Mini Valentine’s Day Cake

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1 hour 5 minutes

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This Mini Valentine’s Day Cake has a hidden candy surprise in the center, making it an absolutely beautiful and extra sweet Valentine’s Day treat for your special someone.

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Originally published February 2017 – Updated February 2023

Cake with M&M's pouring out of the middle

Mini Valentine Cake Recipe with a Candy Surprise

Valentine’s Day is coming and when I was grocery shopping recently, I came across these Valentine colored M&Ms, which inspired me to come up with a recipe for a sweet treat I could make with them. Since I have been looking for a good excuse to use my mini cake pans this mini Valentine’s cake with a hidden chocolate candy surprise is the perfect answer!

One of the things I love most about Valentine’s Day is all the sweet treats that go along with it, and I couldn’t be more excited about this sweet and delicious mini cake. Though I’ve made everything from layered Valentine’s Day Bark (seriously delicious) to White Chocolate Mousse, I have a feeling that this mini cake recipe is going to top them all.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Easy: With the hidden candy center, this looks like a fancy cake recipe but with the help of the mini cake pan, it’s as simple as baking a boxed cake mix.
  • Fun-This cake brings instant smiles the minute you cut into it and the candy center comes spilling out. The kids go crazy over it.
  • Versatile-You can change it up with any flavor cake, candy or frosting you prefer. I’ve included some tasty suggestions below.
  • Romantic: This little cake is just the right size for a two-person dessert. We also love this pretty Vintage Heart Cake for a romantic dessert!
Mini Valentine Cake With M&M's on white stand


  • Box Cake Mix-plus all the ingredients listed on the box instructions (eggs, water, oil)
  • Canned Vanilla Buttercream Frosting-you can also use homemade frosting
  • Valentine M&Ms-or other small candies

How to Make a Mini Valentine Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 1. Prepare the cake batter and bake the cake mix according to the box directions.

Note: Since one box of mix makes eight mini cakes, I used two cakes to make the cake layers and froze the rest for later.

Step 2. Before you start decorating, use a cake leveler on the bottom of both of the little cakes, just to be sure they’re flat.

Step 3. Next, fill one of the cooled cakes with as much candy as you possibly can. There’s no such thing as too many M&M’s, right?

Step 4. Frost the cake around the candy and place the second one on top.

M&M's in cake surrounded by frosting
Top layer of cake added

Step 5. Next, frost the top and the sides of the cakes, then start adding M&Ms. I made stripes of color going around the cake but feel free to use your imagination and decorate it however you like.

Tip: Don’t worry about frosting it neatly…it’ll be covered with M&M’s anyway.

Cake with light pink and dark pink M&M's

Step 6. Finally, you can add a few more M&M’s and some Valentine sprinkles on top.

Mini Valentine Cake With M&M's 14c

Valentines Day Cake Variations

Cake: Used regular vanilla cake, because we wanted little white cakes that would make a nice contrast in color with the pink and red candy. But you can use any flavor cake mix you love. Red velvet cake is always a hit.

Candy: The best part of this recipe you can get creative and fill it with anything you’d like. Instead of the M&Ms, you can use skittles, red hots, mini thin mints or any small treats that will fill in the center.

Frosting: We used canned buttercream frosting, but you can use cream cheese frosting or any other flavor frosting you prefer. You can even use homemade frosting if you have a go-to recipe you like to use.

Decorations: Once you have the mini cake frosted, you can decorate it in all sorts of festive ways. For Valentine’s Day, use fresh raspberries, conversation hearts or any type of red or pink candy. You can even skip the candy and use a piping bag to create a little bit of a decorative design along the top edge of the cake.

Valentine cake on white cake stand

Can I Use Mini Bundt Pans

In order to hide the candy inside, it requires two flat edges that you can sit on top of each other. But if you don’t want to buy the pan used in this recipe, you can use a mini bundt pan instead.

Then, you can just frost each of the mini Bundt cakes, and fill the center with the candy. The candy won’t be a “surprise,” but it will make a pretty design.

Valentine's Day cake with M&M's pouring out

How Do I Store a Candy Filled Mini Cake?

Because this cake has frosting, you’ll want to keep it stored in the fridge to ensure it stays fresh. It’s not recommended that you freeze this cake once it has been decorated because as it thaws, red and pink from the candy will run onto the frosting.

Want more Valentine’s Day Desserts?

Mini Valentine's Day cake for recipe card
5 from 1 vote

Mini Valentine’s Day Cake

Course Dessert, Desserts & Sweets
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
This colorful Mini Valentine's Day Cake is made even more fun by the sweet surprise inside! It's the perfect dessert to make for the kids or share with someone you love!



  • Preheat oven to 350° and spray pans with cooking spray.
  • Mix cake batter with oil, water and eggs, according to package directions.
    1 box cake mix, 3 eggs, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Fill pans about 3/4 full and bake 17-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
  • Fill center of one cake with Valentine M&M's.
    2 bags Valentine's Day M&M's
  • Add icing around the M&M's, then place the second cake, hollow side down, over the first one.
    1 can vanilla icing
  • Continue to frost the entire cake.
  • Starting from the bottom, make rows of M&M's around the cake, until you reach the top. Place a few more M&M's on the top of the cake.
  • Add Valentine's Day sprinkles and enjoy!
    Valentine's Day sprinkles


  • One box of cake mix will make 4-5 full cakes (top and bottom). I like to go ahead and bake the extra cakes while I’m decorating the first one. Then I let them cool and freeze them for a fun treat later. 
  • If the ingredients on your boxed cake mix are different from these, follow the instructions on the box.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 106g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 946mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 304mg | Iron: 3mg
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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