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Conversation Heart Cake

This Conversation Heart Cake is just too cute! A layered, fluffy white cake with homemade buttercream frosting and adorably decorated with Conversation Hearts – this is a cake even Cupid will love!

Side view of conversation heart cake.

Conversation Heart Cake

Tell your honey that you’re sweet on them with this adorable Conversation Heart Cake! This recipe makes the most perfectly fluffy, moist white cake.

The base is a typical box mix, but we’ve added a few extra steps to give it that bakery quality. There’s nothing quite like a dressed up box mix!

Our homemade buttercream frosting is rich and creamy and made even better with crushed candies. Throw in a few decorating tips and tricks, and you’ll be stealing hearts wherever you go this holiday!

How to Make a Conversation Heart Cake:

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F and prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and spraying the sides with baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a hand mixer and large bowl) add in the water, sour cream, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix until just combined.
  3. Next add in the white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. Mix until just combined. Pour the cake batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 40-50 minutes. You can insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean the cake is ready.
  4. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10-15 minutes before removing and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Take 1 very large cup of the conversation hearts and crush them, either by hand or in a blender, until the pieces are smaller than a pea, but not diminished to just powder. You want the pieces to easily fit through your piping tip when you frost the cake. It’s okay if there is some powder and some pieces, that’s bound to happen in the process.
  2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, salt, and almond flavoring. Beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes until well combined.
  4. Add in the 2 tablespoons of boiling water, then beat on high for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the frosting is light and airy. Divide the frosting in half, placing half in a separate bowl.
  5. Add the crushed conversation hearts to one of the bowls of buttercream and use a spatula to gently fold the pieces in.

For the Decorating:

  1. Now for the fun part! Scoop the buttercream that has the conversation hearts into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip, or your tip of choice.
  2. Take about a half cup of the plain frosting and place it into a small bowl with a drop or two of red food coloring, mix well and set aside.
  3. When the cakes have completely cooled, cut each of the cake rounds in half horizontally, so that you now have 4 layers of cake. Assemble the cake on a serving platter, pipe a layer of the conversation heart buttercream between each layer of cake and spread evenly. Save a bit of the buttercream for decorating the top of the cake later.
  4. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the plain buttercream, making it as smooth as possible on the top. Any remaining plain buttercream can be mixed in with the conversation heart buttercream at this time if needed for additional decorating.
  5. Apply the remaining conversation hearts to the sides of the cake all the way around. You can place them sporadically, in a pattern, or cover the sides completely.
  6. Place the red buttercream frosting into a small piping bag with a round tip for writing. Write your favorite conversation heart phrase on the top in the center of the cake with the red buttercream.
  7. With the remaining conversation heart frosting, pipe tall swirls on the top edges of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set.
  8. Serve this conversation heart cake chilled or at room temperature, and enjoy!
Collage showing how to make a conversation heart cake.

Conversation Heart Cake Tips and Variations

  • Keep in mind the flavors of the conversation hearts when decorating. You may want to choose to eliminate a certain flavor or flavors depending on your preference.
  • When you’re stacking the layers of the cake, try to make sure the very top layer is actually a bottom section of cake. This makes for the flattest surface to work with when decorating later.
  • If you’re still new at piping frosting or are just learning, use a toothpick (or similar sized object) to write out whatever phrase or word you’d like on the top of the cake first. This way you can adjust the spacing or fix any mistakes before tracing over it with the piped frosting.
  • Be sure not to overmix your batter to ensure a light and fluffy cake.
  • Not a fan of conversation hearts? Try using another small candy instead, like M&Ms or even colorful sprinkles.
  • Swap out the white cake for another flavor like funetti, chocolate, yellow, strawberry, or red velvet. Then change out the conversation hearts to another candy or sprinkle to pair with the cake flavor of your choice.
Slice of conversation heart cake on a spatula.

Storage

Storage: You can store leftover conversation heart cake in an airtight container. Because of the buttercream frosting you’ll need to store in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

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Slice of conversation heart cake on a plate.

Conversation Heart Cake

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16 Servings

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Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 16.25 ounces white cake mix 1 box
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Buttercream:

  • 28 ounces Conversation Hearts two 14 ounce packages divided (used in frosting and as decoration)
  • 2 cups unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup shortening softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • Red food coloring

Instructions

For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F, and prepare two 8-inch cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and spraying with baking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water, sour cream, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
    1 ¼ cup water
    1 cup full fat sour cream
    3 large eggs
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Add in the cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. Mix just until combined. Pour the cake batter into the two prepared cake pans.
    16.25 ounces white cake mix
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  • Take 1 heaping cup of the conversation hearts and crush them, either by hand or in a blender, until the pieces are smaller than a pea, but not too powdery. You want the pieces to easily fit through your piping tip. It’s okay if there is some powder and some pieces.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
    2 cups unsalted butter
    ¾ cup shortening
  • Add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, salt, and almond flavoring. Beat on medium high for 2 to 3 minutes.
    4 cups powdered sugar
    ½ cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Pour in the 2 tablespoons of boiling water, then beat on high for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and airy. Divide the frosting in half, placing half in a new bowl. 
    2 tablespoons hot water
  • Add the crushed conversation hearts to one of the bowls of buttercream and use a spatula to gently fold in.

Decorating:

  • Scrape the buttercream that has the conversation hearts into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip, or tip of choice.
  • Take about ½ cup of the plain frosting and place it into a small bowl with some red food coloring, mix well, set aside.
  • When the cakes are completely cool, cut each of the cake rounds in half horizontally, so you will now have 4 layers of cake. Assemble the cake on a serving platter, and pipe a layer of the conversation heart buttercream between each layer of cake. Save a bit of the buttercream to add decorative swirls to the top of the cake.
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake with the plain buttercream, making it as smooth as possible on the top. Any remaining plain buttercream can be mixed in with the conversation heart buttercream (if needed).
  • Apply the remaining conversation hearts to the sides of the cake all the way around, either randomly or in a pattern of your choice.
  • Place the red buttercream into a small piping bag with a round tip for writing. Write your favorite conversation heart phrase on the top in the center of the cake.
  • Pipe tall swirls of the conversation heart buttercream on the top edges of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set. 
  • Enjoy chilled or at room temperature! See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice of cake. Actual calories will vary.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
 
*Photos courtesy of Megan from The Kindred Whisk and recipe inspired by Gimme Some Oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 778kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 406mg | Sugar: 56g
Recipe Rating