With our simple step-by-step recipe, our piñata cake is much easier to make than you may think.
All you have to do is hollow out the inside of the sponge after baking and pack it with a variety of sweets.
This piñata cake is named after a classic piñata which kids beat to make the sweets fall out, but we wouldn't advise taking a bat to this treat: it's far too tasty to waste. Simply slice into the piñata cake to reveal the surprise. Little eyes will light up seeing the sweets tumble out the middle of this extra special bake.
What is a piñata cake?
Cut into a normal looking sponge cake to reveal a naughty surprise - it's packed full of sweets! But how is it done? It's actually quite easy to hide a hidden centre in your bakes - and we're here to show you how.
You can choose jellied sweets like Haribo, or chocolate sweets like M&Ms, just remember to make sure your cake is completely cooled before you add the sweets otherwise they’ll melt inside.
Decorate with different coloured buttercream (opens in new tab) to make it extra special. We used purple, blue, pink and green, but you could use whichever colours you prefer – you could even go one step further a choose all the colours of the rainbow!
This piñata cake should serve up to 6 people and will last 3 days in an airtight container. This recipe would work just as well with a chocolate cake mixture and you can also fill it with fresh fruits or chocolates - the possibilities are endless!
This cake takes 25 mins to bake and 1hr to fill and decorate.
For the cake:
- 200g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
For the buttercream:
- 550g icing sugar
- 175g butter
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2tsp water
- Food colouring; purple, pink, green and blue
To decorate and fill:
- Hundreds and thousands
- Haribo sweets
- Dolly mix
Step 1: How to make a pinata cake
Preheat oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line 2x 21cm/9inch cake tins with greaseproof paper.
Make your sponges using the all-in-one method, pour all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined. Once combined, pour into the cake tins making sure you they’re as even as possible.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until springy to the touch. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and decide which is going to be the base and which is going to be the topper. Turn the base upside down and leave to cool.
Step 2: How to make a pinata cake
Meanwhile prepare the buttercream. Whisk the butter and vanilla extract and gradually add in the icing sugar until combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water, if it’s too thin, add some more icing sugar until it reaches a creamy texture. You don’t want the mixture to be too wet as you’ll be adding food colouring to it later on. Leave to one side.
Step 3: How to make a pinata cake
Turn the top cake upside down and mark out a circle on the sponge using a sharp knife. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the sponge, you want to go half way down and scoop out the insides. Do the same to the base cake.
Step 4: How to make a pinata cake
Once you’re happy with both sponges, cover the outside edges of each layer with a light buttercream. You can do this neatly using a small spoon or spatula.
Step 5: How to make a pinata cake
Pop the base cake onto your chosen serving plate or board and pack it with different sweets and chocolates. Make a little mound of sweets and when you’re happy with the amount put the topper cake on top like a lid. Press the edges down firmly so they sandwich together.
Step 6: How to make a pinata cake
Coat the cake in a light buttercream layer – this is a crumb coat which will stop any crumbs from sticking onto your final decorations. Leave to one side to set.
Step 7: How to make a pinata cake
Split the rest of the buttercream mixture evenly into 4 separate bowls. Add a few drops of food colouring to each e.g. purple, blue, green and pink and mix with a spoon until you’re happy with the colour.
Spoon the mixtures into individual piping bags and pop them into the fridge to firm for about 5-10 mins, so the colours don’t run or blend when you pipe them onto the cake.
Step 8: How to make a pinata cake
Take the piping bags out of the fridge and pipe onto the cake. Start from the outside and work in drawing different coloured wavy lines with the nozzle.
Once you’re happy with the top, work on the sides. Start from the bottom and pipe up the cake edges pulling away as you reach the top of the cake. Sprinkle the cake with hundreds and thousands to finish.
Step 9: How to make a pinata cake
Serve on a cake stand and cut into the middle of the cake using a sharp knife, revealing the sweetie surprise!
Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.