valentine-candy-cake-2

You know those candy hearts you used to get for Valentine’s Day when you were a kid? The little sugary-sweet pastel candies that taste like glue and have sayings like, “Be Mine,” “2 Cool” and “Foxy Lady”? You can create the same vibe (minus the nasty aftertaste) with these Conversation Heart Mini Cakes.

Decorate these little cakes with any message you want, and let someone know exactly how you feel about them. Why stop with a Significant Other? Give them to friends, family, kids, people who put up with your kids, bosses, teachers and kind-looking strangers. Or make them for a Valentine’s party. And go crazy coming up with messages. Get cheesy. Quote “Family Guy.” Use your favorite Old-School slang or New-School texting abbreviations. Add their names or give everyone a heart that says “World’s Best Dad.” Let your freak flag fly, my friend.

TIP: Before we get started, if you don’t want to use fondant to decorate these cakes, feel free to cover them in buttercream or ganache and decorate them with royal icing. You could even use candy, like M&M’s®, to form the letters. Feeling more relaxed? OK, let’s do this!

Conversation Heart Mini Cakes

From Elisa Strauss’ “Confetti Cakes For Kids”

Makes 6 individual cakes

    What You Need:

  • 1 cake recipe, any flavor, enough for 1 half-sheet pan or three 9-inch round cakes
  • 1 frosting recipe (8 cups)
    Materials:

  • 2 1/4 pounds fondant
  • Food coloring gels: rose pink, lemon yellow, leaf green, violet, electric pink
  • Cornstarch (for rolling fondant)
  • 1/2 ounce gum paste (for letters)
  • Shortening (for rolling gum paste)
    Equipment:

  • 4 1/4 x 4 1/4-inch heart cutter or paper heart pattern
  • X-acto knife
  • Six 4 1/4 x 4 1/4-inch pieces heart-shaped cardboard or foam core
  • Small offset spatula
  • Small serrated knife
  • Large rolling pin
  • Scalpel or paring knife
  • Plastic mat
  • Small rolling pin (for gum paste)
  • Letter cutters (optional)
  • Small paintbrush (for attaching letters)
  1. Prepare your cake batter of choice, enough to fill a half-sheet pan or 3 round cake pans. Bake and let it cool for 20 minutes. Remove from pan, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for a least 1 hour. (This makes the cake easier to cut.)
  2. While the cake is chilling, make the frosting.
  3. Cut the cake, using your heart-shaped cookie cutter or a paper pattern, into 12 hearts.
  4. Each mini cake will consist of 2 layers of cake and 1 layer of filling. For each cake, place a dab of filling on each cardboard heart and then place one cake heart on top. With an offset spatula, coat the bottom layer with approximately 1/2 inch of filling and place another heart on top of that. After the top layer of cake is on, push down slightly to secure the layers. Place the hearts in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour or until the frosting is firm.
  5. Use a small serrated knife to trim the cakes into the shape of a rounded heart, approximately 2 1/2 inches high. Round the point of the heart as well as the top and bottom edges for a softer look. Cut away any excess cardboard with a serrated knife or scissors. Crumb coat each cake with a thin layer of frosting.
  6. Divide the fondant into 6-ounce sections (you’ll need that much to cover each cake) and dye each section your desired color.
  7. On a smooth surface dusted with cornstarch, roll out the fondant to 1/8 inch thick. Cover each cake with rolled fondant and trim any excess fondant.
  8. To make the letters, dye approximately 1/2 ounce of gum paste hot pink. On a plastic mat greased with shortening, roll out the gum paste paper thin and cut out the letters using cutters. It’s easiest if you let the letters dry for a few hours so they have time to harden before placing them on the cakes. Once they are firm to the touch you can arrange them on the cakes, and attach them with a dab of water.

valentine-candy-cake-1