I can't think of a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than by baking these nostalgic Heart Shaped Snack Cakes! These double layer, delicious, & festive cakes are sure to give you all the feels this time of year. As someone who grew up loving store-bought treats like Little Debbie and Hostess, I couldn't wait to figure out how to make my own version at home. Spoiler Alert: They're fun and easy to make!!!
How to make Heart Shaped Snack Cakes
So let's dive right into how to make these snack cakes. First things first; you'll need a heart shaped cookie cutter. Any size will do, the one I used was a 4 inch cookie cutter and I got 10 snack cakes from this recipe. Just keep in mind, using a smaller or larger cookie cutter will result in more or less of how many cakes you get. I highly recommend having two 9x13 inch rimmed baking sheets so you can bake both layers of cake at the same time. If you have one that's fine too, you'll just have to bake the two cake layers one at a time.
One of the things I love about this recipe is that although they look impressive, the ingredients and process of baking these heart shaped snack cakes and putting them together is straight forward and easy. The only unique ingredient you'll need is white candy melts (or whatever color you'd like). I typically buy my candy coating at Michaels but I'm starting to see it pop up at Walmart & Target too.
Substitutions for the recipe
You'll also see in the recipe card notes that there's a couple of substitutions you can make too, making this recipe even more flexible! If you don't feel like collecting a pile of ingredients to make the cake from scratch, by a cake mix and save yourself a few steps. Can't find candy melts at your local store? You can also use white chocolate chips/baking bar or almond bark too.
- (2) 9x13inch rimmed baking sheets
- heart shaped cookie cutter
For the Cake:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 and ½ cups sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp rum extract
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
For the Filling:
- 1 and ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup marshmallow creme (marshmallow fluff)
- 1 to 2 tbsp milk or half & half
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
For the Icing:
- ½ cup vanilla (white) candy coating
- ½ cup shortening
- food coloring optional
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line (2) 9x13 inch rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients first; flour, granulated sugar, baking powder & salt. Give these ingredients a quick whisk to mix them together. Add in the butter, milk and vanilla and beat the ingredients on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add the rum and vanilla extract into the mixture and beat for about 30 seconds just until combined. Slowly add in the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before you add the next one. Evenly split the cake batter between both baking sheets, with both baking sheets having a thin layer of cake batter. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Assemble the Snack Cakes:
- Once both cakes are completely cooled you can lift them out of the baking sheets by lifting them up by the sides of the parchment paper. Lay them out on a clean work surface to assemble them.Make the Filling: Once both sheet cakes are cooled it's time to layer them. In a mixing bowl combine the powdered sugar, marshmallow cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Start off by beating on low speed (so the sugar doesn't go everywhere) and work the speed up to medium as the ingredients start to combine. Beat the ingredients on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes so it becomes fluffy. Spread the filling over the top of one of the cake layers, evenly spreading it out with a spatula so it coers the top of the cake. This will be a thin layer of filling. Very carefully flip the other cake layer onto the frosted one, making sure both layers line up.Now it's time to punch out the hearts: Starting at one of the corners of the cake, use your heart shaped cookie cutter to firmly punch out the individual snack cakes. You may want to rinse and wipe off the cookie cutter in between each punch for a cleaner result. Place the individual cakes on a plate or another baking sheet and place them in the refirgerator to firm up for about 30 minutes.Make the Icing: In a medium/large heat-safe bowl, combine the candy melts and shortening. Heat in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval. Repeat this process until the shortening and candy melts are completely melted and have a smooth texture. Use your hands to dip the individual cakes into the candy coating mixture. Don't completely submerge the cakes but instead lightly coat each side of the cake, shake off any excess and plate on a wire rack or plate to dry. Garnish with sprinkles if desired. Cakes will be dry and ready to serve within a few minutes or you can place them in an airtight container and chill them in the fridge to set a little longer. Cakes stay fresh for about 3 days.