This Tie-Dyed Cake is the Best Birthday Surprise Ever

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My family gathers together to celebrate someone’s birthday quite often — so often, in fact, that the parties were getting a bit mundane. To make these get-togethers a little more exciting, I began serving reveal cakes.

What’s a reveal cake, you ask? Well, when sliced, it exposes a surprise hiding inside, like the age or name of the birthday girl or boy. It’s really fun to have everyone gather around the dessert table eagerly awaiting the big reveal. The enthusiastic response to the cakes makes every party more fun.

A few years ago, I was asked to create a rainbow reveal cake to celebrate Tablespoon.com turning 5. The brightly colored cake — with its whimsical marbled exterior and tie-dyed 5s inside — generated a bit of buzz on the Internet. People wanted to understand the magic behind the cake and even argued about the process, which garnered more media attention, even from Food Network.

So, I’m here today to share my secrets and show you how you can make one of these cakes at home. Whether you are celebrating a sweet 16, your baby’s first birthday or your grandmother’s 99th, you can use the technique to create something special.

This new version of the rainbow cake is as colorful on the inside as it is on the outside, with a deep dark chocolate number popping out from a tie-dyed background. It takes a bit of patience to make one of these cakes, but your efforts will be totally worth it when you cut into the cake at your party.

Get the cake’s recipe here, and follow along with our full step-by-step instructions as a guide. And then get the camera ready — you’re going to want to capture the moment you take the first slice.