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Hot Cocoa Cake and Icing


Yields 2 9-inch round cakes, 1 half-sheet pan, or 1 large Bundt pan   Winter (and staying in) can feel never-ending, so in my world, I cling to my favorite comfort recipes: everything from the freshest greens I can find to my favorite desserts. Enter this hot cocoa cake recipe.   This entire cake tastes like the bottom of a mug of cocoa. That last perfect sip. A gooey, chocolatey mix that warms up your entire body on even the chilliest winter day.   Of course, like the perfect tie-dye sweatshirt and sweatpants, every cake must have its icing soul mate, so I recommend its perfect complement: rich hot cocoa icing. And if you’re really feeling it, hot cocoa and marshmallow glaze, too (trust me). Match made in heaven, I swear.   You can decorate this cake with mini marshmallows all over (like we do on Baked by Melissa’s version!) or go a little crazy with a Marshmallow Fluff glaze, which is just Fluff, whole milk, and vanilla extract whipped up on low speed. (The amount of milk controls the consistency!)  


Prepare the Hot Cocoa Cake

1. Get prepping! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter your cake pan(s), or, if you’re setting down Gefen Parchment Paper, lightly butter the paper too.
2. Break out your stand or hand mixer with a paddle attachment. On high speed, whip the butter for one minute.
3. Scrape down the mixing bowl with a silicone spatula, then add in the two cups of sugar. Beat the sugar and butter mixture for two minutes on high speed. Repeat your spatula move.
4. Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed; add in vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
5. Before you add in your dry ingredients, scrape down the bowl once more.
6. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, hot cocoa mix, baking powder, and sea salt.
7. With the mixer on low speed, incorporate half of the flour mixture. Once it’s mostly incorporated, slowly pour in half of the milk. Add in the remaining flour mixture and milk and stop the mixer as soon as the batter is smooth. (Overmixing is not your friend!)
8. Pour batter into your cake pan(s). Bake at 350 degres Fahrenheit until the middle of the cake passes the fingerprint test—in other words, a done cake will be springy when you press a finger to the center of the cake. This will be approximately 30 to 35 minutes for a half-sheet pan, 35 to 40 minutes for the round pans, and 60 to 70 minutes for a Bundt pan.
9. Let cool completely.


Layer the round cakes or halves of the half-sheet pan cake atop each other with marshmallow fluff as the filling.

Prepare the Hot Cocoa Icing

As your hot cocoa cake cools, get started on the icing. It takes a lot of willpower for me not to eat the majority of this icing before it even makes it on the cake.

1. Break out the whisk attachment on your stand (or hand) mixer, then whip your room temp butter on high speed for one minute. Add in vanilla until just incorporated.
2. Turn the mixer speed down to low and gradually add in one cup of the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa mix at a time. (If you add it all in one motion, I guarantee a cloud of sugar will fly right into your face!) Scrape the sides of the bowl as you add in these dry ingredients, then add in the salt.
3. Whip the icing on high speed until it’s light and fluffy, about three minutes.

Prepare the Hot Cocoa Glaze

1. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the hot cocoa mix, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until smooth. (Pro-tip: Adding a little more milk to a too-thick glaze will help you reach your desired consistency.)
2. Use within 10 minutes of mixing together. If you’re glazing your cake the next day, cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep the glaze from drying out. Store your glaze at room temperature.

Prepare the Marshmallow Fluff Glaze

1. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the Marshmallow Fluff, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add milk as needed to thin your Marshmallow Fluff glaze to the consistency you prefer. (Working with Fluff usually means you’ll start out with a thicker glaze.)
2. Glaze over your cake immediately. Or, cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep the glaze from drying out and store at room temperature before decorating.


This recipe was originally published on the Baked By Melissa blog.