Pinata Cake With M&M’s Inside Recipe

Pinata Cake With M&M’s Inside Recipe


Last year for my friend’s birthday, I made her an Inside Out Rubik’s Cube cake. This year I wanted to make another surprise cake but one that took a lot less work. A four-layer Pinata Cake with M+M’s inside was perfect!

Pinata Cake with M + M's Spilling Out From Inside
Pinata Cake with M + M’s Spilling Out From Inside

I saw some different Pinata Cakes floating around the Internet and decided to modify it a little bit. One of the more popular cakes is a round shape, baking two cakes in round bowls. I don’t have the patience for that. So I instead just used two regular 9″ x 2″ pie tins. Splitting each cake into two, there were four layers total.

After reading a lot about different cakes people made, one of the concerns was about the cake collapsing because there wasn’t enough support with the middle hollowed out. This was why I made four layers instead of just two large ones and hollowing out. I scooped out a circle in the two middle layers, using the top and bottom layers for support. This worked well although it meant the middle hole was kind of small. This might be why the m & m’s didn’t come pouring out like I had expected when first cut.

First slice taken out of Pinata Cake Instructions
First slice taken out of Pinata Cake

What I did like about this cake is that it did not look all that suspicious. I kept the decorations pain because the rest of it took so much work. But from the outside this looked like a perfectly normal layer cake.

And other than the middle taken out, it was. I simply made two yellow cakes and decorated with buttercream frosting. There is no need to go all out with your cake recipe here. You can use a home-made cake recipe or box mix. It honestly does not matter. The construction does take some time so be sure to factor that in.

I found that a standard yellow cake was able to hold he weight of the m&ms.

Layer cake from the outside does not look suspicious at all
Layer cake from the outside does not look suspicious at all

Pinata Cake Instructions: Supplies

I am not normally a cake decorator. I have some supplies on hand for general baking. But I still had to purchase some specific cake supplies for this project. I didn’t mind so much because I knew I would be using them again.

What I used:

  • Cake Board (circular 12″ for the 10″ cake)
  • Cake Lifter
  • Rotating Cake Stand
  • Cake Wire Slicer
  • Decorating Bags
  • Offset Spatula
  • Two 10″ x 2″ round cake pans
  • Aluminum foil

I’d consider that list a minimum of what you need. You don’t need the cake stand but it sure made it much easier. I did not use one last time and really wish I had. The wire slicer is a must. Cake lifter could be unnecessary but it really does help. I mean, you put a lot of hard work into that cake, it would be terrible to drop it while moving it.

Pinata Cake Instructions: What I Would Do Different

My fear was that when the first slice of cake was taken out, all the M&Ms would spill out all over the place. This did not happen. In fact, they barely came spilling out at all. I think there were two reasons for this.

First, the m&ms settled a bit from when I first put them in the cake. It was full but after I put the top on and everything had time so sit, they sunk down a bit so it didn’t seem as full as it could be.

Second, because there was about a 4-hour delay between the time I put the m&ms in the cake and actually served it, the m&ms had time to soften a bit and stick together. This also meant they didn’t come rolling out of the cake. Instead they were kind of of sticky.

The only solution I can think of for both of these is to literally serve the cake immediately after frosting it. Meaning, the party is at your home. And you take time out of the party to assemble the cake then serve.

With that said, the m&m’s still did spill out just not in the explosive fashion I imagined. For the best really, since I didn’t quite want my friend being attacked by a volcano of M&Ms on her birthday. The cake looked great and tasted great. I wouldn’t change anything other than the serving time. And I realize that can’t be avoided for the most part.

For those curious, since it was so close to Easter when I did this, I used a mash-up of M&M flavors. Plain m&m’s shaped as eggs, pretzel, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. This helped give some variety in sizes and textures when eating. Also the colors were very light and confetti-ish.

M&M’s When Decorating

If you’ve never used m&m’s before here are somethings I learned. You cannot put m&ms on top of regular buttercream frosting as the colors will bleed all over the frosting and the candies will lose all their colorful shell. They will also get really soft.

This is also why you can’t assemble a pinata cake days ahead of time. M&M’s are pretty fragile for decorating. You want to serve immediately when using them. Of course, you can avoid this by using wrapped candies in your pinata cake. That is entirely up to you.

You’ll see below that I did not frost the bottom or top of the circle at all. The M&Ms cannot touch frosting! The colors will run and the candies will get soft. Do all you can to make sure that the hole stays frosting-free. I cut-out a circular shape of paper towel to frosting around. This ensured I would not get frosting where it should not go.

Pinata Cake with M&M's Spilling Out
Pinata Cake with M&M’s Spilling Out

Pinata Cake Instructions: Gallery

Pinata Cake Resources

There were two online articles that helped me a lot when making this:
A Pinata Cake from A Subtle Revelry
How To Frost a Layer Cake from Butter Me Up, Brooklyn


5 Replies to “Pinata Cake With M&M’s Inside Recipe”

    1. I LOVE other people’s birthdays! It’s really fun that we all get a special day (not a holiday that everyone celebrates at once) just for us. I don’t care about mine as much but love doing something special for other’s.

      There are several different varieties of the pinata cake but I stuck with the simplest. And took advantage of colorful Easter candies.

  1. This cake should serve up to 6 people and will last 3 days in an airtight container. This recipe would work just as well with a chocolate cake mixture and you can also fill it with fresh fruits or chocolates – the possibilities are endless!

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