Hidden "Surprise" Cake

Welcome to the first in an absolute bombardment of Easter recipes! Now, aside from living my best life eating as many chocolate eggs as I can stomach, I've never really been that interested in Easter, so I'm switching it up this year and really getting into the Easter spirit! I’ve got a whole host of adorable recipes for us all to try and I'll be posting one EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. From now till Easter Sunday. 

This is definitely one of the more challenging bakes I’ve ever done, but it didn't put me off! I’d been looking into making these “hidden” cakes for a while but the idea of baking two cakes then baking one inside the other so every slice you get a little picture was a pretty daunting thought. When I saw this recipe from Sainsbury’s that used basic ingredients and only one tin, I knew this was my moment to give this a go. Of course, I'm no star baker so I don’t think this really came out the way I wanted it to (mainly because some of my hidden cake pieces broke off in the freezer) but I tried and that's what counts! 

So, for some context, the picture inside was going to be a little wrapped up sweet…but the top of each sweet broke off in the freezer so I ended up with what looked like a fish on each slice, so welcome to a recipe for my Easter "Hidden" Fish Cake!!!  

Serves 6-8 

Chocolate Orange Cake 
175g Unsalted Butter, soft
175g Caster Sugar 
225g Self Raising Flour 
2 Eggs 
100ml Milk 
4 tbsp Cocoa Powder 
1 Orange, zested 
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Bicarbonate of Soda 

Vanilla Cake 
175g Unsalted Butter, soft
175g Caster Sugar 
3 Eggs, beaten 
225g Self Raising Flour 
2 tbsp Milk 
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 

Begin by making the chocolate orange cake. This will be the cake we make our cutouts for, to go inside the vanilla cake. Preheat the oven to 160C/ 140 Fan/ Gas Mark 3, grease a loaf tin, and mix the butter and sugar together until you have a light and creamy paste. 

Now onto the chocolate cake! Add in flour, eggs, milk, cocoa powder, zest, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda and mix together until you have a thick and smooth chocolatey cake batter.  

Pour the batter into your loaf tin and bake in the oven for around 55-65 mins until the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once you take this cake out, leave your oven on!! 

Once out of the oven, let the cake cool in its tin for about 10 mins and then carefully lift it out to fully cool on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool, slice it up into 2cm thick slices, we don’t want the slices too thin otherwise the cut-outs won't stand up in the batter, but don’t make them way too thick (like I did for some of them) otherwise, they may be too heavy and just fall apart. 

Using a cookie cutter no larger than 7 cm in height, cut out some cute designs from your cake slices and place them on a non-stick tray. Put the tray in the freezer until you need them again. 

Now onto our second cake, the vanilla cake! I loved that chocolate orange cake recipe and I think I might try and ramp it up a bit over Christmas so look out for that! To make our vanilla cake first wash out the loaf tin and then re-grease it. We want to once again, beat together the butter and sugar until you have a light and creamy mix. 

Now, beat in the eggs one at a time, if the mixture starts to curdle or go lumpy just add in a tbsp of flour. Keep doing this until you’ve beaten all your eggs into the butter and sugar. 

Then just add in your flour, milk, and vanilla extract and mix together until you have another thick and smooth cake batter.

Now, take the cake pieces out of the freezer. Lay a thin layer of vanilla cake batter in the loaf tin (you only need a couple of inches just so the cake pieces sit in the middle of the cake) and arrange the chocolate cake pieces in one long line down the middle of the tin. Stick them as close together as you can so that every single slice has a good picture in it. 

Pour the rest of the vanilla cake batter over the top and sides of the chocolate cake pieces making sure they’re fully covered and the batter is smooth.

Bake the cake in the oven for between 1 hour and 5 mins and 1 hour and 15 mins until the vanilla cake is well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Once baked, take the cake out of the oven and allow it cool in the tin for 10 mins before carefully removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now the moment of truth, slice that cake up, and let's see what's inside! 

It’s a fish!!! 

I hope yours looks adorable, mine obviously wasn’t the cute Easter image I was going for, but I think this cute fish-looking image is kinda cool nonetheless. Although this recipe does take a long time and uses a lot of ingredients, I don't the process as a whole is that difficult, for a recipe that makes two cakes and hides one inside the other, it certainly isn’t impossible! 
I will definitely make more of these throughout different seasons, I've already got some really fun ideas for Halloween! I think this recipe is good for pretty much anyone, it’s really no more difficult than making two basic cakes, and I know almost all of us can do that anyway! If you have the time and resources to make this then I 100% think you should, it’s a great learning curve and no matter what it really looks like inside, it’s really impressive that you’ve managed to do it anyway! 

I hope I've given you some early Easter inspiration! 

H x