Valentine’s Day will be here soon. If you’d like to give a special sweet to your beloved but don’t want to spend too much money, make them a heart cake.
Now don’t tune me out. If you’ve ever made a box-mix cake, you can do this. Here’s what you need to purchase at the grocer’s:
- 1 devil’s food cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups finely minced peppermint leaves
- 1 container icing (cream cheese or chocolate recommended)
- top decorations, such as fresh strawberries or a bag of candy hearts
- Grease a square 9″ by 9″ baking dish plus one round 9″ cake pan. Line the bottom of both pans with cooking parchment or waxed paper to make it easy to remove later. Mix the devil’s food cake mix according to directions except substitute sour cream for the oil and add the finely minced peppermint. Mix well and pour into the square and round pans, dividing the batter so that the depth of batter is about the same in both pans. Bake as directed on the cake mix package for round cake pans. Cool completely before handling the cake.
- While the batter is cooking prepare a large surface for your cake. If you have a large serving tray at least 20 inches wide that will work. If you don’t, take a large piece of stiff cardboard and cut it into a square (or if you’re handy with the scissors, a heart) and cover with aluminum foil, securing the edges underneath with tape.
- At the end of the baking time, remove both pans and set on a cooling rack. When the cake nears room temperature, remove from the pans and chill in the refrigerator to help making it easier to spread frosting later.
- Now for the assembly of the heart. Remove both section of cake from their pans. With a cake knife, cut off the rounded top of each piece to make a flat surface. Nibble on the removed sections while finishing the heart cake.
- Next place the square cake on the prepared surface with one point near the bottom edge. This is the lower part of your heart. Cut the round cake in half and place each half with the flat side against two adjacent flat edges of the square cake, thus forming the heart.
- With an icing spatula, cover the cake with icing. Use some of the icing to “glue” the cake parts together. Finally take the decorations and create a design on the cake surface. Use your imagination. Perhaps you can put your initials in the middle. Outline the edge of the cake with heart candies. Or put X’s and O’s for hugs and kisses. Have fun with it.