Double Chocolate and Vanilla Peek-A-Boo Cake

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It was sometime last year when I first met the concept of peek-a-boo cake. I remember seeing those little cupcakes with hearts in the middle, wondering how the heck they did that, and setting to work trying to figure it out. A couple of tries later and I was very happy with these little beauties.

Freezing the shapes helped keep them together in the oven, and stopped them from over baking. Choosing a cutter that wasn’t too big was a key defining moment in my success too!

Then I tried to move onto the peek-a-boo loaf cakes. I had disaster after disaster. I tried making my cake with berries. It didn’t work at all. It didn’t rise properly, the colour was patchy. Abject failure. After a few attempts I ditched the whole idea of a peek-a-boo cake, and gave it up as a lost cause. A few weeks ago I gave it another go. Back with chocolate, my old faithful friend, I finally managed to get a cake that had the effect I was after.


I don’t think I’ve quite got it perfect yet. My star doesn’t show quite through the whole cake. I think perhaps a star was a slightly too ambitious shape. The delicate edges weren’t substantial enough to stand up to the cake batter being poured on top, or the double baking.

Over at A Beautiful Mess, they use a shop bought pound cake to make the peek-a-boo shape. This sounds like it would hold up a little better if you don’t mind cheating a little with your baking!

If you have any other tips on perfecting these cakes I would love to hear them!


Perfect star or no, this is a really fun recipe.

The middle star is a made from a vanilla sponge filled with little chunks of white chocolate. Wrapped around it is a sticky chocolate cake made with generous amounts of dark chocolate.

It’s all topped off with a bit more white chocolate. I love the monochrome contrast!


sliced cake

Double Chocolate and Vanilla Peek-A-Boo Cake


for the white chocolate cake 

120g unsalted butter

120g caster sugar

2 medium eggs

120g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

100ml milk

100g white chocolate

for the dark chocolate cake

120g unsalted butter

120g light muscavado sugar

2 medium eggs

120g self-raising flour

30g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

200ml milk

100g dark chocolate

to decorate 

200g white chocolate

2 tablespoons double cream


Begin by making your white chocolate cake.

Line a baking tin with grease proof paper. My tin is approximately 10 x 6 inches. You will be able to use a slightly different sized tin, but do bear in mind if your tin is much larger or smaller, the cake will vary in thickness and you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, flour and baking powder. Mix until well combined.

Add the milk and vanilla extract. Stir until the cake batter is smooth.

Very finely chop your white chocolate. You could do this step in a food processor if you like.

Stir the chopped chocolate into the batter.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Cool completely.

Cut your cake into the desired shapes for your peek-a-boo. When selecting your cutter, try to pick one that is about half the height of your tin. Try and pick a simple, solid design.

Lay your cake shapes onto grease proof paper and pop in the freezer to chill for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your chocolate cake.

Line a 2lb loaf tin.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Mix in the eggs, flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.

Add the milk and stir to combine.

Finely chop your dark chocolate into chunks.

Finally, stir through the dark chocolate chunks.

Spoon about a quarter of the mixture into the bottom of the loaf tin, making sure the bottom is covered.

Take your shapes from the freezer. Stand them up in your loaf tin, packing them in as tightly as you can. You should have a solid line of cake shapes right down the middle of your tin.

Carefully pour the rest of the mixture into the tin around the shapes. Take care to ensure that all the gaps are filled, and that the shapes are covered over.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is firm and an inserted skewer (take care to test the dark chocolate cake) comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

To make the topping, heat together the cream and white chocolate. Drizzle over the cake and leave to set before serving.

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  1. I simply love your Blog! Makes me hungry as well!

  2. This luks interesting!

  3. That’s so cool! And it looks soo moist!

  4. I’ve never made a peek-a-boo cake (or ‘secret inside’ cake as they are sometimes called) but I have to say that I think yours is pretty good. You can see that it is a star! 🙂

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