Treasure-Filled Birthday Cake

treasure filled cake | Vagabond BakingImagine the surprise on the children’s faces as you cut into this cake! Chocolate sponge, covered with white chocolate cream cheese frosting with a hidden centre of candy treasure. It’s enough to put a smile on anyone’s face!

This particular cake wasn’t made for a children’s birthday party though, it was made for a grown man who doesn’t like cake that much {I’ve removed one of the candles to take the picture!}. His is a biscuit {cookie} lover however, so I filled his cake with small cookies as well as candies.

Treasure-Filled Birthday Cake | Vagabond Baking

This cake is totally inspired by the piñata cakes doing the rounds the other week across Pinterest et al. I just had to have a go a creating one myself. I took my favourite Madeira sponge recipe as I felt the cake needed a firm texture for support and made it a bit chocolatey. I decided a white chocolate cream cheese frosting would be perfect, and a little bit decadent. Finally bejewelling the cake with sweets and cookies.

The sponge recipe is very easy, all the ingredients are mixed together in one go. It’s as easy as using a cake mix. If you only have sandwich tins {18 cm} rather than a deep cake tin then divide the batter between the two and bake for around 35 mins. Omit the cocoa powder/ water mix if you prefer a plain cake.

A word of warning, if you choose to fill and decorate the cake with cookies and biscuits make sure you assemble the cake as near to eating it as you can. The moisture from the cake will cause the cookies to soften.

I should have posted this last week but I just never got the chance, then we ended up camping up a Scottish glen, with no phone signal let alone the internet, for the week. We put technology away for a few days and enjoyed the natural world instead!

Treasure-Filled Birthday Cake | Vagabond BakingTreasure-Filled Birthday Cake

Chocolate Madeira Sponge

Oven 170 C / gas 3 / 325 F

18 cm deep round cake tin, lined with parchment

  • 300 g {2 + 1/2 cups} self-raising flour
  • 250 g {1 heaped cup } caster sugar
  • 225 g {2 sticks} soft, unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water to a paste
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp milk

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for about a minute with an electric mixer to a smooth batter. Try not to over mix, alternatively you can use a wooden spoon instead of the mixer, in which case it will take a bit longer.

Transfer the batter to the lined cake tin. I cut a disc of parchment to line the bottom of the tin, then a strip to line the sides.

Bake for around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check after an hour and lower the oven temperature a little if it is starting to colour to much on top. A cake tester should come out clean when inserted into the middle if the cake is cooked through.

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cool the right way up so as not to crush the lovely dome on the top of your cake.

Frosting the cake

  • 100 g {3 + 1/2 ounces} white chocolate
  • 125 g {1 stick + 1 tbsp} soft unsalted butter
  • 200 g {7 ounces} full fat cream cheese, such as Philly
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500 g {4 – 5 cups} icing sugar
  • Small sweets and chocolates to fill and decorate the cake
  • sprinkles to further decorate the cake

Melt the white chocolate very gently either in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water {don’t let the water touch the bowl} or in a microwave, be very careful with white chocolate as it burns, and goes grainy, a lot quicker than milk and dark chocolate. Set aside to cool.

Beat the butter, ideally with an electric mixer, until light and smooth. Add the cream-cheese and beat for a couple of minutes before adding the vanilla.

Stir in the cooled white chocolate then sift in a quarter of the icing sugar. Beat in until smooth then sift in another quarter. Repeat until the sugar is used up and the frosting is thick yet smooth enough to spread.

Take the cooled cake and carefully cut it in half. Use a metal spoon to hollow out the two halves. Don’t go too deep though, leave a generous inch of cake.

Place the bottom half of the cake onto your cake stand/plate. Spread a ring of icing around the rim to create a seal then fill the recess with sweets and chocolates of your choice. Mound it up so that it will fill the cavity once the top of the cake is replaced.

Replace the cake ‘lid’ then cover the whole cake with the white chocolate cream cheese icing. Smooth it down with a pallet knife. Decorate the top of the cake with more of the sweets.

If you have filled the cake with cookies, eat as soon as possible.

Treasure-Filled Birthday Cake | Vagabond Baking

31 Responses

  1. Lindy says:

    This is incredible! What a brilliant twist on a birthday cake, I’ll certainly be giving this one a go. Linda x

  2. Right, this is going on my ‘to bake’ list immediately. It brilliant! Also love the gorgeous photos you always put with your posts:)

  3. I need to make this!!

  4. This is such a great idea! I have to give it a go… Although no childrens birthdays coming up… Maybe just a little treat for myself 😉

  5. This is such a fun cake! what a great idea!

  6. Starr says:

    Fantastic looking cake, and such a fun idea!

  7. Dave says:

    That’s really cute, I love it!

  8. kerrycooks says:

    It turned out amazing, well done!!!

  9. nikyvanloo says:

    I want these for my upcoming birthday!! <3

  10. Britta says:

    I absolutely love this!! So so fun. Cake is naturally exciting but this takes it to a whole new level!!!

  11. Such a cool idea! I love how the insides spill out when you cut into it. And my birthday is this month so.. 🙂

  12. chef mimiimi says:

    wait, you’re not darya. darya is tortore. for the life of me i can’t remember your name (i’m old). i’m sorry.

  13. bakearama says:

    Oh wow! Amazing work, this is absolutey fantastic!!

  14. chef mimi says:

    You are brilliant Darya !

  1. March 7, 2013

    […] Vagabond Baker made an amazing treasure filled birthday cake… so […]