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April 18, 2014

Chocolate Pinata Birthday Cake Filled with Muddy Buddies for My Birthday!

Chocolate Birthday PinataCake with Muddy Buddies | The Crafting Foodie

So, what exactly does a blogger, obsessed with baking make for her own birthday? Well, the answer is simple: Whatever she wants! I give away almost everything I bake, and that gives me the freedom to try flavor combinations or techniques that I find intriguing - regardless of if they're my personal favorites. So when it's my birthday, I make whatever strikes my fancy. This year it's a pinata chocolate cake filled with muddy buddies!

Chocolate Pinata Cake with Muddy Buddies | The Crafting Foodie

Even though my sweet 5 year old requested a vanilla cake filled with various sprinkles, and my husband prefers red velvet; I knew it had to be a dark, rich, intense chocolate with dark chocolate frosting. (My 2 year-old was just excited for cake. Any cake.)

Chocolate Pinata Cake | The Crafting Foodie

I also knew that I wanted to incorporate my all-time favorite junk food - Chex cereal muddy buddies. If you're not familiar with muddy buddies (also known as puppy chow), I'm so sorry because you're totally missing out on a chocolaty, peanut buttery, powdered sugar treat that is crunchy and seriously addictive. (I've been known to eat a cup of this stuff at a time. A cup - 8 ounces. At one time.)

Muddy Buddy Pinata Cake | The Crafting Foodie

Then I had to figure out how to incorporate both of my loves - chocolate cake and muddy buddies into one birthday treat. The answer was to make a pinata cake. Pinata cakes and cookies are all over Pinterest these days. They're basically multi-layered cakes or cookies that have another confection hidden inside. When you break them open, the hidden treat comes tumbling out. 

Birthday Pinata Cake with Muddy Buddies | The Crafting Foodie

Making a pinata cake is really easy. I baked a three-layer cake. Once the cakes were cooled, I cut out a 5-inch circle out of the two bottom layers of the cake. Then while building the cake, after putting the two bottom layers together with dark chocolate frosting, I filled the hole in the center of the cake with my Chex muddy buddies. Then I topped the two bottom layers with a solid top layer.

Pinata Cake | The Crafting Foodie

With the cake flavors decided, I turned my attention to how I would frost the cake. I wanted something fancy, but also easy. My choice was a petal cake design. To decorate the cake, I simply crumb coated the entire cake. (Crumb coating a cake simply means I put a thin, thin, layer of frosting all over the cake to lock the crumbs into the frosting. If you skip crumb coating a cake, you run the risk of little bits of cake crumb getting into the final layer of frosting.)

Then I used a #10 Wilton tip to pipe a series of vertical dots.

Pinata Chocolate Cake | The Crafting Foodie

After piping each vertical row of dots, I used a small offset spatula to drag half of the dot out into the frosting, creating a petal effect.

Pinata Birthday Cake | The Crafting Foodie

Continue the same process all the way around the cake, and you get something like this:

Birthday Pinata Cake | The Crafting Foodie

For the top of the cake, I used the same technique to make an actual flower. It's such a simple technique that yields pretty stunning results.

Chocolate Birthday Pinata Cake | The Crafting Foodie

So, even though I didn't make that my sweet daughter requested or that I knew my husband would prefer, I think everyone was excited about this beauty.

Here's my favorite shot from my birthday. My 5 year old sitting on my lap, and me giving her kisses and so much love.  Spending my birthday with my healthy and happy family made it my absolute best birthday yet!

Birthday Cake | The Crafting Foodie

Chocolate Birthday Pinata Cake Stuffed with Muddy Buddies | The Crafting Foodie


Chocolate Pinata Birthday Cake Filled with Muddy Buddies

The recipe for the chocolate cake is the same recipe I used to make this Diary-Free Chocolate Cake. You can find the recipe and instructions here. (You can easily make this cake with dairy by simply replacing the almond or rice milk with cow's milk.)


Ingredients for the Muddy Buddies (or Puppy Chow)

This recipe is adapted from the Chex cereal box.

4 1/2 cups Chex cereal (you can use any variety, but I used the rice version which is gluten free)

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet chips)

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar


Instructions for the Muddy Buddies

Measure the cereal into a large bowl, and set it aside.

Place the butter, peanut butter, and chocolate chips into a medium bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, mixing between each increment until it is melted. Once the mixture is melted, add the vanilla. Mix to combine.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal, and mix to combine.

Place the cereal mixture into a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Then pour the powdered sugar into the bag as well. Shake the cereal until it is completely coated in the sugar. Set aside.


Ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Frosting*

15 ounces bitter-sweet chocolate (I used chocolate with 70% cocoa), melted and cooled

1 1/2 lbs unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 cups of powdered sugar

3/4 cup of sour cream

3/4 tsp of salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*In order to decorate the cake as shown in my post, it takes quite a bit of frosting. If you plan to just frost the cake without the petal decorations, you may want to consider only making half of the frosting recipe.


Instructions for the Dark Chocolate Frosting

Melt the chocolate. I usually melt chocolate in the microwave, but since it's 15 ounces of chocolate (nearly a pound), I chose the melt the chocolate over a double boiler. That simply means that I placed bowl filled with the chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Warm until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool. 

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the melted and cooled chocolate, salt, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix until combined.

Add the sour cream, and beat until the frosting is fluffy.


Instructions for Assembling the Cake

Please read the post above. I describe how to build a pinata cake, and how to frost the cake.

Yields one 3-layer 9-inch cake.


This link is posted to these parties.




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The cake is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the technique :)

Belated birthday wishes to u. Beautiful cake.thnks fr sharing the recipe and the petal making technic.

Wow. This cake is absolutely gorgeous!!!! Happy Birthday! What a great way to celebrate! Thanks for sharing on Saturday Night Fever, pinned to our group board!

Happy birthday and your cake is beautiful!! pinned

Aida, I've tried to leave a comment here several times but for some reason it has not been going through. I wanted to include your cake in my Tuesday's Tidbits with your permission. Perhaps next week? It is PERFECTION!

This looks delicious! I would love for you share it on my Tasty Tuesday recipe link up here! Everything gets pinned and I would love to have you!

You're so welcome Lydia! Pinata cakes are so exciting and unique, and they're super easy to make. I hope you give it a try!


Thanks Pramila! The petal technique is very easy, and it yields some pretty stunning results. I hope you give it a try! Thanks for stopping by The Crafting Foodie :)


Thanks so much Jen! I had a wonderful birthday, and the cake was delicious. We enjoyed it for a full week! Thanks for stopping by The Crafting Foodie!


Thanks so much Shamene! You make so many beautiful cakes yourself, so your kind words mean a lot! It was probably one of the most enjoyable cakes to make (and eat)!


Thanks so much Robyn! I'm so sorry about your difficulties posting a comment. Last week Typepad suffered two major shutdowns. It was frustrating, to say the least.
I'd love to be featured in your Tuesday Tidbits. It would be an honor! I'm so glad that the cake looks as good as it tasted! I wish I could have sent you a huge chunk to enjoy.


Thanks so much Stephanie! I'll definitely check out your link party. Thanks for the invite!


OH WOW! Did you just make a chocolate cake filled with Muddy Buddies? I am in love. Muddy Buddies are my favorite snack too, cupful? I can eat it by the gallon full! Is that bad? I am pinning this to make for my birthday too! Pinning! I would LOVE for you to link up at Tasty Tuesdays to share with my readers!

I hadn't heard of a pinata cake before. That's really neat! Thanks for linking up at Happiness is Homemade!

Your cake is beautiful! And how fun that it's filled with Muddy Buddies!

That's great, Aida. It will be in tomorrow's post. Thanks so much! Have a great day.

Hi! Dear Aida!
My name's Nina, I'm a portuguese blogger and I happilly met you at Robyn´s blog!
Let me tell you, I love to bake, but never, ever in my entire life have I seen such an incredible creation like your chocolate cake! Absolutely amazing!
I believe I would'nt be able to cut it into pieces! A really
master piece!
Naturally I stay as your follower!
Hugs from Portugal.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Your cake looks amazing, something I'd love to have on my birthday too. The more chocolate, the better!

Thanks so much Kim! I'm right there with you. I was being bashful - I could eat Muddy Buddies by the gallon full as well! I just checked out Tasty Tuesdays, and I'll be linking up this week. Looks like a fab party. Thanks so much for the invite! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!


Thanks Betsy! Pinata desserts are relatively new. They were all the rage in the cookie world awhile back, and I really love the cake version! Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks so much Erin! Believe it or not, but my five year-old isn't that fond of chocolate cake (Gasp!), but she's in love with Muddy Buddies. So, it all worked out!

Thanks for stopping by The Crafting Foodie!

Thanks so much Nina! You're so sweet! My husband also thought it was too nice to cut into, but my daughters were so excited to eat the cake and the treat inside! Thanks so much for following my blog. I hope you're inspired to try some of my treats! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!


Thanks so much Beth! I had a wonderful Birthday. It was filled with my best friends (my kids and husband) and a very chocolatey cake! I'm sure birthday cakes around your house are amazing!

So cute and fun! Pinned it.

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