Cozy Hot Cocoa Layered Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream

Serves 12 Slices (approximately)

Total Time 2 Hours


  • Hot Cocoa Cake
    • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (substitute all-purpose flour)
    • 2 / 3 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 / 3 cup hot cocoa mix, no marshmallows
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 / 4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 / 4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 / 2 cup milk, room temperature
    • 1 / 2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • Buttercream (Marshmallow and Hot Cocoa)
    • 2 cups unsalted butter (soft, but slightly cooler than room temperature)
    • 6 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 / 4 cup heavy cream (substitute with milk)
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 cup marshmallow creme (marshmallow fluff)
    • 1 / 4 cup hot cocoa mix, no marshmallows
  • For Decorating (optional)
    • mini chocolate chips
    • sprinkles of choice


Hot Cocoa Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trace and cut out parchment paper to line the bottoms of two 8 – inch cake pans. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, cream your butter for 2 minutes until light in color and fluffy. Add granulated sugar and mix for approximately 3-4 minutes or until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, hot cocoa mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Whisk together your milk and sour cream. I typically whisk this mixture together in a liquid measuring cup so it is easier to pour in the following steps.

Starting with your dry ingredient mixture, begin alternating additions of dry ingredients and the milk mixture to the large mixing bowl or stand mixer. You should begin by adding 1/3 of your dry ingredient mixture and follow by adding 1/2 of your milk mixture. Repeat these additions, mixing after each until just incorporated. Avoid over mixing as this can cause a dry cake.

Divide the cake batter equally between each of your cake pans. Place in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes (a dark cake pan will requirer the shorter cook time while a lighter colored cake pan will require the longer cook time) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the cake pans and place on a wire rack to let cool completely.

Buttercream (Marshmallow and Hot Cocoa)

In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, beat butter for approximately 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually begin adding in the powdered sugar and continue mixing. Add a pinch of salt. Stream in half of your heavy cream (or milk). If the buttercream appears to thick to spread, add in the remaining half of the heavy cream (or milk). You will use this buttercream as the base recipe for the following steps.

Divide the buttercream into two separate bowls, one bowl with 1/3 of your frosting and the other bowl with the remaining 2/3 of frosting.

To the bowl with 1/3 of your frosting, add in 1 cup of marshmallow creme. Stir to combine completely, or use the mixer to incorporate. This marshmallow buttercream will be used to fill the middle layer of your cake and for decorating the top of the cake.

To the bowl with 2/3 of your frosting, add in 1/4 cup (or approximately 1 standard size packet) of hot cocoa mix, no marshmallows. Stir to combine completely. If the buttercream is too thick to spread, stream in an additional tablespoon of heavy cream or milk.

Cake Assembly

Level your cakes with a serrated knife to create flat, even layers that will be easy to stack.

To a cake stand or large plate, spread a thin layer of the hot cocoa buttercream. This will help keep the cake in place while you frost and decorate it.

Place one of the cake layers onto the stand. Spread a 1/2 inch thick layer of marshmallow buttercream evenly across the cake.

Place your other cake layer on top, flipping this cake layer upside down so that the top of your cake has a flat bottom. Press down gently.

Cover the entire cake with a layer of the hot cocoa buttercream. Smooth out the sides as much as possible. This will be your crumb coat. Chill the cake for 10-15 minutes before using the remaining buttercream to completely cover and frost the cake.

Add remaining marshmallow buttercream to a pastry bag and pipe designs around the top of the cake. Add mini chocolate chips and sprinkles to decorate with as desired.

This cake will serve approximately twelve people and is best enjoyed the day it is made. Store in an airtight container if leftovers remain.

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