Amaze your friends and family this Valentine’s Day with this Heart Surprise Cake! Every fun and loving slice will have everyone asking, “How’d you do that?”
Serve up a slice of this cake with some chocolate milk and heart shaped marshmallows!
Hidden Heart Surprise Cake
How. Cute. Is. This!? Even I was a little giddy when I sliced a knife through to reveal it turned out perfectly. Cake was solid and moist, hearts plain as day, and the color wasn’t compromised. I originally saw the idea with a pumpkin shape , but didn’t have a chance to make it for Thanksgiving. So why not Valentine’s Day?!
There’s a lot of waiting involved with the cooking, cooling, and chilling, making this surprise cake sort of a day-long project. But it is SO SO easy. And the actual active time you’re on your feet is minimal.
Give your friends and family a fun and loving surprise cake. They’ll think you’re a genius and be asking “how’d you do that??”
You actually only need just a few ingredients to make this heart cake.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Betty Crocker Pound Cake mix – You’ll need 2 boxes, one to make the regular cake and one for the colored hearts. (See note below.)
- Unsalted butter – Adds moisture and richness.
- Eggs – Provides structure to the cakes.
- Milk – Adds necessary moisture to the cakes.
- Red food coloring – For the hearts.
- Icing – Powdered sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, and salt.
The concept can work with regular cake, but for this particular recipe, it needs to be a pound cake, since the pan used and cooking times are different.
I personally can’t vouch for this, but a few readers have said they used a homemade pound cake recipe with success.
I got a huge bucket of cookie cutters from Amazon a long time ago and the double heart was included. They are a decent selection of double heart cookie cutters now.
Sure! Just make sure it doesn’t exceed the height of the pan or you won’t be able to cut shapes from the sliced cake.
Because it is slightly UNDERBAKED the first time. Refrigerating firms the batter enough to cut it.
The hearts fuse together when baked, so they end up being throughout. Each slice will have one.
This is due to putting too much of the second pound cake batter in the pan before laying your pink hearts on top. As the batter cooks, it all rises. As per the instructions, just put a thin layer of batter – just slightly enough to cover the bottom of the pan – before you place the cut out hearts on top.
Did you cook it for 8-10 minutes LESS than what the box instructions were, or 8-10 minutes total? Many readers have made the mistake of only cooking it for 10 minutes. As per my recipe directions, the cake needs to cook for about 50 minutes.
Absolutely! This could definitely be customized for other holidays using different dyes and cookie cutters. Have fun with it!
- To store: This pound cake loaf can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and again in foil or up to 6 days in the refrigerator.
- To freeze: Wrap baked and cooled pound cake in 1-2 layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil, and transfer to a freezer-safe bag. It can stay frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before slicing and serving. We recommend freezing without the icing and then applying that fresh the day you’ll be serving.
More Valentine’s Day Recipes:
- Shirley Temple Drink
- Red Velvet Cake Truffles
- Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies
- Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
- Easy Chocolate Mousse
Heart Surprise Cake
- 2 (16 ounce) boxes Betty Crocker Pound Cake mix
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, softened
- 4 eggs , divided
- 1 1/3 cups milk , divided
- red food coloring
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter , melted
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Prepare your first pound cake: combine 1 box of cake mix, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter, 2 eggs, and 2/3 cup milk in a large bowl. Whisk together with an electric mixer or by hand. Add in your food coloring until you reach the desired color.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes (about 10 minutes less than instructed on box.) Let cool, remove from pan and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Cut cold cake into slices the thickness of your cookie cutter. Cut heart shapes from the slices. Set aside.
- Prepare your second box of pound cake mix the same as the first, except omit the food coloring. Coat a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and pour just barely enough batter to cover the bottom. Align your heart cut-outs down the center, keeping them tightly together. Poor the remaining batter over the heart cut-outs in the pan, making sure to cover the sides and tops. (Careful the batter doesn’t overflow.) Bake according to the directions on the box, about 1 hour. Let cool when done.
- Meanwhile, prepare your icing. In a medium bowl, mix all of your ingredients together until combined and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if it appears too runny or more milk if it seems too stiff, until you reach the consistency you like.
- Remove baked and cooled pound cake from pan and top with icing. Let set; cut into slices and enjoy! Adorable, right!?NOTE: Please refer to the full article for FAQs.