Piñata Cake

I love cake.

Vanilla cake.  Chocolate Cake.  CUPCAKES.  Coffee cake.  Ice cream cake.  Cookie Cake.  Bundt cake.  Mug cake.  Poppy seed cake.  Pancakes.  Gooey butter cake.  Brownie cake.  BIRTHDAY CAKE.  I love cake for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee.  I love cake for lunch, dinner or dessert. I just love cake.  And frosting.

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

A few weeks ago I made Adam a vanilla birthday cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.  It was pretty cute, definitely yummy, but I used a box mix and pre-made frosting so it didn’t have the same taste as a cake from-scratch does.

We had some free time this Sunday, so I decided to step up my game and make a gluten-free birthday cake from scratch.  Cake, buttercream frosting, the works.  You know, because it was Sunday and all… and sometimes a regular ‘ol Sunday calls for celebration!

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

And since I was making a birthday cake on a random Sunday that wasn’t even anyone-that-I-know’s birthday, I decided to make a piñata cake stuffed with a surprise center of mini M&Ms!  Why not?!

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Adam and I made this cake together and had a blast with every step.  I even lit the candles and made a wish.  (Today is exactly one month past my birthday to the day, so I think it’s still close enough to my birthday for birthday cakes and wishes to be acceptable. Right?)

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

First, I did some research to find a yummy-sounding gluten-free cake recipe.  I really wanted the cake to be moist and taste like “regular” birthday cake.  I stumbled across Yammie’s recipe for The Best Gluten Free White Cake Ever and knew I had found a winner.  You need to check out Yammie’s blog, photographs and recipes.  I think I just found my new favorite site.  But for now, back to this cake…

This cake was stupid good.  It was moist, fluffy and defied all stereotypes of what gluten-free baked goods taste like.  Seriously.  Look at how moist and delicious this looks!

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

In fact, it’s so absurdly delicious that I keep sneaking into our kitchen and stealing bites of the leftover cake with a spoon.  I’m making good progress on the leftovers.  No shame.

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Recipes for the cake and frosting are below.  Once you have those ready to go, here is how to assemble the piñata cake.

Piñata Cake Assembly:

1.  Once all three cakes are cooled, you want to make sure that your cakes have fairly straight tops and aren’t raised too high in the middle.  If any of your cake layers appear to have a “bubble” shape on the top of the cake, use a serrated knife to shave off enough cake until the surface is flat.  My cakes were pretty flat so for this go-around, I was able to leave them as-is without cutting off any of the cake.

2.  Place the first cake on your cake stand or platter, and insert small pieces of parchment paper in between the cake and stand.  This will help prevent you from getting frosting all over your stand and makes for a nice presentation.

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

3.  Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of your bottom layer of cake.

4.  While your second cake layer is still in the baking pan, cut a circle all of the way through the center of the cake.  Place the circle aside on a plate (and feel free to snack away and sample for quality assurance!)  Place the second cake (with the whole in the center) on top of the bottom cake layer.  You could cut a hole in the bottom layer if you want to fit in more M&Ms, but I chose to keep my bottom cake layer intact.

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

5.  Frost the second layer of cake, and try to avoid getting frosting inside the hole.  Fill the whole with mini M&Ms (or candy of choice.)

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

6.  Place the third layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake.  You want to make sure that no cake is showing through, and try to make the frosting layer as smooth as possible.

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

7.  Carefully pull out the pieces of parchment paper from below the bottom cake layer and discard.  Clean off any stray frosting streaks from your cake stand.

8.  Decorate with frosting, sprinkles, candy and candles to your liking.  For this cake, I think it’s fun to keep it nice and simple on the outside so that the middle is more of a surprise!

Once you cut inside, your M&M center will spill out and be revealed!

Piñata Cake | Hugs ‘n KitchenPiñata Cake | Hugs ‘n KitchenPiñata Cake | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Well, I guess I’ll go eat some more cake now.  Since I have almost an entire three-layer cake left for just the two of us… You won’t see me complaining! 🙂

Hugs, kisses + yummy dishes… xoxo
Lauren

Gluten-Free Piñata Cake

  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • YIELDS Three 8-inch cake rounds + tons of frosting

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Pillsbury's Best Gluten-Free Flour)
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons softened, salted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 10 Tablespoons half & half
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 sticks softened, salted butter
  • a few drops food coloring
  • 1 bag mini M&ms

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray three 8″ cake pans well with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. With a table stand or hand mixer, mix the coconut flour, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed for a minute to combine.
  4. Add 12 tablespoons softened butter and vegetable oil to the bowl and mix until incorporated, about one minute.
  5. Add the 8 egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added.
  6. Slowly add the milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in small doses.
  7. Then beat the mixture on high speed for two minutes.  The batter will be thick and fluffy.  If it’s not, mix for another minute.
  8. Separate the batter evenly in your three prepared cake pans.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Do not overbake or your cake will be dry.
  10. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  1. With a table stand or hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the powdered sugar, half & half and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract on low speed until smooth.
  2. Cut the 4 sticks of butter in half, and add half a stick of butter at a time to your mixer, and beat until incorporated.
  3. Continue beating at high speed for five minutes, or until all of the butter is incorporated and the frosting is super fluffy.
  4. Add food coloring of choice, and beat until combined.  Add more food coloring for a richer color, or less for a more pale frosting.
  5. (Store leftover frosting in an airtight container.  Leftover buttercream frosting will keep at room temperature for three days, in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for three months.  Allow chilled or frozen frosting to come to room temperature before you attempt to spread again.)

To Assemble the Piñata Cake:

  1. Once all three cakes are cooled, you want to make sure that your cakes have fairly straight tops and aren’t raised too high in the middle.  If any of your cake layers appear to have a “bubble” shape on the top of the cake, use a serrated knife to shave off enough cake until the surface is flat.  My cakes were pretty flat so for this go-around, I was able to leave them as-is without cutting off any of the cake.
  2. Place the first cake on your cake stand or platter, and insert small pieces of parchment paper in between the cake and stand.  This will help prevent you from getting frosting all over your stand and makes for a nice presentation.
  3. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of your bottom layer of cake.
  4. While your second cake layer is still in the baking pan, cut a circle all of the way through the center of the cake.  Place the circle aside on a plate (and feel free to snack away and sample for quality assurance!)
  5. Place the second cake (with the whole in the center) on top of the bottom cake layer.  You could cut a hole in the bottom layer if you want to fit in more M&Ms, but I chose to keep my bottom cake layer intact.
  6. Frost the second layer of cake, and try to avoid getting frosting inside the hole.
  7. Fill the whole with mini M&Ms (or candy of choice.)
  8. Place the third layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake.  You want to make sure that no cake is showing through, and try to make the frosting layer as smooth as possible.
  9. Carefully pull out the pieces of parchment paper from below the bottom cake layer and discard.  Clean off any stray frosting streaks from your cake stand.
  10. Decorate with frosting, sprinkles, candy and candles to your liking.
  11. Once you cut inside, your M&M center will be revealed!

Cake and frosting recipe are from Yammie’s Gluten Freedom.

2 Responses to Piñata Cake

  1. pam says:

    This is amazing, so creative, very impressed!!! can’t wait to try this,

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