Secret shamrocks are a special surprise inside this leprechaun cake.
Leprechauns were mythical men written about in Irish folklore who were so rich, they had to hide their treasure. So if you could find what they had hidden, you would be rich! Of course, you'd have to find the end of the rainbow, and I'm pretty sure you would need faerie powers to do that.
I don't know about you, but I don't have magical powers. So instead of chasing Leprechauns all over the countryside in search of the allusive pot of gold, I decided to make a fun surprise cake instead. It's perfect for St. Patrick's Day. The cake looks like a Leprechaun hat on the outside, and has green shamrocks hidden on the inside. When you slice into the cake, each piece reveals more shamrocks!
You'll need a small 1-inch shamrock cookie cutter and two extra deep 8-inch round pans to make this cake, along with two Betty Crocker White Cake mixes and frosting. I chose to cover my cake with green fondant to give the Leprechaun hat a shiny and smooth finish. I briefly show you below, how I covered my cake with fondant. If you don't have much experience working with fondant and need detailed instructions, see my How to Use Fondant tutorial.
Make one cake mix and color it green using Betty Crocker Gel food coloring.
Spread the batter into a jelly roll pan and bake it. After it cools for a bit, put it in the freezer for an hour.
Line two extra deep 8-inch round pans with parchment paper, then spray with non-stick baking spray with flour. I actually used two 8-inch springform pans that I lined with non-stick tin foil before spraying.
Just before the green cake is ready to come out of the freezer, make the remaining white cake mix. Pour one cup of batter into each of the round cake pans.
Remove the green cake from the freezer and use a one-inch shamrock cutter to cut out 38-40 shamrocks. You will have a little less than half of this cake left over, so enjoy a little snack!
Arrange shamrocks, upside down (with the bottom of the stem facing up) in a circle about an inch from the edge of the pans.
Pour the rest of the batter into the pans, covering the shamrocks.
As these cakes bake, the batter will puff up in the center and the baked cakes will look pretty funky. It's all right, as you will just cut off the bumps soon and make each cake level.
Once the cakes are cooled and leveled, flip one over and put it on a cardboard cake round and spread on some frosting before flipping over the other cake and doing the same.
Frost the entire cake and make it really smooth.
Cover the cake with green fondant.
Cut out a green fondant hat brim on a cake board or cake plate.
Set the fondant-covered cake in the center of the green hat brim. Add a black fondant hat band and make a buckle. You can simply make the buckle out of yellow fondant, or you can spray a white or yellow buckle with gold food coloring spray.
When the cake is whole, no one will know of the surprise hiding inside.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!