My Recipe Box

Hot Chocolate Layer Cake with Homemade Marshmallows

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Serves sixteen.

  • To learn more, read:
    Cake Fancy
  • by Rebecca Rather from Fine Cooking
    Issue 102

All the rich flavor of hot chocolate—in cake form. Homemade marshmallows piled on top seal the deal.

For the cake
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
  • 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 4-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
For the frosting
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. (2 cups) natural unsweetened cocoa powder; more for decorating
  • 1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the marshmallows
  • Three 1/4-oz. envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar; more as needed
Make the cake

Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9x2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the butter, oil, chopped chocolate, and 1 cup water. Heat over medium heat until melted.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.

Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.

Make the frosting

In a 4-quart saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, butter, and vanilla bean and seeds and stir until the butter is melted. Remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted. Whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder, syrup, and salt until smooth—be sure the cocoa powder dissolves completely. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan and freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Make the marshmallows

Pour 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment.

Clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. In the saucepan, boil the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water over medium heat without stirring until it reaches 234°F to 235°F, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.

Add the vanilla, carefully increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture has thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl should be just warm to the touch). Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Sift 1 Tbs. of the confectioners’ sugar into the bottom of the pan, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and sift another 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar on top. Let sit at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours.

Assemble the cake

Remove the frosting from the freezer or refrigerator. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to soften. Change to a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with 1-1/2 cups of the frosting, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake’s edge. Repeat with another cake layer and 1-1/2 cups frosting. Top with the last cake layer.

Put 1-1/2 cups of the frosting in a small bowl. With an offset spatula, spread this frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting firms enough to seal in the crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes.

Spread the remaining frosting in a smooth layer over the top and sides of the cake. If necessary, you can rewhip the remaining frosting to loosen and lighten it. Remove the waxed paper strips.

Use the foil overhang to lift the marshmallow from the pan. Using a knife that has been dipped in cold water, cut along the edge of the marshmallow to release it from the foil. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the foil. Put the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the marshmallow into cubes of different sizes, from 1/4 to 3/4 inch (you will need to continue to dip the knife in cold water as you cut the marshmallows). The marshmallows will be very sticky—dip the cut edges in the confectioners’ sugar to make them easier to handle. As you work, toss a few cubes at a time in the sugar to coat, then shake in a strainer to remove the excess. Mound the marshmallows on top of the cake (you’ll need only a third to half of them). Sift some cocoa powder over the marshmallows.

Make Ahead Tips

You can bake, cool, wrap, and store the cake layers at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. You can refrigerate the frosting for up to 3 days. The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours (return to room temperature before serving). Wrapped well, leftover marshmallows keep at room temperature for up to 1 month.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 1080; Fat (g): 47; Fat Calories (kcal): 420; Saturated Fat (g): 23; Protein (g): 14; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17; Carbohydrates (g): 161; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg): 350; Cholesterol (mg): 130; Fiber (g): 8;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Fantastic. A chocolate lover's delight.

This review is for the cake only. I made this as cupcakes and it was so moist and flavorful that i had to make it again, and I got perfect results again. It's a big recipe and makes more than 2 dozen cupcakes. It's now my go-to chocolate cake recipe. Tips: the melted chocolate and oil always looks horrible for me - not really combined at all. Makes no difference to the final cake - I just use it anyway and have gotten perfect results. So don't despair if it doesn't look smooth and blended.

I have made this cake twice in a month--first time for a special New Year's party, 2nd time for a Superbowl party. It is so chocolatey good and rich, def. a keeper. Labor intensive to make all 3 recipes; set aside a few hours. I made the cake the day before and wrapped at room temp.-fine. Best to plan overnight fridge for the frosting (this recipe makes a great amt. of frosting, enough to thickly frost the cake). Made the marshmallows 1x, ziplocked them, plenty for 2nd cake. If you like a challenge, this cake is worth it.

I love baking and first tried this recipe last year when I received my magazine. I made it for work and it was a hit! Last year it was a little intimidating but when I made it this year, it was a breeze. Be very careful when baking the cake as it bakes quickly. I made the marshmallows two days ahead of time and used a pizza cutter to cut them into squares. I made the cake and the frosting the day before. I assembled the cake in the morning before leaving for work. Everyone was happy to see the cake again and all state it is the best chocolate cake they have every had! The marshmallows are a hit on their own too! (I love using Guittard chocolate!)

This was a wonderful dense chocolate cake. I made it in a span of a day and half and it was a lot of work. Despite that it was worth the effort because everyone loved it. Some said it was very rich. I highly suggest sifting the cocoa in the frosting since lumps did show up, but no one even noticed. As for putting the frosting in the freezer, i didn't do that. what i did was place it in the fridge overnight. I also doubt i will place it in a 9 by 13 pan since it got cold overnight. Next time i will just live it my mixing bowl and whip it before I frost the cake. Once it whipped it in my stand mixer it came out very fluffy. I don't think I will make the whole marshmallow recipe as it made a lot. I might not even use marshmallows next time. this cake is wonderful without them. so for anyone thinking of making this cake remember to make it in steps, not all at once, make half the recipe for the mallows and sift the cocoa for the frosting and you don't have to freeze the frosting, just make sure it's well chilled and whipped before you frost the cake. I hope to make this cake again soon.

What a showstopper. This cake is worth making just for the reaction from your audience. An excellent recipe that isn't as daunting as it seems if you break it down over a few days. Hear more about this cake including pictures here http://gustatorydelight.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/if-it-tastes-half-as-good-as-it-looks/

This cake is delicious and makes for a very impressive presentation. It's beautiful to look at, and it's perfect at a party because a very thin slice is more than enough to satisfy even the most voracious chocoholic. After making this a couple times now I have a few tips: Make the frosting the night before and just freeze it overnight. Pull it out when you start the cake and by the time it's ready to frost the frosting will be soft enough to whip and spread. The marshmallows need to be made in a cool room. If your oven really heats up your kitchen, you need to crank the A/C because if the room is warm the marshmallows won't set up correctly and you'll end up with a gooey (delicious) mess. Also, other reviewers suggested using parchment paper to line the marshmallow pan instead of (or in addition to) the foil and using a pizza cutter to cut them. Both tips make things MUCH easier. I'm not much of a chocolate cake fan, but this recipe is a keeper.

We skip making the marshmallows and add raspberry puree between layers. We garnish it with shaved chocolate and fresh raspberries. It is so moist and delicous! We have made it for 3 family events and birthdays, and has become a favorite. We even make extra icing to eat by the spoonful.

I made this for a New Year's Eve party and it was the BEST chocolate cake ever. I bake a lot and have tried many chocolate cake recipes. This was outstanding...and the marshmellows were amazing. I used the best ingredients and it was as beautiful as the picture. The taste is incredibly rich and delicious so just a small piece is more than satisfying. Make this cake and you will NOT be disappointed.

Made this for a Christmas party. Huge hit! Especially, the homemade marshmallows. No the texture is not like many layer cakes. But cakes come in many textures and this one has it's own character. I came close to burning up my hand-me-down Kitchenaid mixer though! When the frosting has set up it is very stiff. It is very rich, slice it thin. I will certainly make this one again.

It's ok. Not as good as it looks its going to be but ok. Very much like a brownie in texture and taste. I like brownies but if I'm making a cake I'd rather it be more of a cake and less like a brownie.

Best chocolate cake and the real surprise is the homemade marshmallows! Never made them before now, and never thought about making my own marshmallows. But worth the work, which isn't bad once you dive-in to the recipe! They are amazing delicate soft puffs of sugar. Fancy and a 'go to' chocolate cake recipe definitely.

This cake was a huge hit with family and friends. The cake was moist, rich and chocolaty. The frosting was creamy and not too sweet and the homemade marshmallows were fantastic. It took 2 days to complete this cake but the result was worth the effort.

This cake was remarkable. Super moist,rich and tasty. The texture of the cake is like a moist brownie but mine was not dense or dried out at all. The frosting was very creamy and rich. Nothing beats homemade marshmallows. They are vastly superior to the store-bought marshmallows. There is quite a bit of work involved but I spaced it out over a couple of days. Its not a cake you can just make on a whim. You need a bit of planning. Everyone enjoyed it with a few saying its the best chocolate cake they ever had. A couple of friends said it was a bit too rich and sweet for their taste but still said they could taste the high quality of the ingredients in the cake. Its important to use high quality chocolate and cocoa. That makes a big difference. I used Callebaut bittersweet 51% chocolate and Penzey's high fat natural cocoa. The folks complaining about the cake being dried out or not tasting good I assume baked it too long or their oven is not calibrated properly. Also, if you use basic store bought chocolate and cocoa (i.e Hersheys,Nestle or Bakers), that could contribute to an only average cake. High quality ingredients makes a world of difference in baking or even cooking for that matter. Overall, this is a great cake and is worth the extra work and planning involved.

This cake was remarkable. Super moist,rich and tasty. The texture of the cake is like a moist brownie but mine was not dense or dried out at all. The frosting was very creamy and rich. Nothing beats homemade marshmallows. They are vastly superior to the store-bought marshmallows. There is quite a bit of work involved but I spaced it out over a couple of days. Its not a cake you can just make on a whim. You need a bit of planning. Everyone enjoyed it with a few saying its the best chocolate cake they ever had. A couple of friends said it was a bit too rich and sweet for their taste but still said they could taste the high quality of the ingredients in the cake. Its important to use high quality chocolate and cocoa. That makes a big difference. I used Callebaut bittersweet 51% chocolate and Penzey's high fat natural cocoa. The folks complaining about the cake being dried out or not tasting good I assume baked it too long or their oven is not calibrated properly. Also, if you use basic store bought chocolate and cocoa (i.e Hersheys,Nestle or Bakers), that could contribute to an only average cake. Overall, this is a great cake and is worth the extra work and planning involved.

Great cake, but please watch the cooking time. I agree with the reviewer who said 25 minutes. I baked it 30 and it came out too dry. Thank goodness the frosting saved the cake. The marshmallows were a lot of work, but everyone enjoyed them.

I made this cake for my husbands birthday. It was a hit. A ton of work (I did it over two days) but worth it in the end. The frosting was to die for. I too had some problems getting all the cocoa to dissolve, so the final frosting was a bit grainy, but you could barely tell, and who cares when it tastes as good as it does. The marshmallows were a lot of work, I agree with a previous post about foil being VERY difficult to pull off. And that a pizza cutter is the way to go when cutting the marshmallows up, but they are what makes the cake so special. It'll only come on for very special occasions but I have a feeling this is going to become a famliy treasure.

Like many of the other reviewers, I skipped the frosting and marshmallows included in the recipe for this cake. I used a cream cheese frosting and it was delicious. The cake was easy to make and it was extremely moist. It does seem more like a brownie as the batter is coming together, but it's definitely a cake after baking. I will be making this again. Yummy!

I am always looking for a good/different chocolate cake. I worked as a pastry chef for many years, so I am always intrigued by names like "hot chocolate layer cake". The method was certainly interesting. I made just the cake for a family birthday and made my own filling and icing. I found the cake to be not very chocolaty, with an oily taste to it. It got very crisp around the edges, which I trimmed off. It was also rather heavy, not sure if you would call it fudgy. That being said, the family really liked it, but I don't think I would make this recipe again. It just did not live up to the description. The filling recipe in the magazine seemed like it would be good, but very expensive, with lots of bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream. Maybe that would have masked the flavorless cake.

This tasted like a brownie, but puffier. Brownies are great, but they aren't substitutes for cakes in many applications. The "hot chocolate" part of this strikes me as more of a creative naming whimsy, rather than a critical technique. I expect my own brownie recipe would turn out just like this cake if I increased the baking powder and added a cup of water.

Very important note: It seems Fine Cooking left out the 1 cup of water included in the original published version. The water is included with the melted chocolate mixture. For the Review: I’ve made this cake about 5 times now, and it is now my favorite chocolate cake to bake, not to mention the easiest! I’m talking about just the cake here, not the frosting or the marshmallows. Paired with the chocolate icing given in the article, it’s just too rich, so instead I use a simple vanilla buttercream or whipped cream (you can even bake this as a bundt cake and just sift some powdered sugar on top). I am a pastry chef/pro baker for a respected tea house and our customers love this cake. After the second time I baked it, I did make a few changes: 1) I used bleached flour instead of unbleached (sorry, but as a pro baker I’m just not a fan of using unbleached flours in cakes. I think the texture suffers, as the cake ends up more dense than it should be). 2) I added the coco powder to the melted/heated ingredients, which bloomed the powder and brought out more depth in the cake; and 3) I added more salt (1/2 tsp table salt with is about 1 tsp kosher salt); the cake needs the extra salt to balance the rich flavors. After switching to bleached flour, the layers rose a bit higher, the texture was lighter, and the crumb was tighter as well (very desirable in a layer cake). It also didn’t have this strange greasy feeling after sitting for a day in the fridge, and it was perfectly moist and delicious up to 5 days after baking and assembling (and cutting slices from it). Since I live in a high altitude area with a dry climate, I did have to make some adjustments to leavening and liquid ingredients (Keep that in mind for all of you living in places like Denver, CO. You can’t just bake a cake you see in a magazine without making changes to it.) I’m very experienced with this however, so didn’t have any problems with the cake coming out as desired (i.e. perfect). You can change up the flavor profile of this cake by adding additional extracts. I’ve made chocolate/pepperment and chocolate/almond combinations to rave reviews. This is a wonderful cake paired with any type of buttercream, or just whipped cream, or just powdered sugar, and it will now be my go to chocolate cake recipe.

I’ve made this cake about 5 times now, and it is now my favorite chocolate cake to bake, not to mention the easiest! I’m talking about just the cake here, not the frosting or the marshmallows. Paired with the chocolate icing given in the article, it’s just too rich, so instead I use a simple vanilla buttercream or whipped cream (you can even bake this as a bundt cake and just sift some powdered sugar on top). I am a pastry chef/pro baker for a respected tea house and our customers love this cake. After the second time I baked it, I did make a few changes: 1) I used bleached flour instead of unbleached (sorry, but as a pro baker I’m just not a fan of using unbleached flours in cakes. I think the texture suffers, as the cake ends up more dense than it should be). 2) I added the coco powder to the melted/heated ingredients, which bloomed the powder and brought out more depth in the cake; and 3) I added more salt (1/2 tsp table salt with is about 1 tsp kosher salt); the cake needs the extra salt to balance the rich flavors. After switching to bleached flour, the layers rose a bit higher, the texture was lighter, and the crumb was tighter as well (very desirable in a layer cake). It also didn’t have this strange greasy feeling after sitting for a day in the fridge, and it was perfectly moist and delicious up to 5 days after baking and assembling (and cutting slices from it). Since I live in a high altitude area with a dry climate, I did have to make some adjustments to leavening and liquid ingredients (Keep that in mind for all of you living in places like Denver, CO. You can’t just bake a cake you see in a magazine without making changes to it.) I’m very experienced with this however, so didn’t have any problems with the cake coming out as desired (i.e. perfect). You can change up the flavor profile of this cake by adding additional extracts. I’ve made chocolate/pepperment and chocolate/almond combinations to rave reviews. This is a wonderful cake paired with any type of buttercream, or just whipped cream, or just powdered sugar, and it will now be my go to chocolate cake recipe.

I’ve made this cake about 5 times now, and it is now my favorite chocolate cake to bake, not to mention the easiest! I’m talking about just the cake here, not the frosting or the marshmallows. Paired with the chocolate icing given in the article, it’s just too rich, so instead I use a simple vanilla buttercream or whipped cream (you can even bake this as a bundt cake and just sift some powdered sugar on top). I am a pastry chef/pro baker for a respected tea house and our customers love this cake. After the second time I baked it, I did make a few changes: 1) I used bleached flour instead of unbleached (sorry, but as a pro baker I’m just not a fan of using unbleached flours in cakes. I think the texture suffers, as the cake ends up more dense than it should be). 2) I added the coco powder to the melted/heated ingredients, which bloomed the powder and brought out more depth in the cake; and 3) I added more salt (1/2 tsp table salt with is about 1 tsp kosher salt); the cake needs the extra salt to balance the rich flavors. After switching to bleached flour, the layers rose a bit higher, the texture was lighter, and the crumb was tighter as well (very desirable in a layer cake). It also didn’t have this strange greasy feeling after sitting for a day in the fridge, and it was perfectly moist and delicious up to 5 days after baking and assembling (and cutting slices from it). Since I live in a high altitude area with a dry climate, I did have to make some adjustments to leavening and liquid ingredients (Keep that in mind for all of you living in places like Denver, CO. You can’t just bake a cake you see in a magazine without making changes to it.) I’m very experienced with this however, so didn’t have any problems with the cake coming out as desired (i.e. perfect). You can change up the flavor profile of this cake by adding additional extracts. I’ve made chocolate/pepperment and chocolate/almond combinations to rave reviews. This is a wonderful cake paired with any type of buttercream, or just whipped cream, or just powdered sugar, and it will now be my go to chocolate cake recipe.

WOW! Extremely rich and chocolatey, and wonderfully moist. Rich enough that most people couldn't finish a piece after a big dinner and some people found it *too* rich. I'm going to try and make a half size recipe next time, in a 9x13 pan. I followed the marshmallow recipe so carefully I didn't stir the ingredients at all and ended up with the bottom slightly burnt. *** In making this a second time I realized I made it with UNsweetened chocolate rather than bittersweet. That's a mistake I'll be repeating, it's very good this way. However, half the cake recipe in a 9x13 was fairly thin, while 1/3rd the icing on top was about the same thickness. Next time I'll do a full cake recipe in a 9x13 with 1/3rd the icing recipe on top. Easier to cut in small pieces and less rich with less icing.

My daughter and neices tried to make this cake for Thanksgiving and it was a disaster. The cake didn't taste very good and the marshmellows turned out gelantnous. I might give this another try because the picture looks so good, but I'm afraid it looks better than it tastes.

I think the recipe is superb. The calory counter delight! A lot of calories per slice but I think the cake can be cut in 24 to 28 slices unless there are alot of cowboys in the region. The marshmallow recipe was superb since where I live you have to make them yourself, if your lucky to have someone who can send or bring you corn syrup. The only thing that I would do the next time round is spread the marshmallow batter on baking paper rather than on aluminum foil as it peels off better.

I have made a lot of chocolate cakes because it is my favorite dessert. This is the best I've tasted. It is a lot of work but worth it for a special occasion. YUM

I consider myself a really good cook and found this recipe very difficult to follow and extremely time consuming! I decided I would rather cook for 50 people than make this cake again... The frosting was very good (but took way to much time) and the marshmallows were great but the cake was very dry and extremely dense. It looked beautiful but it took me hours to make and I would never make it again!

Made this for New Year's Eve party. Presentation was great! Cake was fabulous but very rich, most guests can only eat a small portion. The Marshmallows were very easy and I will definetly make those again. We live in a warm climate and the frosting started to slide after a few hours even though everything had ample time to cool and frosting was cold. I was able to find Lyle's Golden syrup at Fresh Market and used Valhrona cocoa powder. Yummy!

I made this for our chirstmas day family dinner... unbelievable.... I have never see everyone have dessert before. The only difficulty I had was cutting the marshmellows as they were so sticky. They ended up being larger then the ones in the photos but still tasted good and fit the purpose. I also sifted my coco into the icing mixture which may have helped reduce the lumps.

All of the reviews are dead on. This is hands-down the best chocolate cake I've ever baked. The layers have all of the best qualities a great cake can offer: moist, dense, and deep chocolate flavor. My only problem was with the frosting. I couldn't get the cocoa powder to completely dissolve so it was a little bit lumpy but still tasted awesome. I followed the reviewer about the Alton Brown marshmallow recipe and made those -- only exception is I added the scrapings from a vanilla bean. I made them two days in advance and they were awesome. And using a pizza cutter to cut them was definitely the way to go. Incredible.

This is the first dessert that I've made that guests photographed! The cake paparazzi loved it. This cake is over the top, so beautiful and soooo chocolate. Definitely worth the effort.

This cake was delicious but really really rich. The chocoholics at the party loved it, but others found it almost too intense. I think you could actually feed 20+ with this cake if you cut the pieces to a size where people could actually finish a slice. Overall lovely and well received...and I probably won't make it again.

This cake was delicious but too rich. I made it for my birthday and not one of my friends was able to finish a piece. (This might have to do with the fact that I couldn't find golden syrup so substituted half honey and half light corn syrup in the frosting.) I would recommend swapping the cake recipe for something a little less rich. Also, the baking instructions for the cake (trading the pans around halfways through?! Bad form!) made the cakes fall, and I was none too happy about that. However, the presentation is stunning and the homemade marshmallows are out of this world. Overall I'd use the frosting recipe and marshmallow recipe again, and definitely do the assembly again - it's gorgeous!

INCREDIBLE CHOCOLATE CAKE! Probably the most moist, flavorful chocolate cake I've ever eaten. Was equally good a few days later. Used Valrhona baking disks for both the cake and icing and I think it was the perfect choice. Tried this marshmallow recipe with brown rice syrup (didn't have light corn syrup) and they never quite set and were too sticky and flat. Made the marshmallows the usual way but with Alton Brown's recipe and they complimented the cake in the most decadent way. I highly recommend this recipe.

Fabulous. WARNING: cooking time is way too much (using convection). Made this twice (yes, it's THAT good) and checked it first after 27 minutes and it was just a little overdone. 25 minutes proved perfect second time around. They are 3 little cakes after all. Marshmallows were a first for me but fun!

My fiance and I baked the cake, prepared the frosting, and made the marshmallows on Saturday and then assembled the cake on Sunday a few hours before a gathering with friends. It was great fun and the cake turned out marvelously! The recipients were star struck and proclaimed it to be a masterpiece. We had been wanting to make homemade marshmallows for some time and this recipe provided the perfect excuse to do so. Agreeing with a previous reviewier, the instructions for the marshmallows were a tad confusing by not specifying that one should add only the granulated sugar to the pan and leave the confectioners sugar simply for coating the marshmallows once set. However, overall, it was a pure pleasure to make and the cake was quite exquisite both in taste and appearance. It is more of a dense, fudgey crumb and with the addition of the frosting and marshmallows, the final product is abundantly decadent and rich. So, just be prepared for quite an indulgence!

Made this cake and top up with chocolate shavings as a substitute to Marshmallows. The cake was moist and delicious. Will be making it again!

Made this cake and top up with chocolate shavings as a substitute to Marshmallows. The cake was moist and delicious. Will be making it again!

I liked the ganache frosting very much. It was easy to make and to work with. I didn't even follow the recipe, just threw everything except the cocoa into the pot, cooked to melt the butter and the chocolate, then added the cocoa and refrigerated overnight. Whipped like a dream, had great texture in the fridge and held up at room temp. The flavor was ok, but I used Hershey's cocoa. I will try another brand next time to see if there is an improvement. With flavor tweaking this will become my go-to chocolate frosting. The cake was easy to make, but I felt that it was somewhat dry. It had good flavor but I did not like the crumb. Those marshmallows, though - they were fabulous! Definitely my favorite part of the recipe. This was my first time making marshmallows and they came out perfectly. Yes, homemade are much better than store-bought! One thing that I would have appreciated in the directions was a description of what the marshmallow should have looked like after beating but before setting - the description "like pourable marshmallow fluff" might have been helpful. I won't make this cake again but I will be re-making the frosting and the marshmallows.

This is the chocolate cake and frosting recipe that I will use from now on. It was rich and moist. I think the marshmallows were very good, but the recipe was a bit confusing - the ingredients indicate you need 1 c confectioner's sugar, but then the confectioner's sugar isn't mentioned in the recipe until the "assemble the cake" section. The entire recipe also took a very long time with the addition of the homemade marshmallows. Next time, I will make the marshmallows a few days in advance.

Great moist choc flavor. Especially enjoyed the icing. Homemade marshmallows a pain to make but are much better tasting than store bought. I will definitely make this cake again.

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