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Hoda Kotb reveals her secrets for making the ‘best birthday cakes’

The key is to just "barely stir" the batter.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 9
Hoda has many talents and one of them is baking birthday cakes for her friends and family.Ryan Muir / The Tonight Show

Hoda Kotb is known for whipping up delicious cakes for her friends and family, and she shared some of her baking secrets during a visit to “The Tonight Show” this week.

“Let me tell you what I do. I do something y’all should do, because it’s super easy and fun. I make the best birthday cakes,” Hoda, who was joined by her TODAY co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, told Jimmy Fallon. 

She passed along some cake-making tips she learned from chef Elizabeth Heiskell, a frequent TODAY contributor.

“She goes, ‘Hoda, look, don’t be mixing everything, just dump it in. It’s a dump cake,’” Hoda said.

The TODAY co-anchor then shared the simple steps she takes to make the perfect “dump cake.”

“So what you do is you take the Duncan Hines (cake mix), dump it in, pour the egg in, barely stir it, just barely. Stick it in the oven,” she said.

“With, like, clumps in?” Fallon asked.

“No, the clumps make it delicious,” Hoda said. “And when it says cook for 28 minutes, cook for 23.”

She also joked that people sometimes wonder if her cakes were actually created by her daughters, Haley Joy, 5, and Hope Catherine, 3

“When it comes out of the oven, y’all, and when I ice it, people are like, ‘Is that the cake your daughter made?’” she said. “I’m like, ‘No, that’s the cake I made.’”

Haley and Hope have celebrated their last few birthdays at home due to the pandemic, Hoda shared on “The Tonight Show.”

“During COVID, my kids don’t know that birthdays are a thing,” she said. “They don’t know that you have big parties. They think that you sit at the house, you have a cake, and you FaceTime. … That’s what they think birthdays are.”

Hoda goes all-out when it comes to baking for her daughters. Back in 2018, she shared photos of a sweet, personalized cake she made for Haley Joy’s first birthday, and it was clearly a huge hit.

“She got into the sugar, she loved it, she put her hands in it!” Hoda said at the time.

Hoda is also known for her two-ingredient fish recipe, which she has raved about multiple times on TODAY.

“I never cook, and this is a recipe for anybody who doesn’t know how to cook,” she once told Kathie Lee Gifford.