How to bake a pinata cake with candy from scratch

24 Aug

Pinata cake - The Hungry Mum copy

I have baked many, many cakes in my time but nothing has even come close to the reaction I received when I presented this piñata cake. 

I baked this cake for my daughters’ double party last year (cough, bit slow to post) and they were agog at the sight of it. My gals are 2 years and 2 weeks apart so they will be having a double birthday party for as long as I can get away with it 🙂

When they cut into it and discovered the treasure trove of lollies – candies, for my US and Canadian friends – tumbling out they were momentarily speechless.

Then all the squealy, excitable little friends at their party fell upon the sugar pay load and went gaga.

This is a huge cake. Even after all the kids and siblings at the party took some home there was still cake as far as the eye could see. There was so much cake left over that the next day I took it to a friend’s BBQ and even with a houseful of kids there was still cake leftover.

The Hungry Mum - Pinata cake

As the quantities are so great you will have to make this cake in two lots (ie you will be cooking four cakes in total) so ensure you set aside plenty of time.

My hack: use a ring pan – if you have one – for two of the cakes. This will save having to cut the centres out.

I tweaked a recipe from Super Foods magazine


500g butter, softened

1 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

6 eggs

4 2/3 cups self-raising flour

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups assorted lollies / candies for inside the cake

2 cups various chocolate lollies/ candies to decorate. I used freckles, M&Ms, Nerds, 100s &1000s

Vanilla buttercream

250g butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups icing sugar mixture, sifted

Pinata cake  The Hungry Mum


Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line 2, 20cm round cake tins with non-stick baking paper.

In a bowl of electric mixer beat half the butter, half the sugar and half the vanilla for five minutes.

Scrape down sides then beat in three eggs, one at a time, until just combined.

Gradually beat in half the flour and half the milk, in batches, until just combined.

Divide mixture between pans and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Stand in pans for 10 minutes. Turn, top-side up, onto baking paper-lined wire racks. Cool completely.

Repeat process with remaining butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour and milk, to make another two cakes – this is where I used my ring pan. Just ensure it is thoroughly greased with non-stick paper.

Place on wire racks to cool.

Meanwhile make icing:

In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and vanilla for 7 minutes until light and fluffy.

Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until well combined.

Trim cakes so the tops are flat and even – a serrated knife is best. Cut and discard a 10cm round from the centre of 2 cakes.

Place 1 whole cake on a serving plate and spread 1/4 cup of icing over top of cake.

Carefully place one cut cake on top and spread 2 tablespoons icing over top of cake.

Place the other cut cake on top and spread top and inside the hole with 1/4 cup icing.

Carefully spoon enough lollies into the centre of cake to fill to the top of the hole.

Place remaining cake on top and use a palette knife to spread remaining icing over top and side of cake.

Working quickly press the assorted choclates all over the cake, trying to cover the entire surface.

pinata cake - The Hungry Mum


50 Responses to “How to bake a pinata cake with candy from scratch”

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella August 24, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    Hehe I thought you meant you made the candy from scratch! That’s so funny. What a cute cake 😀

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 5:35 am #

      I ummed and ahhed about putting the candy bit in the head, then thought for the sake of SEO I could live with a bit of confusion 🙂

  2. trishlee75 August 24, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 2:28 am #

      Ta Trish – everyone was very happy to eat this cake 🙂

  3. youthfoodblog August 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    Love piñata cake. Great idea for a timely back-to-school treat!

  4. Shari August 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    What an amazing cake! No wonder the kids were speechless. One of the most fun cakes I’ve seen. Your kids are very blessed to have you make this for them.

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 2:11 am #

      Awww, ta Shari! It was fun to make – transporting it to the party venue, not so fun 🙂

  5. Linda August 24, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

    Wow! That’s some cake! It looks absolutely sinful!😀

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 2:17 am #

      Thanks Linda! It is all the good things – fat, sugar and lollies!

  6. Corina August 24, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    Fantastic birthday cake! I really want to attempt one of these one day.

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 1:57 am #

      Thanks! Do it Corina! It isn’t hard, you just need to set aside plenty of time.

  7. ladyredspecs August 24, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    I know a big kid who would love this, a terrific idea..

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 2:18 am #

      I have it on good authority that big kids also loved this cake x

  8. nagimaehashi August 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    I was just suggesting a piñata cake to my friend for her sons birthday! I’ll send this to her!

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 1:57 am #

      Thanks Nagi for passing this on! My gals LOVED the cake, complete sugar overload with all those lollies inside but you’re only young once 🙂

  9. Jess @ August 25, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    LOVE this pināta cake! It looks amazing and so fun! You’ve inspired me to make one!

    • thehungrymum August 26, 2015 at 2:15 am #

      Thanks Jess! Lots of fun! Just buy more chocolates and lollies/candy than you think you’ll need 🙂

  10. Antonia August 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    So cute! I just love this idea!

  11. Jasline @ Foodie Baker August 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    This cake will thrill all the kids! Amazing!

  12. chocolatesuze August 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    epic cake! it’s so colourful I love it!

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      All those lollies would be right up your alley 😉

  13. BunKaryudo August 25, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    I would have LOVED this when I was a kid! (I actually quite fancy it now too, as a matter of fact.) I hope inside the hidden candies there are other even smaller hidden candies, like little sugary matryoshka dolls.

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      How fun would sugar matryoshka dolls be?! Next time I’m in Russia I’ll keep an eye out for them 😉

  14. peakperspective August 25, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    This must be a massive hit with kids (no pun intended). What a cute and creative idea.

    • thehungrymum August 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

      They didn;t know it had lollies in the centre until they cut it – I filmed their reactions! Priceless!

  15. Baking In Pyjamas August 25, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    How fun!! I love the thought of various candies falling out a yummy cake covered in more candy. What could be better! Laura@ Baking in Pyjamas

  16. Jessica Holmes August 26, 2015 at 3:58 am #

    I just love pinata cakes!! Yours looks incredible, all those layers and all that gorgeous candy! I want some!

    • thehungrymum August 26, 2015 at 5:06 am #

      Thanks Jessica 🙂 That’s very kind of you – hope you get some candy soon!

  17. hotlyspiced August 26, 2015 at 5:32 am #

    The cake is gorgeous. Your girls must have been so thrilled. I made a pinata cake for my son one year and the kids at the party just loved it – so exciting to see lollies come out of a cake xx

  18. hipfoodiemom August 26, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Pinata cake?! I love this idea!!! my kids would love this!

  19. Julie is Hostess At Heart August 26, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    What a fun and pretty cake! What child wouldn’t love this cake? Or adult for that matter. It is so festive!

  20. kitchenriffs August 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    What a fun cake! Your kids must have loved this. Heck, I’d love it! Really great post — thanks so much.

  21. Lynz Real Cooking August 26, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

    Wow this is totally amazing! I really was in shock!!! cool

  22. Anna @ shenANNAgans August 27, 2015 at 4:49 am #

    What a fabulous idea for a cake. I love it. So making this for my bestest friends bday next month. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration, and for the excellent idea too. Pinning – Pinning – Pinning!

    • thehungrymum August 27, 2015 at 10:22 am #

      yay! Thanks Anna – she will lurve it (but make sure you call dibs on the freckles!).

  23. Jasmine S. August 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    This is the cutest idea for a cake!!! Looks gorgeous!

    • The Hungry Mum October 1, 2015 at 11:01 am #

      thanks! It was very popular with my gals and their friends.

  24. Starr August 29, 2015 at 5:10 am #

    I wish someone had made me a cake like this when I was a little girl! Love It! 🙂

  25. The Bakealogue September 2, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    This looks wonderful! Was it easy to do? I have to bake a ‘healthy’ cake for my friends upcoming birthday. Would it be really mean if I made it a pinata cake and surprised her with all those goodies falling out when she cuts it? She’d hate me for it but hey, that’s what friends are for! Haha

    • thehungrymum September 2, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

      hahaha! Can’t think of a more unhealthy cake for your friend 🙂 It is easy but time consuming as you have to bake four cakes – I suggest baking two, then freezing, then baking another two the next day. Hope your friend likes it 🙂

  26. Dimple@shivaaydelights September 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Amazing x

  27. Sara | Belly Rumbles (@bellyrumbles) October 1, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    Such a fun cake.


  1. How to bake a pinata cake with candy from scratch « Marcey's Table - September 8, 2015

    […] How to bake a pinata cake with candy from scratch […]

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