Our job includes a lot of research, which often turns up surprising things.
One of this is piñata cake, a concept that originated in the U.K. and is also popular in Australia.
We also found it in Germany, called surprise cake.
You don’t hit a piñata cake with a stick. It’s when you cut into the cake that the treasures (candy) spill out.
The treasures are theme candies that fill a “secret” center well in the cake. The well is cut after the layers are baked, so you can place anything in the well without fear of melting.
(If you’re in the chips, silver dollars would be nice!)
The uncut top layer then goes on top of the well layers, and the whole cake is frosted.
A four-layer cake is recommended to have enough room for lots of candy to tumble out.
You can make them in any occasion. We’re keeping a recipe for a Valentine’s Day: a red velvet cake in red and pink layers, filled with Valentine candy.
“We can’t stress enough just how easy these cakes are,” says The Whoot in Australia. “Everyone will think you must have gone to so much effort.
“It has a very festive look and you can make it in colors to suit any theme.”
The only caveats are:
You need to bake a dense cake. The cake circle needs to be hardy to hold the sweets in the well.That means no no airy cakes, angel cakes or sponge cakes.
Don’t cut too wide a well. The perimeter needs to be sturdy enough to hold up the cake.
THE HISTORY OF PIÑATA CAKE
A 2015 article in London’s The Daily Mail says that “Asda kicked off the trend last year with their Smartie pinata cake and Lakeland [a manufacturer] soon followed, selling all the paraphernalia needed to create ‘surprise’ cake.”
Asda is a supermarket chain in the U.K., that first created the cake for sale in its stores.
After the success of the cake, Asda printed the recipe on its lifestyle website.
The first cookbook with a piñata cake recipe seems to be Cakeology by Juliet Sear, published in 2015.
She notes that piñata cakes had become popular in the past year, i.e., 2014.
PIÑATA CAKE FOR EASTER
For a holiday in which the Easter Bunny brings baskets full of surprises, piñata cake this makes a great holiday cake.
Carrot cake, the favorite of the Easter Bunny, is both theme-appropriate and dense.
If you have the frosting skills, you can you can make a basket weave frosting, turning the “piñata” into an Easter basket filled with Easter treats.
Of course, piñata cake works for any holiday, any occasion, any theme colors. The decorations on top can be as simple or ornate as you wish.
Ask someone else to cut the cake, and be the first to see the surprise.