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
Yield: 8 people
This hot cocoa cake is made with the fudgiest chocolate cake, smothered in chocolate cream cheese frosting and dolloped 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!
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