardhomemaker.com

    Take care! :)

  3. So cute!! I tried to do this last weekend, and I had some failures along the way, too!! Didn't think it was even worth blogging about for me--you live and learn for sure! :) I think yours looks great! I'm a new blogger, and I'd love it if you stopped by sometime: www.harvardhomemaker.com

    Take care! :)

  4. That looks good and fun! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I've done a similar cake with a chocolate star through the middle and the recipe tells you to cut out star shapes, then arrange the stars on a plate, cover with Cling Film and freeze for 30 minutes, no longer or it will be too frozen to bake a second time. This recipe is, however from scratch, it's called a Surprise cake, I have in one my cake and dessert board, feel free to pin it

  6. I think they turned out great, even if a little lumpy! I've seen someone do this with cupcakes, balancing the hearts on their points, but I also saw someone make a loaf cake as you have done. The pan they used was completely straight on all sides (not slimmer at the bottom & more flared at the top like the pans most of us use), and they baked the cake with the hearts UPSIDE DOWN & each slice had a perfectly straight heart. I haven't tried it yet, but I think that's a great idea as well!

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