This Valentine’s Day Cake begins with two layers of fudgy moist chocolate cake and smothered in a creamy chocolate frosting. It’s decorated with beautiful all-butter buttercream flowers and finished off with heart-shaped sprinkles. This rich heart-shaped layer cake is the perfect Valentines’ Day dessert to share with loved ones!
This blog post is sponsored by Wilton. Thank you to Wilton for providing me with the cake decorating tools necessary to create this delicious heart-shaped beauty! Everything written here is my honest opinion–I only share with all you guys what I love!
How To Create This Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake
Step 1: Baking the Chocolate Cake Layers
This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe in the world. I LOVE it so much because it only requires one bowl! First you whisk up the dry ingredients, then you add the wet ingredients, mixing it with an electric mixer.
Then, you pour in a cup of hot COFFEE and stir it by hand. You can just use hot water instead if you prefer, but using hot coffee is important because it brings out that rich cocoa flavor. Plus, any excuse to consume caffeine, right?
Bake in Heart-Shaped Cake Pans
You can expect the batter to be more on the liquidy side, so don’t be alarmed! Using a measuring cup, divide the batter into 2 heart-shaped pans (see below) and bake for just over 30 minutes! Easy peasy.
These red-hot heart shaped baking pans from Wilton are not only gorgeous but are easy-release so your cake layers practically fall right out. This in turn makes for easy clean-up.
Speaking of clean-up, while your cake is baking in the oven, now is a great time to wash that bowl and all your measuring spoons.
Use Right Away Or Freeze
If you’re planning to assemble the cake that same day, allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting them.
If you’re baking these ahead of time, wrap them each in two layers of plastic wrap and stick them in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, take them out of the freezer an hour before you’re frosting it.
Step 2: Whip Up The Chocolate Frosting
Begin With BUTTER
If you don’t know yet, I’m all-about all-things being all-butter. Like all-butter pie crusts for example, and especially all-butter frosting. So with this ultra creamy chocolate frosting, first you want to cream up your softened SALTED butter in a bowl using an electric mixer. (Of course a stand-mixer with a paddle works too.)
After a few minutes once your butter has turned lighter in colour and is fluffy, scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and then add in all the rest of the ingredients. And then beat on medium-high. The frosting will get nice and fluffy looking.
The consistency of the chocolate frosting is very important. I’m so notorious for making my frosting too thin, because I prefer a more creamy frosting. I just love that texture!
But you don’t want it too thin or else your frosting in between the cake layers will begin to bulge out the sides once you put that top layer on. It’s even slightly happening with this cake, but let’s pretend we don’t notice that, ok? hehe… 😉
If It’s too thin, add a bit more confectioners sugar. If it’s too thick, add a Tbsp at a time of milk. Mix until it’s easily spreadable yet at the same time, not soupy. It’s definitely a tricky balance to achieve but over time and with practice you’ll begin to develop an eye and a feel for what’s right.
Step 3: Assembling The Cake
For the first time ever, I didn’t use a revolving cake stand to decorate this cake! That’s because it’s not a round cake, so I didn’t need to spin it. So to begin, you’ll need a 10″ Round Cake Board. Drop a dollop of frosting in the centre of the board and place your cake layer on it, flat side down.
I always like to use the middle layer of frosting as a way for me to practice my piping skills, as you can see above. But if you’re not up for dilly-dallying, spread an even amount of frosting all over the layer using a 9″ angled spatula. Be generous, because this recipe makes more than enough frosting to go around.
If you’re wondering, I achieved those rosettes by filling a disposable decorating bag and using my all-time favourite tip in the world, Wilton 2D. Moving on.
The Top Layer:
When it comes to your top cake layer, flip it upside down so that the bottom is up. You do this so that the top of the cake will be as flat as possible. Using an angled spatula, spread the chocolate frosting evenly all over the top and sides of the cake.
First make the top as smooth as possible. It may sound weird, but I do this by dipping the spatula in a bowl of HOT water, getting the metal nice and hot, shaking off the excess water and then smoothing the spatula over the frosting. Do this continually until it’s as smooth looking as possible.
Smoothing out the sides:
Next, smooth out your sides by dipping a cake scraper in a bowl of hot water and shaking the excess water off. Hold the cake scraper at a 45 degree angle bringing it towards you, scraping the sides and scraping excess frosting onto the edge of a bowl. Do this continually until the sides are as smooth as possible.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I’m an expert at this. I’ve decorated so many cakes and yet I still have trouble getting super flat sides and corners. I mean, you can see in the photos that this cake isn’t perfect (but it’s OH SO DELICIOUS!) and that’s all that truly matters right? Right.
Once your sides are flat and smooth, there will be frosting up over the top of the cake. Use your spatula to smooth this frosting onto the top, using the hot water bowl method.
There, your cake is stacked, filled, and frosted, and hopefully looking heart-shaped! Stick it in the refrigerator to set and harden the frosting.
Step 4: Decorating The Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake
Make the Buttercream Frosting:
Whip up a batch of American Buttercream frosting as you’ll see in the recipe below. You’ll want the consistency of this frosting to be thicker than the chocolate frosting because all the mixing that comes with coloring the frosting will thin it out. And a thicker frosting is ideal for piping.
Coloring the Buttercream:
I divided the batch of frosting into 3 bowls:
- Light Pink: I used a majority of “Rose Petal Pink” from Wilton Cake’s Pastel Icing Color Set mixed with a tiny bit of Magenta.
- Deeper pink: I used a majority of Magenta, with a tiny bit of “Rose Petal Pink”.
- For the Red: I used like half Red and half Magenta food coloring. This was actually totally unintentional. I meant to do an all-red frosting, but I grabbed that magenta by accident haha. Nonetheless, I like how the red turned out!
Piping the Buttercream Designs:
As you’ll see in the photos above, start with the large tips first because then the rest of the designs just kind of fall into place. Fill piping bags with each of the three colors and using Wilton Tip 2D pipe rosettes onto the top of the cake and down the sides.
Then with the same tip, pipe a dollop pointing straight down to create flower/star shapes.
Then, assemble 3 disposable piping bags with couplers and using Wilton tips 16, 21, and 30 pipe buttercream designs into the gaps. I love this part of decorating because it’s the perfect way to cover imperfections and unintentionally smeared buttercream with a cute little flower, star, or swirl of buttercream!
I also notice with myself that once I start to pipe little designs, it’s hard to know when to stop. Just keep taking steps back and looking at the cake from a distance.
The Finishing Touches: Sprinkles!
The sprinkles that you see on this cake are all from Wilton:
Naturally Flavored Heart Sprinkles
I love them all and they’re seriously so perfect for Valentine’s Day! The gold heart flakes are sooo tiny and the naturally flavored heart sprinkles taste amazing!
Share The Love For This Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake:
I hope you guys enjoy baking, decorating, and EATING this Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake as much as I do! If you make this, please let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram so I can see your photos!! This cake is seriously so much fun to decorate, especially with all the fun sprinkles.
Thank you, and happy baking!
More Valentine’s Day Desserts:
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies With M&Ms
Heart Shaped Fruit Puff Pastries with Vanilla Glaze
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies With Buttercream Frosting
Heart Shaped Strawberry Hand Pies
Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake
- 2 Cups White Sugar
- 1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Eggs large
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Coffee or Water boiling hot
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 3/4 Cup Salted Butter softened to room temp
- 1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 5 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- 2/3 Cup Milk
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Salted Butter softened to room temp
- 4 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2-3 Tbsp Milk
Baking The Cake Layers
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans (round or heart shaped).
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl.
Stir in the boiling coffee/water by hand. The batter will be quite thin and liquid consistency. Divide the batter among the two pans. Bake for 30-35 min until an inserted toothpick comes out clean with no batter on it.
Allow cakes to cool in pans for at least 10 min before removing them from pans and setting them on a cooling rack. Cool cakes completely before frosting them.
Making The Chocolate Frosting
In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, until it turns lighter in color and fluffy.
Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the remaining ingredients. If the frosting is too thick and not easily spreadable, add a Tbsp more at a time of milk. If it's too thin, add more confectioners sugar. You don't want the batter too thin or the cake will be unstable.
Making The Buttercream For Decor
In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.
Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix on medium-high until until evenly combined and fluffy.
If the frosting is too thick and not easily spreadable, add a Tbsp more at a time of milk. If it's too thin, add more confectioners sugar. You will want this buttercream to be more on the thicker side, because mixing in the food colouring will thin it out.
Divide evenly into 3 small bowls. One bowl gets "Rose Petal Pink", the second gets "Magenta", and the third gets "Red" food coloring. I ended up combining drops in some of the bowls to get different shades. More drops = more intense color.
Decorating The Cake
On a 10" cake board, place a dollop of chocolate frosting in the center. Place one cake layer upside down on it. Pipe or spread an even layer of chocolate frosting on top of the layer and let it overhang on the sides. Be generous!
Flip second layer upside down and place on top. Using a spatula, spread frosting over top and all around the sides of the cake. Use a cake scraper dipped in a bowl of hot water to get the sides straight and smooth. Dip spatula in hot water bowl to get the top smooth as well. Place cake in fridge to chill.
While cake is chilling, fill piping bags with colored buttercream. Begin with piping the large rosettes first, using Wilton tips 1M and/or 2D. Then for the smaller tips, assemble the piping bags with couplers and fill with colored buttercream. Using tips 16, 21, and 30 pipe smaller designs, filling in gaps or imperfections.
Garnish cake with desired Wilton Valentines' Day sprinkles! Slice, serve, and enjoy!