This homemade piñata cake is the ultimate birthday cake that's surprisingly easy to make using cake mix and store-bought frosting to save time. Fill with confetti sprinkles and top with a mini piñata! Great for gender reveals or celebrating any special occasion with an added element of surprise and delight.
This homemade Piñata Cake is a whimsical dessert that's perfect for celebrating a birthday or any special occasion!
This cake-mix recipe is simple to make yet incorporates a confetti sprinkle filling that adds a playful twist to a traditional birthday cake.
Surprisingly super easy to make, this layered party cake is a dessert that even a novice baker can absolutely pull off!
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
At first glance, this colorful dessert appears to be a beautifully decorated cake with smooth frosting and charming decorations, but its true magic is revealed when you go to cut a slice! Inspired by the classic party piñata, this cake offers a sweet surprise inside!
When you slice into this piñata cake, you release a flow of vibrant sprinkles that spill out in a celebration like confetti! The hidden filling adds an element of surprise and joy, making each slice a unique and super festive experience for those celebrating.
This fun layered cake is bound to be a hit if you are looking for a birthday cake idea that will really wow the birthday boy or girl and party guests.
This adorable piñata cake is not only a delicious dessert but is also a source of entertainment and celebration which makes it an epic birthday cake! It's also perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, a baby shower, an anniversary or a taco-themed event.
Adjust the colors of the cake frosting and sprinkles to fit your occasion. You can even change out the topper for something else that fits your theme.
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
You will need just 5 main ingredients to make this recipe plus water and food coloring to create colored frosting. Super simple.
The recipe calls for yellow cake mix, frosting, rainbow sprinkles and a mini piñata cake topper to create this fun dessert!
Here's everything you'll need:
- Cake mix. I use Betty Crocker cake mix but choose your favorite brand. I prefer yellow cake. It's a nice flavor and naturally adds that signature yellow color that's often featured in a piñata.
- Eggs, water and oil. Per the boxed cake mix directions, you'll need to add these ingredients. If you want a richer flavor, you can substitute the water with milk. Vegetable, corn or any neutral cooking oil will work for this recipe.
- Vanilla buttercream frosting. You can certainly make your own buttercream but to save time and truly make this cake very simple and easy, you can just use store-bought vanilla frosting.
- Colored decorating frostings. You'll need orange and pink frosting (or choose colors you like). You can save time and buy colored frosting ready-mixed or you can add a few drops of food coloring to regular white frosting to create the colors you desire. If I'm short on time, I love to use the cans of frosting that come with an application tip. Then I don;t have to worry about filling up a piping bag or finding a tip to use. Go with what works for you.
- Sprinkles. This is the fun part! A little tip to pull this cake together visually is to match the colors of your sprinkles with the mini piñata topper. (The frosting colors should also tie in). Matching colors will help give your homemade cake a professional look.
Finally, you'll need a mini piñata cake topper to really pull off this whole piñata theme. Luckily, you can find mini piñatas at many party stores or you can order one on amazon.
You can shop bulk sprinkles on amazon as well to get just the right color combination.
Here is a mini piñata close to the one I used.
Here are the confetti sprinkles I used.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
This recipe comes together easily, just follow the steps!
Here's a look at each step:
- Line cake pans.
- Blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs to form batter.
- Pour batter into cake pans and bake.
- Let cake cool (in pan then move to wire rack).
- Cut away tops of cakes to flatten.
- Cut a circle into the center of 3 cake layers (leave 1 whole).
- Place one layer of cake on cake stand and frost the top.
- Add another cut-out cake then frost.
- Add third cut-out cake then frost.
- Frost sides of the hole.
- Pour sprinkles into the hole.
- Place final uncut cake layer on top.
- Frost top and sides of the cake.
- Pipe frosting around the bottom top.
- Pipe dots around the sides.
- Top with mini piñata decoration.
Just follow each of the steps and you'll have no problem baking and assembling this adorable piñata cake!
★ Tips & FAQs ★
What is a piñata cake?
A piñata cake is a fun and festive dessert that has a surprise inside, just like a traditional piñata. When you cut into the cake, a hidden filling spills out, delighting everyone with a burst of colors.
How hard is it to make a piñata cake at home?
It's surprisingly easy! This recipe uses a cake mix as a base, making the process straightforward and totally achievable, even for beginners. No special skills are required. You do need a round cookie cutter or you can use the top of a drinking glass to cut out the center of the cake.
Can I use any cake mix flavor?
Sure! This recipe is versatile, allowing you to choose your favorite cake mix flavor. Whether it's chocolate, vanilla, funfetti or another flavor, the piñata effect will be equally impressive. If you're going with chocolate cake, choose light and bright sprinkles for good contrast.
What kind of surprise filling can I use?
Get creative! Colorful candies like M&Ms, Skittles, sprinkles, or even small gumball-machine toys would make a great filling. Make sure the filling is small enough to fit the cut-out area and can easily spill out when the cake is cut.
Can I make this cake in advance?
Yes, you can make this up to 24 hours in advance. You'll want to leave off the piñata topper and be sure it's cooled completely. Cover the cake with a glass cake dome that's large enough not to touch the frosting. I like to vent the bottom with some toothpicks so that there is some airflow otherwise the cake can get a little soggy.
Another option is to use a tall cake box to store the cake. The cake can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge.
What type of frosting works best for decorating the piñata cake?
A thick, creamy frosting works well for layering and sealing the cake. Buttercream or cream cheese frosting are popular choices. Feel free to use store-bought frosting for convenience.
Can I customize the decorations on the piñata cake?
Absolutely! Personalize your piñata cake with your preferred colors, edible decorations, or themed toppings to match the occasion or party decor colors.
How do I ensure a clean and impressive reveal when cutting the cake?
Use a long and sharp or serrated knife, and make one confident cut starting at the center of the cake. Cut and serve one slice at a time. This will ensure a neat and exciting reveal of the hidden surprise.
Is there a recommended occasion for serving a piñata cake?
Really, any celebration or event where you want to add an element of surprise and joy to your dessert table. The cake decorations can be tailors to match any theme.
Piñata cakes are especially perfect for birthdays because of their colorful nature and festive look. So if you're looking for a unique homemade birthday cake idea — this piñata cake is a great go-to.
Make this a gender reveal cake!
A piñata cake makes a wonderful gender reveal cake. Simply choose all blue or all pink filling. Keep the outside neutral or decorate with both blue and pink frosting to stir curiosity. Top with a stork, or another baby-centric cake topper.
★ More Recipes You'll Love ★
Planning a party?
Easy Piñata Cake
- 2 13.25 oz boxes of yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- 6 eggs (or ingredients listed on your specific box mix)
- 7 oz rainbow sprinkles (approx. 2 ¼ cups)
- 5 cups vanilla buttercream frosting (I used Betty Crocker)
- ⅓ cup pink vanilla frosting
- ⅓ cup orange vanilla frosting
- 1 mini piñata cake topper
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and line two 8” cake pans with parchment paper.
- Add cake mix to a large mixing bowl. Add water, oil and eggs and beat with an electric mixer until well combined.
- Pour half the mixture into two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center of the cakes comes out clean.Repeat with the remaining mixture. Or, if you have a larger oven and four pans, you can bake them all at once!
- Leave cakes for about 15 minutes before removing them from the pans and cooling on a wire rack.
Assemble the Cake
- Once cakes have cooled completely, use a long serrated knife to slice away the domed tops of each layer, creating a nice flat surface.
- Using a 2” cookie cutter, cut a circle into the center of one of the cake layers.Repeat with two more of the layers, leaving one uncut. You can place the first layer you cut on top of the second and third to use as a guide and make sure the holes line up.
- Place one of the cake layers with a hole in on your cake stand or turntable. Spread with an even layer of vanilla frosting.Repeat with two remaining cut-out layers, then spread a little extra frosting inside the hole to help the sprinkles stick.
- Pour sprinkles into the hole until filled to the top.
- Place final uncut cake layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake.
- Pipe a border of pink frosting around the bottom, and orange frosting around the top of the cake*You might also like to pipe some dots around the sides of the cake with the remaining orange and pink frosting. Top with your mini piñata cake topper and serve!