Piñata Cake

Recipes Bakes

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Inspiration struck when reading Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales, in which a clever grandma holds off Señor Calavera (death himself!), by asking for just a minute to finish her various to do list items, one of which is to make “7 piñatas filled with candy.” (This book also goes great with a visit to La Morada restaurant.)

Each page of the book is filled with more and more color until Grandma Beetle’s grandchildren come over for a big birthday party.  So…I made a piñata cake!  It’s surprisingly simple.  You make a layer cake but cut the center out of the middle layer.  Fill with the candy of your choice, frost the whole shebang and when it comes time to slice, an avalanche of candies come tumbling out!  What kid wouldn’t love this?

As per usual, I just used a box mix.  I wanted the colors of both the candies inside and the outside decoration to really pop, so I stuck with a basic white cake.  I made 3 8″-cakes because I wanted to have a nice big space in the middle.

Fill ‘er up!

I’m always tempted to rush, but I forced myself to wait for the cake layers to cool this time. (I’ve had one too many cakes end up lop-sided and melty because I was itching to assemble and frost too soon!)  You can use the cooling time to read with your young one (check out more recs at the end of this post) and get them excited about filling the cake up with candy…

Speaking of which, I decided to go with Nerds as my piñata filler, but you could definitely experiment with other candies–mini M&Ms, Skittles, or even wrapped Mexican candies if you really want to go for accuracy.

For decorating the outside of the cake, I was thinking Skittles, but then I had a stroke of genius–Fruity Pebbles! (Well,”Fruity Dyno-Bites” because…$2.29.)  They are flaky, so they kind of look like the paper that real piñatas are decorated with!  I had hoped to separate the colors so I could make a more authentic-looking piñata pattern but time didn’t allow. With kiddos, you may not want to deal with all that, but if someone goes for it, please share the photos!

And of course, the best part is when you slice in and the candies come bursting out!


I Love Saturdays y domingos, in which a little girl embraces love from all sides of her Mexican and European family (in-depth review here)

A Piñata in a Pine Tree

El Piñatero (The Piñata Maker)

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