This Hot Chocolate Cake is a moist chocolate cake with hot chocolate buttercream frosting and marshmallow filling! The combination is wonderfully decadent and addicting!
Looking for more chocolate cake recipes? I love this easy chocolate cake recipe.
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE
So this Hot Chocolate Cake has been on my mind for some time. It was on my calendar for the holidays and just kept getting bumped back until I finally got around to it after the holidays passed. Hot chocolate just feels very holiday-y to me, but it’s obviously perfect for any cold weather.
And I’m a big hot chocolate fan. Have you ever tried it with Baileys in it? It’s amazing. And the more marshmallows the better. As I was saying to the twins yesterday (and getting some fabulous laughs with), “mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm”. If only you could actually hear me say that. It’s apparently hilarious. 🙂
HOW TO MAKE A HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE
As for the approach to this making this cake, I went back and forth a bit. I initially started out making the cake using some hot chocolate in the actual cake. Since hot chocolate isn’t going to be strong enough on it’s own to give a cake a full on chocolate flavor, the cake has to use both cocoa powder and hot chocolate. Otherwise you’d have a vanilla cake with a smidge of chocolate flavor. Not what we want.
BUT. If we are going to go through the trouble of using hot chocolate (and waste a perfectly good packet of it), then you should taste it, you know? And I simply couldn’t use enough hot chocolate to even start to taste the hot chocolate over the flavor of the cocoa. So I decided to roll with my favorite Moist Chocolate Cake and then use hot chocolate for the buttercream frosting.
Best. Idea. Ever.
Not only is the chocolate make amazing (if you haven’t tried it yet, you have to), but the frosting is SO good! It’s made with four whole packets of hot chocolate (assuming you use the individual packets for a cup of hot chocolate), but it’s dissolved in a small amount of milk, so you get loads of hot chocolate flavor without thinning out your buttercream. Sweet!
HOW TO MAKE FLUFFY MARSHMALLOW FROSTING
The only thing that could make this cake better is a wonderful marshmallow filling. I used a marshmallow frosting made with just three ingredients – butter, powdered sugar and marshmallow cream. And since more marshmallows are better, I used almost a full container and a half of cream. I also made sure that this cake had three layers of filling. Not one, not two, but three. MORE MARSHMALLOW! Get in my belly!
The trick with this cake is layering everything. The marshmallow filling is on the softer side when at room temperature, so you will want to refrigerate the cake for about an hour after you torte and fill it – prior to frosting the full cake and decorating it. You might be able to get by without that step, but you’ll have to be really careful, since the layers slip around a bit. So do yourself a favor, and refrigerate it – it’ll be much easier to work with and it won’t budge again.
Once the cake is frosted, I added a white chocolate drip and a ring of marshmallows on top. I was torn between a white chocolate and regular chocolate drip. Both would have been so fun. But ultimately, since hot chocolate is covered with white marshmallows, I went white. Such a fun look and the hubs quite enjoyed stealing my marshmallows while I decorated.
To help give yourself full coverage with the marshmallows, it’s helpful to have both mini marshmallows and marshmallow bits, which can fill in gaps and small spaces really well. It also gives a little size variety, which looks a little more interesting.
THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE
The final result of this Hot Chocolate Cake is one amazing dessert! The combination of moist chocolate cake, smooth hot chocolate frosting and fluffy marshmallow filling is to die for. My mom about died over it herself when she tasted it and I tried to give it away as fast as possibly so that I didn’t hoard it all to myself. SO yummy and such a fun cake!
Hot Chocolate Cake
- Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 12-14 slices
- Category: Cake
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
This Hot Chocolate Cake is a moist chocolate cake, hot chocolate buttercream frosting and marshmallow filling! The combination is wonderfully decadent and addicting!
2 cups (260g) flour
2 cups (414g) sugar
3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (240ml) milk
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup (240ml) hot water
Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
4 tbsp (60ml) hot water/milk
2.92 oz hot chocolate powder mix*
1 1/2 cups (336g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup (237g) shortening
10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
2 tbsp (14g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1–2 tbsp water or milk
1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (115g) powdered sugar
10 oz marshmallow creme
White chocolate Ganache
6 oz (1 cup) white chocolate chips
3 tbsp (45ml) heavy whipping cream
Vanilla Buttercream, optional
1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (230g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1–2 tbsp water/milk
1. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans (see note below) with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. To make the chocolate cake, add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
4. Add the hot water and mix until well combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
7. To make the hot chocolate frosting, dissolve the hot chocolate powder into the hot water or milk. It’ll be fairly thick. Set aside.
8. Add the butter and shortening to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
10. Add the hot chocolate mixture and cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth.
11. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
12. Add additional water or milk as needed to get the right consistency.
13. To make the marshmallow filling, add the butter to a mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
14. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth. It’ll take a bit for it all to fully incorporate, so scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and keep mixing.
15. Stir in the marshmallow cream. Set filling aside.
16. When you are ready to build the cake, remove cake domes from top with a large serrated knife, if needed. Divide each cake into two layers, so you have four total layers.
17. Place the first layer of cake on cake plate or cardboard cake circle. Add half a cup of hot chocolate frosting and spread into an even layer.
18. Pipe a dam around the outer edge of the cake, then fill it with about 3/4 cup of marshmallow filling. Spread into an even layer.
19. Place the second layer of cake on top and add another layer of hot chocolate frosting and marshmallow filling.
20. Repeat with the third layer of cake and filling, then top the cake with the final layer.
21. Spread a light crumb coat around the sides of the cake, then refrigerate for about an hour to let the filling firm up a bit. The layers will slip around a bit if you skip this step.
22. After refrigerating, frost the outside of the cake. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake with buttercream.
23. To make the white chocolate ganache, add the white chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl. Heat the cream just until it begins to boil, then pour over the white chocolate.
24. Whisk the chocolate mixture so that it begins to melt. Heat for another 10 seconds and whisk to continue melting. If needed heat another 10 seconds.
25. Drizzle the white chocolate around the top edge of the cake. I like to use a squeeze bottle, but you can also use a spoon or any other method.
26. Fill in the top of the cake with the ganache and spread evenly.
27. To create the ring of marshmallows, make the vanilla buttercream. Add the butter to a mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
28. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
29. Add a tablespoon of water or milk and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
30. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add additional water or milk, if needed for the right consistency.
31. Pipe a ring of the vanilla buttercream around the top edge of the cake, then add mini marshmallows and marshmallow bits.
32. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best served after letting it sit out for a few hours to come closer to room temperature. Cake is best when stored well covered for 2-3 days.
1. For the hot chocolate powder mix, I used four 0.73 individual packets of hot chocolate powder. If you have one large container of hot chocolate powder, it would be about 20 tablespoons.
2. These two cakes are fairly tall once baked, so they will completely fill an 8×2 inch cake pan. If you have 8×3 inch pans, those would be ideal.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 1022
- Sugar: 113.9 g
- Sodium: 373.9 mg
- Fat: 56.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 131.2 g
- Protein: 6.5 g
- Cholesterol: 82.2 mg
Keywords: hot chocolate cake, easy chocolate cake, marshmallow frosting, hot chocolate dessert, best chocolate dessert ideas
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This recipe calls for milk in the cake mix but in the link you provide in paragraph form to your favorite “moist chocolate cake” it says to use buttermilk. Can I use the buttermilk? I bet that’s better.
You can use either
This looks amazing, thanks so much for sharing! I cannot wait to try it out. I was wondering where you found the marshmallow bits?
I think I usually find them near the hot chocolate mixes.
Hello! I was wondering if you have ever split this into 6 in pans instead of 8 in? And if so, how many and how long would you bake for? Thank you!! So excited to try it.
I haven’t ever done it in 6 inch pans so I’m not sure. Sorry!
Did you ever test the 6in pans? Thats what I’d prefer to do for my son’s Lego head cake on Sat.
My daughter wants to make this as our Christmas dessert this year. It looks so delicious. But I have a question, does it really take 10 cups of powdered sugar? 10 seems like so much. I have only made frosting twice in my life so I don’t have much experience with it. Thanks
Yes, 10 cups is correct. It makes a fair amount of frosting. It is a standard decorators type of buttercream. I prefer that consistency of frosting for frosting my cakes and I use a good bit of frosting. You could certainly reduce the overall amount of frosting if you wanted. To read more about frosting consistency and adjusting it, check out this post. https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/get-right-frosting-consistency/
I made this last Christmas but the kids want this as cupcakes this year has any one made filled cupcakes with this if so did you adjust the cooking time or the amount of hot chocolate buttercream
It’s hard for me to say exact amounts. The cake batter would make about 24 cupcakes so you could cut it in half if you wanted to.
I love this recipe so much! I have been waiting to try it out and I finally did. The hot cocoa buttercream is my favorite part! I love how it turned out (though my ganache drip could use some work! Lol)
I’m so glad to hear you got to try it and enjoyed it!
my batter is really runny is that normal
Yes! Totally normal.
Can you substitute butter for the shortening?
Yep, you certainly can.
I’m going to make this today for my son/daughter/hisband’s Birthdays (1 born on the 7th the other 2 on the 8th of March!). About how tall is the finished cake? I’m wondering if it will fit under my cake dome. So excited to give it a try!
I’d say it’s about 3 1/2 inches tall or so.
I made this cake for my husbands birthday exactly like the recipe minus the marshmallow on top, decorated instead, he’s not one to eat marshmallows. Anyway, he really like the cake but he loves anything sweet. Most of us found it a bit too sweet and unusually texture for the cake. AGAIN, it was liked by all, it was very pretty lots of compliments, thank you Lindsey!
What was unusual about the cake texture? I’m making a birthday cake and would love to know before I get started 🙂
This cake looks amazing, Lindsay! So pretty and moist and decadent 🙂 Can’t wait to give it a go.
what type of shortening do you use?
I use crisco.