Six Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow Cake

06-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow CakeThis cake.  Ooooh, this cake.  It’s good, y’all.  It’s one of those cakes that no matter how many other cakes you ever taste, you’ll never forget this one.  As far as chocolate cakes go, I dare say this one should go down in history as THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER.  Malted chocolate (thanks to a not-so-secret ingredient – Ovaltine!) and torched marshmallow frosting in between layers of super moist, intense chocolate cake – O-M-G.  It’s a big ordeal,  making this cake.  Lots of time (and LOTS of butter) go in to making this dream come true, but it’s worth it.6-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow Cake

Save this recipe, even if just for the cake part because I would bet that it beats every other cake recipe (or box mix) that you’ve ever made.  I think the secret is the piping hot coffee that is blended as part of the wet ingredients.  Just like boiling water is a crucial part of my favorite gingerbread recipe, I think the very hot liquid helps keep the end result super moist.  And the coffee itself helps intensify the chocolate flavor.  You won’t taste coffee though, so don’t worry if you don’t like that sorta thing.

6-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow CakeFor New Years Eve, we had some friends over and I wanted to make a chocolate cake for dessert and I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest and knew I had found the recipe fit for the occasion.  I wasn’t wrong.  Everyone who had this cake really liked it.  It’s such a crowd pleaser and so pretty, I would have had it for my wedding cake if I had known about it then.

56-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow CakeTorch those suckers!  Or just broil them in the oven if you don’t have a blow torch, that works just fine.  But I like to get them nice and brown, crunchy even, so that you really taste the campfire marshmallow-y goodness.  That’s a personal preference though, you can lightly brown yours if you’d like.66-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow Cake6-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow CakeHigh quality chocolate is what I used and would recommend here.  I used dark chocolate (72% I think, Ghirardelli) because it gets lightened up with heavy whipping cream and malt powder, so using milk chocolate might make it too rich.6-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow CakeI chose to keep the cake naked rather than icing the outside because I like the look of it so much better and also icing a big layer cake is a little tricky and I’m not a professional, so doing it this way looks more rustic and is totally forgiving.  Double up on the icing in the layers though and you won’t miss it.  I like to let the icing fluff up and get a little messy at the edges.6-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow CakeYou can also run the straight edge of your offset spatula around the outside of the cake for this more flattened out look on the sides.  To get that swirly up top, you’ll need a cake turntable or a lazy susan (ikea has ones for $7 that would work great) and with a steady hand, keep the offset spatula tip at a 45 degree angle and turn the lazy susan.  Don’t move your hand, except to slightly turn in to make the circle get smaller and smaller.6-Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow CakeSix Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow Cake (recipe adapted from Sweetapolita, the baking goddess)


For the Chocolate Layer Cake:

  • 2-1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon (330 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (135 g) premium cocoa powder or cacao powder (I used cacao)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5 g) baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons (12 g) salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups (360 mL) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups (360 mL) strong black coffee, hot
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) melted butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (22.5 mL) pure vanilla extract

For the Malted Belgian Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1 lb butter (4 sticks)(2 cups)(454 g), at room temperature
  • 4 cups (500 g) confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup (75 g) Ovaltine Classic (brown in colour)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 oz (250 g) quality Belgian chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled (I used Ghiardelli)
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) whipping cream

For the Toasted Marshmallow Frosting:

  • 30 large white marshmallows
  • 1 cup (125 g) icing sugar (confectioners’ or powdered), sifted
  • 1 cup butter (227 g)(2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 jar (213 g) marshmallow cream (such as Marshmallow Fluff)


**First, set out all your butter and buttermilk and let them come to room temperature.

Also!  It’s important to use pans with straight sides, not the kind that are slightly larger at top than bottom, so you get a straight edge up and down the sides of the cake.  I only have one pan like this so I baked the layers one at a time….if you do this, make sure to keep batter refrigerated while it waits it’s turn to retard the baking soda/powder.

For the Chocolate Layer Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and prepare three 8″ or 9″ cake pans with parchment paper, butter and flour, or my personal favorite and what I swear by: Bakers Joy.
  2. Start by making the coffee (strong) so it can be brewing while you start on the rest of the recipe.  (If you’re not a coffee drinker, you could go out and buy a medium or large coffee and just reheat when you’re ready to use.)
  3. Sift all dry ingredients in stand mixer with whisk attachment .
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  When coffee is ready, slowly pour in with the rest of wet ingredients, whisking the whole time.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Careful for splashing – start out slow and build speed up as mixture incorporates.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. (Batter will be thin.)
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate pans in oven.  Continue baking for another 10-12 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean, with just a few crumbs visible.
  8. Set on wire racks until pans are cool to the touch, about 30 minutes, then invert pans and let layers finish cooling on wire racks.
  9. To make things easier on yourself, place layers in refrigerator after they’ve completely cooled to let them firm up before assembling the cake.

For the Malted Belgian Chocolate Frosting:

  1. Start by melting chocolate in a double boiler (a real one or just a pan with a couple inches of water in the bottom and a bowl on top).  Make sure to stir constantly to keep the chocolate from burning.  When it’s melted, remove from heat and allow to cool while starting on the next steps.
  2. Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add confectioners sugar and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add malt powder, vanilla and salt, and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).
  5. Add whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.
  6. Transfer to another bowl so you can make the marshmallow frosting.

For the Toasted Marshmallow Frosting:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray (so the marshmallows don’t stick).  Place marshmallows on baking sheet and broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until they are golden brown.  Or use a blow torch, making sure to evenly distribute the flame so the insides get gooey and the outside brown.  When they’re ready, set them aside to cool down a bit while you prep the rest of the icing (you just don’t want them super hot out of the oven when you add them to the rest of the ingredients or they’ll melt the butter).
  2. In your stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat butter and confectioners sugar on medium-low until blended, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and mix on medium-high for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add marshmallow cream and mix for another minute.
  4. Finally, add toasted marshmallows and mix until just combined.  Be careful not to overmix, you want bits of toasted marshmallow in each bite.


*You really do need an offset spatula to get consistent, even layers when frosting a cake.  THIS is the one I use and I love it.

  1. Cut the three cake layers each once horizontally with a long, serrated knife, so you have a total of 6 layers.  This works best if layers have been refrigerated first.  If layers still feel a little flimsy, use two long serrated knives to help lift the layers after cutting.
  2. Place the first layer face up on your cake plate and cover with an even layer of marshmallow frosting (order here is important so you are left with chocolate on top).  Using an offset spatula, make frosting layer smooth and press out the very outer edge.
  3. Carefully add the next layer and cover with thick layer of chocolate frosting, being sure to push the frosting all the way to the outside edge.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the final layer which will be placed face down and coated with a thick layer of chocolate frosting.  If at any point you feel like the cake is getting too soft or unstable, place it back in the refrigerator to firm it up a bit.  You may also want to keep it in the refrigerator for a while before serving or before your guests arrive to make cutting a little easier.
  5. To make the top layer of icing swirl, hold your spatula tip at a 45 degree angle in a steady hand and turn the cake.

I hope you enjoy!  This truly is the best cake I’ve had in a very long while.

4 Responses to “Six Layer Malted Chocolate and Torched Marshmallow Cake”

  1. Laura Dennison

    As one of the beneficiaries of this cake I do have to say it was really wonderful!

  2. Lydia Jo Martin

    Oh boy, I’ve got this cake ready and waiting for husbands birthday. I tasted the frosting of course, and it sure seems promising! Thanks.

  3. Judy Koeller

    Is there anything I can use in place of the coffee? Thanks!


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