Heart-Shaped Cake

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Festive and delicious, this heart-shaped cake is ready to impress your valentine! You can’t go wrong with a red velvet cake topped with luscious cream cheese frosting!

Here are a few more Valentine’s Day treats to try since, after all, the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach! Strawberry cupcakes, Valentine’s buddies, and pink velvet cake are all as delicious as they are cute!

A whole heart-shaped cake, topped with festive sprinkles.

Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Day Cake Recipe

What better way to show your love for someone than with a fun, festive cake? This heart-shaped cake tastes as good as it looks, each bite loaded with tangy chocolate flavor! It all starts with my tried and true red velvet cake recipe, topped with amazing homemade cream cheese frosting! As long as you’ve got a square and round pan, you can make this tasty holiday dessert in a cinch. It’s so good!

This cake is so tasty and easy to assemble! Valentine’s Day aside, this beautiful dessert is great for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, or whenever you want to show a little extra love. There’s no wrong time for cake! One bite of this moist red velvet and you’ll win the hearts of everyone around! It’s just as easy to make as box mix but tastes a thousand times better. Time to grab the ingredients out of your pantry and get baking!

Ingredients for Heart-Shaped Cake

Don’t be fooled by the longer ingredient list, this cake is made from all basic ingredients! I bet you’ve got all of them in your pantry right now! Once you’ve got your lovely red cake baking away in the oven, you only need 4 simple ingredients to put the best cream cheese frosting together. It’s a breeze!

  • All-Purpose Flour: I love using all-purpose flour for baking. It has a low protein content which makes it perfect for light and fluffy cakes!
  • Cocoa Powder: Use your favorite here! I always go for dutch process cocoa because it has a richer flavor.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: Both are a must for a cake that rises properly!
  • Granulated Sugar: Added to sweeten up your cake.
  • Salt: Keeps your cake from being bland! Salt is a flavor enhancer.
  • Buttermilk: The acidity in buttermilk is what gives red velvet its distinct flavor. It also helps to tenderize your cake and keep it nice and moist!
  • Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil binds fats together and adds moisture to your cake.
  • Large Eggs: Needed to bind everything together!
  • White Vinegar: Now, I know what you’re thinking. Vinegar in cake? Believe it or not, you can’t taste the vinegar at all in your cake, only a slight tangy flavor which tastes amazing in combination with cocoa powder!
  • Vanilla Extract: Add a little vanilla extract to sweeten and deepen the flavor of your cake. Pure vanilla extract works best!
  • Liquid Red Food Coloring: This is what will give your red velvet its signature color. You can add more or less depending on how vibrant you want your cake to be.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese: I always use full-fat cream cheese for the tastiest results. Sorry diet!
  • Unsalted Butter: Butter adds a rich flavor to your frosting and keeps it nice and smooth.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a great flavor to your frosting. See my tips below for more flavor variations!
  • Powdered Sugar: Makes your frosting nice and sweet! Powdered sugar also helps everything to mix together into a smooth consistency.
Process shots of making a heart-shaped cake.

How to Make Your Heart-Shaped Cake

I’ve broken this recipe down into 3 simple parts. The cake, the frosting, and how to put it all together! You’ll have a gorgeous heart-shaped cake made in no time!

  1. Prep Pans and Preheat Oven: To begin, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Spray one 8-inch round pan and one 8-inch square pan with pan spray and line with parchment paper. Then, spray the parchment and set aside.
  2. Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa power, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the sugar and salt to the flour mixture and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. Whisk Wet Ingredients, Combine: In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring together with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  4. Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cakes cleanly or the cake springs back when gently pressed on.
  5. Cool: Let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes before turning them out on a cooling rack to finish cooling. While the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Mix Butter and Cream Cheese: In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together util thoroughly mixed and creamy.
  2. Add Vanilla: Next, add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. You may need to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to be sure everything is evenly mixed.
  3. Mix In Powdered Sugar: Add the powdered sugar and mix slowly until incorporated. Gradually increase the speed and beat until fluffy.

Assembly

  1. Cut Round Cake: Once the cakes are completely cooled, cut the round cake in half so you have two equal half circles. On your chosen serving plate, place the square cake with the two half circles on two sides to form the rounded part of the heart.
  2. Frost and Decorate: Create a crumb coat to hold in the loose crumbs of the cake by smoothing a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake. Once the whole cake has a nice crumb coat, smooth the remaining frosting over the whole cake. Add the sprinkles and decorations of your choice.
  3. Chill: Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to set.
A whole cake on a wooden platter.

Cake Tips and Troubleshooting

Making a cake from scratch can be a little daunting. Keep these simple tips and tricks in mind and your heart-shaped cake will turn out perfectly every time!

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: The best way to get a batter that is nice and smooth is to use room temperature wet ingredients. If possible, put eggs and any dairy products out on the counter 30 minutes before you make your cake.
  • Make Your Own Buttermilk: If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, it’s super easy to make at home! You can find my 2-ingredient recipe here.
  • Don’t Overmix: Only mix your cake batter until smooth. If you overmix, gluten will develop, giving your cake a rubbery texture.
  • Switch Up Frosting: For a more chocolatey version of your heart-shaped cake, try using my chocolate cream cheese frosting instead. White chocolate buttercream is also a great choice if you want something on the sweeter side!
  • Don’t Skip the Crumb Coat: Think of that first layer of frosting as glue to mold your cake pieces together and hold in any stray crumbs. Once that’s down, your next layer of frosting will go on nice and smooth!
Using an icing spatula to take a slice of cake.

Storing Leftover Cake

If you have leftovers of your heart-shaped cake, here’s how to keep it tasting fresh and delicious for when a sweet craving hits!

  • In the Refrigerator: Since the cake is covered in cream cheese frosting, it’s best to store it in the fridge. Wrapped in plastic wrap, your heart-shaped cake will stay good for up to 5 days. I like to let my cake come to room temperature before serving.
  • In the Freezer: To freeze your cake, wrap tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap. Use within a month for best results. Let thaw in the fridge overnight before consuming.
Taking a bite of red velvet cake slice.

Heart Shaped Cake

5 from 1 vote
Festive and delicious, this heart-shaped cake is ready to impress your valentine! You can't go wrong with a red velvet cake topped with luscious cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 12 People

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring

Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese room temperature
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray one 8-inch round pan and one 8-inch square pan with pan spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment and set it aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the sugar and salt to the flour mixture and whisk together. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vinegar, vanilla, and red food coloring together with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cakes cleanly or the cake springs back when gently pressed on.
  • Let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes before turning them out on a cooling rack to finish cooling. While the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer cream the butter and cream cheese together until thoroughly mixed and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. You may need to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to be sure everything is evenly mixed.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix slowly until incorporated. Gradually increase the speed and beat until fluffy.

Assembly

  • Once the cakes are completely cooled cut the round cake in half so you have two equal half circles. On your chosen serving plat place the square cake with the two half circles on two sides to form the rounded part of the heart.
  • Create a crumb coat to hold in the loose crumbs of the cake by smoothing a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake. Once the whole cake has a nice crumb coat, smooth the remaining frosting over the whole cake. Add the sprinkles and decorations of your choice.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to set.


Nutrition

Serves: 12

Calories553kcal (28%)Carbohydrates64g (21%)Protein7g (14%)Fat31g (48%)Saturated Fat18g (90%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat8gTrans Fat1gCholesterol117mg (39%)Sodium402mg (17%)Potassium200mg (6%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar43g (48%)Vitamin A1074IU (21%)Calcium102mg (10%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword heart shaped cake
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    can’t go wrong with red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting, that is an appropriately red cake, and since I’d never made a heart shaped cake before, I wasn’t sure how to assemble it, so thank you for that too, ok so square and round pan, makes sense!

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