Heart Cake

I wanted to do something nice for Valentine’s Day and I’d seen pictures of heart-shaped cakes that all looked pretty uniform in size.  Meaning, the cake was actually shaped like a heart.  I did a little research and it’s actually incredibly easy!

I chose a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting that I dyed pink, but you can really use the technique and make it any flavor cake and any flavor icing that you choose.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1 T vanilla

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, brought to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 t vanilla
  • 4-6 T milk (see below)
  • Food coloring (optional, but since this is a Valentine’s cake I went with it)
  • Sprinkles (same – optional but c’mon…Valentine’s!)

Directions

For this recipe you’re going to need one square baking pan and one round one.  The pans should be either 8” or 9”, but make sure both the square and round are the same across.  Basically, that’s a confusing way of saying you need 2 8” pans (one square, one round), or 2 9” pans (one square, one round).

Butter and flour both your pans and set them aside.

Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and whisk together.

Next, pour the sour cream and hot water into a small bowl and whisk them together until they’re well combined.

Finally a third bowl!  Put oil, eggs and vanilla into a large bowl and mix until well combined. IMG_2503 Add in the sour cream/water combo and mix again until well combined.  Finally, take the dry ingredients, add them to the wet ones and mix until well combined.

Get your two prepared pans and divide the batter evenly between the two.  Bake at 350 for 25 or so minutes, until a toothpick inserted in each cake comes out dry.

Move the cake tins from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.IMG_2504

When you’re ready to make the frosting, that’s super simple.  Put the butter into a bowl and beat that until it’s smooth – just a couple minutes.  Then add in the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla and mix again until smooth.

Here’s where the milk comes in – add the milk into the batter, one tablespoon at a time, and mix after each tablespoon.  Keep doing this until you get the frosting to the consistency you want.  Once you do, add in your food coloring and mix again until the color is where you want it.

Now you’re ready to put everything together.  Remove your two cakes from the tins.  Place the square cake on a large serving plate, near the bottom, so that one of the points is facing you.  Next, slice the circular cake in half.

Put some frosting on the cut half of each semicircle as well as on the top two edges of the square cake, and lightly press them together – like this:

Basically, you’re using a little bit of the frosting as a kind of “mortar” to hold the pieces together.  And voila!  You have a perfect heart-shaped cake!

Take the rest of the frosting and frost the cake as you normally would. 

While the frosting is still a little soft, take your sprinkles and decorate the top of the cake.  You can just sprinkle them around, or you can try a design like I did. 

Take a sheet of paper, fold it in half and draw two half hearts, one inside of the other.  Next, cut along the two lines you drew – you just cut out a heart with a heart inside it.  Next, unfold the original piece you cut out and center it on your cake.  Take the small heart you cut out and place it in the middle – what you should have is the outline of a heart.

Pour your sprinkles into the heart, remove your two pieces of paper, lightly press the sprinkles into the frosting with your fingers and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve!

IMG_2522IMG_2532This one’s kind of fun to make…but also not difficult and really, really moist and good.  And romantic!!

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