Skip to Content

How to Make a Surprise Cake with Shape Inside

How to make a surprise cake for with a heart or any other hidden shape inside. Easy video tutorial too showing you how to make one yourself.

surprise inside cake

A surprise cake is fun. Usually they are made with someone in mind and for a special occasion, but have you ever made a surprise in the middle of your cake? What I mean by that is a cake that when you cut into it there is a surprise shape or color inside. It’s so fun!! Let me show you how to make this Valentine’s Day heart surprise cake (or you could make any other shape inside). (originally published 1/17, affiliate links present)

How to Make a Surprise Cake

Isn’t this a fun Valentine’s Day cake, or something for a gift??!! If you have kids they will think you are superwoman if you make this and serve it for dessert. You’re going to make two cakes total for this recipe. Once the first is done you’ll be on your way to your surprise inside cake.

It’s really quite easy to make this surprise inside cake heart shape shown here. Or use a car if you are making one for a boy’s birthday party!

surprise inside cake

Surprise Inside Heart Cake

From my understanding, Amanda Rettke from I Am Baker made the first one of it’s kind. I was curious to see just how simple it would be to make. 

  • As you know, I don’t always go the homemade route when baking. With that in mind I have done this with a really easy homemade cake mix, and boxed. To me it didn’t matter which way I did it, it turned out as great either way.
  • I also used loaf pans instead of 8-inch round cake pans because I thought that would be simpler. It was.

I’ve also made a simple frosting with some powdered sugar and I add more milk to make it thinner, less to create a thick paste. Ready made works too. Get out your mixer and whip up the white cake mix batter on high speed and then you’ll be ready to start.

surprise cake

Surprise Cake

You could make homemade cake mix or boxed, you’ll want 2 different colors / flavors. It is nice to use white for the outside so the inside color really pops and you can see the design you have chosen. Anything works, this is perfect for the holidays in that way.

  1. We used vanilla and strawberry cake mix.
    1. you can just color half your white cake mix too with food coloring
  2. Cookie cutter in any shape
  3. Loaf pans
  4. 1/3 cup frosting to drizzle on top of cake
    1. or use pastry bags to make a design
  5. Serving plate
  6. Mixer on medium speed in order to make batter smooth

Steps to take.

  • First you will start by making the pink cake to use for the inside heart. Just combine all items in a large bowl as you would to make a regular cake in a loaf pan.
    • take out when toothpick inserted is clean and cool.
  • If you want to save money just buy white cake mix and color half of it for the inside pieces.
    • you’ll need 2 cake pans for this 
heart cake

Heart Inside Cake

Cut each slice about 1 inch thick once the cake is baked and cooled. Stack the heart cut outs to be placed in the middle of the next cake. Discard cake scraps or make cake pops with them!

Once you make the batter for your second cake you can then pour some on the bottom.

  • Then line your heart pink cake pieces inside as you see here. Recipe for the vanilla cake below, you can use cake mix too though.

Make sure when you pour the vanilla cake batter in that it surrounds the heart cake layers in between each piece. You can really put any shape in the middle of your cake. In the video below we made a star, perfect for the Fourth of July!

Once caked you can top with frosting or melt Wilton candy melts and drizzle on top like this one. OR just leave it plain because the excitement is inside of course when you slice it. You could even make this as a reveal cake.

Valentines Day heart cake

Gender Reveal Cake

I mean right??? Have someone make this for you with a blue or pink heart inside to slice with your relatives. Simple but just as exciting for everyone. For another fun and easy Valentine’s Day treat you can make at home check out how you can make these marshmallow candies at home.

Watch how I make it and then make one yourself!! It shouldn’t take much more than 30 minutes to complete.

Looking for more fun quick easy desserts??

Before you go I want you to sign up for my free newsletter!! You will get all my new recipes emailed to you a few times a week that will help with meal planning for the week.

Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!

Looking for more easy family recipes and tips? LIKE The Typical Mom Facebook page because we share all our new creations there every single day. And follow me on Pinterest for more inspirations! 😉

***** If you LOVED this recipe give it 5 Stars below and let everyone know what you thought about it. 😉

the typical mom
Valentine's Day heart strawberry cake.
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes

Surprise Inside Cake

How to make a surprise cake for with a heart or any other hidden shape inside. Easy video tutorial too showing you how to make one yourself.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, shape, surprise
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 358kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a loaf pan with baking spray.
  • I use colored cake mix for the inside shape part. Bake accordingly in a loaf pan until top springs back. Flip the loaf onto a wire rack to cool.Turn upright to cool completely.With the cookie cutter in hand measure for the width of each slice.Cut each slice about 1″ thick..Using the cookie cutter, cut out the hearts or another shape.
  • For the vanilla cake or outer layer cake you can use boxed cake mix or for vanilla cake you will beat on high the butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time, stir in the vanilla and salt. 
  • Gradually add the flour as you beat on low all ingredients. Fill bottom of loaf pan with 1/3 batter.
  •  Take your cut outs and line them up so they are next to one another in the middle of your loaf pan, then fill with white cake batter on both sides of shapes and in between the hearts you have in the loaf pan. Bake at 350 for about an hour.


Nutrition Facts
Surprise Inside Cake
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 358 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 114mg38%
Sodium 304mg13%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 660IU13%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

leslie m

Tuesday 6th of December 2022

when you cooked the 2nd cake, did you reduce the cook time a lot since the inside was already cooked?


Monday 21st of October 2019

I love this! I also love how easy it is to make and looks super cute! Saving this for Valentines Day!


Monday 21st of October 2019

This cake is adorable and delicious!

Jenni (@GingeredWhisk)

Monday 18th of January 2016

What an adorable cake! I have always wanted to make one of these surprise inside cakes! So cute!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.