This easy DIY Money Cake is full of money inside to pull that would be a perfect surprise for a birthday, wedding, graduation, or any other special event! You can use any kind of (tall) homemade or store-bought cake but I've included the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake in photo.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 9-inch round cake pans. Place 9-inch parchment rounds on bottoms of pans and grease if desired.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
Add eggs, milk, water, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to bowl on top of other ingredients. Gently whisk the wet ingredients on top to just combine slightly and break eggs. Then whisk all ingredients together until just combined. It's ok if small lumps.
Divide batter between three pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
Remove cakes from oven, cool slightly, then remove cakes from pan to cool completely.
Beat together peanut butter and softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and well combined. Beat in vanilla and salt. Then slowly beat in powdered sugar a little at a time.
Beat in milk a little at a time until frosting is smooth and creamy. You may not need all of the milk, or you might need slightly more depending on how thin you'd like your frosting.
Place one layer of cake on a large plate or cake stand. Top with some peanut butter frosting and spread to edges. Sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on top.
Top with another cake layer and repeat with frosting and chocolate chips. Top with third cake layer. Do not top with frosting yet.
Assemble Money Cake:
Cut a cardboard tube a little longer than the plastic treat bags. Carefully cut a slit in the top of the tube just long and wide enough for the treat bags to pass through. Wrap with plastic wrap and cut through wrap at hole and fold back.
Fill plastic treat bags with money or written notes. Tape ends of bags together firmly. You should have a long strip of bags at this point. Tightly roll up money starting at one end. Place roll of money into cardboard tube. Gently pull the money through the tube just a little bit. At this point you may want to wrap the outside of the tube with additional plastic wrap or aluminum foil for added stability. Make sure the money slit is not covered.
Using a hole puncher (or scissors or knife) punch a small hole into the end of the bag that is sticking out of the tube. You’ll want to go about a 1/2-inch to an inch or so down from the end. Tie a ribbon or string through the hole and attach to the end of a lollipop stick (or stick from a cake decoration).
Using a sharp knife, gently cut out a hole in the middle of the cake starting at the top that is the same size as your cardboard tube. With a small spatula remove the cake/frosting from the middle and set aside.
Place the money tube inside the hole with the money and lollipop facing up. Roll the money back in a little to the tube if necessary so just a little is hanging out of the hole. Using the cake/frosting scraps, tightly cover the top of the money tube hanging onto the lollipop stick with the string or ribbon facing up. Make sure the money tube is secure and covered well with cake on the top and sides of the tube.
When it's time to serve the cake, gently pull on the string with the lollipop to reveal the money. Keep pulling so that the money rolls out.
SNAPPY TIPS: Be sure to watch the video above which better shows all the steps to making this cake. The frosting recipe makes A LOT of frosting. Should be way more than you need but plenty to decorate with. If you just want a very thin layer of frosting, you may want to start with a half of batch.SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: Instead of a chocolate peanut butter cake, you can use any flavor cake or use a store-bought cake