Piñata Cake

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Go right on past this cake if you are hoping for a healthy cake recipe – I’m not even sure its legal to give people this much food colouring but it certainly has the WOW effect! Especially when you cut inside and more (yes more) colour falls out! We had a lovely birthday dinner for Mary Rose last night – I’ll post the rest of the meal this week but decided to start at the end – the Birthday Cake! Happy Birthday Mary Rose!!

There is A LOT of cake in this – but we are down to the last quarter less than 12 hours later. Very moorish. You have to make 4 sponges to complete the cake – if you have 4 sponge trays and theyll all fit in the oven, it could be made together. I divided the sponge recipe in 2 and made it in two batches. These are the quantities for all the sponge needed. A small note on the food colouring used – I used liquid Goodalls colouring but I think you would get an even more vibrant colour if you invested in some coloured gels from a specialist cake shop.

  • 460g butter, softened, plus 450g for the icing, softened
  • 460g caster sugar
  • 8 large eggs
  • 460g self-raising flour
  •  (Natural if you can get it) Yellow Food Colouring
  • Green Food Colouring
  •  Pink Food Colouring
  •  Blue Food Colouring
  • 900g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 90g Smarties
  • 90g M&Ms
  • 90g dolly mixture
  • 90g jelly babies (or 360g of any small sweets that will ‘fall’ easily


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line 4 x 20cm sandwich tins. Beat together all the cake butter and the caster sugar until light and creamy.  Sift in the flour and eggs, one at a time alternately (flour, then eggs ets)
  • Divide the mixture into four and add the colours – be generous!
  • Put the mixture in the cake tins and level the tops. Bake in the oven for 25/28 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Using a spoon, mix the remaining 450g butter with the icing sugar, vanilla and 4 tbsp cold water until the sugar is just blended in, then beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Butter icing needs to be beaten for at least 10 minutes for this light creamy consistency.
  • Cut out 10cm rounds from the centres of two of sponge layers (you can freeze these to eat later or just eat them!).

rainbow cake cutout

  • Spread some of the butter icing on one of the remaining full cakes. Place the cut out ‘ring’ carefully on top.

rainbowcake icingrainbow cake icing 2cake1

  • Ice this ring, then add the next ‘ring’
  • Fill the hole with the sweets.


  • Place the remaining cake on top of the sweets and cake.
  • Divide the rest of the icing into five equal portions. Put two portions together in a bowl and colour green. Colour the other portions blue, pink and orange or yellow – whatever you choose.
  • Spread the green icing over the top cake – carefully icing down the side.
  • Continue with the other 3 colours – carefully icing around the outside of each cake. Try not to have the cake iced with the same colour – mix it up.

cake 4

  • To finish, make a spiral pattern on top using the back of a teaspoon, which has been quickly dipped in boiling water. Tip any remaining sweets on the top in the centre.

Happy Birthday!!

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