Pinata Cake

As kids’ bdays neared in November  , I asked them what cake would they want me to bake this time…and both of them had the same reply.. They need a cake with lots of M n M s .. like the Kit Kat cake I had baked last year for their birthdays .

That’s when I remembered about the Pinata Cake picture Azna had sent me a a few months back. Hiding M n Ms inside a cake – the boys were surely going to love it !!! 🙂 The  Ultra Moist Chocolate Cake I had posted  before would be the cake in which the M n Ms would hide.

Now a days my  kids want to handle all the cake mixing part.  So I handed the measured ingredients to the birthday boy and he did all the mixing and stirring. But after baking the cake, when the icing part came, I didn’t allow the kids to enter the kitchen ..  couldn’t spoil the surprise element 🙂

I was eager to see  the surprise  on the boys ‘ faces  when the Mn M s fell out, but they were more busy .. Were the birthday boys and friends surprised when the cake was cut ? Well, not exactly.. the friends were more busy smearing the cream over the birthday boys  🙂 But on the plus side, the boys did enjoy the cake.. Yummy and awesome was the verdict from them !!! 🙂

Pinata Cake kids1

Pinata Cake

Here’s the method to hide the M n Ms inside the cake… 

Pinata Cake

Divide the cake into 3 equal parts. Keep one layer aside

Pinata Cake

Make a hole in the middle of the first layer using any cookie cutter .  Pour sugar syrup over the layer . Spread whipped cream over the layer.

Now make a hole over the second layer.  Place the second layer over the first layer. Pour sugar syrup over this and spread whipped cream.

Pinata Cake

Place the M nMs into the hole made by the 2 layers. Now place the layer that was kept aside over the 2 layers.  This 3rd layer will hide the M n Ms .

Pinata Cake 1510




  • Powdered sugar – 2 cups
  • All-purpose flour – 1 3/4 cups
  • Cocoa powder – 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  •  Baking soda – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  •  Eggs – 2
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • Boiling water – 1 cup
  • Whipping cream , for frosting


  • Sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Water – 1 cup


  • Dreamwhip – 3 sachet
  • Cold Milk – 1 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla Essence – 1tsp



  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last.
  4. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Stir the sugar, water and essence in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer till the sugar has dissolved, and cool completely.


Mix the contents in 3 small sachets of Dreamwhip with 1  1/2 cup cold mix and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes till you get light fluffy peaks. This will give about 5 cups whipped cream.


  1. Divide the cake into 3 equal horizontal layers. Keep one layer aside
  2. Make a hole in the middle of the first layer using any cookie cutter .  Pour sugar syrup over the layer . Spread whipped cream over the layer.
  3. Now make a hole over the second layer.  Place the second layer over the first layer. Pour sugar syrup over this and spread whipped cream.
  4. Place the M nMs into the hole made by the 2 layers. Now place the layer that was kept aside over the 2 layers.  This 3rd layer will hide the M n Ms .
  5. Apply a thin layer of frosting over the cake (crumb coat) . Refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  6. Apply a thicker coating of the frosting to get a final smooth finish.

Checkerboard Cake – With love ♥

This post is specially for my dear brother , sister in law and my 2 beautiful nieces who are moving to Qatar next week.. My bro has been solid support during the initial stages of this blog –  patiently taking snaps from different angles for the blog and giving his suggestion to improve the design and layout… and now a days showers his lavish compliments on the snaps I take  🙂 .. Looking back , its not just the blog, but he has stood as a support and guidance for me at every point of life.

My sister in law pulls my leg asking why I’ve never mentioned her recipes in this blog…  She’s an excellent cook  and more than that a truly wonderful sister, a confidant and one who has always lend her shoulder during the not so good phases of my life..  Naufal ikka and Shahana itha , here’s wishing you all the very best in all your future endeavours… ♥ ♥ ♥

Back to the cake…After seeing the lovely checkerboard cakes in Ria’s blog wanted to make my own :).. Had always fancied making them, but gave up as I thought it could be done only using checkerboard pans… I haven’t seen any checkerboard pans in the local shops.. But Ria’s idea was an inspiration.. No need for any special pans, 2 circular lids would do the trick 🙂 (The method is illustrated at the bottom of the post)

This recipe  is from my mother in law.. Infact this is her recipe for the marble cake (which has come out perfect everytime I’ve made it.. ) I’ve used the same recipe, only the effect is different.. instead of marble, checkerboard…


  • Butter – 1 cup
  • Granulated Sugar – 2 cups
  • Eggs, yolk and white separated – 4
  • Flour – 3 cups
  • Baking powder – 4 tsp
  • Salt – ¾ tsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Cocoa – 4 tbsp
  • Boiling water – 5tbsp
  • Baking soda – 1/8 tsp
  • Almond essence – ¼ tsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp


  1. Beat the egg whites using an electric beater till peaks are formed.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Using an electric beater cream the butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after adding each.
  4. Add 1/2 of the flour and mix it into the batter using your hand. Add ½ cup milk and mix again. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and milk.
  5. Incorporate the beaten egg white in cut and fold method.. (Do not mix too much ).. Add vanilla essence.
  6. Add cocoa powder and baking soda to boiling water and mix well
  7. Divide the batter into 2 half.. To one part add cocoa mixture.
  8. Pour the vanilla batter in a cake pan and chocolate batter to another pan.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C  till a tester comes out clean (around 30 min ).

To make the checkerboard pattern…

You will have a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake.

Make 2 vertical cuts into the cake as illustrated, so that you get 3 rings for each cake , ring A, B and C for chocolate cake and rings D, E and F for vanilla cake. (As mentioned earlier you can use 2 circular lids or cookie cutters to cut the cakes)

Swap the middle rings of both the cakes ie, transfer ring B to the vanilla cake and ring E to the chocolate cake. Coat the inside of the cake rings with whipping cream so that they stick to each other.

Now spread some whipping cream over the first cake and place the second above it.  Cover with whipping cream and decorate…

P.S : Sending this as entry for Crazy for Cakes Event hosted by Priya

and Food Palette Series – Brown hosted by Torviewtoronto


Chocolate Genoise for Valentine’s Day

Another  get together during weekend at our friend’s home..  Had a great time – friends pulling each other’s legs, delicious home-made sea food dishes, the trip to the top of Jebel Hafeet mountain, the freezing cold there which reminded us of our excursion to Ooty.. truly a memorable weekend..

I had decided to make 2 cakes  for the get together.. chose the Chocolate genoise with chocolate mousse filling …. I had planned to make the cakes the day before and the filling and frosting the next day. But as I wasn’t feeling well, had to make the cakes and the frosting on the same day..  A mishap that occurred while making the first cake was that the recipe says to add 4 large eggs.. I added 4 eggs but during the baking I felt that the cake was not rising well. Well,  the mistake I did was the eggs were of medium size.. So if the recipe calls for large eggs, it should be LARGE 🙂 .. For the second cake I used the right size eggs and the cake was soft as sponge.. hmm now to rectify the first one, I again made the cake batter with half the measurements and baked it ..decided to  sandwich it later with the first one(that was smaller ) so that it was of reasonable size..  phew…

For the filling I made the chocolate mousse as in the recipe..  After sandwiching the first cake with the mousse , there was some more left..  as time was running out , I didn’t want to make another batch of the mousse for the second cake, so decided to mix the left over quantity with whipped cream and strawberry puree as the filling … The chocolate, cream and strawberry flavours blended really well..  yummy….

Then came the frosting part.. Made another batch of whipping cream and frosted both the cake tops and sides with them..  Once more I attempted  the scrolls for the sides for one of the cakes .. this time the scrolls got attached to the cake , but I think I pulled away the parchment paper too soon.. hopefully next time I will be more successful 🙂 .. For the second cake I attached almond slivers on the sides.. Decorated the top with chocolate scrawls, chocolate shavings and cherries. The cakes were done!!!  I liked the final look of the cakes  and decided this will be my valentine’s day post  🙂

The whole process was hectic as I didn’t prepare the cakes the day before.. When you make the cake its always better to do the cake one day and the frosting the next. And don’t forget the eggs’ size 🙂

Recipe Source

Joy of baking

Chocolate Genoise Recipe

  • Hot melted unsalted butter – 3 tablespoons (42 grams)
  • Pure vanilla extract  – 1 teaspoon
  • Cake flour – 1/2 cup (65 grams) { I used all purpose flour , the quantity was 1 tablespoon removed from ½ cup of  all purpose flour)
  • Unsweetened regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder – 1/3 cup (30 grams)
  • Large eggs – 4
  • Granulated white sugar – 2/3 cup (135 grams) g

Note:  When warming the eggs and sugar, whisk constantly to ensure the the eggs do not overheat and curdle.

Orange Flavored Soaking Syrup

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice – 1/4 cup (60 ml)
  • Grand Marnier (optional) – 1 tablespoon

Chocolate Mousse

  • Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces – 6 ounces (175 grams)
  • Heavy whipping cream – 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)
  • Egg yolks  – 3 large
  • Granulated white sugar – 1/3 cup (66 grams)
  • Water – 1/4 cup (60 ml)

Strawberry Filling

  • Strawberries – 10
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Whipping cream – 1 cup


Chocolate shavings, cherries and almond slivers

Chocolate Genoise:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted unsalted butter with the vanilla extract.  Keep this mixture warm.  If needed, re-warm for a few seconds just before using.
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and cocoa powder.  Set aside.
  4. In a large heatproof bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  5. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  6. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm to the touch (this will take approximately 5 minutes depending on the temperature of the eggs and the simmering water).
  7. Remove from heat and transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer.
  8. Beat on high speed until the egg mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and looks like softly whipped cream.  This will take approximately 5 minutes and the batter is beaten sufficiently when the batter falls back into the bowl in a ribbon-like pattern.
  9. Then sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and fold in using a large rubber spatula or whisk.  Fold in half of the remaining flour, and then fold in the rest.  Do not over mix or you will deflate the batter.
  10. Then take about 1 cup of the batter and fold it into the hot butter mixture with a small spatula.  (This will lighten the butter mixture and make it easier to incorporate into the egg batter without deflating it.)  When completely combined, use a spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the rest of the egg batter.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  11. Bake until the cake shrinks slightly from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed (about 20-25 minutes). Cool on a metal rack. When the cake has cooled completely, run a small knife or spatula around the edges to release the cake.

The genoise will keep well-wrapped two days in the refrigerator or else three months frozen.

Chocolate Mousse

  1. In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate.  Set aside but keep the bowl over the warm water so the chocolate will stay slightly warm.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil.  Boil until the sugar dissolves, a minute or two.  This produces a sugar syrup.
  5. Then, whisking constantly, pour the boiling syrup over the egg yolks.  Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly (can use a hand mixer on low speed) until the mixture is thick and light in color.  This mixture should be hot to the touch.  (About 10 minutes)
  6. Remove the bowl from the heat and, working quickly, scrape the egg mixture into a clean large bowl of your electric mixer.  On medium speed (or with a hand mixer) beat until the volume has doubled and the bottom of the bowl is completely cool to the touch.
  7. Turn speed to low, and beat in the warm melted chocolate until well combined.
  8. Fold in half the reserved whipped cream and then fold in the remaining cream.  The mixture should resemble softly whipped cream.  This can be used immediately or refrigerated, covered, until needed.  If the mixture seems a little runny, the chocolate may have been too warm, but after refrigerating for an hour or so, it will firm up.

Strawberry Filling

  1. Slice the strawberries and mix with sugar and keep aside for 20 minutes.
  2. In a pan, heat the strawberries  and sugar on medium flame for 15 minutes till the mixture thickens. Remove from flame and when the mixture cools down, mash it .
  3. Mix the puree with 1 cup of whipping cream and half quantity of the chocolate mousse mixture


  1. Split the genoise in half.  Place the top layer of the genoise, cut side up, onto your serving platter.
  2. In a small cup mix the orange juice with the Grand Marnier and, using a pastry brush, soak the cake with the syrup.
  3. Next, evenly spread the chocolate mousse over the cake.
  4. Top with the second layer of genoise.
  5. Cover and refrigerate a few hours (preferably overnight) or until the chocolate mousse is firm.
  6. When ready to serve dust the top of the genoise with powdered sugar (can use a stencil or doily for a decorative effect) and garnish.

Makes one – 9 inch (23 cm) Genoise.  Serves 8 – 10 people.

P.S :Sending this as an entry to Delicious Desserts event hosted by What’s Cooking today!!