A heart-shaped Valentine's Day cake is so impressive, but why spend extra money on a pan you will use only once a year? Follow these simple directions for a perfect cake. You'll need to start at least a day ahead, so be sure to factor that into your plans.
- Your favorite cake recipe or mix
- A can of cherry pie filling
- Two 8" round cake pans
- Clean white paper
- Your favorite cake frosting
1. Make your favorite cake recipe in two 8" round cake pans.
2. After taking the cakes out of the oven and slightly cooling, turn each onto a large, round dinner plate. Cover each with plastic wrap and freeze.
1. Trace a circle from the clean, round cake pan onto a sheet of clean white paper. Trim the circle about 1/16" smaller all the way around. Now, fold the circle in half to cut a perfectly symmetrical heart-shaped template.
2. Take out the frozen cakes. Place the heart template on the top of the first one. Using a sharp, pointy knife cut the cake to the shape of the template. Pull off the extra pieces of cake for snacking later. Follow this same step with the other half of the cake.
3. Spoon the cherry pie filling onto the top of one of the cake hearts. Be careful to use a minimum of the juice. Place the cherries at least one inch from the edges of the heart all the way around.
4. Carefully place the second heart onto the first so that the cherries don't move near the edge.
5. Using your spatula, fill the gap around the sides of the cake with frosting.
6. Next, spread a thin coating of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Return the cake to the freezer for one hour. Cover and save the remaining frosting.
* Note: The initial freezing of the cake and the freezing after the first coat of frosting is important, since it's what makes the cake easier to handle. It also helps to keep the frosting crumb free.
7. One hour later – Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake with decorative strokes.
There, you have it! A perfect, heart-shaped Valentine's Day cake for the special someone in your life.
Photos courtesy: Nina Spitzer
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