Give your kids a birthday surprise they’ll never forget with this amazing, piñata-inspired cake.
There are few cakes guaranteed to delight kids—and, let’s be real, adults—as much as a surprise cake. A surprise cake looks like a regular layer cake from the outside but when you cut into it—surprise!—there’s candy inside, like a piñata in cake form. The other surprising thing about this cake? How easy it is to make.
Check out this video recipe:
The best kind of surprises involve cakes filled with candy!RECIPE: http://trib.al/bHHDM3M
Posted by Epicurious on Sunday, August 20, 2017
1. GATHER THE SUPPLIES
This cake style is relatively easy when it comes to preparation. Simply bake four layers of cake—just use your favorite cake recipe. You also need enough frosting to coat the cake; in general I prefer Swiss buttercream for frosting. Eight cups is a good amount for this size cake.
There are also a few basic cake-decorating tools that come in handy here. When decorating cakes, I find a rotating cake stand to be invaluable. Because the bottom of this cake will be open, I highly recommend using a cake board. And as with decorating any cake, it’s helpful to have small and large offset spatulas, a pastry bag fit with a large piping tip, and a serrated knife for trimming the cakes.
Here’s a list of all the supplies you need:
- 4 (four) 8″ round cakes
- 8 cups buttercream
- 1 large 3 1/2″ ring cutter
- Rotating cake stand
- Cake board
- Long and small offset spatulas
- Pastry bag fit with a round piping tip
- 10″ serrated knife
- 4-6 cups candy-coated chocolate gems
- Bench scraper
2. TRIM THE CAKES
First up, prep the cakes. Use a long serrated knife to trim the cakes so each is flat—you want a flat, even surface for frosting. Next, use a large ring cutter, about 3 1/2 inches wide, to cut circles out of the center of three of the cakes.
3. FROST AND FILL THE CAKE
Secure a cake board to a platter by placing a wet paper towel down, folded in half, under the cake board. Place the first cut cake, bottom-side up, in the center of the cake board. Fill the piping bag with buttercream and pipe along the perimeter of the cake, using about 1/2 cup of buttercream. Repeat with the two remaining cut pieces. When you have the three cut cakes stacked, fill the center hole with candy (large sprinkles or candy-coated chocolates work best, like M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces), up to the top. Pipe a circle of buttercream on the top cake in a ring, starting from the outside perimeter and working your way inward to completely cover the cake and candy. Place the final full cake, bottom-side up, on top, and firmly press down to secure.
4. CRUMB COAT
To crumb-coat the cake, add about 3 cups buttercream on top of the cake and use a small offset spatula to spread over the edges and cover the sides of the cake completely. Use a long offset spatula to smooth off the top. Chill for 15 minutes.
Once the crumb coat has set, add another 1 1/2-2 cups buttercream to the top of cake and use the offset spatula to spread the buttercream down the sides evenly so the cake is completely coated. Use a bench scraper to even out the buttercream in a smooth layer and a long offset spatula to smooth off the top. Pro tip: Gently heat the offset spatula with a pastry torch to help create super smooth lines.
Keep it simple with the clean lines of this basic frosting, or use the back of the spoon or offset spatula to create waves and swooshes with any remaining buttercream. Attach remaining candies to the exterior of cake, then chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the buttercream and candies to set.
7. CUT THE CAKE (SURPRISE!)
To slice the surprise cake, run a large, sharp chef’s knife under very hot water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then wipe knife off with a towel. Carefully make two smooth, even cuts, and use an offset spatula to lift the slice off the cake board and onto a plate; being careful as the candies will flow out of the cake. Surprise! (Don’t forget to make this initial cut in front of all your guests!) Serve with ice cream and enjoy. And now that you know how to make a surprise cake, don’t be surprised if you get requests for this one every year.