How to make a Piñata Cake

Mon, 21 May 2018
Pinata Cake

Piñata Cake

What could be better than a big cake? How about a big cake filled with chocolates or sweets? This fun cake is easy to make but so impressive! Try our recipe for a delicious vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, or you can make this surprise-inside cake with your favourite sponge and frosting.

For the cake:

  • 450g caster sugar
  • 450g self raising flour, sifted
  • 450g butter, very soft (near melting)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 350g butter, softened
  • 750g icing sugar
  • 90ml milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For filling and decorating:

  • About 3x (125g) pouches Smarties (or other chocolates and sweets of choice)
  • Cake sprinkles for decorating, optional


  1. For the sponge, preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted/gas 4. Grease and flour the sides of 4x 20cm (8inch) cake tins and line the bottom of each with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all cake ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer just until all ingredients are combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Divide batter evenly between the 4 prepared cake tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cakes come out clean.
  4. Remove from oven and leave to cool in the baking tins for 10-15 minutes on wire cooling racks, then carefully turn sponges out on to wire racks and leave to cool completely. Carefully peel away parchment paper once cooled.
  5. For the frosting, beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Sift in icing sugar then add milk and vanilla extract. Start beating together with a mixer on lowest speed, once icing sugar has been mixed in, increase speed and beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything is well incorporated.
  6. To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges on a cutting board and use a straight sided drinking glass or large cookie or pastry cutter to remove the centre of the sponge. Carefully place the doughnut shaped sponge on a serving plate. Spread a small amount of frosting (about 1/3 of a cup) on top of the cake. Do the same with two more of the cake sponges, stacking them on top of each other before frosting the tops.
  7. Fill the centre of the cake with Smarties or other chocolates and sweets right to the top of the sponge. Finally, place the last remaining sponge on top (do not remove the centre of the last layer). Use the remaining frosting to cover the entire cake with buttercream. Decorate the cake with sprinkles or any leftover Smarties, other chocolates or sweets.
  8. Keep cake in a sealed container at room temperature. Will keep for up to 3 days.
  9. If your oven is too small or doesn’t bake well when full, then halve the recipe and bake 2 layers at a time for 20-22 minutes. Do not mix the full amount of batter and only bake 2 layers at a time as the raising agents start to work as soon as the batter is mixed. Leaving mixed batter out of the oven will result in sponges that don’t rise once baked.
  10. You can use any of your favourite cake recipes to make a piñata cake with almost any filling or frosting you prefer, so long as it is not fresh cream. You can also choose to make the cake only 3 layers tall if you are serving less people. For more servings, use a bigger recipes to bake 23cm (9inch) or larger sponges.
  11. Fill the centre of the cake with any sweets or chocolates you prefer.

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