The Best Chocolate Pinata Cake Recipe For A Fantastic Birthday

Two young girls are sifting flour to make a chocolate pinata cake with help from their mother standing behind them.

Image © senivpetro, under a Creative Commons license.

Do you or your friends and family have a birthday coming up and are thinking of exciting ways to make the day extra special?

Well, why not try your hand at baking an extra chocolatey treat to mark the occasion? A chocolate piñata cake is a cake that might look like any other ordinary cake, but when you cut yourself a slice, a colourful surprise hidden inside will be revealed!

From your favourite chewy sweets to mini chocolate smarties, fill the cake with yummy snacks and amaze all the family as you enjoy and celebrate a fantastic day with this stunning bake. It might seem challenging but we've put together a recipe with easy to follow steps so that you can enjoy delicious chocolate cake and have fun all at the same time! Are you ready to get the party started?


This recipe is for an 8" round chocolate cake which serves 14-16.

Equipment: For this recipe, you'll need three circular 8" tins you can put your mixture in, bowls of various sizes for mixing, greaseproof paper you can line your tins with and a cake base/plate.

Here is a list of the ingredients you'll need to make your yummy surprise...

For the cake: 340g butter or margarine, 340g caster sugar, 340g self-raising flour, six large eggs (beaten), 50g cocoa powder and a dash of milk.

For the filling: You can use whatever you like! Ideally you want to use 400g of sweets, treats or chocolate that will pour and spill out of the cake when you cut it- small chewy sweets, jelly beans, chocolate smarties or even mini chocolate balls would be ideal to add. Don't worry if you buy a little too much, you can use the remainder to decorate the cake.

For the buttercream: 450g margarine, 600g icing sugar, 75g cocoa powder and a dash of milk.

Got everything? Great, let's start making our very own chocolate piñata cake!

A colourful unicorn pinata arranged with colourful sweets falling out of it.
Image © netrun78, under a Creative Commons license.


1) Preheat the oven to 170°C (Gas Mark 4/Fan 150°C). Then, prepare your baking tins by grease-proofing them and lining each.

2) Cream together the butter/margarine with the sugar, making sure to cream the mixture until it is a bit paler, light and fluffy.

3) Beat the eggs in a jug or bowl, whisking lightly with a fork. Gradually add the beaten eggs to your mix, a little at a time until all of it has been used.

4) Sift the flour into the mixture, gently folding it in until thoroughly mixed together (you could use an electric mixer for this stage). In a separate bowl, add the cocoa powder with a dash of milk, mixing until a smooth paste is formed. Then, add this to the main mix.

5) After you have finished combining all the ingredients, pour the mixture evenly into the three lined tins which you prepared earlier.

A selection of different types of chocolate, melted and solid, on the table with some hazelnuts.
Image © freepik, under a Creative Commons license.

6) Then, bake in the over for a total time of 30 minutes, or until the cake is a golden brown colour. You can also poke the cake with a knife- if it comes out clean, that means your chocolate cake is ready! Put each on a wire rack to cool down.

7) Now it's time to get a little crafty. You'll need to level each of the cake layers so that they are even. Use a serrated knife or cake leveller to cut off the top of your layers to ensure each is flat so you are able to stack them.

8) When you've done this, then stack the layers on your cake plate or base. You'll then need to use a small circular bowl or plate, place it in the centre of the stack and use it as a guide to cut a hole in the middle, making sure to cut down through each layer. Save these cut outs (you'll find out why later).

9) It's now butter creaming time! In a bowl, add the ingredients we've listed together. Add the cocoa powder to the milk again to form a paste, and then add this to the mixture. You'll want a creamy, but thick consistency.

10) Get your cake plate/base ready - you're nearly there! Stack the sponges, spreading a layer of buttercream between each (not in the hole). Then, fill your cake with sweet treats of your choice until the top of the second layer!

11) Next, top the cake with one of the cut outs you removed earlier to seal! Use the remainder of the buttercream to cover the outside of the cake.

12) Decorating time! Use any sweet treats you have left over to decorate with your children and enjoy your yummy birthday cake party treat!

A little boy with dark hair and wearing a blue shirt taking a bite of a piece of chocolate pinata cake.e
Image © anchaleeyates, under a Creative Commons license.

Tips And Recommendations

Do you want to make an even bigger cake? If you'd like to make a 10" cake, simply double the quantity of every ingredient in the recipe we have provided. For example, 340g margarine would be 570g for a 10" cake. You'll also need 10 medium eggs beaten instead of six.

Use the cut outs for a mini sponge cake! With the two remaining cut outs you didn't use, make a mini layered cake which you can have as an additional mini cake and let the kids have creative control, using their artsy side for a fun activity.

Add A Twist!

Why just make a chocolate cake when there are so many flavours to choose? Substitute these in the above recipe to liven up your party.

  • Lemon - Grated lemon zest of 2 lemons
  • Coconut - 50g desiccated coconut
  • Banana - 2 ripe bananas, mashed


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