Valentine’s Day Peek-A-Boo Pound Cake

Valentine's Day Peek-A-Boo Pound Cake from Very Culinary

by Amy Flanigan on February 4, 2013 · 198 comments

How. Cute. Is. This!? Even I was a little giddy when I sliced a knife through to reveal it turned out perfectly. Cake was solid and moist, hearts plain as day, and the color wasn’t compromised. I originally saw the idea with a pumpkin shape , but didn’t have a chance to make it for Thanksgiving. So why not Valentine’s Day?! 

Valentine's Day Peek-A-Boo Pound Cake slice

There’s a lot of waiting involved with the cooking, cooling, and chilling, making this a day-long project. But it is SO SO easy. And the actual active time you’re on your feet is minimal. (Unless you’re taking step-by-step pictures…and then, well, forget about it.)

Valentine's Day Peek-A-Boo Pound Cake step by step

Give your friends and family a fun and loving surprise. They’ll think you’re a genius and be asking “how’d you do that??”

I can’t wait to put this in Haley’s lunchbox!

Valentine’s Day Peek-A-Boo Pound Cake
Serves 10
Cook time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Chill time: 2-4 hours
Total Active time: 25 minutes

• 2 (16 ounce) boxes Betty Crocker Pound Cake mix
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, softened
• 4 eggs, divided
• 1 1/3 cups milk, divided
• red food coloring
Vanilla Icing
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon butter, melted
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Prepare your first pound cake: combine 1 box of cake mix, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter, 2 eggs, and 2/3 cup milk in a large bowl. Whisk together with an electric mixer or by hand. Add in your food coloring until you reach the desired color (I think I used 25 drops.)

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 8-10 minutes less than instructed on box (about 50 minutes.) Let cool, remove from pan and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Cut cold cake into slices the thickness of your cookie cutter. Cut heart shapes from the slices. Set aside.

Prepare your second box of pound cake mix the same as the first, except omit the food coloring. Coat a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and pour just barely enough batter to cover the bottom. Align your heart cut-outs down the center, keeping them tightly together. Poor the remaining batter over the heart cut-outs in the pan, making sure to cover the sides and tops. (Careful the batter doesn’t overflow.) Bake according to the directions on the box, about 1 hour. Let cool when done.

Meanwhile, prepare your icing. In a medium bowl, mix all of your ingredients together until combined and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if it appears too runny or more milk if it seems too stiff, until you reach the consistency you like.

Remove baked and cooled pound cake from pan and top with icing. Let set; cut into slices and enjoy! Adorable, right!?

(slightly adapted from She Knows)

Print this recipe

Leave a Comment

{ 198 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia Rose August 12, 2014 at 12:49 am

Recipe for peek a boo cake is so cute!!! Thanks


Jess February 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

Round what size is the cookie cutter


Amy @Very Culinary February 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

The one I used is about 4 wide x 2 1/2 tall x 1/2 inch deep – yes, there are scraps left over, but as you can see from the picture, you don’t want to go too much wider. The depth doesn’t matter as much…you just want to make sure you cut the pink cake into slices the thickness of whatever cutter you choose, as instructed.


Kris February 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I made this last night…too cute! I have a tall, heart-shaped bread tube pan I got from Pampered Chef, so I made the pink heart center in it. Simply removed it from the heart-shaped pan after it baked and add it to the other pan. No need to slice, except I did trim the ends so it would be the right length. Love it!

I don’t think the pans are available anymore from Pampered Chef, but here is what I used:


Alice T. February 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

Every year I make heart pancakes for my kids on Valentine’s Day. But this morning I surprised them with this cake. Best surprise ever!! I just might win “Mom Of The Year Award” LOL. Thank you!


Kim February 14, 2014 at 7:45 am

My pink pan is baking in the oven now.So excited to make this for my daughters today !!!


Cassie February 14, 2014 at 7:41 am

My daughter’s class had their Valentine’s party yesterday because of the long weekend. I made this and it was a HUGE hit. Even the other teachers were coming into the room to see what the fuss was about. So adorable! Thank you for a great cake recipe!!


Janice February 14, 2014 at 7:36 am

This was a disaster for me. I wish I would of known about the sleeve before I made it. Common sense tells you that almost 2 cake mixes won’t fit into one pan. If I made it again I would do things a lot differently.


Ashlea Ray February 14, 2014 at 6:08 am

I can’t wait to try this….wondering if I can use the same idea and try it for easter. Im thinking confetti cake mix to make the easter eggs then a colored batter mix on top, kinda reversing it ,what do ya think?


Amy @Very Culinary February 14, 2014 at 6:25 am

This could definitely be customized for other holidays using different dyes and cookie cutters, but you must use pound cake. Regular cake mix will don’t work, sorry.


hailey February 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Milk or water right? The box says either. But is it better to use milk? (Found the cookie cutter by the way. So happy!)


Amy @Very Culinary February 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Hi Hailey – milk! Definitely milk. And yay on the cutter!


hailey February 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Dang it. I used water. I’m waiting for it to cool now. Hope it still turns out. :/


Amy @Very Culinary February 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm

I don’t *think* water will ruin it, but milk will give it a moisture texture. Hm. Let me know..


hailey February 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm

It wasn’t bad. Not too dry. But I didn’t cook it long enough the second time. So this time I flopped. I will attempt this recipe again though. Its too cute not too! Lol

Tiffany February 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Does anyone have a homemade pound cake recipe that have used with this that worked please?! Cannot find boxed pound cake mix anywhere here.


Jessica February 13, 2014 at 9:28 am

Hi, Veryculinary
LOVE THIS! but I don’t have the patience for pound cake so I am using white cake (dyed pink) and chocolate cake. There are no instructions about a loaf pan on the box (Philisbury White Cake Mix). What should I do?


Amy @Very Culinary February 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

Hi Jessica – this recipe only works with pound cake. If you use regular cake mix, it won’t come out properly. Sorry :/


Queenie February 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

This recipe looks fun to bake. I sure will give it a try. Thanks for sharing.


Roxanne February 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I made two of these tonight and they came out so good! I had to cook the first cake a little longer than you had suggested, but didnt fully cook it so it wouldnt be dry later, it came out very nice though everyone wanted seconds!


Carmen B. Sanchez February 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I love this cake. I made it for my brother´s birthday. I just want to pass along a couple of tips I got from a friend who bakes for a living :)
Freeze the cake before cutting the shapes. It is so smooth! Slice, cut and stack. The shapes stick together as they defrost a bit. Easier to place on the pan for the other batter.
Tip 2. Put a sleeve around the pan to keep it even at the top. The sleeve can be bought, but if you sew, you can make it from teflon fabric.


Yvonne Uhl February 11, 2014 at 8:07 am

Great tips, thank you Carmen… will make tonight!


Felicia February 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for the tips. Do you have to let the cake defrost a little first before you can get the knife through it? Does the fact that the middle is frozen affect the cooking time of the final cake?


Jen February 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I want to make thisssssss


Chav February 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Can this concept work with any cake mix?


Amy @Very Culinary February 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

No, sorry. It only works with Pound Cake. I have only used the Betty Crocker brand, but others have had success using a homemade version.


Chav February 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Oh okay thank you!


Meloney February 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Could you cut the pound cake as one whole heart(like a loaf) omitting the cookie cutter, or does it need to be cut in slices?


Amy @Very Culinary February 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Do you have a heart shaped loaf pan? I can’t see why not, but I can’t vouch for the results.


christy February 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I have a similar cookie cutter from Wilton that I am going to try – very excited!


Previous post:

Next post: