Tender, fluffy vanilla cake has much more to offer once you cut a slice and find it surrounds a cute red heart hidden inside! Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without this adorable and crafty hidden heart vanilla cake! I showed you a quick tutorial on how to make a hidden heart cake on my last segment on Fox, so check that out as well.
Hidden heart cakes, or surprise cakes, are a simple and creative way to add a fun twist to holiday cakes. This is also a unique and thoughtful gift for a friend or loved one. And the effect is much easier than you may think. This doubles as a craft for kids as well and really wows them!
The biggest question I received via email after my segment was, Can you use box cake mix to make hidden heart or surprise cakes? Absolutely! This is a fun cake that can be made from box mix as well. The only difference is that you would want to make one mix as your outer vanilla cake and make a second box mix, like red velvet, for the heart cutouts. Then use any leftover cake from the heart cutouts for cake balls or cake pops!
How To Make a Hidden Heart Vanilla Cake
With only a few tweaks and a couple of extra steps you will transform a loaf cake into an impressive and beautiful dessert that also serves as a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for any cake lover. Additionally, this is such a fun bake to show off your own Great British Bake Off Skills!
The first step to making this hidden heart cake is to make the vanilla cake batter. The following recipe gives you enough cake to use this batter for both the hidden heart and the full loaf.
Once you make the vanilla cake batter, remove about 1.5 cups into a separate bowl. Add food coloring to desired hue and mix to combine. Then spread that batter into the square pan and bake. Allow this cake to cool completely before cutting out the heart shapes.
Then take your loaf pan and line it with parchment, including overhang, for easy lifting after baking. Put a bit of vanilla cake batter into the bottom of the loaf pan and spread. This cake batter will hold those hearts in place, so it is an important step.
Then line up the hearts against each other. Cover with remaining vanilla cake batter. Give the pan a gentle shake to settle. Bake it for about 45-50 minutes then cool completely.
The vanilla loaf cake is so tasty with a dusting of powdered sugar or use a vanilla buttercream with sprinkles to finish it off.
Tips For Making A Surprise Cake
To cut out your heart shapes, dip the cookie cutter in powdered sugar before stamping out the cake hearts. This will give you the cleanest heart shapes and also ensure the cake doesn’t stick to the cookie cutter. Also, make sure your cake is completely cool before cutting the hearts out.
Line your pans with parchment paper that includes overhang on the sides. This allows for easy lifting out of the pans and you won’t need to turn the cake over.
The heart cutouts will rise while the cake bakes. To ensure the cutouts do not rise too high where they will protrude out of the cake, do not put too much vanilla batter into the bottom of the pan. You need only enough to hold those cutouts in place.
When lining up your heart cutouts into the pan, make sure they are placed inside identically, with the cutouts touching each other so vanilla batter doesn’t go between the pattern.
Thank you for making this Hidden Heart Vanilla Cake! Share this recipe and the video tutorial with all of your cake loving friends! Make sure to follow me on Instagram for food pics and more free recipes! And join me on FOX 2 again 2/18 for another fun food segment Live!
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Baking!
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Hidden Heart Surprise Cake
A vanilla loaf cake reveals a hidden heart inside each slice! This cake is crafty, tasty, and so impressive!
- 1 cup butter softened, unsalted
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream full fat
- 1 cup buttermilk shaken
- 2 ½ cups All purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- red or pink food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Line an 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar for two minutes, until fluffy.
Then add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another small bowl, whisk buttermilk and sour cream. Add half of dry ingredients to the batter and whisk until smooth.
Then add buttermilk mixture and incorporate.
Finish with the remaining flour mixture.Then remove 1.5 cups of batter to a bowl and add food coloring to desired color.
Spread that pink batter into square pan. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool it completely, then use the cookie cutter to cut out as many hearts as you can get. Put half of the vanilla batter into loaf pan.
Evenly set in heart cake cutouts, not leaving space between them.
Cover hearts with rest of vanilla batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick at 45 minutes.
Frost if desired with vanilla buttercream, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.