Heart surprise cake

By | November 30, 2012

So I made a cake.

On the outside, it’s pretty nice, though I could certainly use some more practice with my frosting techniques. (Focus on the edible hearts, please. They never get old.)

And on the inside…

It was supposed to be a heart cake, in honor of our second anniversary (17 Kislev, which is this Shabbos). I didn’t exactly nail it.

Kinda disappointing, kinda funny. And in case you were wondering whether I was a professional baker? Clearly I’m not.

But it was super complicated! I spent hours on it! I tried so hard! And for all my efforts, I got a cake with a red amoeba in the middle. Science class, anyone? You know you wish you were still there, sitting in the front row. Next to me, obviously. Because of course I would be in the front row.

Anyway, because this cake has the potential to be incredibly awesome, I’m going to show you what I did. Of course, you should probably spend a lot of time looking at the original cake on i am baker. I’m sure she’s a certified genius for figuring out how to make this.

Also — because she gives such a complete tutorial, I’m not reproducing the entire thing here. So if you actually want to attempt this insanity, read her post, too.


Start by making a white cake batter in four separate round pans, a red velvet cake in any pan you like, and a batch of white icing. You’re going to pair up the white cakes so you get two 2-layer cakes.

This was my first (and biggest) problem. Although I used the recipe proportions from i am baker, my cakes were reaaaaaaaaally low. They sort of resembled large, thick pancakes. And the problem with that is that they gave me very little room to carve (more on that soon). Note to self: Either double the batter next time or use significantly smaller pans.

Moving on.

Using a funny little apparatus made from two toothpicks and a piece of string, lightly scrape a circle an inch or two into the center of each cake. The goal here is just to make a guide for yourself of where to carve, so if it doesn’t come out evenly the first time — try, try again. Guess who did that?

Now designate one cake as Cake A and the other as Cake B, and don’t get them confused.

With Cake A, you’ll need to carve the middle out in a downward slope. It should form a “v” shape/cone shape, with the smallest part of the carving at the bottom, getting progressively wider as you go up. But with such a shallow base, it was kind of impossible for me to do that.

I tried…really, I did.

I hoped things would go better with Cake B. With this one, you need to dig out the center of the cake, but leave a little mountain thing in the middle. Since I had already had so much trouble with the carving, I decided to cheat a little and just carve out the entire center, then press some of the scraps back in to form the mountain.

This part didn’t go too badly, but as you already saw in the top-of-the-post photos, the top of my heart did leave something to be desired.

But now the hardest part is behind you. Fill up Cake A and Cake B with your crumbled red velvet cake (which has also been mixed with some frosting, cake pop-style.)

Now doesn’t that look attractive? No, no it does not. Keep going, it will be okay.

To assemble, put Cake B on top of Cake A. They should lie flat so nothing moves around while you frost.

Speaking of which, now it’s time to get your first coat of icing on this crazy thing. Do a crumb coat, and then let the cake set in the fridge.

Then finish icing and decorating…

And try to contain your excitement while you slice into it (cut a big chunk out so you get a full view of your creation, whatever shape it may have taken).

And no matter what it looks like, try to embrace it. You made it, after all. Now you have to own it.

Happy anniversary, honey. I hope you like amoebas.

One year ago: Dilled dairy quick bread


Yiska Ben Avraham on November 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm.

I think it’s awesome, and good for you for making all that effort!! :)

Have a wonderful anniversary…and that means ours is just a few days later!


Tali Simon on December 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm.

Hey, that’s right! Happy second!


ABC on November 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm.

I cheat– my gm bought me a cake pan that has those holes and circles so the heart comes out each time. You’ve inspired me. Too bad my anniversary was a couple of months ago!


Bruce on November 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm.

i think you ran into issues because your cake rounds were to thin, also if you have un-patterned paper towels you can use them to smooth your frosting and get an even consistency


Tali Simon on December 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm.

Thank you for the tips!


Victoria (Itsy Bitsy Balebusta) on December 2, 2012 at 4:15 am.

First, happy anniversary! Also, I admire the fact that you not only can laugh about this but also posted it too, you’re awesome! It looks pretty good in the end and it’s the effort and thought that really makes it amazing! Thanks for the step by step directions – don’t know if I’m brave enough to attempt it, but it’s great to have on hand!


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