Move over rainbow layer cake, been there, done that, it is very last year now. The new ‘it’ cake on the block (or Pinterest!) is a polka dot surprise cake! I cannot take credit for the idea, this is something I have seen popping up on Pinterest and I simply decided to share how I made it work for us when I decided to make this for Miss 2’s Birthday Party. Now, look how delighted my Little Miss was when her cake come out!
Step 1 – Make your polka dots
Make up your cake mix, either packet or homemade recipe will do, just a standard plain cake mix. Decide what colours you would like to make your dots. We did a rainbow of colours so divided our mix into 6 small bowls and coloured each one.
This is the very first time I had ever made cake pops so I followed the directions to use spray oil and flour to stop it sticking, however I found that this burnt on the outside of my pretty little cakes and using silicone trays it probably wasn’t necessary. If I had time to trial these I’d try them without this or maybe just a touch of butter. Anyway. Dollop your cake mix into a ‘cake-pop’ tray. Be sure that your cake mix fills the half and that you clip the top lid on securely.
Bake for 18 minutes on 190C, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes before unclipping the tray. This helps them to not deflate on you. Pop them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Trim any excess bits of cake off that may have squirted out the top or around the edges so you have nice neat little balls.
I used a whole cake mix, which made 2 trays of 20 cake pops. I didn’t use all of them for the polka dot surprise cake. I let the girls eat a couple, and froze the rest in a ziplock bag for another day.
Try and make these the day before you make the main cake in step 2 because it is best to either refrigerate or freeze them. This helps them stay in the centre of the cake and not rise to the top of the cake when you bake them the second time.
I had no problems with twice baking these. I was surprised but they did not dry out at all.
Step 2 – Make your main cake
I had a lot of people to feed so decided to make a double layer cake, meaning I needed two more lots of cake mix.
Once you have lined your round cake tin and mixed your cake batter pour a little into the bottom of your pan, enough to cover the bottom about 1cm thick.
Place your polka dots on top of this layer leaving space around each ball.
Gently spoon the remaining cake mix around and over your polka dots until they are completely covered in cake mix. I say gently because otherwise your polka dots will slide around. Smooth the top and bake as per a normal cake mix. If you do a skewer check be careful not to skewer a polka dot as this will give you a false reading. You can sort of see where they are sitting in the cake so this isn’t as hard as it sounds.
Let your cake/s cool completely. I didn’t need to do this but if your cake has domed and you don’t want to cut the top off to make it flat you can sit something flat and heavy on top (like a big cookbook wrapped in a clean tea towel).
I did this twice to get my two layers but you can obviously just do a single layer if you wanted.
Step 3 – Make it a Surprise
Once your cakes are completely cooled you can decorate them. Cover it in any icing you choose. I made a simple icing that I coloured yellow. I used this between the two layers and to cover all over the outside.
Side note: This is the best basic icing mix that makes enough to cover a big cake like this. 115g butter, 3 tsp vanilla, 60ml milk, 500g icing sugar, colouring of your choice.
I considered covering it in sprinkles but I did that last year so opted for Little Miss 2’s favourite thing in the whole world – marshmallows and chocolate! I rimmed the top layer with maltesers. I separated out the pink and white mini marshmallows, using pink to make the number two in the centre of the cake and filling in the gaps with the white.
You can see that she was quick to steal a couple off of the top while I was busy grabbing the knife to cut it.
Now it looks like an unassuming plain cake. Until you cut that first slice and everyone ooo’s and aaah’s and asks you how on earth you did it! Don’t be shy to share the secret with them, this cake is so much fun!