Cut into this pretty pink cake to reveal a strawberry cheesecake heart hiding inside a rich and decadent chocolate cake. This Strawberry Cheesecake Heart Surprise Cake will make Valentine's Day really sweet.
How do you get a cheesecake filling shaped like a heart inside a cake?
You use a Wilton Tasty-Fill Heart Pan (affiliate). It's shaped so the cake bakes with a heart shaped hole in the middle. You can fill the cake with frosting, mousse, or in this case, a no-bake strawberry cheesecake filling.
I've had my Tasty-Fill pan sitting in a cupboard for several years now and can't believe it took me so long to finally give it a try. I've made a lot of surprise cakes with shapes hiding inside but never one quite like this. Those other surprise cakes require a double baking, where you first make a cake to cut into the shape you want to hide, then you bake a cake around that shape. The process is very time consuming but the results are spectacular.
To make this cake you only bake once which saves a lot of time but when you cut into it the results are just as spectacular.
When you use the Tasty-Fill pans, you end up with two cake layers that have grooves cut into the tops which you fill before stacking the two layers together. Then you simply frost and decorate.
For this cake I chose to frost the exterior with the same strawberry cheesecake filling then to make the cake really decadent, I drizzled on some chocolate ganache.
This cake with a surprise hiding inside, is not any more challenging to make than a traditional layer cake and you can decorate the outside however you like. The recipe makes enough filling to cover the cake, so if you don't plan to use it on the outside of the cake, cut the recipe by ⅓rd.
Watch this video to see how you can use the pan to make this beautiful cake.
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So, what do you think? Isn't this easier than baking a cake inside a cake?
Plus, for those of you who love frosting, this cake has frosting inside and out. In this case, it's a lusciously creamy cheesecake filling that is flavored with strawberries from a can of pie filling. When I went to the store, being it's winter, the fresh strawberries looked pale pink not red. So instead of using fresh strawberries, I decided to use the pie filling. I knew the strawberries would be flavorful and the gel would add a nice sweetness.
Be sure to strain your strawberry pie filling so that you just get the strawberries and a bit of gel to add to the cheesecake filling. I tried using it all and the frosting was too soft. You will have some filing left over. You'll use 2 tablespoons of it in the chocolate glaze, but you'll have more leftover. I'm sure you'll find a good use for it.
You can find items needed to make this cake on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales).
- 15.25 ounce dark chocolate cake mix
- 1 package chocolate pudding mix
- 1 packet Dream Whip Whipped Topping powder
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ cup oil
- 1 can strawberry pie filling
- 3 - 8 ounce blocks cream cheese softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 8 ounces frozen whipped topping thawed
- optional pink food coloring
- 8 ounces finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chips
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream plus one more tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons of the strawberry pie filling gel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray the Wilton Tasty-Fill Heart Pan with baking spray.
Combine the cake mix, pudding, whipped topping, sour cream, milk, eggs, and oil in a large mixing bowl.
Beat, using an electric mixer, on low speed for 30 seconds then medium speed for 1 ½ minutes.
Equally divide batter among the two cake pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool in pans for 15 minutes.
Then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Pop cakes in freezer for 30-60 minutes to firm up before filling.
Pour the strawberry pie filling into a fine mesh sieve.
Allow the gel to drain away from the strawberries.
Place the softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium high speed until fluffy.
Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat until well combined.
Add the strawberries and beat until the strawberries become small pieces.
Then add the whipped topping and beat just until combined.
If desired, stir in some pink food coloring to intensify the color.
Pour some of the filling into a disposable pastry bag or a large zip top bag.
Remove cakes from freezer, place the cake with the single groove on an 8 inch cake board.
Pipe some filling into the groove in the cake then spread it into an even layer making sure you don't cover the circle of cake in the center.
Fill the other cake then flip that cake upside down onto the bottom layer.
Frost the exterior of the cake using the remaining strawberry cheesecake filling.
Combine the chocolate, ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, and strawberry pie filling in a small glass bowl.
Heat on high power in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Remove and stir.
Heat for another 20 seconds, then let sit in microwave for 2 minutes.
Remove and stir.
Stir in the remaining tablespoon of cream until smooth and glossy.
Pour over the cake allowing drips to form.
If you are looking for other treats or gifts to make for Valentine's Day,
you might like these other recipes too.
If you want to try your hand at making other surprise cakes here are some ideas.
Birthday Reveal Cake • Marry Me? Reveal Cake,
I Love You Reveal Cake • Polka Dot Reveal Semifreddo,
St. Patrick’s Day Reveal Cake • 4th of July Reveal Cake,
Rainbow Semifreddo • Christmas Ornament Reveal Cake
- Homemade Chocolate Easter Bunnies - April 3, 2023
- Mini Basketball Cheeseburgers - February 15, 2023
- Snowman Popcorn Bucket - December 24, 2022
Instead of using the canned strawberry pie filling can I use fresh strawberries by making a strawberry compote? Then drain like recipe says?
I'm sure the drained strawberries could work well for the filling but you'd probably have to adjust the chocolate ganache recipe. Strawberry pie filling has a very thick gel which I used to add a hint of strawberry flavor to the chocolate ganache. If you can thicken the liquid in your compote using corn starch, that might help. Otherwise, you could add a little extra chocolate if needed so the ganache won't be too thin.
Hi, just wondering if this can be done a couple days in advance and still have the heart hold up ?
Definitely! Just be sure to store the cake in the refrigerator.
What a surprise to find cheesecake inside this beautiful cake!
Don't you just love surprises like that???
Karen @ Sugartown Sweets
Every time I have seen one of your surprise cakes, I thought, I'm gonna make that. But I never have! Now, seeing how much easier they would be to make, plus the yummy recipe you have shared, I think I really will make one this time! It's a gorgeous cake. 🙂
I hope you give this cake a try. It's by far the easiest surprise inside cake I've ever made. Plus adding the cheesecake filling inside makes it one of the tastiest too.