I bet you didn't even know you needed a chocolate dome cake for your next party!
Once I show you how to make a Pinata Cake – a candy-filled cake topped with a hard, white chocolate dome – your kids will never let you serve them anything else.
It's such a fun surprise cake idea for kid's parties and it's not all that hard to make!
Some links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I also participate in affiliate programs for other retailers. This post was originally posted on Feb. 12, 2013.
Your Kids Need a Candy Smash Cake!
Years and years ago I was flipping through a Donna Hay magazine and came across this amazing looking cake covered with a hard chocolate shell.
When I turned the page and realized that the dome was actually hiding a frosted cake full of candy, I instantly needed one for my son's upcoming birthday party.
I reached out to my friend Kristin, who owned Meringue Bake Shop. And she made one for me.
It was a total hit. I mean, what kid wouldn't want to whack a hard chocolate shell to get to that candy surprise inside?
And all the other kids at my son's Lego Dance party loved it too. It got a little crazy, I'll admit. But it was so fun! And we did them for several other parties.
They were such a hit, that we decided a smash cake tutorial was in order. And we decided to make it pink in honor of Valentine's Day.
While we always called these smash cakes, because you smashed them to reveal the hidden surprise inside, most people now refer to cakes that babies tear into with their hands at their first birthday parties as smash cakes.
I've seen these types of cakes referred to as pinata cakes, bash cakes and chocolate dome cakes. Call it whatever you want.
How to Make a Pinata Cake
There are two parts to making this cake. And yes, it will take a while. There is a lot of waiting and chilling time involved so plan ahead!
Chocolate Shell Ingredients:
How to Make a Hard Chocolate Dome
Start out by making the chocolate shell that will cover the frosted cake.
If you are doing a heart design, you'll need two colors. You'll only need a small portion of the melts for the hearts.
Use a whole bag of the colored melts that will make up the rest of the chocolate dome.
Follow the directions on the bag of the candy melts for melting.
If doing the heart design, paint them on first. Kristin used the end of a cake pop stick and dabbed 3 dots to make a simple heart shape. Put the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes to let the hearts to set up.
Next, take the bowl out of the fridge and pour the second color melted candy melts into the bowl.
Tilt and swirl the bowl until the inside is covered completely. It will set quickly. Try and make the edges of the bowl opening a little thicker so it is a little bit more sturdy and will be able to stand up on the cake.
Place in the fridge until ready to unmold and put on the cake.
Make A Candy Filled Cake
You can bake a cake from scratch, but I think it is just as easy to use a boxed cake mix. There are tons of flavors to choose from and it keeps things quick and easy.
Follow the directions on the back of the box to make and bake the cake.
Let the cake cool completely.
To create more space for the candy to sit, you can carefully make a well in the cooled cake by scooping out the center. (Be sure to cram those leftover cake pieces into your mouth at this point. We don't want anything to go to waste!)
Frost the sides of the cake.
With a large piping tip, frost around the top edges of the cake. This will help keep the candy in the center and also add a little bit of height so you can fit more in.
Add the candy to the center. I used my absolute favorite heart-shaped candy that is only out at Valentine's Day. But they are not chewable.
Best Candy for a Pinata Cake
The best candy for a pinata cake would be something easy to eat, like M&Ms, Skittles, gummy candies, or even SweeTarts. Conversation Hearts would be darling for this Valentine's Day version too.
Carefully remove the dome from the bowl in the fridge and place on the cake. Use frosting to pipe around the edges to hide the seam between the chocolate shell and the cake below.
Head to Kristin's blog to read a few more of her tips and tricks for making this fun smash cake idea. Don't forget to read the comments on her page for more tips and tricks in case you have trouble getting the chocolate out of the bowl.
We used the back of a butter knife to break this pinata cake open but we've also used toy hammers in the past which was really fun!
So much fun, right?!
You can see in this photo how thick the chocolate dome is. It will be much sturdier if you do it on the thicker side like this.
There is something so satisfying about smashing a cake open with a reveal of candies!
If you're having a kid's party soon, you have to try this! A bash cake, smash cake, chocolate dome cake is the best idea!
It's literally a tabletop pinata that is edible too! If you've ever wondered how to make a pinata cake, now you know how easy it is!
See more examples of the parties where I've served pinata cakes!
More Fun Party Dessert Ideas:
Pin This Pinata Cake Tutorial for Later
Now you know how to make a pinata cake. Make one for your next kid's party!