Strawberry Almond Heart Cake

This Valentine’s Day, ditch the conversation hearts.
Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!

This Valentine's Day, ditch the conversation hearts. Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!BE MINE.  KISS ME.  SOUL MATE.  Ah, conversation hearts.  Those strange little pieces of hard sugar candy that show up around Valentine’s Day every year.  I’m not a huge fan of them, but then again it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a bag of conversation hearts sitting on the coffee table.  As a kid, I would collect the candy hearts and sort them by color.  Then I would turn around and re-sort them by phrase.  (What can I say?  My Dad and uncle are both accountants.  I was trained to enjoy counting things.)

Have you guys noticed that the sayings on conversations hearts have changed over the years?  Several years back, there was FAX ME and EMAIL ME.  Now there’s TWEET ME.  Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the classic sayings here.  What’s wrong with BE MINE?  (Although BE MIN might be more accurate since the writing on conversation hearts isn’t the easiest to read.)  This year, there are 20 new sayings on conversation hearts.  Some of my favorites include “PUGS & KITTENS” (huh?) and just a mustache logo (now there’s a way to win somone’s heart!).

This Valentine's Day, ditch the conversation hearts. Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!A couple of days ago, I did my due diligence and bought a bag of conversation hearts.  I resisted the overpowering urge to sort them by color, but I did nibble on one or two.  They weren’t very tasty.  But that’s when it hit me…I should make a cake in the shape of a conversation heart!  No more bland sugar candy…I’m all about this almond-flavored cake filled with a layer of decadent strawberry buttercream icing instead.  If you want to win someone’s heart, I’ve decided that a heart-shaped cake is the way to do it.  My wife, the alchemist/metallurgist, knew this trick well as she baked me an Oreo cheesecake when we were dating.  That’s all it took.  (Although in hindsight, I think she should have made that cheesecake in the shape of a heart.  Just sayin’.)

This Valentine's Day, ditch the conversation hearts. Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!

Strawberry Almond Heart Cake

When making this heart-shaped cake, I didn’t have to do any funky carving of cakes.  Nope, none of that ‘cut a round cake to make it look like a heart’ stuff here.  (Do you really think I could have carved an evenly shaped heart out of a circle??  Hah!)  Instead, I used an 8” heart-shaped pan from Fat Daddio’s.  Fat Daddio’s bakeware is made out of annodized aluminum, so it’s not only durable but it heats and cools quickly and evenly.  That’s what you need when baking a cake.  I don’t need a pan with random hotspots, or (even worse) a pan that has become warped over time.  If I wanted to use a warped pan, I might as well have baked a round cake and carved out a lopsided heart.  Instead, I used this heart-shaped pan, and my cake come out perfectly!  (Now the writing on top is another story…but I can’t fault the pan for my lack of spatial alignment.)

This cake is hands down one of my favorites!  I used my go-to white cake recipe (with a  little addition of almond extract) and layered a strawberry buttercream in the center.  In fact, the only challenge with this cake (aside from trying to write BE MINE in a straight line) was figuring out how to cut it.  We took this cake with us to curling one night and shared it with our teammates and opponents after the game.  My wife ended up slicing the cake into thin rectangles…much like a wedding cake.  (I smartly avoided the temptation to comment on how she was slicing my heart into pieces.)

This Valentine's Day, ditch the conversation hearts. Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!So this year, leave those conversation hearts in the bowl on the counter.  We both know you don’t really want to eat a whole bag of them.  Instead, bake up this heart-shaped Strawberry Almond Heart Cake.  Garnish it with fresh strawberries on the side, and serve it with a glass of champagne.  And unlike conversation hearts, I bet you end up going back for more cake!

Did you make this Strawberry Almond Heart Cake at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

This Valentine's Day, ditch the conversation hearts. Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!

Strawberry Almond Heart Cake

This Valentine's Day, ditch the conversation hearts. Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 472kcal

Ingredients

For the Almond Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract

For the Strawberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries stems removed
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-2½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp milk if needed

For the Pourable Icing

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • red food coloring 2-3 drops

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In the bowl of a countertop mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients (cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt). Stir until well combined.
  • Add the butter, egg and egg whites; mix until well combined. (Tip: Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula occasionally to ensure batter is well mixed.)
  • Add half of the milk to the bowl; mix until well combined. Repeat with the remaining milk and the vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Mix for 2-3 minutes on medium speed, or until batter is fluffy and well mixed.
  • Divide batter evenly into 2 8” heart pans. (Note: If you don’t have 8” heart pans, you can bake this cake in 8” or 9” round pans instead.)
  • Bake at 350° for 35-37 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow cakes to cool in pans and then transfer to a cooling rack until fully cooled.

For the Strawberry Buttercream

  • Using a small food processor or blender, puree the strawberries until smooth.
  • Transfer mixture into a small saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes (or until about 1/3 cup left), stirring often to prevent it from burning. Remove from heat and let mixture cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Once strawberry puree has cooled, add 1/3 cup of puree to the bowl; mix until well combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing fully after each addition. (Note: The amount of powdered sugar will depend on personal preference and the sweetness of the berries.)
  • Add the vanilla extract and milk (if needed) until frosting reaches desired consistency.

For the Pourable Icing

  • Using a countertop mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  • Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until mixture is well combined.
  • Add the milk, vanilla extract to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined. (Note: The icing should be thick but still pourable.)
  • Add the food coloring a few drops at a time until desired color is reached.

To Assemble Cake

  • If your baked cakes have rounded slightly at the top, simply slice this rounded portion off so that the tops of the cakes are perfectly flat. (Feel free to sample the scraps as you go!)
  • Place one layer on a large plate or serving tray. Generously frost the top of the cake with the strawberry buttercream. Place the remaining layer of cake on top.
  • Slowly pour the Icing around the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top and sides of the cake.
  • Let cake stand for 30 minutes, or until Icing has hardened noticeably.
  • Decorate cake as desired. (I used a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip to write “Be Mine” on top, and I served the cake with additional fresh strawberries on the plate.)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fat Daddio’s.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.

This Valentine's Day, ditch the conversation hearts. Make this delicious Strawberry Almond Heart Cake instead!

Looking for more tasty recipes that would be great for Valentine’s Day?  Check out some of these favorites, too:

Instead of topping your cheesecake with fresh strawberries, bake 'em straight in!  This Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake is a fun dessert for warm summer days!Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

These Chocolate Marshmallow Radio Bars feature a chocolate cake base topped with a scoop of marshmallow buttercream...oh yeah, and then they're covered in a chocolate glaze!Chocolate Marshmallow Radio Bars

1 layer of cheesecake + 2 layers of red velvet cake = 3 layers of awesome!  This Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake is a tasty way to celebrate Valentine's Day...or any other day of the year!Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

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42 Comments

    1. Oooo…a fudgy chocolate brownie with this strawberry buttercream on top would be amazing, Dannii! I might have to experiment with that. 🙂

  1. Wow. The messages have changed that much, David?! Well, you did a fantastic job honoring the first intentions of the original conversation hearts. That slice of cake is gorgeous inside. Looks perfect!

    1. Thanks, Sean! Yeah, who knew that the sayings on conversation hearts have changed so much over time? As for me, I like the classics…although I think I like this cake even more! 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous cake! I loved those candies as a kid, kind of reminded me of necco, just harder! I’d have to go with the saying “I’m Yours” since I’d be presenting the cake to my hubby! 🙂 His birthday is coming up, I may try your cake recipe, the texture looks perfect!

    1. I love this white cake, Shelby…I use it for all sorts of cakes and baking projects! It’s a little on the denser side, but I like it that way…plus, it makes it easier to frost, too. Ah, I see you’re also a fan of the classic conversation heart sayings. “I’m Yours” is a good one!

  3. You don’t have to tell me twice to step away from those conversation hearts. 🙂 Who decided the flavor of those dreadful candies was a good idea? Thank the Lord for people like you who make awesome cakes like this one. I am sitting her staring at this cake, like “how can I eat a piece of this cake now?” The internet can be so cruel. LOL! Seriously, this cake is everything and I wish I had a piece now!

    1. Hahaha…we totally need to invent a way to teleport food across the internet, Tamara! It’s not right to have to sit and look at such tasty food all day without being able to taste it.

      And yes, I couldn’t agree more about those conversation heart candies. I buy a bag every year out of habit and nostalgia, but they always sit around until the end of February when they get thrown away. Not this cake, though…this bad boy disappeared way too fast!

  4. Never been much of a fan of those classic V-day candies either. That’s so funny about the mustache logo! I totally don’t get it. Something I do get; this sweet cake! Conversation hearts never lokked so good!

    1. Yeah I don’t quite get the fascination with mustache logos lately. It’s not so much the mustache that’s popular…it’s the mustache logo. Odd! Either way, if I came across this cake with a mustache logo on it, I’d still eat it! Haha! 🙂

  5. I don’t remember the last time I picked up a bag of those conversation hearts – I do remember them being extra chalky with a side of sand! Ugh! But – what isn’t ugh is this cake – GORGEOUS in every way! I need to talk to your wife – maybe SHE will actually share some of the cut pieces of your heart -shaped cake, that is! 🙂
    P.S. – I so love that this has almond extract – dude, that stuff smells so darn good!

    1. They totally taste like you’re chewing a stick of chalk with a side dish of sand. mmm…sand! Yes, you should totally start working on Laura. She’s nicer than I am when it comes to sharing! 😉 Of course, she has the same mail-lady as I do…so you might be in trouble there.

      P.S.–I totally love almond extract in cakes…it reminds of wedding cakes!

    1. It is funny how time flies, Linda…I mean you hardly even see fax machines anymore! And stuff like ‘text me’ should probably be replaced with ‘Facebook me’…haha. Thanks for commenting…oh, and the almond extract is an awesome “secret” ingredient in this cake!

  6. Dude this looks awesome! I haven’t seen those candies in years, but I do remember them. Funny how the sayings have changed over time. I would love just the pourable icing for dipping all on its own, but the cake is very cool and thoughtful.

    1. Thanks, man! Yeah, those conversation heart candies stilll show up every year, but they taste just about as bad as when we were kids. That’s why this cake was a complete necessity! 🙂

  7. well that’s awkward. I think your cake is flirting with me.

    I used to love those candies as a kid (when anything sugar was deemed amazing) but I’m in disbelief that new ones say tweet me…way to wreck a classic!

    1. Haha…I’m having fun with the thought of this cake flirting with you, Arman. In my head, it goes something like this: Cake–“Why hello there, handsome. Would you like a slice of this?” Arman–*smartly runs away*.

      And speaking of the new sayings on conversation hearts…tweet me is the worst! Let’s stick to the classics here!

    1. Haha…yup, someone has to pull the Wolfpack up out of our meat-grillin, beer-drinkin, poker-playin’ ways. Well, at least until summer when we can get back to the grill again. 🙂

  8. I haven’t had one of those conversation hearts in a long long time. I was filling in for a teacher and she had a big bag on her desk for me to share with the students. I had one and somehow it didn’t taste like I remembered. Haha 😀 I’d take this delicious looking cake instead. You’ve got me thinking I need a heart shaped pan ASAP! Pinning 😀

    1. Thanks, Cindy! I can think of so many awesome ways to use heart-shaped pans…but I decided this conversation heart cake would be a good way to get things started. Isn’t it funny how we remember things to be so much better than they actually are? I think I might have even liked conversation hearts when I was a kid…but now they just taste like chalky candy. Blech…I’ll take this cake any day over that!

  9. I actually haven’t purchased conversation hearts in a while. . but now there’s a TWEET ME?! Are you kidding me? that’s awesome!!! hahah love this strawberry almond heart cake!! looks great! heart shaped anything is the way to my heart at V-Day! 🙂 happy Tuesday, David!

    1. Haha…yup, the conversation heart folks are keeping up with the times! No more FAX ME…who has a fax machine anymore?? But I’ll still take a heart-shaped cake over conversation hearts any day! Have a great day, Alice!!

  10. what a great idea to make a conversation heart cake David! that frosting looks absolutely lovely..! I cracked up reading your comment on how the messages have changed..haha… I agree “Be Mine” is perfect! Pinning this!

    1. Yes! Let’s stick with the classic sayings, Manali! None of this “FAX ME” or “EMAIL ME” stuff. Haha! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  11. What a gorgeous Strawberry Almond Heart Cake. This cake looks so beautiful and DELISH, and that adorable pink frosting is the winner here. A perfect treat for Valentine’s Day! Awesomelicious!:)

    1. Thank you so much, Anu! That pink frosting was really fun to pour on the cake…but the strawberry buttercream in the center is my favorite! 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting!

    1. Oh yeah! Now you’re talking! In fact, I think it’s about time for another Wolfpack party. We can gather around the back porch with a Valentine’s Day cake and howl at the moon. Sound like a plan?

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