Hidden Clover Cake

There's more than meets the eye with this festive St. Patrick's Day cake

On the outside, it's just another vanilla cake, but this St. Patrick's Day cake has a festive secret: Hidden inside is a bright-green four-leaf clover in every slice. Watch the video above to see how we got the shamrock inside the cake; it's a lot simpler than you might think.

Impressed looks of approval from your unsuspecting guests are an included reward, but we're not ones to sacrifice taste for presentation. Our not-too-sweet cake reads like pound cake but with a lighter texture, and you might just find yourself snacking on cake scraps all day long.

Though it seems fussy, we suggest dividing the ingredients in half in order to bake the cake in two steps, otherwise the baking soda in the white batter will start to activate too soon while you wait for the green cake to chill. We also recommend that you dip into your patience reserve: Let the cake cool completely, or it may crumble and ruin the surprise.

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Hidden Clover Cake
5 from 44 ratings
Impress your guests with a hidden clover cake for St. Patrick's Day.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
1.5
hours
Servings
8
servings
Total time: 2 hours
Ingredients
  • For the Green Cake
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Green food coloring
  • For the White Cake
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 13-by-9-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Make the green cake: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the oil and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides after each one.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, then stir in ¼ cup of the buttermilk. Repeat to use the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk.
  5. Add the green food coloring as desired and stir to incorporate. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when gently pressed.
  6. Let the green cake cool completely and refrigerate it until it feels firm to the touch, 2 to 3 hours. Once it's chilled, use a shamrock cookie cutter to cut out shaped cake pieces.
  7. Make the white cake: Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the oil and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides after each one.
  9. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, then stir in ¼ cup of the buttermilk. Repeat to use the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk.
  10. Pour a layer of white batter on the bottom of the loaf pan, about ½ inch deep. Place the shamrock cake pieces in a row along the batter, making sure to align them all the same way.
  11. Carefully pour the remaining white batter over the shamrocks, using a spoon to get at the hard-to-reach places.
  12. Bake the cake for 1 hour, until the top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing and serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 834
Total Fat 39.8 g
Saturated Fat 16.4 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 142.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 112.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 76.7 g
Sodium 485.7 mg
Protein 8.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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