Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Cake

Childhood throwback, anyone?

I can’t think about Valentine’s day candy without thinking about those goofy Conversation Hearts! 

Honestly…the candy itself….not that awesome. Great when I was little, but I guess my taste buds have matured with age. :/ Now they taste a little like fruity chalk.
However...a link between Conversation Hearts and Valentine’s Day will probably always be embedded in my brain! 

The good news – this Valentine's Day Conversation Heart cake tastes waaay better than the plain candy! As an added plus - all the pastel colors make for a gorgeous cake! I filled the cake with about a cup of the candy so it spills everywhere when you cut into the cake – suuper fun! Recipe below! 

"Don't know about those candies...will I like this cake?" 

I promise - the cake is WAY better! 😉 This cake features rich, moist vanilla cake layers covered in cream cheese frosting and decorated with a white chocolate ganache drip. Flavor heaven! 
I did use a lot of the candies to fill and decorate the cake - but filling the cake is 100% optional, and you don't need to COVER the whole cake in the Conversation Heart candies like I did! 

FAQs:

What if I've never added a drip to a cake before?
  • Don't stress! It's easier than you probably think it is! 🙂 
  • My biggest tips - make sure you measure your white chocolate and heavy cream accurately. Too much/little of either may affect your drip consistency. 
  • I always recommend a test drip first! Don't add all the drips until you're confident in the consistency of your ganache. 
  • I loved this YouTube tutorial by Sugar&Sparrow when I was new to cake drips! 
"Can I make the cake / frosting ahead of time?"
  • Definitely! Wrap the cake layers well and refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months. Transfer the frosting to a zip-lock bag and squeeze out the extra air, and again - refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months. 
    On a related note – cover any remaining cake well after serving to keep it from drying out - it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

"Do I have to make the cake / frosting from scratch?"
  • Not if you don't want to! I know there are a fair few ingredients and steps in the recipe - you can simplify by substituting 2 of your favorite vanilla cake mixes plus the ingredients the mix calls for; keep the baking pans the same! The cake will just be a little less rich. 🙂 
    Store bought frosting is usually a little thinner than my recipe; add a 1/4 cup of extra powdered sugar at a time until you reach a consistency that spreads and stays in place on the cake well. 

(Disclosure: As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, and my posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 

Conversation Heart VD Cake pinterest pin

Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Cake

Whose else grew up with those Conversation Heart candies every February? This year, use them to decorate a fun Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Cake!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time37 minutes
Decorating time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 37 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Conversation Heart Cake, Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Cake
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 720kcal
Author: Sarah H

Equipment

Ingredients

Conversation Heart Cake Layers

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (or one package; softened)
  • 16 Tablespoons butter (or two sticks; softened)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cake drip and Decorations

Instructions

Conversation Heart Cake Layers:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prep three 8 inch round pans with baker's floured spray (or grease and line with parchment rounds).
  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Mix bits of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mix looks crumbly.
  • Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Divide batter evenly between three bowls (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). Add teal, pink, and yellow food coloring to one layer each. Transfer the batter to each of the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 33-37 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans – it helps to run an offset spatula or knife around the perimeter of the pan first. Cool completely before decorating. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
  • (Once the layers have fully cooled, they can be leveled and any caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will tear and and break.)
  • If you’d like to fill the center of your cake with candies, use a glass or medium-sized circle cutter to remove center from two of the three cake layers.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.

Assembly

  • If you've cut centers out of two of your cake layers, those will be your bottom two layers. Place a couple smears of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and place your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting, and add the second layer on top.
  • Fill the empty centers of your cakes with Conversation Hearts, add a layer of frosting over the second cake layer, and put the final layer on top! I like to flip the top layer upside down to make smoothing the top cake edge easier.
  • Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
  • Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer to set the frosting. (This is a great time to make and color your ganache drips!)
  • Place heavy cream and white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between. Divide into as many bowls as you’d like different colors - I chose pink, yellow, teal, and purple - and stir in gel food coloring.
  • When your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm and still be fairly liquid – transfer it to a squeeze bottle or piping bag. (A spoon will work, I’ve just found spoons to be a little bit more difficult to work with.)

Onto the fun part! Decorating!

  • Slowly drizzle ganache at the upper edge of your cake, spacing drips a couple inches apart. – I spaced my drips much wider than usual and added one color at a time. Return cake to the fridge or freezer to set the drips.
  • Now you’re ready to decorate the top of the cake! Transfer frosting to your large piping bag and add a large frosting swirl in the middle, and a ring of small ones around the edge. Insert your skewer into one of the top edges of the heart box, flip it over, and press the skewer into the top of the cake (so that the box is upside down).
  • Add Conversation Heart candy around the box, piling it high enough to look like it’s spilling out of the box over the top of the cake!

Video

Notes

Please note nutrition information is an estimate and may not be exactly accurate. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (1/16th cake) | Calories: 720kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 38g

Did you make this Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Cake? 

Please send me an email and let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo! 

You can also add a comment or a recipe rating at the bottom of the page! 🙂

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