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Hot Cocoa Cake with Whipped Marshmallow

This hot cocoa cake is made with the fudgiest chocolate cake, smothered in chocolate cream cheese frosting and dolloped with whipped marshmallow!
5 from 49 votes
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cocoa cake

  • 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

whipped marshmallow

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


cocoa cake

  • 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.

whipped marshmallow

  • 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!


cocoa cake layers from ina

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