Going with our Starry Night holiday theme, we bake a chocolate star surprise inside cake! This loaf cake is made of three components, a yellow, almond-flavored pound cake baked into a moist chocolate batter and topped with a thick, creamy layer of our no-fail cream cheese icing and decorated with star sprinkles.
While the cake looks pretty but unsuspecting on the outside, it’s true beauty is revealed once you cut it open. This cake is perfect for any festive get-togethers our as a gift for cake lovers!
3 Tips for Best Results
We gave this cake three test runs to perfect the recipe and make sure you get a beautiful surprise inside effect. Here are 3 tips for best results:
1) The yellow cake stars must be frozen rock hard! If they still seem a little soft, put them back into the freezer.
2) Since the surprise inside is made of individual stars, chocolate batter will inevitably run in between them. Therefore cut out thick cake stars and try to place them as snuggly together as you can.
3) And when cutting the cake go for thinner slices so you find one that looks good.
✨ The Starry Night Holiday Collection
No matter what holiday you’re celebrating this time of year, we have fun and creative Starry Night themed recipes, crafts and tutorials lined up for you. Join us for delcious cakes, cookies and sweet treats, pretty flower arraning projects and nifty DIYs. Each week until Christmas, we’ll publish two of the following tutorials, so stay tuned!
- Designing the Starry Night Holiday Collection
- DIY Star Sprinkles and Mettalic Effects
- Sparkly Winter Fairy Garden
- Lemon Shortbread Stars
- 5 Quick & Easy DIY Holiday Gifts
- kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoons
- large mixing bowl
- hand-held or stand mixer with the paddle attachment
- rubber spatula
- 900 g (2 lb) non-stick loaf tin (pan)
- oven mitts or kitchen towel
- cake tester or skewer
- cooling wrack
- 4 cm (1.5 – 1.6 in) star-shaped cookie cutter
- paring knife
- baking tray (sheet) lined with baking (parchment) paper or wax (grease-proof) paper
- clingfilm (plastic/saran wrap)
Shelf life & storage
You can keep the cake in the fridge for up to 4 days or undecorated in the freezer for a month. Always allow the cake to come to room temperature before enjoying it.
For the star cake
- 230 g butter (1 cup / 2 sticks)
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 4 eggs (UK & Europe: M / US, CA, AUS, NZ: L)
- 240 g (2 cups) all purpose flour, sifted
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 40 g (1/3 cup) ground almonds
- 90 ml (cups) milk (you can use both, skimmed or whole milk)
- 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp amaretto or 1 tsp almond extract (optional)
- yellow gel paste food colouring
For the chocolate cake
- 170 g butter (3/4 cup / 1 1/2 sticks)
- 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs (UK & Europe: M / US, CA, AUS, NZ: L)
- 180 g (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 30 g (1/4 cup) unprocessed cocoa powder
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) hot water
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) buttermilk
- 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp light vinegar
For prepping the tin
For the decorations
- 1/2 portion of our no-fail cream cheese frosting
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
- shredded coconut
Bake the cake
- Prep work. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Generously grease and flour a the loaf tin.
- Make the yellow cake. To make the batter for the star, add the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and yellow food coloring into a large mixing bowl and cream on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat after each addiction and occasionally scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Combine on low speed until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for an hour or until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 3 hours.
- Cut out the stars. After the cake has cooled, remove the browned sides and cut the cake into thick slices. Using a star cookie cutter, cut out individual stars. Place them on a plate lined with clingfilm and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the chocolate batter. Reheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 350 degrees Fahrenheit or gas mark 4 and prep the loaf tin as shown before. Mix the cocoa with hot water and let cool for 10 minutes. Just as before, cream the butter, sugar, cocoa mixture, vanilla extract, and vinegar, then add the eggs. Mix in the flour, baking soda and buttermilk.
Assemble and decorate the cake
- Assemble the cake. Using a spatula, cover the sides and the bottom of the tin with chocolate batter until no bare spots are showing. Fit the stars tightly together in the center of the tin and cover with the remaining batter. Lightly tap the tin against the counter so the batter spread around the stars. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the tin.
- Decorate the cake. To decorate the cake, we mixed a teaspoon almond extract into our no-fail cream cheese icing and spread on top of the loaf. You can then sprinkle on whatever decorations you like or have, we used desiccated coconut and coconut flakes, as well as homemade star sprinkles.
We made this recipe for a 900 g or 2 lb, non-stick loaf tin. You can also half the ingredients and use a 450 g or 1 lb tin, the baking time remains the same.