BOO surprise inside cake tutorial

filed under: Surprise Inside Cakes on September 28, 2013

I love the idea of having words inside a cake and this tutorial will share just one method of achieving that.  I actually did my first already baked surprise inside cake for my book, Surprise-Inside Cakes, back in 2011.  (The book is out this March!)  Cant wait to show you that one! 🙂

I created this skull surprise inside cake and now have a tutorial for it!  If you want to create the skulls on the outside, I share the tip #’s on my post.

Surprise Inside Cake!  The PERFECT #Halloween #cake!


(I will link to some recipes, but feel free to use your own or a box mix!)

1 chocolate cake

1 white cake

1 recipe buttercream (or your preferred frosting)

Start by baking one chocolate cake in a 9×13 pan.  Allow cake to cool to room temperature.  Prepare buttercream.  Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Remove any hard edges or burnt spots and then add approximately 1/2 cup of frosting.  Using your hands, mix the frosting into the crumbled cake until fully incorporated.  You are creating a play doh like consistency, or a cake pop consistency. (The exact same consistency you would use when making cake balls)  You can add more frosting if needed!

Surprise Inside Cake tutorial

Take about a handful size of cake mixture and roll it into a snake.  The snake should be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and as long as your pan.  (I used a 5×9 inch pan so my snake was about 9 inches long) Roll out two more snakes, only make them approximately 1 inch in diameter.

Place the largest snake on a cool solid surface and press down slightly; you want to create a hard edge on the back; you are forming the back of the B.  Using your pinky finger or the back of a long knife, press down in the center of the snake.  This will create the two bumps of the B.

For the other snakes, simply press down very slightly to turn the O shape into more of an oval.

Surprise Inside Cake tutorial

This is how they should look.

Prepare white cake batter.  Spray (or butter and flour) a loaf pan or 5×9 inch pan.  Pour half of your white batter into loaf pan.  Carefully lift cake snakes into pan and place in order.  B first, then the two O’s.

Surprise Inside Cake tutorial

This is a very important step… mark your pan in some way so that you know what end is which.  I dabbed a bit of batter to the top of my pan so I knew which end was correct.

Cover the BOO with remaining batter and bake for at least 32 minutes.  You will be able to tell this cake is done when it cracks at the top and pulls away from the sides.

Allow cake to cool then remove from pan, being sure to note what side is the correct side to cut from first.  We want to read that BOO correctly!

At this point I trimmed my cake to make a perfect rectangle.  I cut excess cake off the top so that it was flat and even then made sure the sides were squared off.

I then covered my cake in a crumb coat and let it sit for an hour.  Make sure you know what side you want to cut into!  You can make a mark on your cake plate or on the cake itself.

I then went back and covered the cake in a smooth coat of frosting and decorated with skull-type embellishments.

Skull Cake with a Surprise Inside!

Tips & Tricks:

Get comfortable with the cake mixture.  Play around until you get shapes that you like.  This can be fun!

You do not need to do the “skull” embellishment on the sides of the cake.  You can decorate in any way you want

This cake does not dry out; it stays moist and delicious.

Please do let me know if you have any questions!  I will stick around the computer today just in case. 🙂

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  • Catherine says:

    Fantastic! My grandsons are going to love this cake. Why does’t the BOO inside get dry or overbaked if it’s being baked twice? (scratching head here)

    And I love your fancy skull & crossbones! 😉

    You are amazing~

  • Amanda says:

    Thanks Catherine! I believe it has to do with moisture and heat insulation. While the batter is baking around the cake mixture it seems to not pull any moisture out. I have made a few of these twice baked cakes now and it seems that the consistency of the interior cake does not change at all! It stays moist! Hope your grandsons love it!

  • Melissa says:

    Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your method!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you so much Melissa!

  • Deborah Stauch says:

    Thank you for such kind words Amanda. You are my hero.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh stop it! Silly. You are mighty talented my friend!

  • Kim | Just For Clicks says:

    I literally do not have a crafty/creative bone in my body. But you just made me believe I could do this! And I am totally going to try. Worst case I will have a buttercream covered cake…. which no one in my family will complain about {esp me!}. 🙂 Thanks for the great tutorial.

    • Amanda says:

      You CAN do it!! I hope you do and have a fun time in the process. Have a great day!!

  • batool says:

    Can v rite any person name instead of boo?

  • Mary@FunCookiesGalore says:

    I had no idea! That is too cool! Thank you for showing us the tricks of the treats!

  • Missy says:

    Love the cake, your recipes and ideas….can’t wait for your cookbook!

  • Nessa says:

    Great idea for Halloween!

  • meg says:

    What an absolute fantastic idea! My head is swirling with ideas!!

  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    So much fun! This technique makes me have SO many ideas…

  • Karen says:

    Fantastic tutorial. Have tried a polka dot cake, which is very effective, but haven’t tried any other “secret” cakes. This has inspired me to try something else. Great work.

  • Vicky says:

    I made a version of this for a Halloween party last weekend, it went down a treat everyone was so amazed! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • leaha says:

    Hi….im making a “Dalmatian” cake for my 5 year old next wk and wanted a “surprise for her on the inside, seeing as she will be watching me decorate most of it….thought mabey the cake inside would lose its shape coz of the frosting though?!?!? It is going to be round tho, so I just place the snakes in a circle right??? Also, one site suggested that I freeze the cake crumb frosting after forming? Is this necessary?

  • Kate says:

    Hi, I am wanting to make this cake for a birthday with the persons name “MANDY” on the inside. How would you recommend doing this? Your cake looks amazing by the way. Thanks, Kate

  • Missy says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Which frosting tips did you use for the skull and crossbones detail?

    Thanks very much!

  • Shelah Spiegel says:

    Love your recipes!
    I would like to make a Xmas tree inside of a cake. I am guessing I need a 4 layer cake so I have 4 triangles. I don’t want to do it in a loaf pan but in a regular 8 in round cake pan. Please help!

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.