Hot Cocoa Cake

So, birthdays come up…and birthdays are important.  More important than New Year Resolutions am I right?

Well, this cake has no lack for calories and all that other stuff that makes cake taste good…so I’m apologizing in advance for those of you hoping for an end of the month healthy recipe….it ain’t gonna happen.  But soon I will have some better-for-you recipes coming down the pipe– I promise.  #goals…

I must say this one is relatively easy, but if you choose to use two round pans like I did, it may prove challenging to remove from the tins.  I admittedly had to work hard at it, but it made for a prettier picture!  The original recipe calls for a rectangular 9×13 pan, so if you’re used to simple, I would stick with the classic pan.  I just like to make things challenging for myself I guess!

hot-cocoa-cake-3

But anyway, what better cake to have on a  cold February’s day than one that calls for hot cocoa mix!  I even encourage you to have a slice with a piping hot mug of cocoa.  Go on, you can splurge for just today 😉

hot-cocoa-cake-1

You will need:

1 large mixing bowl

1 medium microwaveable mixing bowl

1 whisk or electric handheld mixer

1 wooden spoon

2 rubber scrapers

1 icing spatula

1 9×13″ cake pan or 2  Round 9″ cake pans – sprayed or buttered and floured properly

2 wire cooling racks

*Optional: Cake leveler, cake baking strips, piping bag

Ingredients: 

Cake: 

1 box of chocolate cake mix (fudge, devil’s food, etc.)

1 box of instant chocolate pudding mix

1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 cup of milk or milk substitute ( I used Cashew milk)

2 cups + 2 cups of mini mallows

3/4 cup chocolate chips or chunks

1 packet of hot cocoa powder, such as swiss miss (with or without mini mallows)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4  (+)  Tablespoons brewed dark coffee

Icing: 

4 oz. of cream cheese (half a brick) – I used this kind: greek-cream-cheese

4 oz. of marshmallow creme — (or 2 1/8 cups mini mallows with 1 Tablespoon corn syrup, microwaved for 30 seconds and stirred well)

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

1/8 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 packet of hot cocoa powder separated into two halves  (one half for the icing, the other for dusting the cake)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions: 

Preheat oven 350ºF

Begin by making the cake batter.

Yields:  Two  9″ round cakes

  • In your large mixing bowl, pour in the chocolate pudding mix, along with the milk and the heavy whipping cream.  Beat together with your whisk until smooth and creamy.  You can use an electric mixer, but beat it on low just until the lumps are smoothed out of the pudding.
  •  Add the chocolate cake mix (I used devil’s food!) and mix into the pudding until just combined.
  •  Toss in the remaining ingredients (2 cups of mallows, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla, and coffee)  and stir by hand with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth and brownie-like.  If it’s too thick and unlikely to spread well in the cake pan, add a little more coffee until it thins out a little.
  •  In your very well prepped cake pans (sprayed or buttered and floured), spoon the batter evenly into the two pans.  The batter will only fill the tins half way. This cake will be more brownie than cake-like.
  •  Set both pans side by side on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 35 Minutes.

Use the toothpick test to check for doneness…

While cake is baking, prep the icing. 

  • If you need to make your own marshmallow creme, begin by following the directions above.  Otherwise, Using your medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and the marshmallow cream with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the powdered sugar, whipping cream, half of the cocoa powder, and the vanilla by hand until the icing has the cocoa distributed evenly throughout.
  • If you wish to pipe the icing, prep the appropriate piping bag and tip you wish to use.  I used a simple, small round tip.  Otherwise, set the bowl aside and use an icing spatula to apply the icing to the cakes.
  • Remove cakes from oven and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes on wire cooling racks.  Do not attempt to ice a warm cake.  I repeat — chill the cakes if you’re short on time, but do not ice a hot cake!! It will melt right off and you will cry and have to start over…
  • You can turn your cooled cakes out of their pans with the reverse cooling rack method, or you can leave them in there.  It all depends on how you wish to present them.  I made two separate cakes that were for two separate occasions, so I turned them out and prepared them separately.  If you wish to stack them as a dual layer cake, you can do that, too!  Just be sure to use a cake leveler to scrape the top if it has risen and become rounded.  I used these little miracle cake strips and they remained perfectly flat!  I also did not have any sliced cake shots because they went straight to a party and there was none left to shoot!  It’s a nice problem to have and proof that it was a tasty recipe 🙂
  • After the icing is set – sprinkle with remaining 2 cups of mini mallows and cocoa powder.  Your can get as creative here as you’d like…Hence my crosshatch pattern…

I wish I had tips on icing a cake, but that skill I am still developing myself.  There are a lot of great tutorials out there, but really, unless you’re making this for someone else, you can’t really mess it up.  Especially if the cakes are completely cooled.  Just lather it on there and go to town!

hot-cocoa-cake

Have fun, and enjoy!

PS:  This is the first post that in which I have utilized my new Lowell Ego Lights that I received for Christmas.  Wow what a difference they make!

Here’s a sneak peek into my studio to see how they’re set up!

hot-cocoa-cake-2

-K

 

 


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