Hot Cocoa Cake with Whipped Marshmallow.
Happy hot cocoa cake day!
Or should we (un)officially call this Christmas cake day?
You know how much I love a Christmas cake.
Which is funny since I hate baking cakes. It’s definitely not a passion of mine. When it comes to a Christmas cake though? I’m so there.
Two years ago I made the white sparkle Christmas cake. It has been such a favorite with you guys, something many of you have turned into a tradition now!
Last year, I made a pink peppermint cake. I’m all about that pink peppermint life. It’s fun and festive and whimsical. Looks like a cake straight out of The Grinch! If you are (or know) a peppermint lover, that’s for you.
Let’s take a moment to pray at the altar of whipped marshmallow.
I mean LOOK AT THIS.
So I figured it was high time to do a CHOCOLATE Christmas cake. I almost did the hot cocoa cake last year, but pink peppermint won out. We’re here this year with the most decadent, lovely cake for all the chocolate lovers.
That’s definitely me and I’m raising both hands.
Isn’t it a beauty?! It’s easy too!
I mean, sure, it’s high maintenance. But there is no slicing weird layers or anything. Nothing overly complicated, just the preparation of a few recipes (cake, frosting, marshmallow) and assembly.
Trust me, if I can do this, you can totally do it. Promise. Pinky swear.
Bonus points if you know that last one.
The cake is a super rich chocolatey cake that is light at the same time. Does that make sense? With a chocolate frosting that is to die for.
A chocolate cream cheese frosting, because I just can’t resist. I KNOW. This is the millionth time in 2019 that I’ve made a version of cream cheese frosting. But FYI, it’s the most incredible frosting around.
All my life, THIS has been my favorite kind of cake. I wasn’t a huge cake lover growing up and I’ve actually never loved frosting (aside from cream cheese frosting… obvs). For any birthday, or anytime that a cake was warranted, I chose something like this. My mom would always ask what kind of cake I wanted and my response was robotic: “chocolate fudge cake with the dark chocolate fudge icing. You know, the dark chocolate kind.”
Both mother lovett and my mom made a delish chocolate frosting, but it was lighter in appearance and I wanted FUDGE.
So here we are!
At a super fudgy chocolate cake (thanks Ina) with super fudgy chocolate frosting.
The topping may be my favorite part. I accidentally typed “party,” so I may as well tell you that it may be my favorite party too.
It’s so light and fluffy. It’s sweet, but it’s light enough in texture that it cuts the richness of the cake. This is the whipped marshmallow that I’ve used on my peanut butter cheesecake. So I know just how well it cuts the richness of desserts.
The cloud-like texture is also something to write home about and it isn’t very complicated either.
And the entire cake reminds me of my toasted marshmallow cream hot chocolate, which is literally like dessert in a mug. It’s decadent.
It’s the perfect cake to celebrate the season. Or the perfect cake to celebrate your birthday! Or the perfect cake to celebrate a random winter Saturday. Because you can freeze half and you’re good to go.
Or you can share half with a friend, which let’s be real, may be the best way to make friends ever. Try it!
Hot Cocoa Cake
Hot Cocoa Cake with Whipped Marshmallow
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
chocolate cream cheese frosting
- 3 8-ounce blocks of cold cream cheese
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round baking pans with nonstick baking spray - make sure it’s the kind that has the flour in the spray!
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, powder and salt.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the buttermilk, oil and eggs on medium speed until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer still on medium speed, beat in the dry ingredients until they are just combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl if needed. Beat in the coffee until combined.
- Divide and pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for about 30 minutes in the pan, then carefully invert onto parchment paper to let them cool completely.
- I actually like to do this part ahead of time. Once cool, I wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and stick them in the freezer, if only for 30 minutes. This helps the frosting go on nicely!
- When you’re ready to frost, add a dollop of frosting on top of two cakes and layer the cakes together. Add the remaining frosting and cover the cake.
- Pipe the whipped marshmallow on top of the cake. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Slice and serve when you’re ready!
- We love to keep this cake in the fridge (Eddie loves cold cake!) and I would recommend that since it has the cream cheese frosting. Bring it out 30 to 60 minutes before serving so it can come to room temperature.
chocolate cream cheese frosting
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and add cocoa powder, increasing the speed to mix. Add in melted chocolate. If the frosting it a bit too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it is too thin, add additional sugar gradually.
- To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl, preferably the bowl of your electric stand mixer. Place over top of a double-boiler that contains simmering water, and whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are slightly warm. Immediately remove the bowl and place it on your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beating slow at first and gradually increasing the speed to high.
- Beat for 6-7 minutes until glossy and thick, then beat in vanilla extract for another minute until combined.
- Fill a piping bag with the marshmallow and pipe puffs on top of the chocolate cake. Sprinkle with cocoa powder!
- Note: the marshmallow can be done ahead of time and holds up nicely in the fridge. If you have more than 24 hours though, I would wait as long as you can to add the marshmallow!
Did you make this recipe?
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58 Comments on “Hot Cocoa Cake with Whipped Marshmallow.”
I firmly believe there can never be too many recipes with cream cheese frosting. It’s the only kind worth really devouring– and CHOCOLATE cream cheese frosting?! Count me in. This looks amazing.
i totally agree! thanks jessica!
I’m declaring today Christmas Cake Day, but only for your amazing creations, haha.
I love that it kind of looks like a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows on top. And adore the Christmas cake tradition!
hahaha i didn’t even think of that!!
This cake looks incredible! I totally need to make this during the holidays!
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LYLAS! Bahahaha… bringing back memories of middle school!
This cake looks FAB!
i’m fairly certain i passed out reading this post! in the best way possible of course. this looks BEYOND INCREDIBLE and i think i’d die if i ate it. therefore i’ll be requesting it for all occasions. perfection!!
ahahaha thank you adrianna!!
Could you use semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk in the frosting?
Could this batter possibly be made in a bundt pan, instead of 3 layers? Is it too much batter for that? Can’t wait to make it for Christmas but would need to transport it and bundt just seems easier! Thanks.
i do think it would probably be too much for a bundt pan, but what I would do is fill the batter 3/4 of the way in the bundt pan and bake! use any extra batter to make cupackes? :)
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I know what cake I’m making for my birthday this year! It would be perfect for the holiday too, but I wonder if it’ll last until Christmas eve! My birthday’s the 20th, but can four adults polish off a cake before then? (Probably!)
yessss do it!!
Can this be turned into cupcakes?
yes! i would start bake time around 18-22 mins!
This looks amazing. I’m so excited to make this with my daughter. Can you explain the double boiler part? Do you put the mixing bowl directly on top of the simmering water or is there another pot in between the simmering water and the mixing bowl. I don’t own a double-boiler so trying to understand if I really need the special pot or if I can just use a stove pot I already have. thanks!
yes! that is exactly what i do – i place a heatproof bowl on top of a pot with just an inch or so of simmering water. :)
I needed a fun baking project this weekend and tackled this beauty. It was SO SO SO good!! Honestly, the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. I’ve never made homemade marshmallow before, and it was totally do-able. Thank you for this recipe and for sharing your creativity with this community!
ahhh i am so so glad you liked it meghan!!
This cake looks incredible! We used to write LYLAS on postcards when I was a kid. I’d forgotten that
thanks lisa!!! same!!
It’s so gorgeous!
Can you use 9” cake pans instead of 8”?
OH my gosh, those little poofs of marshmallow. They are adorable. Can’t wait to make this!
Can I put some of the marshmallow between the layers or would it not hold up?
So delicious! FYI to anyone who tries this, I substituted vinegar for the cream of tartar, and it tasted amazing, but definitely did not hold it’s form as well! Next time I’ll just run to the store! The cake was still a huge hit, just more of a drip cake look by the end!
Could I substitute hot chocolate for the coffee?
hi! sorry i am just responding now. the only way i would do hot chocolate is if you’re using a cocoa mix powder with hot water? i wouldn’t do milk and still, i’m not sure if the cocoa mix would affect the recipe in any way! i think your best bet would be to sub plain hot water!
Can I omit the coffee if I don’t like the taste of coffee? How subtle is the taste in the final product?
you can’t taste the coffee at all – it simply intensifies the chocolate flavor! however, if you want to sub, i would do plain hot water instead. :)
You were right, Perfectly subtle! Thank you!
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I have the same question about substituting the coffee. What would you suggest?
i would do hot water!
Just finished making it for tonight… looks fab! But what can I do with all the leftover fluff? Currently it’s in my fridge.
make cupcakes and coat with the extra fluff :-)
I made them into meringue cookies. Piped into silicon mat or parchment paper and then baked for one hour at 225. Kids loved it!
Reviewing now. This recipe was a HUGE hit. Beautiful cake and the taste was even better. The frosting was perfect with the cocoa cake. Thanks!
Amazing, The best cake for Christmas and the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made everyone couldn’t get enough of it. Now the kids want me to make every month :-) :-)
Thanks for putting this on here, I’d give it 10 stars if i could.
My husband does not like cake.
My husband does not like chocolate.
(…I know, I should be considering an annulment like yesterday)
He has been DEVOURING this cake. I’ve had to slap his oblivious, dessert focussed hand so that my grandmother can get a slice.
If you’re considering making this cake, stop. Just stop. And make the damn cake.
ALL THE STARS.
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I love this cake! I’ve made it a few times and it’s absolutely amazing! The cream cheese frosting is to die for!
Quick question – do you think this recipe can be converted into cupcakes? And if so, what do you think are the necessary changes?
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can I adapt this recipe for a little less frosting? Can you help me doing the conversation, please? I only have 2 cake pans: one is 9x22cm and the other is 7x25cm and they both are round and have a hole on the middle. The recipe here needs 680g of cream cheese, which I think it’s too much for what i am going to bake. If i did the recipe on just my cake pans, how much cream chesse should i use? thank you for your help!
except for the frosting, everything went wrong when i tried this recipe! There was not enough batter to fill my cake pans (one is 9x22cm and the other is 7x25cm), the marshmallow got liquid and never got thick(i~ll try putting on the fridge and waiting until tomorrow to see if it turns out better) and the cake is not really all exceptional…only the frosting that goes with it was good. Sorry.
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Amazing and very doable. Enjoyed this very much!
Just had to comment to let you know that this cake is DIVINE. I’m making it for the third time this weekend bc my husband requested it for his birthday. The marshmallow is my favorite part, and it makes enough that I started using it as filling between the layers, too! (It will hold up as filling until the 3rd or 4th day.) Thanks so much for the recipe—delicious!
Hi I’m late to the party, but I wanted to know if this recipe is available in metric? Thank you :)