Pinata cakes (aka surprise cakes) are “the” birthday party dessert now. The layer cakes are filled with candy, so when you cut into them — surprise! — M&Ms or Skittles or sprinkles or whatever spills out. Being the awesome mom that I am, I decided to take a shot at making one for a particular 9-year-old’s birthday.

Spoiler alert: She loved it.

There are probably hundreds of versions of these cakes on Pinterest, but the premise is always the same.

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Step 1: Make four cake layers. Bake them from scratch or use a couple of box mixes. I won’t judge.

Step 2: Use a glass to cut a circle in the middle of two cake layers.

Step 3: You’re gonna need a double batch of frosting for this. Or extra cans. Again, not judging.

Put one whole cake layer on your serving plate. Frost it. Put a layer with a circle cut out of the middle on top of that. Frost it. Top with another layer with a hole in the middle. Frost it.

Step 4: Here’s the tricky part: Fill it with candy. I used M&Ms.

Step 5: Top with the remaining whole cake layer. Frost the top and sides and decorate how you like.

Ta-dah! When you cut the first piece, make it a big one, and make sure everyone is watching. Enjoy the oohs and ahhs.

Jackie Lieberman is the owner and editor of NJ Flavor. Email her at

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