On February 14, we celebrate Valentine’s Day.  It is a day for lovers and sweethearts, but also a fun day for children and family.  Valentine’s Day traditions abound. We exchange cards and small gifts, chocolate, candy, jewelry and flowers.

Since I like to bake, my favorite Valentine’s Day endeavor is preparing a heart-shaped cake.  Below is a recipe for a heart cake iced with red fondant.  If you’ve never worked with fondant before, I encourage you to try it.  It is very easy to work with and it produces a professional quality cake that will delight your Valentine. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ingredients

Before you begin you will need:

  • Two 9” by 2” heart-shaped baking pans*
  • One box of Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake—18.25 ounces
  • One 32 ounce container of red fondant**
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Decorative icing flowers to garnish cake***

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour the two heart-shaped baking pans.

To prepare the cake batter–follow the directions on the Duncan Hines cake mix box.

Divide the batter evenly into the two heart-shaped pans.

Bake for approximately 25 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the icing:

Remove about 1 pound of red fondant from container.  Place in microwave briefly to soften for about 10 seconds at level 3 per instructions on container.  If necessary, place in microwave for another 10 seconds to make the fondant pliable.

Place red fondant on a wooden or plastic board where you can roll it out with a rolling pin and roll the fondant to a circle which is approximately 14 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick.

If the fondant becomes sticky, sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on the board.

Gently lift up the fondant and place it over the heart cake.  It should take on the shape of the cake.  Trim the excess fondant from the bottom of the cake.

You can repeat this process with the second heart cake or freeze it for future use.

Notes

* You can get heart shaped pans at William Sonoma or Party City or Michaels.  If you just have one heart pan, it is ok to pour the whole batter into it—just bake for an extra 20 minutes or until a cake tester placed in the center of the cake comes out clean.  After you have cooled the cake, you can slice it in half horizontally.

** I used Duff Goldman Red Fondant which I bought at Michael’s.  Do not be daunted by the thought of working with fondant.  It handles quite easily, is fun to work with, is somewhat reminiscent of play dough—and it produces a very professional looking cake.  Do not hesitate to get creative and use different types of cake mixes and fondant—for example—chocolate cake with white fondant, or a white cake with chocolate fondant.

*** You should be able to find decorative icing flowers at Party City or Michael’s, or you can order them online: www.thebakerskitchen.net.