Is A Stab Cake The Perfect Valentine’s Antidote?

By Ellie Smith

5 months ago

How to make the viral anti-Valentine's Day bake

Recently gone through a breakup? Raging at an ex? Or just don’t buy into the commercialisation of romance? This Valentine’s Day, swap boxes of heart-shaped chocolates for a stab cake, TikTok’s latest food craze which is doing the rounds as we approach 14 February.

What Is A Stab Cake?

Of course, it all started with Taylor Swift – specifically, her song ‘Blank Space’. When the music video was released in 2014, it quickly became the ultimate heartbreak anthem, showing Swift transforming into the stereotype of the unhinged, wronged girlfriend that she’s so often boxed into. After suspecting her boyfriend of cheating, Swift’s character executes a full Fatal Attraction-style revenge: hitting his expensive car with a golf club, cutting up his shirts and chucking plants at him. But the bit that really stayed in people’s minds? Swift stabbing a heart-shaped cake, causing fake blood to ooze out dramatically.

Sure enough, fans began making their own Blank Space cakes – and now, the trend has resurged on TikTok, following the release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) back in October 2023. With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, bakers are joining in on the fun, like Lily Vanilli, the East London bakery renowned for its extravagant, colourful creations.

To make one, you need to create an edible fake blood mixture and nestle it under a layer of icing, which spills out as you stab it, mimicking the idea of a broken heart. Keen to give it a go? Lily Vanilli has shared its recipe below.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lily Vanilli Bakery, London (@lily_vanilli_cake)

Recipe: Lily Vanilli’s Valentine’s Day Stab Cake

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 8–10


  • 330g plain flour, sifted
  • 320g caster sugar
  • 1½ tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 190ml whole milk
  • 1½ tsp good vanilla extract 
  • Two 20cm heart cake tins, greased and lined


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan assisted/gas mark 6.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Beat in the butter until it is incorporated and the mixture appears to be evenly coated and looks like a fine crumble mix – 2–3 minutes on medium speed. 
  3. Add the eggs and beat, first on medium, then on high, just until incorporated.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla and beat, on medium and then on high, until the mixture is smooth and combined; it will appear a bit lighter in colour – 2–3 minutes.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake tins and level out to the edges. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Stack the cake using Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe below).
  7. Once stacked, cut out a hole in the centre of the cake, brush this with tempered white chocolate to seal it and put in the fridge to set. Meanwhile, using a palette knife or brush, spread some more tempered chocolate in a heart shape onto a baking paper lined tray, not too thick, but thick enough to hold together. Set this in the freezer until firm.
  8. Fill the crevice in the cake with strained mixed berry coulis (or use a shop bought raspberry sundae syrup), place the chocolate heart over it, and continue to ice your cake as usual. 
  9. Stab!

Heart-shaped cake with red filling

Swiss Meringue Buttercream


  • 150g egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g unsalted butter (this must be soft but not melted – no need to chop or cube this, I just soften the whole block a bit in the microwave)


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together your caster sugar and egg whites evenly.
  2. Place this over a pan of simmering water to dissolve the sugar (the water shouldn’t be touching the base of the pan). You don’t need to mix this constantly, but keep an eye on it – it will take around 5 mins and you want to give it a mix from time to time. 
  3. It’s ready when the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (rub some of the mixture between two fingers – if you can’t feel any crystals – it’s done! 
  4. Now transfer the bowl directly to your mixer, and with the whisk attachment whip it up on the highest speed, until you have stiff peaks.
  5. Now add all of your softened butter (you can add this at once, no need to add gradually), and beat again on high, until it all comes together evenly, and the butter is all mixed in
  6. It might look split, but it isn’t I promise, just stay calm and keep beating.
  7. Now turn your mixer down to low, and let it whisk slowly until you have a smooth buttercream. 

Valentine’s Bleeding Heart recipe from Lily Vanilli.