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Hot Chocolate Cake

We’re dipping our toes into fall and it’s almost time to start enjoying all your cozy cold weather favorites. One of mine is a super sweet cup of hot chocolate with tons of marshmallows, whipped cream and sprinkles. But, since it’s still a little too warm for hot chocolate, at least here in the Southwest, I thought it’d be fun to make one of my favorite fall treats into a cake. Best idea ever!!!

Giant Hot Chocolate Cake

To make the giant hot chocolate cake you will need:

  • 4 layers chocolate cake (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe Marshmallow Buttercream
  • White Fondant
  • Marshmallows, any shape, size, color
  • Whipped Cream
  • Sugar Sheet Letters
  • Sprinkles

Chocolate Cake Recipe (makes two 8” layers*)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso + ½ cup hot water, mixed
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

You will also need two 8” round cake pans

* This cake has a total of four layers. You can either split your two layers in half or make two batches of the chocolate cake recipe for an extra-large hot chocolate mug!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare cake pans with parchment paper and a little butter.

2. In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. On low speed (with a stand or handheld mixer) slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Once combined, scrape down the mixing bowl to make sure everything was incorporated well.

3. Divide your batter evenly between your two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely before assembling.

To make the marshmallow buttercream you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 7oz jar marshmallow fluff

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or handheld) with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until it’s a light yellow color. Slowly begin to add your powdered sugar. Next, add your marshmallow fluff and mix until well combined. Your buttercream should be a smooth spreadable consistency. Also, make sure to taste test your buttercream, just because you can!
Set aside about ½ cup of buttercream and add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder for the top of your cake.

Assembling The Giant Hot Chocolate Cake

5. First, make sure your cake layers are leveled so you have four even layers. Next, stack and fill your cake layers with your Marshmallow Buttercream, adding about ½ cup to each layer and spreading evenly. Finally, frost your entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream for a crumb coat and stick in the fridge.
Prepare your fondant piece

You’ll need a flexible measuring tape and a rolling pin for this part.

I know I use to be so intimidated by fondant, but this technique is super easy and will look great. After your cake has chilled, take your measuring tape and measure around your cake to get the length of your fondant. Next, measure the height of your cake and add about a ½” for the lip of your mug. My fondant piece was 22 inches by 6 inches just for reference.

Roll out your fondant to about ¼ inch and cut your rectangle piece using your measurements.

Take your leftover fondant and roll into a thick rope and create your handle. I stuck a couple of toothpicks in the ends to help secure it to my cake. Let the handle dry overnight before attaching to your cake.

Finally, to wrap the fondant, spread another thin layer of buttercream on your cake and wrap your fondant piece around the cake. You can either use your hands or a fondant smoothing tool to smooth and secure the fondant.

Top your cake with the chocolate buttercream you set aside earlier. Add your marshmallows, whipped cream and sprinkles to complete your Giant Hot Chocolate Cake. You can have a lot of fun personalizing the hot chocolate cake mug. I used sugar sheet letters to add a fun saying, because who doesn’t like yummy things. You can also break out the paint brushes and decorate the mug with gel food colors to replicate your favorite cup!

Seriously one of the best ways I can imagine kicking off fall!

PS. Hot chocolate in oranges.

(Project recipe, styling, and photography @A Subtle Revelry by Brandi Van Leer.)

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