A week before my son’s third birthday, I saw that our lovely Twin Cities Moms Blog founder, Beth, had made the most amazing birthday cake for her daughter. I knew my son would love the cake so I had to make it for his birthday. This cake is a show stopper. It’s fun and crowd pleasing. It is especially fun for kids’ birthdays, but really, who wouldn’t love a layer cake filled with chocolate candy? The shrieks and giggles when you cut open the cake is so worth the effort.
Honestly, it’s not complicated to make. I chose to make a four-layer (8″) round cake with two flavors of cake and different colors. Use your favorite vanilla and chocolate cake recipes, or make things even easier by using your favorite boxed cake mixes. This cake can truly be customized to fit your preferences.
What You’ll Need
- Vanilla cake recipe (or boxed mix), enough to make 2 (8″) layers
- Chocolate cake recipe (or boxed mix), enough to make 2 (8″) layers
- Blue food coloring
- Green food coloring
- 4 (8″) cake pans
- 2 small ramekins
- 19 oz (large) bag of M&M’S candy
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Cake stand or plate
The Cake Layers
Start by mixing together your favorite vanilla cake recipe. Once the batter is mixed, divide it among two bowls. Add your food coloring to each bowl and mix until the batter is evenly colored. Place one ramekin upside down in the center of the cake pan. (Make sure your cake pans + ramekins are well greased and floured.) Do the same with the second ramekin. Carefully pour batter into each of the cake pans. Bake the cake according to directions. You’ll want to check the cake about 8-10 minutes before recommended to see if it’s done. Since the middle is hollow it will bake quicker than normal. While the vanilla layers are baking, make your chocolate cake. Pour the batter into the remaining two cake pans. These two layers will be the top and bottom so you can bake them normally.
Once all four of your cakes are baked they will look like the picture on the bottom right. Note: you may need to cut the tops off so that they will lay evenly on one another.
Make sure the cakes are cooled completely before you start the assembly. Once the cakes are cooled, make a double batch of your favorite frosting. Place one of the chocolate cake layers in the center of your cake stand. Cover with a thin layer of frosting. Next, add one of the vanilla layers and cover that with frosting. Repeat with the second vanilla cake layer. At this point you will want to pour the M&M’S candy into the center of the cake. Top with the final chocolate layer and thin layer of frosting. I like to refrigerate the entire cake for a few hours before adding more frosting. This helps the cake hold together and makes it easier to frost.
After the cake has chilled, cover it in one last layer of frosting and rainbow sprinkles.
That’s it! You’re ready to cut the cake and hear a collective gasp of surprise.
Printable instructions: Birthday Layer Cake with Surprise M&M’S filling