Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.
Personalized Treats for Valentine's Day
You can't help but love conversation hearts, those sweet, crunchy candies that hit store shelves every winter after Christmas. When I was in grade school, I would anxiously open up a box and read the messages printed on each one. And, boy, was it a treat when someone gave me one. I, and probably most other kids, would privately hope that the giver of the candy really meant what that candy heart said.
I'm in my fifties now, and these candies are still fun to eat. I read them one by one, and if I find a fitting one, I give it to my husband. Unfortunately, they aren't his favorite, so he sets them aside—and because of that, I thought it would be fun to make a conversation heart he actually would eat.
So I came up with this sweet treat. These petit fours are cute, colorful, and delicious. They make a special homemade gift for loved ones, and they're perfect for Valentine's Day parties. The best part about them is that they can be personalized any way you want.
- 1 (16-oz) box pound cake loaf mix
- 1 can of frosting or jam of your choice (for the filling)
- Candy melts for the coating
- Shortening, if desired, to thin out the candy melt coating
- Edible ink pens
Step 1: Prepare the Pound Cake
- Prepare one (16-oz) box of vanilla pound cake as directed on the box.
- Bake in a 13x9 pan. Really watch the bake time here because this size pan is larger than the ones suggested on the box and it will probably cook more quickly.
- Set aside to cool, removing from the pan after about 15 minutes and continue cooling on a wire rack.
Step 2: Smooth Out the Cake
- Make sure the cake is completely cooled.
- Take a large serrated knife, like a bread knife, and carefully smooth out the top of the cake. I run the knife along the top, using the edges as a guide.
Step 3: Trim the Edges
My cake pan's edges aren't straight up and down so I trim all four sides of the cake to square it up. I cut off about 1/4".
Step 4: Split the Cake in Half
I'll admit that this is my least favorite part of this project.
- Use a long serrated knife and carefully split the cake in half, making two thinner 13x9 pieces. Estimate the center, keep the knife parallel to the cutting board and slowly cut. It never turns out perfectly, but it works.
- Gently move the top to a flat surface. I use my hand and a large spatula to help with this process.
Step 5: Spread the Filling
- Using the filling of your choice, cover the bottom layer completely. Don't make the layer too thick.
- For a 13x9 size, I use about 3/4 of a can of frosting. I've also used jam for this step and it took about 1 cup.
Step 6: Make the Cake Sandwich
- Carefully put the top of the cake that was set aside earlier back on top of the filling, making a big 13x9 cake sandwich of sorts.
- Being very gentle, press down to join the layers.
Step 7: Cut Out the Hearts
I have this great heart-shaped cookie cutter from my mother that is about 2 inches high, so it works perfectly for this project. If you can find one like that, it's worth it.
- Cut out as many hearts as you can. I try to leave as little left over as possible, but those leftover bits are a great treat after making these.
- I got about 18 heart cakes out of one 13x9 pan.
Step 8: Coat With Candy Melts
- Melt the candy melts in the microwave as directed. I add about a tablespoon of shortening to the melts before I microwave them. I find that it thins out the coating and makes it much easier to work with.
- Pour over the top and tap off any excess.
- Set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool.
- Once the coating is completely cooled and hard, use the edible ink marking pens and write out your fun messages.
I Luv U
U R Fun
U R Sweet
You & Me
U R Cool
Q T Pie
Happy Valentine's Day!
You can see that I split the cake a little unevenly but it certainly didn't detract from the taste.
These conversation heart petit fours were a great little Valentine's Day treat that my whole family loved.
© 2018 Claudia Mitchell
Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 11, 2019:
Thanks Sherri! I appreciate it!
Sherri on February 11, 2019:
Claudia, way to go. These look so good!!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 01, 2018:
I remember those little candy shaped hearts from my childhood school days. Your use of cake in a heart shape is a cute idea.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on March 02, 2018:
Congrats on your win, and well deserved it was! These are just too cute!
Now I have to go buy some candy melts! LOL
MariaWebber on February 27, 2018:
Isabella from Far North Queensland on February 20, 2018:
Congratulations. This is very creative.
Brianna W from East Coast on February 16, 2018:
Congrats on the win! My kiddos are definitely going to want to make these. So adorable!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 16, 2018:
Thank you all so much for stopping by and reading. I'm glad you liked these petit fours. They tasted really good too!
Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on February 15, 2018:
Congrats! What a great idea. These are so adorable, versatile and customizeable, and I can definitely see myself making some of these next year.
This year I made mini (3 bite) brownies for my nieces, topped with mini marshmallows and an icing heart, and they loved it. So these minis are right up my alley.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 15, 2018:
Congratulations for winning the contest! You deserve it.
Wonderful recipe, helpful pictures and instructions.
Thanks for sharing !
Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on February 14, 2018:
These Petit Fours are wonderful. I would like to taste them.
Congratulations on winning the award.
Thelma Alberts from Germany on February 14, 2018:
These look gorgeous. Congratulations on winning the LoveHub Contest. Awesome recipe. I would love to try this. Thanks for sharing.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 14, 2018:
You are welcome and I hope you get to sit down with a cuppa and a Pettit Four or maybe a glass of bubbly:)
Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 14, 2018:
Thanks Sally! I wasn't sure what you were talking about at first, but just saw the blog post. Congratulations to you as well.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 14, 2018:
Just returning to your yummy Hub, Congratulations! I am delighted to share in yours and my success in the Valentine's day competition. Well deserved, I am so happy for you.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 13, 2018:
Thanks Donna - I love the advice given in the comments on how to split the cake. I'm going to have to try that some time. Nice to hear from you.
Donna Herron from USA on February 13, 2018:
Oh, these little cakes are adorable! This recipe includes a few things that I've always been afraid to try, like cutting a cake in two pieces lengthwise. But you offer some good advice, and since pound cake is usually dense, I think I might be able to manage this. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 12, 2018:
These look like lovely treats for Valentine's Day. I like the message list, too!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 12, 2018:
Margaret - That's a great idea!!!! Thanks. I am definitely going to try that next time. Thanks for reading.
Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on February 12, 2018:
I love this idea! Here’s a tip for cutting the cake into two even layers: Insert toothpicks halfway up the sides of the cake, halfway into the cake, parallel to your work surface and spaced about 2 inches apart. Line up the serrated edge of a very long bread knife so the bottom of the knife is resting (just barely) on the row of toothpicks. Saw through the layer slowly, using the toothpick guides to keep your cuts parallel and centered. Hope that helps!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 11, 2018:
Thanks for the kind comments. I bought a couple of boxes of conversation hearts at the store yesterday to snack on. Have fun if you give these a try. They take a little white, but they are fun.
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 11, 2018:
Ah, they are so cute. I love them. I'll have to try making these!
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on February 11, 2018:
Yummy! Gosh, those take me back a long way. I have not tasted Petit Fours for years. There was always something magical about biting into that icing.