Has the lead up to this cake been dramatic enough? I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you! I don’t know what it is about Peeps, but they are the cutest things ever! I don’t like eating them AT ALL, but they are so fun to create with. I caught myself on a couple of occasions playing with them . . . “Um, what am I doing?” You can check those photos out on my Instagram account! Or don’t, it’s kind of embarrassing.
This is my first official “surprise inside” cake. I’ve done a couple of cupcakes that have hidden gems inside, but I’ve never done a cake. What I love about a surprise inside is that from the outside, you have no idea that there is something hiding underneath all the cake and icing. You can also choose to make this cake without the surprise and have it all be cake, but then you wouldn’t find all those cute Peeps faces gazing out at you on that first slice!
If you choose not to hollow out the cakes, it will definitely feed more people, so if you are looking to serve a crowd, make sure that you take into account that a lot of the cake is removed after baking. You might want to have some back up cupcakes or another small cake on hand if you have a hungry crowd.
The marshmallow buttercream that we use is absolutely delicious! It has a ton of butter in it, which makes it taste amazing, and also makes it super easy to spread. I’ve found that the higher the butter level, the easier the spread-ability of the icing! I’m also a scientist on the side, can you tell?
If you’re going to be making this cake and prefer to use box mixes, I have to tell you that I’m not sure if the box mixes will hold up in the bowl after the carving. Box mixes tend to be lighter, and weaker than cakes from scratch. I would worry that when you’re carving out the centre of the bowl cake, that you might have some problems with the sides collapsing. But, hopefully you don’t! If you try it with a box mix, and it works out, make sure you leave a comment about what you did to help it be successful!
How to Make a Giant Peeps Cake
- 2 batches of desired cake batter (I used my vanilla cake)
- yellow marshmallow buttercream
- yellow sanding sugar
- 2 brown Smarties (or other round brown candies)
- toothpicks/uncooked spaghetti
- Preheat oven to 350F. In a 9″x13″ cake pan, bake one of the batches of cake batter for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool. In a 3 qt glass bowl, bake the other cake batter batch for 70-80 minutes. I found that placing a heating cored into the middle of the batter in the bowl helped with baking the batter more thoroughly. Allow to cool completely.
- Place rectangle cake onto a cake board or plate. Place the round cake on top of the rectangle cake at one end of the rectangle cake. Line a serrated knife up to the edge of the round cake, and proceed to cut of the corner of the rectangle cake. Repeat this for the other 3 corners. Set these pieces aside as you will need them later.
- Hollowing out the cakes- With the round cake still on top of the rectangle cake, place toothpicks to mark the location of the round cake. Remove round cake and set aside. Using a sharp knife placed about an inch inside of the location lines of the round cake, start cutting and removing cake, until you have a deep enough hollow for the peeps to fit. To hollow out the round cake, turn it so the widest part is facing upwards. Level the cake so the top is flat, and then using a sharp knife placed about an inch inside of the edge of the cake, start cutting and removing cake chunks. You want to remove enough that there is a decent sized hollow, but not too much that your cake becomes fragile and breaks when you go to move it.
- Fill the hollowed out portions with peeps!
- Place a thin layer of buttercream around the outside of hole (now holding the Peeps) of the rectangle cake.
- To place the round cake back on top of the rectangle cake without the Peeps falling out, I found it was best to cover the top with a cake lifter and then flip the round cake upside down, place on top of the rectangle where it should be and gently remove the cake lifter.
- Taking one of the triangular pieces that were cut off earlier, line it up for the beak of the Peep and secure into place with toothpicks. Using 2 triangular pieces, line them up for the tail of the Peep and secure with toothpicks.
- Cover entire cake in a thin crumb coat with the yellow marshmallow buttercream. Set into the freezer for 20 minutes to set the coat.
- Remove from freezer and apply a final layer of buttercream.
- Cover the cake in yellow sanding sugar.
- Attach the brown smarties (eyes) with a little dab of buttercream.
I purchased my yellow sanding sugar at Bulk Barn.
I purchased my rainbow of Peeps at Target.
The Peeps stayed intact while inside the cake. When I cut into it, they were soft, shiny and no longer had a hard-ish outer coating.
If you are concerned about their being toothpicks in the cake, replace the toothpicks with spaghetti for support. The reason I don’t use spaghetti is that I don’t think it is as strong as the toothpicks, but you might have a different opinion on that. Besides, if you use spaghetti, the cake remains 100% edible!