I recently received an email from a sad baker. She was attempting to make buttercream in the midst of a rather hot day. Her kitchen was nearing 80* leaving the butter a melty mess. Oh how I’ve been there.

In my wedding cake making days I would constantly worry about dripping buttercream on hot days. I’d have the coordinator of the wedding assure me over and over again that the cake would not be set up in the sun, but still I’d worry.

If only I’d known about this marshmallow “frosting”. I would have done a lot less worrying. Okay, you’re probably right – what bride wants their wedding cake covered in smooshed marshmallows?

There’s good news in the midst of this sad tale – I’m not in the wedding cake business any more and this girl dreams of chocolate cake covered with oozing marshmallow.


Want more good news? You only have to dirty one bowl while making these dark, moist and sweet cakes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a lazy baker who likes to spend her time baking and eating rather than cleaning. But I’d happily clean a sink full of dishes if the final destination is delicious cake – lucky for me I can have my cake and not have to do many dishes. I have found my new chocolate cake recipe!

So to the sad baker with a bowl full of melted buttercream I’d like to say – put it aside for now, wait for a day with a bit more chill in the air and reach for the marshmallows. If you don’t care for the store-bought version try making your own!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

adapted from Martha Stewart Kids Magazine

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup buttermilk (or make your own – 3/4 cup milk to 2 1/2 teaspoons acid such as lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tartar)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350*. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners for a total of 24 cupcakes. Set this aside.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together cocoa, flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Fill cupcake pans about 1/3 full. Bake until the tops of the cupcake spring back when gently pressed. This should take about 20 minutes.


Top with either a store-bought or homemade marshmallow then pop back into the oven for 3-5 minutes until marshmallow is soft. Remove from the oven then press down gently creating a perfect snow-white cap.

Cool on a wire rack.

*Optional – broil the marshmallow cupcakes for a toasty and lovely golden caramelized sugar flavor. Watch them closely!


42 Responses to “Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting”

  1. Joanne

    Only one bowl AND marshmallow frosting! Priceless.

    I’ve often worried about my buttercream. And my cream cheese frosting. I even worried about it in my air-conditioned car the other day. It was over 100 degrees out. And the AC just wasn’t cutting it.

  2. A Plum By Any Other Name

    Beautiful. Definitely looking forward to making the marshmallow. I am a lazy baker too, but I enjoy ingredients prepared with care; just don’t want to clean up after them all day!

  3. Justin Orde

    Another genius cake idea. I think the Marshmallow would have to be broiled or given a lick with the gas torch. Campfires and birthdays all in one!

  4. Cooking in Mexico

    What a great idea for a frosting in a hot climate! I pretty much give up on making frostings here during a Mexican summer. You have given me another option for the days when butter would rather melt than stay put.
    Lovely photos.


  5. Tokyo Terrace

    I just went through a difficult buttercream frosting situation today. Made 100 cupcakes with cream cheese/buttercream frosting and the heat index was 100 degrees! Blah! Wish I would have seen this post earlier…*sigh*

  6. Elizabeth

    Wow, I’ve never heard of this way of frosting cupcakes, but it does sound simple and delightful! Especially the broiling it part, who doesn’t love a golden marshmallow? I think my son would have a great time making these with me as well…awesome!

  7. joudie's mood food

    OMG! Marshmallow frosting. Yummy! Also the fact that you are like me regarding the cleaning…. I hate it and also prefer to eat and bake ratehr than clean….This is for sure something that will be on the top of my baking list…..LOVE THE BLOG!!

  8. Jessica

    Lovely! Pondering whoopie pie cake for son’s birthday, I just found a perfect solution for simplicity and using the leftover marshmallows from camping this summer. Thankyou thankyou for sharing.

  9. Kristin

    I know this post is older, but I had to comment. I made the recipe exactly as written except I experimented with crushed graham crackers as a garnish… that didn’t work so well, so I stuck a little graham square in the top of each one. They look great, are easy to make, and they taste delicious. Thanks for posting!

  10. Nancy

    I love chocolate and marshmallows! I’ll try to make this specialty tonight! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!


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