Cakes are a staple at most celebrations: birthday parties, weddings, special occasions. You’ve probably received and made many cakes that were very similar, with a couple layers of cake covered in frosting. These are great, but they can become boring pretty quickly. To up your cake game with very little extra effort, consider making any one of these 10 cakes with surprises hidden inside! Patterns, candy, even toys can spice up any plain cake in just a few additional easy steps.
1. Zebra striped cake
This cake may look like a regular cake at first glance, but once you cut into it, you’ll see fun black and white alternating zebra stripes! To make this cake, simply make both chocolate and vanilla cake batter, and scoop small dollops of each on top of each other to fill the pan.
Then, bake as normal and voila! An easy and impressive zebra cake. More detailed instructions here.
2. Polka dot cake
Cut into this cake to reveal multi-colored polka dots studding the inside!
To make this cake, color white cake batter with several colors using food coloring, bake them in a cake ball mold, and bake them right into your cake! This twice baked cake may take a little extra time to finish, but with no extra effort on your part. Dye the polka dots all one color for themed parties or baby showers! Full instructions here.
3. Valentine’s Day heart cake
Surprise your sweetheart with a cake with hearts baked right into the center!
This cake also requires double baking, but the end result is an impossibly cute cake that says “I love you” to its recipient. Cut out heart shapes from pink cake and bake in a white cake, making sure the hearts all line up in the pan prior to baking. Instructions here.
4. Candy filled cake
This cake spills forth an avalanche of m&ms, or other chocolate candies of your choice, when you cut into it. Although described as a gender reveal cake for baby showers on the website, this cake can be made for any occasion and with any colors of candy you choose!
To make this cake, bake four layers of cake as instructed. Then cut small rounds out of two layers. Put one whole layer on the bottom, followed by one rounded out layer. Fill the rounded out portion with candies, and place the other rounded out layer on top of it. Place the remaining whole layer on top. Detailed instructions can be found here.
5. Piñata cake
This cake takes candy-stuffed confections to the next level. Baking the cakes in oven-safe bowls, rather than traditional cake pans, gives them the perfect round shape for the piñata.
Once the cakes are done baking, hollow them out, fill one half with candy, and place the other half on top, securing the seam with frosting. Then all that’s left is to dig in and enjoy! Detailed instructions here.
6. Rainbow cake
This cake may take a little extra time, but the end result is worth the wait!
To create this stunning cake, divide white cake batter into six bowls. Add food coloring to each to create the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Bake each layer separately and layer in reverse rainbow order once baked and cooled, then just frost and serve! Full instructions here.
7. Fourth of July flag cake
Celebrate Independence Day with this American flag cake.
To make, bake four pans of white cake batter: one white, one dyed blue, and two dyed red. Once baked, slice two of the red layers in half, creating four red layers. Cut a four inch circle out of one of these halved layers. Cut the white cake in half and cut a four inch circle out of it, as well. Finally, cut a four inch circle out of the center of the blue cake. To assemble, place the red layer without the circle at the bottom, followed by the same white layer. Then another whole red layer, the blue layer, and the two four inch white and red layers. Ice in between layers and all around to finish! Detailed instructions here.
8. Candy corn cupcakes
Celebrate halloween with a treat inside a treat! Candy corn is a staple of fall, but candy corn inside cupcakes is an extra dose of fun.
To make these cupcakes, bake your favorite cupcake recipe as normal. Once cooled, gently slice the tops off of your cupcakes and set them to the side. Using a knife, make a hollow in the cupcake, discarding the extra cake. Then place small dollops of white, orange, and yellow colored frosting inside the hollow. Replace the tops and frost as normal. Once you cut them open, you’ll be able to see the fun design! Instructions can be found here.
9. Rainy day cupcakes
These sweet cupcakes have a rainy day baked right in (and are the perfect rainy day activity)!
To make these, dye a small portion of white cake batter blue. Mix small blue sprinkles into the remaining white batter for the rain drops. Pour a small amount of the blue batter into the cupcake liner and top with white cake batter. Once they’re done, frost with a fluffy white cloud and voila! Full instructions here.
10. Checkerboard cake
This cake lets you make a cool checkerboard pattern using any two colors you like, including good old chocolate and vanilla!
To make this cake, bake four layers of any two colors of cake you’d like. Once cooled, cut a four inch circle out of each cake. Cut two inch circles out of each of the four-inch circles. Place the rings of cake back inside one another, but alternating colors. Then layer, alternating the outside ring color until stacked completely, icing between layers. Ice all the way around and serve! Detailed instructions here.
Featured photo credit: melingo wagamama via flickr.com