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A peeps sunflower cake sits on a glass cake stand. The peeps are arranged around the edge of a white cake with chocolate chips in the center to look like a sunflower.
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5 from 1 vote

Peeps Sunflower Cake, A Yellow Cake Mix Recipe

These modifications take a simple yellow cake mix and turn it into a winning dessert! The fresh strawberries inside, real buttercream frosting dress up a tender, buttery cake and make this a winning Easter treat!  
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 926kcal
Author: Mirlandra Neuneker

Ingredients

For The Cake

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix 15.25oz
  • 1 cup whole milk can use 2% instead
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg white NOT beaten
  • 1 cup butter melted (I use salted)

For The Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter I use salted
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

To Decorate

  • 8 strawberries
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 16 - 20 peeps

Instructions

  • Tip: A great cake is baked in such a way that it rises flat and doesn't need to be leveled! The sides and bottom will be more tender and the entire cake is taller and more fluffy. See the full tutorial here.

To Bake The Cake

  • Put one of your oven racks in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Line the bottoms of two 9” cake pans with parchment paper. 
  • Grease the sides of the cake pans with butter or pan spray.  (I prefer butter but either works.)
  • Put the cake mix in a large mixing bowl. 
  • Add the milk, vanilla, eggs and the egg white (you do NOT need to beat the egg white – just toss it into the bowl). 
  • Use a hand mixer and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. 
  • Add the melted butter and use a hand mixer to beat for two minutes with a timer.  (If beating by hand beat vigorously for two minutes with a timer!)  Not beating the cake batter well can cause the cake to be dense and not rise well. 
  • Divide the batter equally between the pans.  Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 23-28 minutes.  The cake is done when is starts to pull away a little bit from the sides and a toothpick or cake tester inserted comes out with moist crumbs but no batter. 
  • After the cake is baked place the pans on a rack to cool until they are room temperature.  (If you are in a hurry you can put the cakes in the refrigerator after the pans are cool enough to handle without oven mitts.

To Make The Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Use the whip attachment to beat on low until combined. Pause to scrape the sides / bottom and then beat on high for 5 minutes until no lumps remain and the frosting is light and fluffy.

To Decorate The Cake

  • Place the first layer of cake unto a cake plate. Drop two large spoonfuls (each about the size of a big scoop of ice cream) unto the cake. Spread out to the edges leaving a smooth surface.
  • Slice the strawberries about 1/4" thick. Place the berries unto the cake to create an even layer.
  • Place the 2nd layer of cake on top of the strawberries. If you plan to decorate the outside of the cake with vine / leaves pattern and border set aside two cups of frosting.
  • Smooth all remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake.
  • Do not separate the peeps. Place attached sections of five peeps around the cake in a circle. The peeps should be fully on the cake and facing inward. It is ok to have a little of the tails hanging off.
  • Scatter as many of each kind of chocolate chip as you like on top of the cake.
  • If you wish to make a vine pattern tint your reserved frosting green.
  • On the side use a #5 tip to draw a continues wavy line around the entire side of the cake. Draw a 2nd line that intersects with the first.
  • Use a #66 tip to make a few leaves every so often on the vine.
  • Use the #66 to make leaves at the base of the cake for a boarder or a #21 to make circus dots.

Notes

Using Boxed Cake Mix:  To make the cake I’ve got a formula for any brand of box cake mix! 
  • Add an additional egg white
  • Replace water with the same amount of milk.
  • Take the amount of oil the recipe asks for and double it. Then instead of oil use butter!  For example, if the box says ½ cup oil use 1 cup of melted butter!
  • Follow the same directions I give above for baking!

Nutrition

Calories: 926kcal | Carbohydrates: 105g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 100g | Vitamin A: 1224IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg