How to Make a Heart-Shaped Cake
Make a Heart-Shaped Cake for Valentine’s Day!
No heart pan needed!
This is a simple and fun way to make a large heart-shaped cake. Easy Valentine’s Day dessert! Also check out the DIY Valentine’s Day ideas we have been working on! Not wanting to do sugar this year, we’ve got you covered with fun no-candy alternatives too!
Use your favorite cake mix flavor or your favorite cake recipe. You can try the cake mix trick to make the cake mix even better! Recipes that yield a 9×13 cake or two 8-inch cakes, will work well for this heart cake. This Red Velvet Cake Recipe is a great option!
Use an 8-inch square pan and an 8-inch round cake pan. A square metal cake pan is ideal, but I use what I have and it gets the job done! To get more of a flat and even cake, you can use these awesome cake strips around each pan.
When I know I will be removing cake from pans, I want to make sure the cake doesn’t stick. Lining the bottom of each pan with parchment paper is a good idea, and spraying the pans and paper with Baker’s Joy Baking Spray or butter and flour will help too.
To get the parchment paper to the right size, place the pan on the paper and trace around the bottom of the pan. Then cut along the inside of the traced line.
Once the cakes are baked and cooled, cut the round cake in half to make two half-circles. Leave the square cake whole, but orient it as a diamond. Then place the flat side of each half-round against the top sides of the diamond to make a heart shape.
If the round cake doesn’t fit well with the square cake, just trim it up a bit. Enjoy those trimmings too! Fortunately, the frosting conceals the cake seams and more. Speaking of frosting, this is definitely a delicious cream cheese frosting!
Cake Decorating Tip: Use clear vanilla extract to keep your frosting more of a white color, if desired.
I am not a professional cake decorator, but I do know that it is a good idea to do a crumb coat of frosting on a cake like this one. Then follow it with a nice, clean final layer of frosting. This method helps keep the cake crumbs confined to the first layer. An offset or angled spatula makes spreading evenly super easy!
Decorate with sprinkles, candies, or whatever your heart desires!
Heart-shaped cake inspired from BetterRecipes. Cream cheese frosting recipe from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.
We’ve got lots of other delicious Valentine’s Day Recipes for you to check out too:
- Luxurious Red Velvet Cake Roll Recipe
- Amazing Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe
- Cupid’s Crunch Recipe
- Lemony Love Potion Recipe
- Valentine’s Day Pink Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
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How to Make a Heart-Shaped Cake
- 8-inch round cake pan
- 8-inch square cake pan
- 1 package Red Velvet cake mix or any cake mix (except angel food), or your favorite 9x13 cake recipe
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 4 teaspoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract use clear vanilla if you want to keep your frosting more white
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar 7 ounces
- Preheat oven according to the cake mix package instructions.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the inside-bottom of a square 8-inch pan and also for a round 8-inch cake pan. Spray the center of each pan with cooking spray and place the parchment inside the pans, to help keep the parchment in place. Then spray each pan and paper with a nonstick cooking spray with flour, like Baker's Joy. Alternately, you can butter and flour each pan.
- Prepare cake mix as directed on package instructions. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake as directed on package. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then carefully remove from pans and let cool completely on cooling racks.
- Prepare the frosting with a food processor or mixer. Beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla, and salt together until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add powdered sugar and mix until very fluffy.
- Leave the square cake whole. Cut the round cake in half, to make two half-circles. With the square cake oriented as a diamond, place the flat side of each half-circle against each of the top sides of the square cake to make a heart shape. Trim slightly, if needed. The frosting will conceal the seams and more.
- Spread a thin crumb coat layer of frosting over the entire cake (to keep cake crumbs from appearing in the final layer of frosting). Then spread a second and final layer of frosting. Decorate as desired.
Comments & Reviews
How clever of you! I wouldn’t have imagined using this combo to make a heart shaped cake at all.
You had the frosting term almost correct. I think the Cake Boss guys and their ilk call it a “crumb coat” and it does exactly what you described; it keeps the crumbs from messing up the outer layer of frosting!
Thanks for sharing a simple, but spectacular-looking idea for the upcoming holiday!
Thank you, Tina! I will update the post to say crumb coat instead of skim coat. 😉
Do you have to refrigerate the cake since the icing is butter and cream cheese?
Hi! Yes, I would refrigerate it if you are making it a while in advance, or for the leftovers. However, you can take it out of the fridge 1-2 hours or so before serving to let the frosting soften a bit. 🙂
I’m making a cake today and was wondering if I could use this method although the cake is just one box of mix. In order to do this, do I need two cakes?? Thanks.
Depends on the cake mix, but most single boxes of cake mix make enough cake to fill one 8″ round and one 8″ square pan, so you should be good to go! If it is enough for a 9×13 size cake, then it will be enough for the two smaller cake pans. Hope it turns out awesome for you!
Very beautiful. I brought this to my friend on Galantines Day (it is like Valentines but for friends). She loved it! Very much recommend to show love in my favorite way…sweets!
Wonderful! I’m glad she loved it. What a thoughtful, sweet thing for you to do. 🙂 And thank you for your comment and review, Coco!
The idea for how to make a Heart Shaped Cake without a pan is astounding. I tried this idea and get a lot of comments from my near and dear. Looking forward for more. Lots of love!!
Thank you so much for the review!
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