Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so wouldn’t it be fun to make a fun heart-themed cake?
This Matcha Hidden Heart Cake combines two of my favourite cakes into one.
WHAT’S A HIDDEN HEART CAKE?
It’s exactly what it sounds like.
A heart shape is revealed in the middle of a cake.
It’s a fun and whimsical way to surprise your guests when you slice into the cake.
HOW TO GET THE HIDDEN HEART INTO THE CAKE?
Though it may seem magical how the heart appears in the middle of the cake… I’m here to tell you it’s really simple.
You make two cakes.
Bake the first cake, and then use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cake.
Make the second cake batter and line the cake hearts in the middle.
Then bake the second cake and you’ll end up with one cake with hidden hearts.
Since the cakes are both made from scratch, you’ll need to plan ahead as it does take some time to execute.
DOES IT HAVE TO BE A HEART?
It doesn’t have to be a heart — you can do it with any shape that you like. Whatever cookie cutter shapes you have lying around would work.
For Christmas, you could use Christmas cookie cutters and do a Christmas-themed shape.
WHAT TYPE OF PAN TO USE FOR MAKING THIS CAKE?
For ease, I chose to do this cake with a loaf pan since it’s a pan that most people have lying around.
I’ve certainly seen versions using a bundt pan.
However, I wouldn’t suggest using a round pan for this type of cake.
HOW TO MAKE THE MATCHA HIDDEN HEART CAKE
First, make my Matcha Chiffon Cake in a 9″ by 13″ baking tray. [CAKE #1]
INGREDIENTS IN MATCHA CHIFFON CAKE
- eggs: egg whites and yolks separated; egg whites at room temperature
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness to the cake
- avocado oil: or light vegetable oil, adds moisture to the cake
- vanilla extract: for flavouring the cake; use a high quality extract
- cake flour: sifted; I highly suggest using cake flour rather than all-purpose flour for making chiffon cake
- matcha powder: sifted; use a high quality matcha powder for best taste and colour
- cream of tartar: stabilizes the whipped egg whites; add a little lemon juice if you don’t have cream of tartar
When the cake has completely cooled, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter (about 2″ in diameter) to cut out heart shapes.
Place the cake hearts aside. (You can snack on the scraps).
Note: you will have more cake than you need for the recipe.
Next, make the cake batter from my Matcha Pound Cake and omit the matcha powder. [CAKE #2]
INGREDIENTS IN THE VANILLA POUND CAKE
You’ll need the following ingredients for making the Vanilla Pound Cake:
- whole eggs: the egg whites and egg yolks will be separated and beaten at different steps; it’s best to separate the eggs after taking them out from the fridge, but leave them to warm to room temperature before proceeding.
- cream of tartar: helps to stabilize the beaten egg whites (or you can use a little lemon juice in place of cream of tartar)
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness and stability to the egg white meringue mixture
- salted butter: I like the flavour from using salted butter, but you can use unsalted if that’s what you have on hand. Be sure to add a good pinch of salt if you use unsalted butter.
- whole milk: (or any type of milk you like)
- vanilla extract: use pure vanilla extract for the best flavour
- flour: all-purpose flour will work fine in this recipe; if you have cake flour, you can use that instead and omit the cornstarch.
- cornstarch: if you use all-purpose flour, add cornstarch and it will help produce a tender cake
- baking powder: along with the egg whites, provides leavening power to the cake
HOW TO ASSEMBLE THE TWO CAKES TOGETHER
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare a 8″ by 4″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
Add in about 200g of the prepared pound cake batter [cake #2] to the bottom of the loaf pan.
Tap the pan a few times and use an offset spatula to smooth the surface.
Line the cut-out matcha cake hearts [cake #1] along the centre (lengthwise) of the loaf pan.
Add the remaining pound cake batter [cake #2] on top to cover the hearts and give the pan a few taps for the batter to settle.
Use an offset spatula to smooth out the surface.
Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with the slightest crumbs clinging to it.
WILL THE HEART SHAPES CHANGE POSITION?
Due to the nature of the cake expanding and rising while baking, the cake hearts may shift position and not stay exactly in the centre. This is fine — it adds personality to the cake!
WILL ANOTHER TYPE OF CAKE WORK FOR THIS?
I tried a lighter chiffon-y cake, but found that the pound cake works better in this application.
The more dense cake batter helps to hold the heart shapes in place.
HOW TO STORE THE HIDDEN HEART CAKE
You can store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The Matcha Hidden Heart Cake freezes very well — you can individually wrap the slices of cake and place them into a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months.
If frozen, let the cake rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving. Alternatively, you can reheat the cake in the microwave (if you’re impatient, like me!)
A FUN CAKE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
This is a delicious and whimsical cake for surprising someone special. It would be perfect for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or even a birthday. The time and effort in making this cake will certainly be worth it! 🙂
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE
Be sure to check out my other cake recipes:
Let me know if you try out the recipe for Matcha Hidden Heart Cake — tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment below!
Matcha Hidden Heart Cake
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
Matcha Heart Cake:
- 3 egg yolks
- 30 g granulated cane sugar
- 30 g avocado oil or any light vegetable oil
- 30 ml whole milk or non-dairy alternative
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 45 g cake flour sifted
- 15 g matcha sifted
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar or ¼ tsp lemon juice
- 30 g granulated cane sugar
Vanilla Pound Cake:
- 4 egg whites room temp
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar or use ¼ tsp lemon juice / vinegar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 140 g salted butter room temp
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks room temp
- 45 ml whole milk room temp
- 4 ml vanilla extract
- 155 g all-purpose flour
- 20 g cornstarch
- 3 g baking powder
Make the Matcha heart cake:
- Prepare a 9" by 13" baking tray with parchment paper.
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks into 2 different bowls (one for egg whites and one for egg yolks).
- Tip: ensure your bowl for beating the egg whites is clean, with no traces of oil. Give the bowl and whisk a quick wipe with paper towel and a bit of lemon juice or vinegar prior to adding the egg whites.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/191°C.
- Combine the egg yolks with 30g sugar and whisk together. Add in the oil, milk, vanilla extract and whisk again.
- Sift in the cake flour and matcha over top of the egg yolk mixture and fold gently to combine, until there are no lumps. Set aside.
- In a clean stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add the room temperature egg whites.
- Turn on the mixer on low speed.
- Once the egg whites become foamy with bubbles, add in a ¼ tsp cream of tartar (or lemon juice/vinegar).
- Gradually increase the speed of the mixer, and slowly pour in the granulated sugar.
- Continue to whip the egg whites until fluffy, shiny and reaches a soft peak. (The egg whites will form a curved tail at the end of the whisk).
- Using a spatula, fold about ⅓rd of the egg whites into the egg yolk batter. This will help to loosen up the egg yolk batter.
- Note: Folding is different than stirring. It takes a lighter hand to not deflate the whipped egg whites. To fold, take the spatula to the bottom of the mixture, and scoop up (a slow flick of the wrist) while turning the bowl about 90 degrees. Continue to turn the bowl and fold until the mixture is almost homogeneous.
- Add the next 3rd of the egg white mixture, and continue to fold until the egg whites are incorporated into the batter, but be sure not to overfold or the egg whites will be deflated.
- Transfer the cake batter to a 9″ by 13″ baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Give the tray a few taps to release any trapped air bubbles.
- Bake at 375°F/191°C for 14-15 minutes, until the cake surface is dry to the touch.
- Remove the cake from the oven and immediately drop it from a height of 1′. This prevents the cake from shrinkage.
- Let the cake cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.
- Use a 2" heart cutter (or any cookie cutter that you like) to cut out shapes from the cake. Set aside.
Make the Vanilla pound cake:
- Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into 2 different bowls.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a 8" by 4" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a clean stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and whip until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and keep beating until lots of bubbles form.
- Gradually add in the ¼ C (50g) of granulated sugar and whip until stiff peaks. (Peak will be straight when whisk is lifted).
- Remove the whipped egg whites and transfer to a large clean bowl. Set aside.
- Using the same mixer bowl, change to a paddle attachment and add in the butter and sugar.
- Cream until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on high speed.
- Gradually add in the egg yolks one by one, and then slowly add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until combined. (A little curdling is fine).
- Remove the mixer bowl and sift about ⅓rd of the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, matcha, and baking powder) over the egg yolk batter.
- With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the mixture and alternate with ⅓rd of the whipped egg whites, repeating until everything is combined together and there are no white streaks left, but making sure not to overmix as to deflate the batter.
- Transfer about 200g (or ⅓rd) of the cake batter to the lined loaf pan.
- Line the cut out matcha heart cakes in the centre of the loaf pan.
- Add the remaining cake batter to cover the hearts.
- Carefully tap the pan a few times to release any trapped air bubbles.
- Bake at 350°F/177°C for 55-60 mins, until golden brown on top, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, or with the slightest crumbs clinging to it.
- Let cool completely before slicing.