This sweet Saturday is extra sweet – perfect for a belated Valentine’s Day, or an anniversary, or just because! I’ve been wanting to try a surprise inside cake for a really long time, because a few of my favourite baking YouTubers (like My Cupcake Addiction and The Icing Artist) are always posting the most amazing ones! Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect excuse, because I love baking and my boyfriend loves when I bake for him. The results of my first-ever attempt at a surprise inside cake looked pretty good indeed, and it even better!

As you can see, there’s two types of cake in there; one vanilla, one chocolate. But I used one recipe for the majority of ingredients, then split it in half and added vanilla to one half and chocolate to the other. I can’t take full credit for the recipe – it’s a modified version of a chocolate cake recipe from my mum’s handwritten collection (and god knows where she modified it from in the first place). Oh, and it’s really easy to make it lactose free – just use some kind of dairy-free margarine, and some lactose free milk! If you’d like to replicate my yummy, pretty little romantic gift, then here’s what you’ll need:



Basic batter

  • 160g butter/margarine (as per usual, I used Nuttlex Buttery)
  • 4 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cup milk (I use the lactose-free Zymil Full Cream)

Chocolate cake flavouring

  • 2 tbs cocoa
  • Small splash of vanilla essence (to taste, really)

Vanilla cake flavouring

  • 2-3 tsp vanilla essence (again, to taste really, I never measure vanilla – I just pour and taste)


  • 1 & 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbs cocoa poder
  • 4 tbs butter (Nuttlex Buttery)
  • 2 tbs milk (Zymil Full Cream)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C or around 360°F, and line some baking trays – I used one brownie pan that was about 20 x 30 cm (8″ x 12″) and one loaf tin that was about 10 x 20 cm (4″ x 8″).
  2. Combine all ingredients (slowly, gently!) for the basic batter with an electric mixer, and do not overmix! If you don’t have a big enough mixer (my mixmaster struggles a bit), halve the ingredients and make it in two batches.
  3. Divide your basic batter between bowls. Add the chocolate cake flavourings to one bowl, and the vanilla cake flavourings to the other. If you would like to, you can also add some food colouring of your choice to the vanilla cake – but make sure you use a fair bit!
  4. Pop the chocolate batter into the fridge, you won’t need it for a little while.
  5. Pour the vanilla batter into a large brownie pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (it will vary depending on what pan you use, so keep an eye on it!)
  6. When cooked, leave the vanilla cake to cool slightly and then cut off the unsightly brown shell (we want it to look pretty!)

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  7. Take a heart shaped cutter (or any other cutter you want to use) and cut lots of little shapes out of your vanilla cake.20170213_123950
  8. Pour a small amount of your chocolate batter into the bottom of your loaf tin.
  9. Place your hearts/shapes right across the middle, leaving room around all edges for more chocolate batter. I dabbed a little bit of chocolate between the hearts to hold them together.

    This is only half the hearts! I used about three more in that empty space.
  10. Slowly and gently fill the gaps around the hearts with more chocolate batter, being careful not to break the hearts.
  11. Cook the cake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean (again, keep an eye on it – it very much depends on how big your hearts are, and how big your pan is).
  12. When completely cooked, allow the cake to cool slightly in the pan then turn onto a cooling rack. If your cake has risen a bit, feel free to trim it down and make it look more rectangular. Just do it little bits at a time so that you don’t cut too far and hack into your hearts!20170213_141817
  13. When completely cooled, it’s icing time! Combine all the icing ingredients with an electric mixer, then spread on the cake. I used the smooth side of a knife to level and smooth the icing after I put it all on.
  14. Decorate however you like! I used a bottle containing four love-themed sprinkles that I picked up from Woolworths to create the cake you see before you.20170213_161831.jpg
  15. Get the someone special in your life to cut the cake in half and enjoy the magic (and tastiness!) that is a surprise inside cake 🙂

Whew, that was a long recipe. It’s pretty time consuming to make too. Lots of oven time, lots of waiting for things to cool, and lots of decorating time! My only regret is making it on a work day… it took a while longer than I’d planned for.

I don’t think I have any additional notes for you this week, but if you have any questions about any stage of this recipe – leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP!