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How to Create a Piñata at Home

How to Create a Piñata at Home

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When we think of Cinco de Mayo, we dream of endless margaritas and a bottomless bowl of guacamole and crisp tortilla chips. Beyond the menu, though, there’s more to a Mexican fiesta than just the fare. What about activities?

A piñata is a must-have at any traditional children’s party in Mexico, though its origins are rooted in both Chinese and European culture. In Italy, the idea of hitting a container filled with treats dates back to the 14th century — hence the Italian word pignatta. From there, the custom has spread throughout the world and has been adapted mostly by Latin American countries.

In honor of the festive holiday, we’re embracing the game and making it our own — and giving you the lowdown on how to create your own piñata at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• recycled cardboard
• tissue paper
• masking tape
• scissors
• glue stick
• thick twine (pipe cleaners will also work)

Create the Shape
You’ll start by cutting the cardboard into the shape of your piñata. If you’re going for something curved, you can bend the cardboard, but remember that you’ll need identical pieces for both sides. Use plenty of tape to make sure your shape holds. Cut a flap on the top of your piñata and use the twine or pipe cleaners to secure it (this will be where you add the candy).

Cut the tissue paper into strips and fold it. Then cut fringe about halfway up the strips. When you unfold them, the fringe will extend the length of each strip. Glue these to your cardboard shape, being careful to overlap the strips so only the fringe is showing (glue the uncut tops).

You can also add sequins, glitter, crystals, ribbon, and feathers to give your piñata more character.

If you want to create round shapes without struggling with cardboard, you can try papier-mâché. Use a balloon as your mold and cover it with strips of newspaper soaked in papier-mâché paste, being careful to leave a hole at the bottom large enough for candy.

This article was originally published on April 30, 2013.

Make a Pinata

Part of a pinata's unique charm is that no matter how ornate it is or how much time went into making it, its decorative qualities are entirely temporary. Stuffed with candy and treats, the pinata is meant to be smashed apart, spilling its contents into the hands of the children clustered around it at parties.

Long associated with Mexico, pinatas actually originated in Italy, where clay pots were filled with treats and slung high above the ground to be broken with sticks. Adopted by the Spanish, the custom arrived in Mexico with the explorers, who had since begun to add color and decoration. When tissue paper became widely available during the 20th century, the pinata evolved again, incorporating more colors and designs than ever before.

Papier-mache is a popular craft technique that involves covering a form -- like a balloon or a bowl -- with strips of newspaper drenched in a simple, often homemade, paste the paper and paste bond as they dry, forming a hard shell around the form. Try using wheat-paste powder, available at hardware and art-supply stores, instead of ordinary flour -- the resulting paste will be less prone to cracking.

This Homemade Piñata Cake is Totally Instagram Worthy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease four 8" round cake pans. You could also bake in batches and bake only 2 pans at a time.

In a large mixing bowl, combine one box of cake mix, 5 eggs, 2/3 cup melted butter, and 1 cup of milk using an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. You could also use a stand mixer if preferred.

Note that you will do this process for both boxes of cake mixes separately if using 2 different flavors. If using the same cake mix flavor, you can combine all at once if you have a large enough mixing bowl for double the batter.

Pour the batter evenly between four 8" round cake pans and spread out. Again, you could also bake just two pans at a time.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or according to box directions. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cake cool completely before transferring it to the cooling racks.

To prepare the layers:

After the cake has completely cooled off, remove cakes from cake pans. Set two layers aside (they will be used for the bottom layer and top layer).

For the middle cake layers, you will need to grab a 3” diameter biscuit cutter or you can use a wide mouth mason jar as I did. Place your 3” cutter in the center of a cake layer and cut around your diameter. Repeat on the second cake layer. Remove the full hole you have created from the center of the cakes.

At this point, you should have two 8” round cakes that have a hole in the center and two that do not.

Depending on what kind of candy you picked out, you might need to break the candy into smaller pieces. For example, if you picked a candy bar, I recommend cutting it up into smaller pieces. Mix all your candy and sprinkles into a bowl and set aside.

To assemble the cake:

Start with one of the full cakes on the cake plate. Add a thin layer of frosting over the cake. Now grab one of the round cakes that does not have a center and place on top of the bottom layer.

Add a thin layer of frosting to the top and repeat with the other cake that does not have a center.

Take all your favorite candy and sprinkles and pour it into the middle of the cake. Softly press down making sure you are adding as much candy as you can and filling the center all the way to the top. Add the final layer of frosting and place the last cake layer on the top.

Carefully place the cake dowel rods into the cake straight down at 12-3-6-9 as if the cake was a clock. This gives the cake support since it is a large cake.

Frost the cake however you'd like with buttercream or store-bought frosting. Top the cake with the remaining frosting and candy.

Place the cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Now it is time to cut the cake! Slowly cut into the cake and watch the kids' eyes light up when they see the surprise.

Ready to surprise all your guests at your next celebration?

If you&rsquore like me, you&rsquove fallen in love with all of the amazing candy-filled piñata cakes on Pinterest and Instagram. But if you buy these cakes from a bakery, they are VERY pricey, so I thought I&rsquod share this yummy dessert recipe to help you save some money while treating your family.

It might look like a normal cake from the outside but wait until you cut a slice out. Everyone will think you shelled out big money at a high-end bakery for the candy surprise inside, so go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

More on that surprise inside!

This cake is filled with a candy surprise&hellip but it really is more of a surprise on how simple it is to make. I have broken down step-by-step on how to make your very own piñata candy cake. Be warned, everyone will be asking you to make one for them after they see how amazing it looks (and tastes)!

While this cake may appear to be overwhelming to make at first glance, it truly is much easier than it looks! This year I surprised my boys with ones on their birthdays and they were both so excited about it. I even made one for my husband, too!

Make Your Own Candy-Filled Piñata Cake

This unassuming party cake has a secret. With its frilly buttercream finish and modest sprinkle topping, it looks like any other delicious cake. However, the real party is inside! One cut into the cake reveals its pastel rainbow layers, before an assortment of candies comes tumbling out. Like a piñata, this cake is filled to the brim with chocolate, gummies, and sprinkles. As if the velvety buttermilk cake and buttercream icing wasn’t a treat on its own, this cake is packed full of sweets for the ultimate party dessert. What a fun, whimsical surprise!

This festive piñata cake is fairly simple to put together and is extremely adaptable for any celebration. Try using either pink or blue candies for a gender reveal cake at a baby shower, a variety of chocolates, all fruit candies, or just stick with the cake recipient’s favorites. The combinations are truly endless.

Also check out our recipe for Piñata Cupcakes.

Active Time: 60 minutes
Bake Time: 24 minutes
Serves: 14-16


Pastel Buttermilk Cake:
3-1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
Gel food coloring

Cake Batter Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
5 to 5-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 to 4 Tbsp cream or milk

3-inch round cutter
1 to 1 1/2 cups assorted candy
Sprinkles (optional)

Pastel Buttermilk Cake:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour four 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the butter on medium until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix on medium-high until fluffy and pale in color (3 to 5 minutes). Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
4. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time. Mix until combined and smooth.
5. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and buttermilk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until the batter is incorporated. Do not over-mix.
6. Evenly divide the batter into 4 bowls. Tint each with gel food coloring of your choice and mix to combine. Place each different color of batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack from 10 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Cake Batter Buttercream:
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the remaining ingredients. Once the sugar begins to incorporate, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes). Adjust the sugar and cream quantities until desired consistency is achieved.
2. To decorate an 8-inch cake with the ruffle pattern (as photographed), the icing recipe will need to be multiplied by 1. For a smooth or rustic finish, use the recipe as is.

1. Carefully trim the tops of each cake layer until even. Discard the scraps or save for another use.
2. Using a round cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or the rim of a drinking glass, cut out the centres of two of the cake layers. The openings should be about 3 inches in diameter. These two layers will become the middle layers of cake. Set aside.
3. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake board or serving dish. 4. Spread on about 3/4 cup of buttercream with an offset spatula. Top with one of the centre layers of cake and repeat. Place the second middle layer of cake next, then frost the inside of the rings with buttercream.

4. Fill in the centre with a variety of candies and/or sprinkles. Top with the final layer of cake. Crumb coat then frost the cake with the remaining buttercream.
5. To create the ruffle design, frost the top of the cake as normal but leave only a thin layer of buttercream on the sides. Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip with buttercream. Starting at the bottom of the cake, use a zigzag motion to pipe ruffles up the side of the cake. The zigzag pattern should be about 1-inch wide and as straight as possible. Continue to pipe vertical rows of ruffles until all of the sides are covered. Top with sprinkles, if desired.

Looking for more delicious recipe? Try our 25 Best Birthday Cakes.

How To Make An Easter Egg Pinata (Picture Tutorial)

If you want to start a new Easter tradition this year, you can’t go wrong with an Easter egg pinata. This is basically the ultimate Easter decoration – it looks amazing, and the kids can smash it open on Easter morning to find it filled with treats!

Don’t worry about it being hard to make either, it’s actually really easy! We’ve broken down how to make a pinata with simple, clear pictures and steps, so just follow along and enjoy!

Easter Pinata Supplies:

  • Glue
  • Water
  • Balloon
  • Old Newspaper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Scissors

Tear a few sections of the newspaper into 3″ by 4″ strips. You don’t have to be exact, but 3″ by 4″ size strips are just easier to work with.

You will want your work area to be protected so put some plastic or paper over your table or work area. Then, in a leftover plastic container, mix 1 part glue to 2 parts warm water and mix well.

Continue adding glue covered strips until the balloon is completely covered.

Note: Be sure and prop your balloon up on some sort of container so it doesn’t roll off and make a mess.

Once you’ve fully covered your balloon, let the paper/glue dry overnight. Repeat this step 3 or 4 times so you have a few newspaper layers on the balloon.

Would you look at that? It’s looking like an egg already.

Cut some colored tissue paper into 2″ strips. I was able to find a 40 sheet pack at the dollar store!

Step 8. Scrunch the tissue and add a big drop of glue.

Step 9. Attach the tissue square to the egg.

Step 10. Continue to add more tissue.

Add different colors…

Until your Easter pinata is almost fully covered…

Step 11. Leave a space on top so you can cut an opening.

You’ll need a nice sized opening so that you can fill the egg pinata with toys or candy!

Step 12. Fill the Pinata.

Step 13. Close the opening and cover with tissue.

Grab your scissors and poke a hole on the opposite sides of the egg towards the upper 1/3 of the pinata. This is where you’ll attach a rope or ribbon.

Step 15. Tape a recycled ribbon onto a chopstick and thread your ribbon through the pinata.

Like this…

How to Make a Stuffed Piñata Cake

There's nothing that makes a party quite like a cake filled with candy — and it's easier to make than you think.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

The Best Surprise Inside

What's the best thing you could find after slicing into a dessert? More dessert, of course! Colorful candy spills out of our pastel piñata cake in piles, delighting all party guests. Get the detailed recipe for the cake here, and use these step-by-step photos as extra guidance.

Photography by Matt Armendariz

Mix the Batter

Bake the Cake

Whip Up the Frosting

Make Space for the Candy

Assemble and Fill

Cover the Candy

Finish Frosting

Dye and Start Decorating

To make the multicolored topping, divide shredded coconut into a few resealable plastic bags, and shake with a few drops of food coloring (find the specific ratios for each color in the recipe).

Then, cut a strip of parchment about 30 inches long and 3 inches wide. Wrap the parchment around the cake like a collar, leaving 1 inch of frosting exposed around the bottom perimeter of the cake. Pack some of the blue coconut onto the exposed frosting to make your first strip of color. Lift the collar up another 1 inch and do the same with the orange coconut. Remove the collar and fill the remaining inch of frosting with the yellow coconut.

Prepare the Paste

Decide what type of paper mache paste works best for your project, then prepare it. You have three options for paste:

    : This simple recipe requires only flour, water, a bowl, and a whisk. : Although this recipe is similar to the no-cook version, the paste is a little stronger and smoother. : Resin will give your finished paper mache project a hard finish, making your finished projects more durable.

Tear the Newspaper

Rip the newspaper into strips—do not cut it. Torn strips lay smoother on the form. The length of your strips may vary depending on the size of your project however, you will want your strips to be about 1 to 2 inches wide.

Dip the Newspaper

Dip one piece of newspaper at a time into the paper mache paste. You want the newspaper strip to be saturated. Hold the saturated strip over the paste bowl and run it through your fingers to squeeze off any excess paste.

Apply to the Form

Stick the newspaper strip over your form and smooth it down with your fingers. Completely cover your form with a layer of the saturated newspaper strips. They should all be over-lapping and running in different directions. After one layer is applied, let it dry completely. This can take up to 24 hours.

Repeat the Process

Once the first layer is dry, apply a second layer of newspaper strips and let it dry completely. Repeat this process until you get the desired look, but you should have at least three layers of newspaper strips. Again, let each layer dry completely.

If you want to add smaller details to your project, you can use a pulp recipe. This pulp can be used like clay.

Decorate the Art

Once all of the paper mache layers are applied and dried, you are ready to paint, decorate, and proudly display your work of art.

How To Make A Minion Pinata

Our all time favorite Christmas memory growing up was breaking open a pinata. Our mom would make one every year. That tradition was passed down from our Grandma Char. As little girls we would often help decorate it with crepe paper. Our love of pinatas has grown. We now have them for birthday parties, family reunions, and other family get togethers. Our kids love to see what pinata Grandma will come up with every Christmas. She already knows that next Christmas will be Sponge Bob!

How To Make A Minion Pinata
Items needed:
Rolls of crepe paper in the following colors:
1 sheet of black paper or black card stock (for hands and feet)
4 ounces of Elmer’s glue
cardboard for arms and legs (I used a cut up cereal box)
2 9 inch balloons
10 small balloons (I used water bomb balloons)
12 wooden skewers
6 feet of thick string
duct tape
newspaper cut into 2 x 8 inch strips
hot glue gun with glue stick

Begin by blowing up your balloons. I put the 2 knotted ends of the 9 inch balloons together. Then attach them with the wooden skewers. Just use duct tape to hold it all together. Fill in the gaps with the smaller balloons. I also stuffed newspaper around the small balloons to get the shape of a minion and to fill all gaps.

Then make a flour and water mixture with 1 cup flour to 1 cup water. The water and flour ratio is about equal. Cut the paper into strips and dip them in the flour mixture. Gently wipe off the excess batter and stick the strip of paper onto the pinata. We balance the balloon on a mixing bowl while putting the paper strips on. Cover most of the pinata overlapping the paper strips. After it dries for about 6 hours or overnight you can flip it over and do the other side that was inside the mixing bowl. Be sure to leave a 3 inch opening in one end for putting in the candy.

You will want to do the above step a few times so that you can have a few hard layers that are overlapped. Between layers you can attach string so that it wraps around the bottom of the balloon with the string ends coming out of the top by the hole for the candy. Hold the string in place with little pieces of duct tape. Then just put another layer of newspaper strips dipped in the flour mixture right over the top. It makes it easier to have that in place for hanging it on a pole or stick. You can always just put some holes in the finished pinata to put your string through. Either way works great. After your layers are done and hardened you can pop the balloons inside and pull out all of the sticks, balloons and crunched up newspaper. You will have a hard shell. Then you can draw the face of your minion on your hard pinata shell. Just know that the shell could take a day or two because you need to allow for time for drying.

Now the fun begins. Cut the crepe paper into squares. Twist the end of each piece, dip the end in glue and stick it on the pinata. This is where you get the kids involved.

You may think that it will take a long time, but I would decorate while watching the news or if I had a few minute here or there. Before you know it, he starts taking shape… cute!! For the arms and feet I just free handed them on the cardboard, cut them out and covered them in crepe paper by wrapping it around until covered. The hands and feet can be black cardstock, poster board, or cardboard covered with black paper. For the limbs I parted the crepe paper enough to squirt in some hot glue and stuck in the arms and feet. We also added some little strands of hair on top of his head at the last minute. You’ll see that in the final pictures!

During the summer we hang the pinata from a rope and loop it over a branch so we can raise and lower it while the kids take a swing. During the winter we have grandpa hold it from a long broom stick or pole. The kids are blindfolded and each get a couple of good whacks! It’s so fun! Even the adults dive in for the candy! (Right Jared?) This poor Minion has seen better days!!

Here are a few of our pinatas from previous parties!

Be sure to check out our new Six Sisters’ Store where you can find all our favorite kitchen and baking supplies, plus our cookbooks!

DIY Homemade Pinata Paste with Flour (Cooked Method)

Pinatas can be a very fun craft experience for children. It’s simple to make your own pinata paste with flour. I cook this simple recipe (no fancy cooking skills required, I promise) and use it every time we make a paper mache pinata at home.

What You’ll Need

You’ll need enough flour to be able to mix 5 parts of water for every 1 part flour. It’s easiest for me to use a cup measure and do 1 cup flour with 5 cups water.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water until the lumps are gone.

Once the 4 cups of water are boiling, add the separate flour/water mixture to the pot and stir constantly with a silicone spatula while it boils for about 3-5 minutes. The mixture should be smooth and thick like a glue. You can add more flour/water in small amounts if needed to achieve desired consistency. Optional: Add 1-2 Tablespoons of Salt to help prevent mold and stir.

Remove from stove and allow to cool. Once it is at a comfortable temperature, you can use it for your paper mache project.

You can store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator overnight.

How To Make A Pinata – 65 Different designs

Pinatas are lots of fun to have at parties, it is a party game with a built-in reward. It not only keeps everyone busy for 20-30 mins depending on how hard you smash your pinata but it also allows you to slow down the candy giving. We usually serve lots of savoury foods and keep the sweets reserved for the Pinata and pass the parcel games. The reward of pinata candy is a great way to get everyone involved in the party games too. So why are pinata’s so popular right now?

Well, they have been popular for a few years, especially in the DIY party scene. More and more people have been creating their own birthday parties and with that has come decisions to create unique party themes. I am guilty of it myself, my child had a Cupcake princess party when she was 3, she was the princess of cupcakes, I had her decorations custom-designed for me on Etsy. but did DIY make a giant cupcake pinata for her party theme.

When you go with a unique party theme you are often left with having to create your own party decorations. Here are over 65 different tutorials for making your own party pinata. If you don’t want to make a pinata of your own, then check out these amazing Pinatas we found online.


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