I can’t think of a better cake for St. Patrick’s Day. This Leprechaun Hat Cake hides a wonderful surprise-inside too!

Leprechaun Hat Cake

Leprechaun Hat Cake

All iambaker readers know how much I love a Surprise-Inside cake. But I have to tell you, this is on the top of the “favorites” list! Not only is this cake fun on the outside and inside, but it tastes amazing and has the most glorious candy treat inside! If you follow my easy recipe and instructions you can also make this cake for your loved ones!

One tip for success… grab McCormick food color. The handy dandy box comes with red, yellow, blue, and green… everything you need to create a RAINBOW design! I just mixed a little red and yellow to get orange and then some red and blue to get purple. No fancy supplies needed for this cake!

Leprechaun Hat Cake

How to Make a Leprechaun Hat Cake

yellow cake recipe doubled (or 2 boxes of yellow cake mix) – 6-inch round cake pans and one 8-inch round cake pan

buttercream recipe doubled

1 box of McCormick assorted food color (red, yellow, blue, green)

black McCormick food color (for frosting)

green McCormick food color (for frosting)

McCormick Vanilla Extract (about 1 teaspoon)

3-inch round cookie cutter (can also use a cutout template and a paring knife)

pastry bags

#789, #48 decorating tips

small offset spatula

bench scraper

cake stand

rotating cake stand

gold sixlets and assorted gold sprinkles (about 2 cups in total)

Rainbow Surprise Inside Cake

Begin by preparing the cake batter. Divide cake batter into 6 bowls. Five of the bowls will have approximately 1 1/4 cups of cake batter and the sixth will have 2 cups. The sixth cup is for purple, which is the base of our Leprechaun Hat and is baked in an 8-inch round cake pan.

To color the batter; add red food color to the first bowl (anywhere from 10-30 drops depending on how deep you want the color to be), add red + yellow to the next bowl, yellow in the next bowl, green in the next bowl, blue in the next bowl, then red + blue in the last bowl. You will need more food color in the last bowl (purple) as there is more cake batter. Stir well. If you want to deepen the color at all you can add more food coloring as needed, but the colors in the cake batters will deepen slightly when baked.

Bake and allow to cool. Level cakes. (See how I level cakes here) Set aside or chill until ready to prepare cakes. This is a great place to stop if you are completing this cake over the course of a couple days.

Rainbow Cakes

How to Create the Surprise-Inside

Once cakes have been cooled and leveled you will create the surprise-inside. This works best on chilled cakes.

Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter (or sharp paring knife) remove the center portion from the yellow, green, and blue cakes.

Prepare buttercream. I make a double batch because it is much easier to have too much frosting rather than run out and attempt to color match. If you make a double batch you should have roughly 10 cups of buttercream and it should be divided like this:

5 cups green (I added Vanilla Extract to the green)

3 cups left white

1 1/2 cups black

1/2 cup yellow

You will not use all of the black frosting but because of the size of the #789 nozzle, I recommend making more than needed.St. Patricks Day Surprise Cake

To Assemble this Leprechaun Hat Cake

Begin by placing the 8-inch round purple layer on cake stand.

Pro Tip: I place my cake stand directly on top of my rotating cake stand. This helps dramatically when frosting and smoothing out the frosting on cakes.

Place a thin layer of white buttercream on top of the purple layer.

Now add the blue layer, making sure it is centered on the cake. Cover in a thin layer of white buttercream.

Next place the green layer, then buttercream, then yellow layer and buttercream.

Pour in the gold sixlets and sprinkles mixture making sure it is filled completely.

Place orange layer on, add buttercream, then finally red layer. If you are stopping here (completing this cake over the course of a couple days) I recommend covering the cake in a crumb coat and chilling until ready to finish.

Now cover the cake with green buttercream. Smooth out the green buttercream using an offset spatula and then finishing with the bench scraper for smooth sides. This process can take some time but it is worth it to have clean edges.

St. Patrick's Day Cake

Using your black frosting in a pastry bag with the #789, pipe out a band around the 6-inch cake base.

Find the front of your cake (the prettiest side!) and pipe out a “buckle” in yellow frosting. I used a #48 tip for this.

Chill until ready to serve.

St. Patty's Cake Cake - Leprechaun Hat

When you are ready to cut the cake make sure you have a sharp knife. These are very tall slices so having larger plates also helps.

Have a spoon near-by so you can scoop some of those glorious gold sprinkles onto each plate!

Easy Leprechaun Hat Cake

People will oohh and aahh over this delightful Leprechaun Hat Surprise-Inside Cake!!

Here is a video of how I made it:

Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support me here at iambaker. I absolutely love working with McCormick and love the high quality of their products. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


Share with your friends!

Categorized in:

Related Recipes

Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Love your cakes but I so wish you would make them printable without so many pictures and ads.

  2. I have looked for the decorating tip #48 doesn’t appear to be the tip I need to make the lines gold lines on the hat. I’m assuming that’s what that tip is supposed to be for. I’m kind of new to cake decorating, but I couldn’t find a tip that would substitute for that tip. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Thank u for sharing to us its a big help. Hope that your website will last .God bless. Mom of 3 working in dubai and loves and dreamt ofto learned baking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.