How to make a graduation or birthday money cake

This easy DIY Money Cake is full of money inside to lớn pull that would be a perfect surprise for a birthday, wedding, graduation, or any other special event! Don’t worry, there is still plenty of cake to lớn eat. Learn how to make a money cake as well as some of the tips & tricks I learned along the way.

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Video tutorial và printable recipe card are below at bottom of post.


Well, khổng lồ be honest, I wasn’t planning on doing a post on this Money Cake. However, since my Facebook post about the one I made for my son’s birthday started going viral we’ve gotten more comments, questions, & messages than we can keep up with. (If you don’t have Facebook, I also posted the original on YouTube.) This DIY money cake has been quite a hit. It’s nothing new, but I’m sharing how we did it và the tips & tricks I learned after making it.

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Sorry, I know this is a long post, but there was a lot I wanted khổng lồ share. The cake can be a little tricky, but not hard to lớn make. Be sure to lớn read all my tips below và there’s a printable recipe thẻ at the bottom of the post.

So I didn’t invent this Money Cake. There are all sorts of versions out there. They seem lớn be popular in Asia and lượt thích Singapore và the Philippines from what I can tell. Therefore, a lot of the videos & posts are not in English.

I pieced together what I could from all over, and made my own. I actually made this Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake for my son’s 15th birthday and turned it into a Money Cake.

The kid never asks for anything, EVER. All he wanted was a homemade cake & money to save up for a few things. I looked through various money cake ideas và knew this one would be perfect for him.

It was a huge hit và a big surprise. The best Money Birthday Cake! So glad I gave it a shot.

This cake with money inside is a little different than other money cakes such as those where you roll up money & place it on the OUTSIDE of the cake or a cardboard cake. You might see this version also called a “pull money cake” since you pull the money out of the cake, but I’m just going to gọi it Money Cake right now to make it easier.

The good news is this DIY Money Cake is not as hard khổng lồ make as it looks. The bad news is that it does take a little bit of time and effort. But don’t worry, I’ll chia sẻ some time-saving tips with you.


What You Need to Make A Money Cake

cardboard tubemoney or paper notestreat bagslollipop or stickribbon or stringscissorstapeplastic wrap and/or aluminum foil

Check out my Amazon menu with all of the above & more specific supplies that will help you get started. UPDATE: Since this cake has become so popular after I posted, you can also find all sorts of money cake kits if you’re not into the DIY.

How lớn Make A Money Cake

Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the post for much better directions & information.



Obviously, You’ll need a CAKE. I made a delicious and easy chocolate peanut butter cake. I included the recipe at the bottom of the post.

You can, however, use ANY kind of layered cake you’d like. My popular Cannoli Cake would also be great for this. Or this Carrot Cake or Funfetti Cake would be fun too!

If you’re not a baker, you could even use a store-bought cake. If you vì chưng use a store-bought cake, I’d suggest getting some additional frosting and/or decorations to cover up part of the đứng đầu of the cake that you will soon be taking out.

Make sure your cake is TALL và WIDE so that it will fit the money tube inside. I’d suggest a cake that is at least 9-inches wide & 3 to lớn 4inches tall. You could possibly use a smaller cake BUT it will depend on how much money you want to lớn put in the cake & how large the tube is that you’ll be using (more info on that below).

If you’re making a homemade cake, I’d suggest assembling the cake layers with frosting in between, but bởi NOT frost the outside or top of the cake until you’ve inserted the money roll. It’s just less messy to lớn wait and frost until the end. If it’s already frosted though, no worries.

If you’re using a store-bought cake, it’s ok that the cake is all frosted. Just be careful, when inserting the money roll so you don’t mess up the outside of the cake too much. You’ll need some extra frosting or decorations to lớn cover up the hole you’re going to lớn make in the cake.



You’ll also need to attach the money roll khổng lồ a stick of some sort. I made homemade lollipops using a plastic mold, candy melts, và lollipop sticks.

You can also use any kind of store-bought or homemade lollipops. If you don’t want candy, you could also use cake decorations & attach lớn a stick or strong straw.

Make sure the stick is strong & fairly long. I vị NOT suggest using a toothpick. It may not be strong enough.


Once you have your cake or while it’s baking, you can start lớn assemble the money roll that you will insert into the middle of the cake. You do NOT bake the money inside the cake.

Let me repeat that…The roll is inserted into an already BAKED & assembled cake. Vì NOT bake the cake with the money và plastic inside. I get so many questions on that.

You’ll need to lớn start with some kind of tube. I would suggest a nhà vệ sinh paper, paper towel, or wrapping cardboard tube. You might be able to lớn use a sturdy plastic or paper cup but make sure it’s symmetrical và cylinder in shape. I have only used cardboard tubes so can’t comment how well other options would work. Make sure the tube is sturdy!

Gently cut a slit in the tube that is the same length as the treat bags leaving a little room on each edge of the tube. The slit should be slightly wider as well as the treat bags.

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Wrap the tube with plastic wrap và cut through the hole again và fold back the wrap. This will help prevent the cardboard from getting soft & soggy inside the cake not to mention, who wants a toilet paper roll touching their cake? Yikes…

Next, add money, handwritten notes, or whatever you want (as long as it’s thin & flat…) lớn the plastic treat bags. Line the bags up end to end with the money or notes facing the same way if desired. Tape the bags together at the ends. I’d suggest taping both sides so that it’s very secure when pulled on.

At this point, you should have a long stream of treat bags.

Tightly roll up the money/notes starting at one end.

Place the roll of money into the cardboard tube và gently start pulling the money out of the hole you made. Just pull out a few inches of one bag leaving the rest inside the cardboard tube.

At this point you may want to wrap the outside of the tube with additional plastic wrap (or I actually used aluminum foil the first time that worked better I thought…) for added stability. Make sure the money slit is not covered. You’ll want the money to easily roll out.

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 lớn go about a 1/2-inch khổng lồ an inch or so down from the over but obviously, don’t go through the money.

Tie a ribbon or string through the hole and attach khổng lồ the kết thúc of a lollipop stick (or stick from a cake decoration).

At this point, you should now have your tube ready to go as well as your cake.



Using a sharp knife, gently cut out a hole in the middle of the cake starting at the top of the cake. The hole should be the same form size as your cardboard tube. With a small spatula remove the cake/frosting from the middle of the cake and set it aside.

Depending on how tall your cake is, you may need to go all the way to lớn the bottom of the cake or you can leave some cake at the bottom.

Place the money tube inside the hole with the money và 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 vị trí cao nhất of the money tube hanging onto the lollipop stick with the string or ribbon facing up. Make sure the money tube is secure và covered well with cake on the top và sides of the tube.

If you’re using a homemade cake, you can now frost the sides & top of the cake. Insert the lollipop in the middle of the đứng đầu of the cake once the roll is covered & decorate the cake any way you’d like. (The photo above was taken after the reveal because I forgot lớn take a photo BEFORE I decorated, sorry!)

If you’re using a premade store-bought cake, you can insert the lollipop as well into the top of the cake và cover the đứng top of the cake with additional frosting or decorations to lớn cover up the top.



Once your cake is assembled & ready lớn go, store the cake on the countertop or refrigerator (depending on the type of cake…) until ready khổng lồ serve. Although the money roll should be well covered, I’m not sure I’d store the cake too long before serving just in case the roll does get soggy & falls apart. That’s just me though being overly cautious.

Have the person GENTLY pull on the lollipop stick và string until the money starts to lớn roll out of the cake. Găng “GENTLY” otherwise the whole tube can come out or the bags may detach from each other.

Once they start rolling the money out, it should be ok, fingers crossed!!

For best results please, read through my tips to help make your cake a big success!

Money Cake Tips For Best Results

CAKE: Might be common sense, but make sure your cake is rather TALL so that the tube of money will fit inside. If you’re making a homemade cake you can always add more frosting between the layers or địa chỉ cửa hàng some chocolate chips or other ingredients (chopped nuts, cookies, etc.) to địa chỉ a little more height if needed. Also, make sure the cake is WIDE enough to fit the tube.CARDBOARD ROLL: The more money or notes you want to lớn add, the larger tube you’ll need. Be sure you have a few sizes of tubes ready or be prepared khổng lồ reduce the amount of money or notes you have inside the tube. You don’t want the money so TIGHT in the tube that it won’t roll out.ROLL CONSTRUCTION: Your cardboard roll (or whatever you’re using) should be sturdy and well constructed. If the hole where the money comes out is too big or breaks, the money may not roll well or the whole tube may come out of the cake at once.SECURE ROLL: Be sure to đứng đầu the roll with a good amount of cake to lớn help weight it down, as well as put additional cake scraps on the sides of the tube so that it is tight inside the cake. I’d suggest maybe wrapping the roll as well with some aluminum foil or something sturdier than plastic wrap if you’re having a hard time. Khổng lồ really secure the roll if you’re at all unsure, you can place a sturdy straw or small wood dowel (or long rounded lollipop stick) through the side of the cake, through the center of the money roll, và through the other side of the cake. Be sure lớn cut the straw or dowel lớn the length of the cake so that it doesn’t stick out. That will help weight the roll down.PULL SLOWLY: When pulling on the string to lớn start the money coming out of the cake, pull slowly & gently to get it started. If you pull too hard, the whole tube may come out of the cake at once.


Money Cake Troubleshooting

MONEY WON’T FIT: If after rolling your money or notes they won’t fit into your tube, you may need to get a bigger tube or remove some of the money/notes & reroll. I bởi vì not suggest cutting the tube khổng lồ make it bigger because it can become flimsy and not have the best results. Paper towel tubes or wrapping paper tubes might be a good option.TUBE CAME OUT OF CAKE: The tube may not have been secure or may have fallen apart. You can try to lớn quickly put additional cake/frosting on the ends & sides of the tube lớn try and secure. It’s also possible the person pulled too hard on the string causing it all lớn come out instead of rolling out. See tips above as well about using a dowel or straw through the tube next time.SUBSTITUTES: If you make any substitutions to lớn the supplies or cake, results may vary for the better or worse. Haha! So be careful.CAKE ISN’T BIG ENOUGH: I’d suggest adding another layer of cake or frosting, or you can địa chỉ cửa hàng candy, chocolate chips, etc. In between the layers to địa chỉ cửa hàng height. If your cake is not wide enough, you could try folding the money and bags in half, but I have not tried so can’t guarantee you’ll have great results.


You probably have most of the supplies already in your trang chủ to make this Money Cake, but if not, check out my Amazon menu of Money Cake supplies khổng lồ help get you started.

Money Cake Video

Unfortunately, we had a lot of technical difficulties và poor kid had a lot of homework so it took a while to get the đoạn phim up. He worked so hard on this I’m sure he’d love a thumbs up, nice comment, or follow on youtube if you have a second to spare…