Money Cakes

As a child, birthdays are very important. Growing bigger into another age is significant to children, in which they should be celebrated. A part of this celebration is the birthday cake. Everyone gathers around the table and sings, while the candles on a cake wait patiently to be blown out.

For my birthdays, I had the Money Cake. I loved this cake. I would pick any flavor for my mom to bake and decorate. Then she would wrap coins and put them between a layer, and frost it. It was such a delight to see who got the most money or larger coins as a surprise.


Christina Williams has three children and lives in Salt Lake City. She has a wonderful blog writing about DIY projects, graphic design, parenting and home design projects. As a child, she also had this tradition of a Money Cake for birthdays. Christina has turned this idea for inspiration into her own celebrations.

“Growing up, my grandma used to make money cakes for family birthday parties. The birthday kid got to choose their slice of cake first; and you got to keep whatever money you found inside the cake. The grand prizes were Grandma’s extra special 50-cent pieces and silver dollar coins. The rest of the cake contained quarters, dimes and nickels; but everyone felt like a million bucks after eating one of Grandma’s money cakes.”

“There’s no better time to bring back the money cake tradition than at St. Patrick’s Day. Baking your shiny gold coins inside a cake is the best way to keep them safe from those sneaky Leprechauns. Or not. But it’s still fun.”

Here’s how you make money cakes:

  1. Get a bunch of coins. Note: I usually ask the bank for new gold dollars…that appeases my inner germophobe.
  2. Sanitize the heck out of ’em. Bleach them, scrub them, run ’em through the dishwasher. Do whatever you have to do to feel good about baking them in a cake. Grandma always scrubbed them up with hot, soapy water and we never got sick. But I prefer to scrub them with bleach, then run them through the dishwasher.
  3. Then cut squares of waxed paper and wrap up each coin in it’s own little packet.

Now mix up your favorite cake batter and grab your favorite cupcake wrappers. Fill the cupcakes halfway, then put a little coin packet on top. After the coin is in place, top it off with more cake batter so the coin is hidden inside the cake.

While the cakes bake, whip up your favorite frosting and grab an assortment of sprinkles. Let the cupcakes cool, and decorate.

Cupcakes are always exciting; but cupcakes with a hidden treasure are the very best kind. Prepare yourself for oohs and aahs and squeals of delight as your little Leprechauns discover their hidden treasure.



Source: Christina Williams
Photography: Christina Williams


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