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Sandra Lee's Chocolate Piano Cake
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Cook time:
Prep time:
1 cake

Use white cake mix, a staple in so many people's pantries, to create a Piano Cake no one will know came from a box. With a few simple embellishments, KitKat bars become keys to transform plain dessert into a music-themed confection everyone will love!

Technique tip: This recipe calls for chocolate-hazelnut spread and chocolate syrup to make a rich chocolate frosting, but you can also keep the frosting plain. 


  • Piano Cake

    • One 16.25-ounce box white cake mix
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Frosting

    • Sandra Lee's Butter and Cream Frosting
    • 1/2 cup Nutella
    • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • Decorations

    • Four 1.5-ounce White Creme Kit Kat bars
    • Five 1.5-ounce Milk Chocolate Kit Kat bars
    • Chocolate-covered nuts or malt balls (optional)


For the cake:

1. In a large bowl, blend all ingredients together with a whisk or spoon until combined. 

2. With a hand mixer, beat until smooth, approximately 2 minutes.

3. Pour the batter into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and bake according to box instructions. 

4. Let cake cool completely before frosting and decorating.

For the frosting:

In a medium-sized bowl, combine 4 cups of Sandra Lee's Butter and Cream Frosting base, Nutella and chocolate syrup together until smooth and well combined.

To decorate:

1. Frost the cake generously. 

2. On the upper half of the cake's top, line up four white Kit Kat bars to resemble a row of white piano keys. Push them down into the cake gently so they stick to the frosting.

3. Break up the milk chocolate Kit Kats into differently sized bars. Frost the back of the bars and gently place the chocolate "keys" on top of the white Kit Kat bars at various intervals to resemble a piano.

4. If desired, decorate the bottom edges of the cake with chocolate-covered nuts or malt balls.