Countdown Cake {Surprise Inside Cake}

filed under: Surprise Inside Cakes on December 27, 2013

UPDATE:  Full tutorial now posted!

This cake is one of my “crazy” ideas.  I didn’t really think it could happen.  But then it happened.  And it wasn’t that hard.  And I am super excited to share it with you my New Year’s Eve Countdown Cake!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

New Year’s Eve Cake

This cake is a showstopper for sure! Just imagine your guests gasping in delight when you cut into the first piece and there is a 10 there. The ‘9’ is peaking inside… and once you remove the 9 there is the ‘8’. This cake counts down the New Year with you! And… it’s not that hard!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

How to Make a Countdown Cake

Begin by making a chocolate cake in a sheet pan.  (You want the pan to be approximately 12 x 18 inches.)  Make cake then freeze the cake for at least 2 hours.

Remove cake from freezer.  Using number cookie cutters, start by pressing a ‘1’ (or the number of your choice) into sheet cake.  If the cake feels at all crumbly, put back into the freezer.  Press ‘1’ into the cake and then remove cake from the cookie cutter.  Set it on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Repeat this process for all numbers.  Make three sets of each number, even though you will only use two in the cake.  The extra set is ‘just in case’.  So you will press out three sets of 10, three 9’s, three 8’s, three 7’s and so on.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Place cut out cake numbers back into the freezer.  You want them to be frozen when inserting into the white cake batter.

Prepare white cake batter and pour HALF of the batter into a prepared 9 inch round cake pan.  To make this easier I pour my cake batter into a 4-cup measuring cup, then pour out approximately 2 cups into my cake pan.

Starting with the 10, place the 1 and 0 into batter-filled cake pan.  Make sure there is at least 1/2 inches between the number and the edge of the pan.  Place two 10’s back to back so that it’s about 3 inches thick.  Now place two 9’s in the pan directly behind 10.

Continue placing numbers into the pan in a circle, working back from 10.  Once you are about halfway around the pan, check to make sure that you are working on the number 5.  10-6 should take up half the pan and 5-1 should take up the other half.  If you have any extra space, simply fill in with 1’s.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

PRO TIP: Mark your pan so that you know where the 10 is.  You can either make a dot with a black permanent marker or drop a small piece of chocolate cake on top of the batter where your 10 is.  (This will most likely be trimmed off when/if you level the cake.)

Carefully pour remaining batter over numbers making sure to cover them completely.

Bake cake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Keep an eye on it and test to make sure center is completely cooked.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then place in freezer for at least an hour. (You can freeze the cake up to 3 months, just make sure its properly covered.)

When ready to frost cake, remove it from the freezer.  If needed, level cake.

Make note of where the “10” is on your cake then remove cake from the cake pan.  Place on the cake stand and mark where your 10 is.  You can use a piece of tape on the cake stand to mark.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

When you are ready to cut into your cake, just make sure you make your cut where the ’10’ is.  Cut each piece about 2-3 inches thick.  You will then be removing the pieces in descending order.

Find the tutorial for this cake here!

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  • Jennifer says:

    So how exactly did you put the numbers in there??

    • Luanne says:

      If I imagine how the numbers are placed it’s like when you make a cupcake with a heart inside. The numbers are cut out from a chocolate cake, place the white batter in the pan for the bottom, place the cut out numbers standing or upside down (to flip the cake) then fill the pan with batter.

      • Mayu says:

        so the chocolate parts are cut out of baked cake and then placed the white cake batter, which is then baked? so the the chocolate is double baked? i suppose it doesnt get dry because it surrounded with batter! brilliant!! really is brilliant!

        PS i wa recently introduced to your website by a friend and I am itching to try some out!! but i’m supposed to be on a diet… 🙁

  • carica says:

    How did you make the numbers

  • Carolyn says:

    That is WAY too cool!

  • Tina Truex says:

    This is AWESOME!!! Nice job 🙂

  • April says:

    That is a very cool cake and very cool idea!

  • Susan says:

    Are the numbers chocolates?

  • Barbara says:

    Wow! You are so creative. I love all your ideas but this tops the cake lol!

  • Charlotte Moore says:

    I can’t even imagine how you did this. Blows my mind.

  • Marides says:

    amazing! can’t wait for your tutorial. I can’t imagine how you did the numbers.

  • Mary says:

    I’m not ready for how you did it yet. I just want to enjoy that you did do it. Wonderful!

  • Terry says:

    This is great… Endless possibilities here – like a decade countdown to a BIG zero birthday!

  • Hanan says:

    I am dying to know how you did this. I want to try it for new years 🙂

  • Virginia says:

    That’s fantastic! You really are so creative! Plus, then you had to cut the cake into perfect tenths AND remember where the 10 was AFTER YOU PUT THE ICING ON. Amazing!

  • Mimi says:


  • Kathy - Panini Happy says:

    That is SO cool, Amanda!!

  • Deepali Jain says:

    wow! as usual great job Amanda!

  • Britiney says:

    You just never cease to amaze me! I made the faith cake and frosted it with roses for Christmas and it was a HUGE hit. Thanks for your great tutorials!

  • Pat says:

    Awesome! I’d love a tutorial so I can make it for new year’s. How did you know where to slice it?


  • Beth @ bethcakes says:

    Oh my goodness, this is such an amazing cake! I lovelovelove the numbers on the inside! I shouldn’t be surprised because all of your surprise inside cakes are incredible, but this is just so cool! 🙂

  • Kara says:

    Seriously?? That is way too cool!!

  • Sue {munchkin munchies} says:

    You are amazing, Amanda!

    • Sue {munchkin munchies} says:

      P.S. Hope you have a wonderful year in 2014!

  • farheen says:

    Will wait for the tutorial 🙂

  • EllenFitz says:

    That is so cool. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure this out. It’s like a puzzle that grabs you. The only way I can see it working is if you sliced the plain cake into tenths, used mini-cookie cutters for the numbers on the side if each piece, and then put the slices back together and iced the entire cake as a whole. Can’t wait for the tutorial to see if I was even close. 😀

  • Angela says:

    How did you put the numbers in? Is recipe available? Looks yummy!

  • June Kelly says:

    Yes please before New Years Eve Eve!