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How to Make a Heart-Shaped Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

How to Make a Heart-Shaped Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make a Heart-Shaped Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

Fun Heart Facts

  • The heart is one big muscle.
  • The origin of "wearing your heart on your sleeve" comes from the Middle Ages, when suitors would draw names to see who their valentine would be and then pin the names to the sleeves of their garments.
  • The Greek word for heart is "kardia."

Perfect for Valentine's Day or another special celebration, this fun and easy heart-shaped cake can be created in the same amount of time that it takes to bake a regular cake. The best part about it is that you don't need a special heart-shaped pan. You only need supplies that you probably have on hand.

Impress your family and friends by turning a simple cake into a heart-shaped masterpiece in only a few easy steps.

Supplies Needed

  • One square cake pan
  • One round cake pan
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 box of cake mix, any type
  • 1 tub of frosting, any type
  • Cake decorations like sprinkles or colored sugar

Directions

Follow the photo guide below to create your heart-shaped cake.

Tip: If you want a larger cake, use 2 boxes of cake mix and layer the pieces. You will need 3 tubs of icing for this larger cake, but will probably not use the entire amount of the third tub.

Step 1 - Prepare the Pans

Prepare one square and one circular pan by spraying cooking spray on the bottoms.  I used a 9" square and a 9" circular pan.  If you do not have these sizes, others will do, but you may have to trim down the cake as needed.

Prepare one square and one circular pan by spraying cooking spray on the bottoms. I used a 9" square and a 9" circular pan. If you do not have these sizes, others will do, but you may have to trim down the cake as needed.

Step 2 - Prepare the Cake Mix

Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box, or use a homemade cake recipe. If using a homemade recipe, be sure that it makes enough for two cake pans.

Step 3 - Pour Cake Batter Into Prepared Pans

Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Step 4 - Cool Baked Cakes

Follow recipe directions for baking.  Allow cakes to cool completely on a baking rack before cutting and frosting.

Follow recipe directions for baking. Allow cakes to cool completely on a baking rack before cutting and frosting.

Step 5 - Cut the Round Cake in Half

Cut the round cake evenly in half using a sharp knife.  Only cut after cake is completely cooled.

Cut the round cake evenly in half using a sharp knife. Only cut after cake is completely cooled.

Step 6 - Assemble the Cake for Frosting

Using a large tray, assemble the unfrosted cake.  Place the square cake on the diagonal and place the two halves of the circular cake at the top left and right.  The heart shape is formed.

Using a large tray, assemble the unfrosted cake. Place the square cake on the diagonal and place the two halves of the circular cake at the top left and right. The heart shape is formed.

Step 7 - Frost the Cake

Using the tub of frosting, frost the cake.  Begin by applying a thin frosting layer on the cut edges of the round cake and adhere them to the square.  Continue frosting.  If the layers are not the same height, use frosting to even out the surface.

Using the tub of frosting, frost the cake. Begin by applying a thin frosting layer on the cut edges of the round cake and adhere them to the square. Continue frosting. If the layers are not the same height, use frosting to even out the surface.

Step 8 - Decorate the Cake

Using decorations of your choice, decorate the cake.  To get the glitter hearts, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter and gently laid it on the cake surface.  Then I added glitter to the center of the cutter.

Using decorations of your choice, decorate the cake. To get the glitter hearts, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter and gently laid it on the cake surface. Then I added glitter to the center of the cutter.

Suggestions for Your Heart-Shaped Cake

You don't have to use a cake mix for this recipe. As long as it makes enough batter for two pans, your favorite recipe will work just as well. Here are just a few ideas for your cake.

  • Vanilla cake with chocolate or vanilla frosting
  • Chocolate cake with chocolate or vanilla frosting
  • Strawberry cake with vanilla frosting
  • Mint chocolate cake with chocolate or vanilla frosting
  • Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting
  • Decorate with toasted coconut
  • Decorate with fresh strawberries
  • Write "I Love You" with red hot candies on the cake
  • Use colored sugar or jimmies as a decoration
  • Use chocolate shavings as a decoration
  • Add food coloring to frosting for a different look
  • Use cookie cutters as templates to sprinkle sugar designs on the frosted cake
  • Instead of frosting, use a doily as a template and sprinkle powdered sugar on the cake
  • Microwave a store-bought tub of frosting for 30 second on 50% power. Stir and pour over the cooled cake. If it's too thick after 30 seconds, keep microwaving in 10 second intervals until it's just pourable. It makes a nice ganache for the cake.

© 2013 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 25, 2015:

Thanks Sunshine - Sorry for the late response. This method makes it super easy for folks that don't have the heart shaped pan.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on February 16, 2015:

I usually use a heart shaped pan, but this is a very clever way of making the heart cake without the pan! :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 12, 2013:

Thanks so much Chris. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. We still have time to make one before Thursday! :-)

Christine McDade from Southwest Florida on February 12, 2013:

I love this cake and will be giving it a try. I love the photos which make the step by step instructions very easy to follow. The first photo, the completed cake, is a great pic which makes the reader want to make it. Voted up!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 01, 2013:

Thanks Written Up. It's a great treat for the upcoming holiday!

Written Up from Oklahoma City, OK on January 31, 2013:

This is awesome - great pics, too. Love it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 17, 2013:

Thanks Frangipanni! Cooks always need a few secrets so they can turn out cool looking things.

Frangipanni on January 17, 2013:

Fantastic for Valentines Day. Those newbies in the kitchen can look like pros!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 16, 2013:

emilybee - I appreciate the comments. I like doing things on the cheap side and don't have a lot of kitchen space for pans so this works out perfectly.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 16, 2013:

Thanks so much Jeannieinabottle! Let me know how it works out.

emilybee on January 16, 2013:

That is awesome! I was all ready to go out and buy a heart shaped pan...never even considered making one without it. So simple!!! Thanks!

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on January 16, 2013:

These cake looks so beautiful! I want to give this a try for Valentine's Day. Thanks for sharing!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 13, 2013:

I'm glad you like the hub rebeccamealey! It's fun to make and always impresses friends and families!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 13, 2013:

Thanks so much Au fait! Glad it brought back memories. It is definitely a cake one can really "fancy" up a lot. I appreciate the support.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on January 13, 2013:

I always wondered how a heart-shaped cake was made. Now I know. It seems so simple. What a yummy looking cake! Voted helpful and shared.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 13, 2013:

My sister made one of these just the way you recommend when we were kids growing up. When I saw this hub it brought back memories and made me think how this hub may be just what some people are looking for with Valentine's Day just a month away. This is a pretty cake and can be made to look so impressive, yet it's easy. Voted up, useful, and will share!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 10, 2013:

Thanks dobo700. I appreciate you reading the hub.

dobo700 from Australia on January 09, 2013:

Very clever, I would never have thought of combining a square and around cake.

Thanks

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 09, 2013:

Gypsy48 - That is my favorite part of this trick. I have limited kitchen space and don't have room for lots of pans. I can still do a fun cake and not get more clutter by adding a new pan. Thanks for visiting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 09, 2013:

Suzie - Thanks for all of the support! Chocolate and berries sounds really good and add some freshness to it. I hope you give it a try.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 09, 2013:

Thanks tattuwurn. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

Gypsy48 on January 09, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this handy tip for creating a heart shaped cake. I don't have to purchase a heart shaped pan now:) Voted up and useful

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on January 08, 2013:

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan,

Love this heart shaped cake, so easy but so so effective. I was wondering how toy would get the heart shape, love the simplicity of two shapes made into a heart! Think a chocolate version would definitely be my top choice with berries and cream. Great recipe full of info and alternative toppings.

Voted, shared and pinned . . . . a definite winner with Valentine's Day around the corner!

tattuwurn on January 08, 2013:

Wow, this is really genius! It only takes a one squared pan and one round pan to make a heart-shaped cake. It can be two-layered if one likes a bigger cake. I like the glitters, so cute! Voted up and awesome.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

Thanks savingkathy. Your kids will love it. My daughter always loves this one and it makes her smile.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

Thanks so much Mary! The glitter sugar was fun and adds a lot of zip to the cake. I appreciate the support!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

Thanks breakfastpop.

Kathy Sima from Ontario, Canada on January 08, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this easy way to make a heart shaped cake. It will be perfect for Valentine's Day. I am definitely going to make one for the kids!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on January 08, 2013:

You know I'm a baker and love to make different kinds of cakes to decorate. I love this idea. I like the way you used the glitter to decorate the hearts on the cake. Well done.

I voted this UP, etc. and will share, and Pin

breakfastpop on January 08, 2013:

What a sweet idea for Valentine's Day...

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

Oh - Your mom will love it shiningirisheyes. That's a sweet idea. Thanks for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

I appreciate it cdmwriter. It's so easy and always impresses. I wish everything in life was that easy!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

Thanks so much Thelma. I hope you give it a try soon. Have a good day.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on January 08, 2013:

I sincerely thank you for this! I could not believe how obviously easy it was once you spelled it out! I will be surprising my Mom with a cake for Valentines day.

Thanks again!

cdmwriter on January 08, 2013:

I would never have thought of the way you combined the round and square cakes to make a heart! Very clever.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on January 08, 2013:

This is a great idea. I have made a heart shape cake before but with the use of heart shape baking form. Now, I could try a smaller heart shape cake with the use of this hub. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and more;-)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

I appreciate the comments ChitrangadaSharan. The best part about doing it this way is you don't need a special pan. Thanks.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

I won't laugh at you MHatter! I still can't figure out how to text on my cell phone that I have had for 3 years! My daughter does laugh at me and then tries to teach me how to use it. Thanks for visiting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

Thanks petweddingtheme4u. I hope you get a chance to try it. It's always a lot of fun.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 08, 2013:

Thanks so much Janine. Your girls will love it and be impressed with the fancy cake. I bet they would love pink frosting too!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 08, 2013:

This is wonderful! I have made heart shaped cakes before with the cake mould I have in this particular shape. But this is such a innovative idea. I am certainly going to try in this way, as the pictures you have added and the instructions you have provided are quite helpful. Thanks for sharing.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on January 07, 2013:

Please don't laugh at me. It took me at least 10 years of making cakes to realize I cut the cake into ships, animals and all sorts of things. Thank you for this.

Becky Grant from Connecticut on January 07, 2013:

Oh how cute. That is a perfect idea for valentines day. Hopefully I could find some time to bake one.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on January 07, 2013:

Love this and am so going to try to make for my girls on Valentine's Day. Thanks seriously for sharing. I have pinned, tweeted, shared and voted way up!!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 07, 2013:

Thanks SmartAndFun - This is a fun one My daughter loves shaped cakes and this one is so easy.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 07, 2013:

I appreciate the comments bdegiulio. It is amazingly simple with no fancy pan needed. That is my favorite part. I hope you give it a try.

SmartAndFun from Texas on January 07, 2013:

Great idea, and just in time for Valentine's Day! I love to make shaped cakes with plain old pans. Fun for kids, too.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on January 07, 2013:

This is great. I was thinking you were going to be trying to cut one of the cakes into the shape of a heart. This is so easy. I'll have to give this a try, looks easy enough for even me. Thanks for sharing, great timing with Valentines Day coming.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 07, 2013:

Thanks so much teaches. All chocolate with some strawberries on top would be good too. Thanks for commenting.

Dianna Mendez on January 07, 2013:

This is just in time for Valentine's Day. Of course mine will be pure chocolate!! I like the fun facts and now I know where the expression heart in your sleeve comes from. Voted up!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 07, 2013:

Thanks ChristyWrites. My daughter is eating a piece right now. She is my official taste tester.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 07, 2013:

Even you can make this Bill and I bet it would surprise and impress Bev if you did! Thanks for the visit.

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on January 07, 2013:

Awesome! Want :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 07, 2013:

Why is it that I can write a hub that will make people cry, but I can't bake a cake???? LOL Thanks for the instructions; hopefully I'll be able to follow them.