Building a Heart-Shaped Cake for Valentine's Day

Nothing says "Valentine's Day" quite like those candy hearts bearing romantic phrases: "Love You," "Call Me," and our favorite—"Be Mine." But much of the time, the sentiment is sweeter than the candies' chalky flavor—enter this cake, a large-scale conversation heart that allows us to indulge in Valentine's Day sentiment while also appealing to a slightly more sophisticated palate. Putting the cake together is a simple matter of geometry: a square plus two half circles equals a perfect heart. See the full recipe »

Step 1

Begin by slicing off the domed tops of the cakes with a serrated knife, making sure both cakes are the same height. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 2

Slice the round cake layer in half and arrange each hemisphere next to the square layer. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 3

Mix the Grand Marnier and vanilla in a small bowl and brush lightly over the surface of the cake. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 4

Using a small offset spatula, spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the entire surface of the cake. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 5

Dust your work surface lightly with cornstarch and roll out the fondant into an 18" round approximately ⅛" thick. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 6

Rolling the fondant loosely over your rolling pin, lift it onto the cake and unroll, gently draping it into the corners and molding to form a smooth surface. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 7

Trim the excess fondant at the base with a small paring knife. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 8

If you have any cracks, tears or areas of cake that aren't covered, moisten the edges of the fondant slightly with water and press fondant scraps over top, smoothing with more water as needed. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 9

Either freehand or using a stencil, cut out letters from the fondant trimmings to form your cake's candy heart message. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 10

Paint over the letters with edible paint. Place them on the center of the cake, pressing to set. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »Maxime Iattoni

Step 11

Allow the fondant and paint to dry before serving. See the recipe for Chocolate Candy Heart Cake »