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Conversation Heart Cakes

Prep Time:

60 mins.

Cook Time:

30 mins.


12 (2-inch) hearts or 4 (4-inch) hearts

Express your love on Valentine’s Day with freshly baked tiny cakes that say exactly how you feel in an original way. These are also a great way to surprise the kids with a positive message at school or camp – just pack a small heart cake with a few loving words in their lunch boxes.


  • 2 1/4 cups sifted Swans Down® Cake Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot coffee (we used French Market® Coffee)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 larges eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Royal Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • Red food coloring


  1. Make Cakes: Preheat oven to 325℉. Grease a 13×18-inch sheet pan and line with parchment. Using heart shaped cookie cutters, trace out heart shapes on cake board rounds and cut out. (Recipe makes 12 (2-inch) heart cakes or 4 (4-inch) heart cakes. Each cake will have 2 layers, so 1 cake board cutout is needed for every 2 layers.)
  2. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and sugar in a large bowl. Add oil and coffee; whisk until combined. Add buttermilk and whisk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. (Batter will be thin.)
    Pour batter into prepared sheet pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Prepare Frosting: Separate 1/4 of the Mousseline Buttercream frosting and reserve for filling and crumb coat. Divide the remaining frosting into 4 equal amounts and, using food coloring, color the frosting as desired, to be used as finish frosting.
  4. Turn out cake from sheet pan onto a clean cutting surface. Using the cookie cutters, cut out heart shapes as desired (cut out 2 layers for each cake).
  5. Assemble Cakes: Place one cake layer on each corresponding cake board cutout and frost the top of each layer. Top with second layers and apply a crumb coat using the reserved frosting; cover and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  6. Make Royal Icing: Mix together confectioners’ sugar and water. Add red food coloring to desired color.
  7. Remove cakes from refrigerator and frost with colored frostings as desired, smoothing the finish as much as possible.
  8. Pipe messages as desired onto cakes with Royal Icing.