Marble Chocolate Piñata Cake
A friend recently requested a classic marbled vanilla and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for a dinner party, but considering it’s a Mexican theme, I thought I’d turn the dessert into a piñata cake. This is such an easy way to add a fun surprise element to a traditional treat. You can add any candy you prefer. I opted for M&M’s because they spill out when you remove the first slice. This cake would be great to make for a gender reveal baby shower if you add only blue or pink candies.
The marble cake turns out beautifully, and the frosting is thick and fudgy, reminiscent of classic store-bought chocolate frosting without all the unpronounceable preservatives. The candies in the center add a great crunch. It is rather decadent, but it’s perfect for a special occasion with lots of friends and family. Enjoy and happy baking!
4 cups cake flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
4 cups (8 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
8 egg yolks at room temperature
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1⅔ cups whole milk at room temperature, divided
8 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
5½ cups powdered sugar
1½ cups cocoa powder
M&M’s or colorful candies of your choice
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray and set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat on high speed until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs and egg yolks until combined. Add the 2 tablespoons vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined.
• Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add the dry ingredients and 1⅓ cups milk and fold in with a spatula until the batter is smooth, thick and just combined.
• Remove 2 cups batter and place in another medium-sized bowl. Add the chocolate and stir until combined.
• Evenly divide half the yellow batter between the 2 cake pans. Evenly divide the chocolate batter between the cake pans, pouring into the center of each pan. Evenly divide the remaining yellow batter between the cake pans, covering the chocolate. Use a knife to gently swirl the batters together, creating a marbling effect.
• Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until toothpicks inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pans. Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours.
• Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the remaining 2 cups (4 sticks) butter on high until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla and the remaining ⅓ cup milk and mix on low. Once combined, beat on high 3 minutes until fluffy. Add more sugar to sweeten or cream to thin, if needed.
• To assemble, unwrap the frozen cakes and use a bread knife to carefully slice horizontally through each cake to create 4 layers.
• Use a 4-inch round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out a round in the center of 2 cake layers. Remove and discard the extra cake or reserve for another use.
• Place 1 whole layer (without a cutout) on the cake stand or serving plate. Add a dollop of frosting and spread evenly atop the cake.
• Add 1 layer with a cutout atop the base. Add a dollop of frosting and spread evenly atop and inside the hole, then repeat with the remaining layer with a cutout. Add a dollop of frosting and spread evenly atop and inside the hole.
• Fill the center of the cake to the brim with M&Ms. Cover with the last whole layer. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake evenly.
• Serve at room temperature. The cake will keep at room temperature up to 1 week.