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Polka Dot Cake

I work as a sign language interpreter for a school district, meaning my work days are almost identical to the school year calendar.  The school year ends on Thursday and my work year ends on Friday, which means…

it’s almost summer break!  No more mandatory 5am wake-ups, no more 30 minute bell-to-bell lunch breaks, no more history lectures…at least for another few months, anyway.

And that calls for a celebration!

And celebrations obviously call for cake.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

This cake actually came to be when Bethany, one of my best friends, asked if I knew how to make a polka dot cake.

I’d actually never even heard of it, so I went straight to Pinterest. I found a beautiful polka dot cake over at Once Upon A Pedestal and decided to modify her method a bit, seeing as I didn’t have a cake pop pan.

I decided to make the cake balls using Bakerella’s method of mixing crumbled cake (dyed with super bright gel food coloring, of course!) and frosting.  Make these the day ahead of time and freeze them, so they keep their shape in the actual cake. Also, if you want your colors to stay super bright, be careful when you’re making the cake crumbles and don’t include the most browned parts in your cake “dough”.

Tip – if you’re going to layer them when you freeze them, put waxed paper in between the layers! These guys like to freeze to each other.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

When the cake balls are all nice and frozen, whip up another box of cake mix, doctored up a little bit, and pour the batter to cover the cake balls.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

Bake those babies up until they rise and fluff up, then let them cool.

Waiting for things to cool (or soften, for that matter) is my least favorite part of baking.  But, don’t skimp on the cooling time.  It’s worth the wait.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

Stir together some strawberry jam and the frosting leftover from the cake balls and spread it over your bottom layer.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

Top it with your other cake.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

Then whip up some cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and whipped cream to make a fluffy, just-sweet-enough frosting.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

The best part of all is cutting that first piece and finding the bright polka dots hiding in the white cake.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

Don’t mind the frosting seeping out of my middle layer.  Remember when I told you that the cooling step was important?


I was serious about that.

Polka Dot Cake : So Very Blessed

Happy almost summer break!  Come over and let’s have some cake!

Polka Dot Cake
Save Recipe


    For the cake balls
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp orange gel food coloring
  • 1 tsp pink gel food coloring
  • 1 (12 oz) jar whipped cream cheese frosting
  • For the cake
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • For the frosting
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


    For the cake balls
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the box of cake mix with 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs.
  3. Divide the mixture in half. Add 1 teaspoon pink gel food coloring to one half and 1 teaspoon orange coloring to the other half of the batter. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour pink batter into a greased 8" round pan and the orange batter into a separate greased 8" round pan.
  5. Bake for 24-28 minutes. Let cool.
  6. With a fork, crumble the pink cake and stir in slightly more than 1/4 of the jar of frosting. Mix until it forms a dough. Repeat with the orange dough.
  7. Using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough, form a ball. Repeat with all cake "dough."
  8. Freeze cake balls overnight.
  9. For the cake
  10. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  11. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cake mix, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 4 eggs.
  12. Grease two 9" cake pans and place cake balls inside, alternating pink and orange.
  13. Pour batter into the pans, covering the cake balls.
  14. Bake for 28-31 minutes. Let cool.
  15. Remove cakes from pans.
  16. For the frosting
  17. Mix jam and leftover whipped cream cheese frosting together and spread over one cake. Place the other cake on top.
  18. With an electric mixer, whip cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
  19. Add whipping cream and vanilla and beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
  20. Frost cake and decorate as desired.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Just enjoyed my daughter's polka dot birthday cake! Thanks for providing very clear directions. I had also seen "Once Upon A Pedestal" and was a bit confused by it. Your recipe worked great & my daugter was thrilled.

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