Love Heart Cakes

There is something about Swizzel-Matlow sweets that I love. They are a Derbyshire made product and the tart fizziness of all the sweets is delicious, though I happily give Rainbow Drops and Parma Violets a miss. I used to adore eating a whole packet of Love Hearts and letting it fizz. As a child I remember once trying to do a handstand after eating a packet of these fizzy delights, yep, not recommended.

Over the years the messages have changed on Love Hearts. While many of the traditional messages still remain, in the packet I used to make these cakes these was one sweet that essentially ‘stuff you’ Who said romance was dead?

During the first series of Great British Bake Off Ruth Clemens made a cake topped with buttercream made with Parma Voilets. Given I don’t like these perfumed sweets I decided to see if the same concept with would work with Love Hearts. Of course to get the smoothest buttercream it’s best to use Love Hearts that have been ground down well. I had all good intentions to do this until I realised our pestle and mortar is in storage. Just had to make do with putting the sweets in the blender and it explains why the butterceam in the pic looks slightly grainy. If you do have a pestle and mortar use it and even sift the powder to get it as smooth as possible. Due to the nature of the sweets when mixed together it gives the buttercream an odd orange pink tinge so I added a small amount of pink food colouring to give a more defined colour.

The taste of this buttercream is rather intense, there is no denying it tastes of Love Hearts. It is also fizzy and it is really quite odd eating fizzy buttercream. If you don’t want it as fizzy reduce the Love Heart powder and increase the icing sugar.

Love Heart Cakes
Serves: 12 fairy cake sized cakes or 9 cakes baked in 2 fl oz paper sauce cases (as seen in photo)
  • 120g butter, softened
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120g self-raising flours
  • for the buttercream
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 50g Love Heart sweets made into a powder
  • 150g icing sugar
  • Love Heart sweets for decoration
  1. Beat together the caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. One at a time stir in the eggs. If the mixture begins to look curdled add a TBSP of the flour.
  3. Add the vanilla extract then fold in the flour until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a lined bun tin. Fill the liners no more than 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 180°c for 15-20 min until cakes are risen and golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  6. In a large bowl beat together the butter and half of the icing sugar. Once combined add the remaining icing sugar and Love Heart powder. Beat buttercream until smooth. If required add a splash of milk.
  7. Pipe the buttercream on to cakes then decorate with the leftover Love Hearts. I don’t recommend decorating with the Love Heart sweets too far in advance because the sweets absorb moisture and will mottle.


Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

14 thoughts on “Love Heart Cakes

    Holly B @ Recipes from a Normal Mum

    (February 9, 2012 - 9:45 pm)

    What a fabulous idea. Love it. xx


    (February 9, 2012 - 9:45 pm)

    These look too cute, and Love hearts in the frosting would create a nice surprise too!

    Janice (Farmersgirl)

    (February 9, 2012 - 9:48 pm)

    Great idea, they are very pretty. I’m not a fan of parma violets either but love hearts are great.

    Rosie (AKA Freycob)

    (February 9, 2012 - 9:54 pm)

    Love the sound of these. May just have to try them for myself. Just to test your recipe works, of course ;-) x


    (February 9, 2012 - 10:18 pm)

    They look lovely and I was looking for some to make, thankyou. We live across the river from the Swizzels factory and sometimes you can smell the sweets as you go by. My grandchildren would love to go in and eat as much as they could. Sometimes Lottie plays the little internet games they have on

    Miss Whiplash

    (February 9, 2012 - 10:56 pm)

    Beautiful! My husband is a love hearts addict – he would adore these.
    I love the sauce pots – really good idea :)


    (February 10, 2012 - 8:24 am)

    I a so intrigued by this idea and of course they look beautiful with the sweets on top :)

    Domestic executive

    (February 10, 2012 - 8:59 am)

    Love love live the thought of these. And just on time for that special day .


    (February 10, 2012 - 9:30 am)

    Ooh I really want to try these! Can imagine the fizzy buttercream is very unusual…but in a good way. Might give it a try with Refreshers – my all-time favourite childhood sweet :-)


      (February 10, 2012 - 4:05 pm)

      I used to love Refreshers too. I originally was going to make them using that but bizarely Refreshers are twice the price of Love Hearts.


    (February 11, 2012 - 10:47 pm)

    Love the idea of fizzy buttercream, it must have been slightly surreal eating these! Great idea though, and they look fab :-) Thanks for giving the link for the paper cases, I was wondering where you had bought them.


      (February 12, 2012 - 8:26 am)

      I got the paper cases from my local Booker, but of course it’s only open to people with trade accounts. There are a few places online that sell them.


    (February 13, 2012 - 10:44 am)

    LOVE these wee cakes and I also love love hearts too – the sweeties of my childhood playground days! Great photo and I would love to receive the “stuff you” cake!!

    Valentine's Day Baking | The Taggs

    (February 14, 2013 - 2:17 pm)

    […] As I have mentioned before Jason loves Love Heart sweets, so when I saw these Parma Violet Cupcakes, I wondered if I could adapt the recipe to make Love Heart icing, it seems I wasn’t the only one and found a recipe on the Butcher Baker Blog. […]

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