I love making desserts that have even more sweets inside! This Conversation Heart Piñata Cake is one of my favorites because it combines the classic conversation heart idea with a moist cake, and then there’s even more candy inside. Seriously, how can you not love it?
I love surprises, especially those that involve candy. If you show up at my door, unexpectedly with a box of chocolate truffles or even a bag of Twizzlers, I’m gonna be very excited and give you a great big hug.
Candy has been cause for a lot of happiness in my life. Having owned two candy shops, I used to spend my days scooping out candy for customers, and watching the joy it brought them too.
I’ve had the pleasure of making several piñata cakes for my gig over at Tablespoon.com but had yet to make one to post here on my own blog. I figured it was about time and decided a conversation heart cake filled with conversation heart candies would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.
If you’ve not made a piñata cake yet, this is a great one to start with. It’s pretty easy compared to the other ones I’ve created. The design is simple, and there is no carving involved.
My original plan was to bake my cake mix using three heart shaped pans. I’d simply cut a hole in one cake, stack them, fill the hole with candy, and decorate.
After I made the cake batter, I tore apart my kitchen looking for my heart pans. I have a vague recollection of donating them a few years ago, thinking I may never need them again. That was before blogging!
So, without my heart pans, I had to improvise. I baked a large cake and cut it using heart shaped cookie cutters. It worked great. I ended up with a very tall cake which may have been a bit more challenging to frost, but in the end, I loved it. Cutting into it was quite dramatic.
Conversation Heart Piñata Cake
piñata cake –
1 cake mix and the ingredients listed on package
optional, Wilton Spray and Seal
3-4 cups frosting*
7 ounces Conversation Hearts
pink coloring (or whatever color you want to make your cake)
*I used 1 tube Betty Crocker Icing and 1 1/2 tubs of white frosting that I colored pink. If you use homemade frosting, make enough to cover an 8 inch round layer cake.
red modeling chocolate, fondant or frosting
18 x 13 inch baking pan
non-stick tin foil or parchment paper
5 inch heart cookie cutter
3 inch heart cookie cutter
1 small cardboard cake round
optional: alphabet cutters
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Make cake batter. Line baking sheet with non-stick tin foil or parchment paper. Spread cake batter in an even layer in pan.
Bake 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden brown. The cake should spring back when you press on it in the center. Allow cake to cool completely.
Lift cake out of pan. Use the 5 inch cookie cutter to cut 6 hearts. Use the smaller cutter to cut the centers out of 4 of those hearts. You will have more cake than you need. Cut more small hearts and frost and decorate them, if desired, or just eat the scraps.
This next step is optional. I sprayed my cake layers with Wilton’s Spray and Seal which creates a thin crumb coat. It’s great because you can spray the cut out hearts, sealing the cake that will come in contact with the candy. This will prevent the candy from becoming sticky. The moisture from the cake can really effect the candy inside, and this spray is the perfect solution to that problem.
Cut a small cake board into a heart shape, that is just a bit bigger than your heart cake.Set one full cake on the cake board. Pipe some icing around the edge of the cakes, then stack them on top of each other. Be sure you don’t add too much icing, you don’t want it to ooze into the center of the hearts. Frost and stack all 4 of the cut-out cakes.
Pour conversation heart candies into the center of the cake. Pipe frosting around the edge of the top cut-out cake and set the remaining whole cake on top. Use any remaining icing to fill in between the layers around the outside of the cake.Using a tube of Betty Crocker Icing to do this job was perfect. I used up my entire tube. If you make homemade frosting, I’d suggest doing this step using a piping bag.
Color white frosting using pink coloring, or whatever color you choose. Spread over cake then smooth out.
To get a really smooth cake, I froze mine, then removed it and used a damp paper towel to smooth out the surface of the frosting.
This cake would also look really nice covered in fondant.
To add a phrase to the top of your cake, you can cut letters out of red modeling chocolate or fondant, or pipe them on using red frosting.
Just before serving, cut into the cake and allow the candy to fall out. This cake is so tall that once you cut a slice, you’ll want to cut most of the cake. I cut mine, took pictures, left it on the counter, and came back a few hours later and my cake had sunk. It was a bit of a mess. So, cut it, serve, eat it, enjoy it.
More Conversation Heart Desserts
from Hungry Happenings
If you are looking for other treats or gifts to make for Valentine’s Day,
you might like these other recipes too.