Hot Chocolate Cake – hot chocolate infused cake with homemade marshmallow fluff frosting, silky chocolate buttercream and chocolate shavings. A new layer cake recipe by our contributor, Olivia Bogacki.
It’s December!! The BEST month of the year, amiright? So much to look forward to, including all the delicious baked goodies that will no doubt be coming your way this holiday season. Festive cakes and cookies, traditional homemade treats, and cozy warm beverages to help get you through the winter months. There is nothing better.
I have very fond memories of winter time when I was little. We lived in the prairies, and it got really, really cold. Hot chocolate was the best thing ever to help warm you up after hours playing in the snow, or following the freezing commute home after visiting relatives. I swear the car didn’t properly heat up until we were almost home!
These days, I generally prefer tea or coffee to hot chocolate, but we always have some stocked in the house, just in case. You never know when you’re going to need a chocolate fix! But in an effort to revive those childhood memories, I am turning a favorite traditional winter beverage into a not-so traditional winter dessert – Hot Chocolate Cake!
This Hot Chocolate Cake takes all the traditional elements of your favorite childhood drink and transforms them into a delicious dessert. There is actual hot chocolate in the cake batter to help amplify the flavor. The marshmallow fluff filling is light as air, and reminiscent of those marshmallows that would bob at the top of your drink until they melted away. The silky chocolate frosting adds an additional hit of chocolate but also emulates the color of hot chocolate perfectly.
Topped off with some piped marshmallow fluff scallops and chocolate shavings, this Hot Chocolate Cake is sure to be a warming winter crowd pleaser for young and old alike.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!
Hot Chocolate Cake
Hot Chocolate Cake with homemade marshmallow fluff frosting, silky chocolate buttercream and chocolate shavings.
- Yield: one 8” 2-layer cake – 12 servings
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Cake
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar (packed)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot chocolate (hot, made with milk)
For the Marshmallow Fluff:
- 1/3 cup water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Frosting:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, cubed (room temperature)
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (melted, cooled)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Assembly:
- Chocolate shavings (optional)
- Large round piping tip (optional)
Make the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F, grease two 8″ cake rounds. Dust with cocoa powder and line bottoms with parchment.
- Place all dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sugars and salt) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Very slowly pour in hot hot chocolate while whisking constantly.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes. Batter will be very thin.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Marshmallow Fluff:
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, and corn syrup. Stir to combine until sugar is dissolved and do not stir from this point forward. Insert a candy thermometer and cook on med-high.
- Place egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer*.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 225F, start whipping egg whites until they reach soft peaks (3-4 minutes).
- When the sugar syrup reaches 240F, remove from heat, turn mixer to medium and very slowly pour in the sugar syrup into the whites in a thin stream. Be careful as it will be hot!
- Turn the mixer to med-high and whip until thick, glossy (7-8 minutes).
- Add vanilla and whip until fluff has cooled.
Make the Chocolate Frosting:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer*, whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
- Add vanilla, chocolate and whip on medium-high until silky and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.**
Assemble the Cake:
- Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Pipe a dam around the edge with the chocolate frosting and fill with approximately 1 cup of marshmallow fluff. Spread evenly.
- Place remaining layer on top and crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Frost the cake with the chocolate frosting, smoothing the sides and top. Place back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set.
- Pipe a scallop pattern (using a large round piping tip and a small offset spatula, following this technique) on top and bottom edges using the remaining marshmallow fluff. Top with chocolate shavings if desired.
- * Ensure there is NO trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk are completely grease free or your meringue may not whip up.
- ** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.
Keywords: hot chocolate cake, marshmallow fluff
MORE FESTIVE HOLIDAY CAKE RECIPES TO TRY:
Cream Tart Gingerbread Tree Cake
Cranberry Orange Cake
Gingerbread Latte Cake
Champagne Mimosa Cake
Cait C says
I wonder if this recipe would translate okay to cupcakes? I prefer taking cupcakes to work because it’s less messy and more hygienic!!
olivia @ livforcake says
Hi Cait! It should work fine as cupcakes. I would recommend doing the marshmallow fluff as a filling and topping them with the buttercream.
Hello. If I used this cake for fondant over it would it still work fine?
Can’t wait to try the marshmallow fluff as a filling for other cakes! I’ve made marshmallows from scratch once, but the steps you have described make me want to do it again. Another gorgeous looking cake.
Hii.. Hot chocolate you mean .. the hot chocolate, the one we drink with marshmallow on top right?
olivia @ livforcake says
Hi Hala! Yes, that’s correct.
You say in the instructions to:
1.Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Pipe a dam around the edge with the chocolate frosting and fill with approximately 1 cup of marshmallow fluff. Spread evenly.
2.Repeat with remaining layer and crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Is this on the top of the cake?
If it’s not too late to answer unite question, I’d like to try to help you out.
I’m not exactly sure what you mean though.
After you put the bottom cake layer onto your plate, you want to pipe a circle off chocolate frosting all around the top edge of the cake. This should keep the marshmallow filling from oozing to the outside of the cake.
Put the next layer on top of the first and thinly frost the entire cake for a crumb coat, then refrigerate for 20 minutes or so. This keeps your crumbs from mixing into your frosting and making your cake less pretty.
I hope my comments are helpful.
Carrie Sellman says
Hi Sherri – you can see a step-by-step example of how to build a layer cake (i.e. how to pipe a dam, spread your filling and assemble) in our post here:
I hope that helps clear things up for you. If not, let us know and we’ll try to answer any additional questions you may have. Enjoy!
Can any elements of this cake be made ahead of time? Or frozen? Thank you!
Carrie Sellman says
Sure! If you want to get a head start, you could certainly bake the cake layers in advance and freeze them. Wrap them individually with several layers of plastic wrap and then store inside a ziplock bag. Thaw before making your frosting and assembling.
If I was using 2 9” pans, would you suggest doubling the recipe?
Love love the recipe and tried it yesterday,it turned out awesome!
Can meringue powder be substituted for the egg whites in the marshmallow fluff and the buttercream? That’s the only part about this recipe that worries me. Thanks!
Well, it tasted delicious…but the marshmallow was so stiff I had trouble spreading it…then after sitting a day, the marshmallow seemed to melt and the cake layers began to slide. It looked a little wonky before the first cut, off kilter, but then it just fell apart. Looked a mess, tasted great. Wonder if I did something wrong or what?
Should this cake be refrigerated?
Sorry if I am disturbing your Christmas 🎉. I am making this into a three layer 8″ layer cake. I was planning on doubling the marshmallow fluff recipe. do I need to make two separate marshmallow fluff or can I double it and make it as one. Do you also think I need to double the frosting?
Thanks and merry Christmas!
So I went ahead and made just a single recipe of the marshmallow fluff and the frosting and it was plenty for the 3 layer. It looks delicious. Having it for dessert today.
What a delicious cake. The flavour is amazing! I made this cake as a 3-8″ layer using single recipe for the marshmallow fluff and frosting. It was enough however, I do not recommend doing a 3rd layer. it basically slid off as it was cut. I will make this again but stick with 2 layers. 🙂
sup awesome cake!!! Worked like a charm
the cake looks so delicious, I would love to eat this
thank you for sharing the recipe.
Meenakshi @ W2F Cakes says
Thanks Olivia, for sharinig such a lovely tips for cake. I enjoyed it very much. Do we tried it at home and how much time it will take? Any idea? But I love this cakes.
Pam Kozlow says
I usually make IMB for my cakes because I live in Florida. Can I make the Marshmallow Frosting assemble the cake and refrigerate the cake over night? Will it last two days if there are leftovers. Baking in Florida can be a challenge! Thank you in advance for your advice.
Hi…I am going to make this in a square cake do I need to double the recipe?
I made this cake, it was delicious. Only thing is the cake itself seemed a little dry. Did I do something wrong? I do admit i added the wet ingredients to the dry before hot chocolate, could that be the reason?
Can you tell me why you can’t print the recipe out? Would love to make this for the holidays.
Can this cake be made ahead of time and go in the fridge overnight? Was wondering how the marshmallow fluff would hold up in the fridge.
This cake looks amazing! I’m thinking of also adding cinnamon to it- any thoughts on amount?
Su Marsh says
Made your hot chocolate cake last week form my colleagues. Was big hit. Thank you.
Vicki Nightingale says
Do you think if I added peppermint extract to the marshmallow fluff would it taste good?