Cozy Hot Cocoa Layered Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream

Serves 12 Slices (approximately)

Total Time 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • Hot Cocoa Cake
    • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (substitute all-purpose flour)
    • 2 / 3 cup cocoa powder (I typically use Dutch-processed)
    • 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

Preparation

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.

Holiday Oreo and Peppermint Layered Cake with Oreo Buttercream

Serves 12 Slices (Approximately)

Total Time 2+ Hours

Ingredients

  • Vanilla Cake with Oreo Pieces
    • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (substitute all-purpose flour)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 / 4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 / 2 teaspoon salt
    • 3 / 4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 / 2 cup milk, room temperature
    • 1 / 2 cup sour cream, room temperature
    • 12 oreo cookies (standard size)
  • Peppermint Oreo Filling
    • 36 oreos (standard size)
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 1 / 4 teaspoon peppermint extract
    • pinch of salt
  • Oreo Buttercream
    • 12 oreo cookies (standard size)
    • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (soft, but slightly cooler than room temperature)
    • 5 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 / 4 cup heavy cream (substitute with milk)
    • pinch of salt
  • For Decorating (Optional)
    • Mini oreo cookies
    • Candy cane pieces
    • Sprinkles of choice

Preparation

Oreo 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 large mixing bowl, use a mixer to cream 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. Add in vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 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. 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.

Use a sharp knife to chop 12 oreos into smaller pieces. Do not finely crush the oreos. Carefully mix or fold the oreo pieces into your batter until just incorporated.

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.

Peppermint Oreo Filling

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the filling. Add 36 oreos to a high speed blender or food processor. Pulse until the oreos resemble a fine crumb and no large pieces remain. Add in the cream cheese, peppermint extract, a pinch of salt and pulse/blend again until fully incorporated.

In an additional cake pan lined with foil or plastic wrap, spread the oreo filling in an even layer. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the frosting.

Oreo Buttercream

Remove the filling from 12 oreos. Set the filling aside for later use.

Add the 12 oreo cookies to a food processor or high speed blender, and pulse/blend until no large pieces remain and the oreos are fine crumbs. It is important to have fine oreo crumbs to achieve a smooth frosting that will be easier to frost with.

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 in the vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and the reserved oreo cream filling. Stream in half of your heavy cream (or milk). Add in your finely crushed oreos and mix. If the buttercream appears to thick to spread, add in the remaining half of the heavy cream (or milk).

Cake Assembly

Level your cooled cakes with a serrated knife.

To a cake stand or large plate, spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting.

Place one of the cake layers onto the stand. Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting. Remove the oreo filling layer from the refrigerator and carefully take the layer out of the pan. Place this layer on your cake. Lightly press down. Spread another thin layer of buttercream frosting.

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 buttercream frosting. Smooth out the sides as much as possible. This will be your crumb coat. Chill the cake for 15-20 minutes before using the remaining buttercream to completely cover and frost the cake.

Add oreo crumbs to the top of the cake around the top of the cake (as shown in picture). Using remaining buttercream, add to a pastry bag and pipe a design around the top of the cake. Add candy cane pieces and sprinkles 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.

Holiday Sugar Cookie Dough Layered Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Serves 12 Slices (Approximately)

Total Time 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • Holiday Sprinkle Cake
    • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (substitute all-purpose)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 / 4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 / 2 teaspoon salt
    • 3 / 4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 / 2 cup milk, room temperature
    • 1 / 2 cup sour cream, room temperature
    • 1 cup sprinkles of choice
  • Sugar Cookie Dough Filling
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 / 2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 / 3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1 / 4 cup sprinkles of choice
  • Vanilla Buttercream
    • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (soft, but slightly cooler than room temperature)
    • 5 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 / 4 cup heavy cream (substitute with milk)
    • pinch of salt
  • For Decorating
    • sprinkles of choice

Preparation

Holiday Sprinkle 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. Add in vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, 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. 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.

Add in your holiday sprinkles of choice and mix until just combined.

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.

Sugar Cookie Dough Filling

Spread the flour on a baking sheet in an even layer and place in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. This ensures that the raw flour will be safe to consume. Let cool completely before using.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter with the granulated sugar until it is light in color and creamy. Add in vanilla extract and mix again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour and salt. Add to your creamed butter/sugar mixture. Mix to combine.

Pour in milk and stir to combine. Fold in sprinkles of choice.

Line a third 8 – inch cake pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. It should be thick, but as evenly as possible, spread the filling into a layer across the entire pan. Place this in the refrigerator to chill while you wait for the cake layers to cool and while you begin working on the buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream

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 in the vanilla extract and 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).

Cake Assembly

Level your cake layers with a serrated knife.

To a cake stand or large plate, spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting.

Place one of the cake layers onto the stand. Spread a thin layer of buttercream frosting. Remove your sugar cookie dough filling layer from the refrigerator and place on top. Spread another thin layer of buttercream frosting.

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 buttercream frosting. Smooth out the sides as much as possible. This will be your crumb coat. Chill the cake for 15-20 minutes before using the remaining buttercream to completely cover and frost the cake.

Add sprinkles to the top of the cake (as shown in picture). Using remaining buttercream, add to a pastry bag and pipe a design around the top of the cake.

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

Soft Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Holiday Cookies

Serves 11 Large or 22 Regular Sized Cookies

Total Time 1 hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 / 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats (rolled for a chewier texture or quick-oats for a softer texture)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup holiday m&m candies
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar (approximately 3-4 minutes or until creamy). Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add in vanilla extract and mix. Set aside bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Add this dry ingredient mixture to your large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. It should come together as a thick dough. Pour in the m&m candies and dark chocolate chunks and combine.

Cover the dough and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. Do not skip this step. Chilling allows for flavor development and will prevent overspreading while baking.

To make large cookies: use a 1 / 2 cup measuring cup to portion and form dough into 11 large dough portions. To make regular size cookies: use a 1 / 4 cup measuring cup and form 22 dough portions. Place dough onto your parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches in between each cookie.

Bake cookies 9-10 minutes for large sized cookies or 8-9 minutes for regular sized cookies. A lighter colored baking sheet will likely require the longer bake time while a darker colored baking sheet will likely require the shorter bake time. Remove from the oven when the bottoms appear golden brown and the middle appears soft.

Let the cookies cool and completely set up on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.

Store in a closed container for up to three days. Enjoy!