Hanukkah Dreidel Surprise Loaf Cake

Hanukkah dreidel surprise cake recipe

​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
442 Calories
24g Fat
48g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 442
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 30%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 227mg 76%
Sodium 623mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 10g
Calcium 240mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hanukkah geltsufganiyot, fried desserts and holiday-themed cookies usually get all of the attention during the Festival of Lights. But with eight nights to celebrate, there's plenty of time to try something new. Slice into this vanilla pound cake loaf to reveal an impressive surprise - a contrasting dreidel shape baked right in! Making the cake is pretty straightforward, though it does take some time. But the results have a big enough wow factor that if you're feeling crafty, this makes a fun option for DIY gift giving. 

Ingredients

  • For the Blue Cake:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Blue food coloring
  • For the White Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Optional: Blue, white, and gold sprinkles

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Blue Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for blue cake
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

    Grease pan
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. In another bowl, use an electric mixer or wooden spoon to cream together the butter and sugar.

    Use electric mixer
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until well mixed.

    Add the egg and vanilla extract
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in two or three additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir just until the batter is smooth.

    Mix batter
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Add the blue food coloring a few drops at a time, stirring well, and adding additional coloring until you achieve the shade you prefer. 

    Add blue food coloring
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to carefully smooth the batter to the edges of the pan. (The batter will be thick, so take care not to dislodge the parchment paper.) Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 

    Pat down
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan, place directly on the rack, and allow it to cool completely. (To speed the cooling process and make the cake easier to cut, place the rack in the freezer for about 10 minutes.)

    Transfer to rack
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  10. Place the cooled cake on a cutting board. Use a dreidel cookie cutter or a paper template, cut out as many dreidel shapes as you can from the cake. (Before you start cutting, make sure your cutter or template fits inside a 9x5-inch loaf pan, with a little room to spare at the top and bottom.)

    Cut out dreidel shape
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  11. Set the dreidels aside while you mix the white cake batter. 

    Set aside
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Make the White Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for white cake
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper and set aside. 

    Grease loaf pan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 

    Flour
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. In another large bowl, use an electric mixer or wooden spoon to cream together the butter and sugar.

    Cream butter and sugar
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until well mixed.

    Add egg and vanilla
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in two or three additions, mixing well after each addition. 

    Mix
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Stir just until the batter is smooth, then pour just enough into the prepared pan to cover the bottom. Arrange the cake dreidels, down the center of the loaf pan, placing them flush against each other so they fill the length of the pan.

    Add dreidel cake
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Carefully spoon the white batter into the pan, so that the dreidel "log" is surrounded and covered by batter. Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven (if your pan looks full, you may want to place it on a sheet of foil to catch any drips).

    Spoon in batter
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is golden and a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. (Be sure to test the white cake.)

    Bake in the oven
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Remove from the pan, and cool completely.

    Transfer to wire rack
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Make the Glaze

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for glaze
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk, and lemon juice until smooth, adding a little more sugar if the glaze feels runny.

    Whisk together confectioner's sugar and milk
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the top with the glaze. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. 

    Drizzle top
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Serve and enjoy after your Hanukkah meal!

    Hanukkah dreidel surprise cake
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

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