Dish of the Day: Lily Vanilli’s recipe for Bleeding heart cake/Hearty snack

Lily Vanilli

IMG 0352 300x300 Dish of the Day: Lily Vanillis recipe for Bleeding heart cake/Hearty snackI first made these hearts back in 2010 for my first book – a zombie-themed, B-movie-inspired cake-decorating book with Sweeney Todd and Halloween in mind, but they really came into their own the following Valentine’s Day. Since then I have made hundreds of the little bleeders for all sorts of occasions, and yesterday morning I made this romantic wedding cake for two young doctors getting hitched – sweet!

They are actually very simple to make; just find an image that you want to copy and keep it in front of you while you work with the fondant.

- 1 cooled Red Velvet layer cake

- 1kg red fondant icing

- A small amount of frosting of your choice (enough to sandwich 2 layers)

- A tub of clear piping gel (clear gel used for decorating cakes, which gives a glossy finish)

- Red food colouring (optional black, too) (important: use a gel colouring, not a liquid)

- 1 batch of mixed berry coulis or red jam for the ‘blood’


1. Sandwich your cooled layers with the frosting and cut to a rough oval shape.

2. Roll your fondant to around .75” thickness, to an oval shape around 2.5 times the size of your cake.

3. Place the cake in the centre of the oval and pipe a little bit of buttercream or frosting to stick it into place. Wrap the fondant around the cake from both the edges, folding inwards to the front of the cake, then fold in the bottom, cutting away any excess and use the extra fondant at the top to form the arteries. Don’t worry about any creases or gathering in the fondant – they make for useful gory details later on.

4. Let this set at room temperature to firm up.

5. In a small bowl, mix a spoonful of the clear piping gel with some drops of red (and black if you like) food colouring. Now paint the fondant heart all over using a soft brush – it will stay really glossy.

6. When you are ready to serve, use a pipette or spoon to add coulis ‘blood’ to the arteries and in a puddle around the base.

You can also make a cupcake version too – see this little video clip I made for Valentine’s Day with the video Director Alex Turvey.

Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth is available from Cannongate books, 2012

Follow Lily on Twitter @lilyvanillicake

For more information visit

Instagram lily_vanilli_cake

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