Thursday 10 February 2022

Vanilla Hidden Heart Loaf Cake

 A secret heart revealed in this beautiful romantic cake!

I spotted a similar design on BBC Good Food's Valentines dessert list and though I have to make a vegan version of that. Plus I changed it to a vanilla cake, because I find Valentines Day is saturated in chocolate desserts, sometimes a simple vanilla cake is all one needs to satisfy their sweet tooth. I love how this cake turned out, the pretty pink rosettes and lots of sparkly sprinkles, if I received this from a loved one I would be very happy! Now you do need to make two lots of sponges in order to make this cake - the pink sponge needs to be baked in a rectangle tin and once cooled, cut out heart shapes. Then you need to assemble the hearts into the loaf tin, pouring the vanilla batter over the top. It's not hard at all, it may sound fiddly, but it's really very easy and so much fun especially when you make the first slice and see the heart! This recipe is the same for both cakes, but I've written them separately so it doesn't become confusing. You will have leftover sponge from the pink cake, but you can use the sponge for a trifle, cake pops or some snacks whilst making the other cake ;) don't throw it, there's always things to make with leftover sponge. Have a go at making this, you will love it, whether it's for yourself or for someone you love not only on Valentines Day!

If you're looking for more Valentines Day recipes....

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!


Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Serves: 8-10


  • For the sprinkles, make sure they are vegan as lots of them contain shellac. 
  • You'll need a 4cm heart shaped cookie cutter for this recipe, or a cutter in another shape to create the effect!


  • Pink hearts cake
  • 240ml Soya milk + 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 250g Self-raising flour
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 30g Soya yoghurt
  • 110g Vegan butter, melted
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Pink/red food colouring
  • Vanilla loaf cake
  • 240ml Soya milk + 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 250g Self-raising flour
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 30g Soya yoghurt
  • 110g Vegan butter
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Buttercream
  • 200g butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • Pink food colouring 


  1. Preheat the oven to 170℃ and line a 9 x 13 baking tray with baking paper. 
  2. Mix together the soya milk and apple cider vinegar - leave to curdle to create a vegan 'buttermilk' for about 5 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, vanilla and soya yoghurt. Then whisk in the 'buttermilk' and add the pink food colouring - I always add a little more than I think I need as when the sponge bakes it will lose its colour a little.
  4. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and fold in. Spoon the batter into the baking tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Don't be tempted to cut the hearts until the cake has cooled as it will be fragile. The oven can be turned off at this point as it will be a while. 
  6. When the cake has cooled, cut out about 10-12 hearts using a 4cm heart cookie cutter. Leave to the side whilst you make the vanilla sponge. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper and turn the oven back on to 170℃.
  7. Repeat the instructions above for the vanilla sponge but do not include the pink food colouring.
  8. Spoon about ¼ of the vanilla cake batter into the bottom of the loaf tin. Place the heart sponges standing upright in one vertical line, make sure they all fit as this stops them moving when baking. 
  9. Spoon the remaining vanilla cake batter on top of the hearts making sure they are all covered.
  10. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. If the top is starting to brown too quickly you can cover the cake with foil after about 30 minutes.
  11. Leave to cool in the tin completely before removing. 
  12. Whilst the cake is cooling, prepare the buttercream with pink food colouring and spoon into piping bags with a 2D Wilton piping tip or whatever you have. 
  13. When the cake is cooled, pipe rosettes on top and then add the sprinkles. Serve straight away, or place in the fridge so that the buttercream can firm up. Best kept in the fridge covered for up to 4 days. Enjoy!



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