I'm a stay-at-home mom and experienced cook. This cake is the most-requested treat I make.
Now, That's Some Good Cake!
This cake is the most-requested cake I make. My husband, son, daughter, father-in-law, and brother-in-law all ask for it on their birthdays. When it's brought out during a get-together, everyone gathers around to admire it—whether the guests are adults or kids. When I brought it out at my son's ninth birthday party, all the boys gathered around and "oohed" and "ahhed." It was like a magical movie moment, and such a great compliment to me, as the cook!
This cake is a variation on the standard chocolate sheet cake that for decades has been included in many fundraiser cookbooks across America. It is a chocolate cake made from scratch, with cooked icing that's also made from scratch. It takes a little longer to make than a cake from a boxed mix, but it is really quite simple to make, and well worth the extra bit of time! I am absolutely not above using boxed cake mixes—I think some are, in fact, delicious—but I must admit I have never tasted a boxed mix cake that has the rich, homemade chocolate taste of my ooey-gooey chocolate marshmallow cake.
Because of the "ooey-gooeyness" of it, this cake needs to be served in the pan it was baked in. It would be just too messy to try to remove it from the pan and place it on a cake platter. For this reason, this cake is a terrific dessert to take to potlucks, picnics, and similar social functions. If you have one of the rectangular 9x13 cake pans with its own lid, just snap the lid on and you can take this cake anywhere— that is, until you remove the lid and the cake disappears right before your eyes.
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For the cake:
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups white flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 sticks real butter
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the icing:
- 2 sticks real butter
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 bag mini marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix the sugar and flour together in a large bowl.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, cocoa, and water. Stir the ingredients together as the butter melts.
- Once the butter has melted, turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. After boiling for about 30 seconds, remove the pan from the burner and turn off the heat.
- Pour the hot mixture into the bowl with the sugar and flour. Mix well.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, cinnamon, baking soda, and vanilla. Mix well.
- Pour the batter into a greased and floured 13x9-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, make the icing. From the icing ingredients list, combine the butter, cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan over medium-high to high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture has boiled for about 30 seconds, remove the pan from the burner and turn off the heat. In the same pan, add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well in the pan. If the cake is still baking, keep the icing warm over low heat, stirring periodically to keep it's fairly runny consistency.
- Once the 30-minute baking period has passed, remove the cake from the oven. Leave the cake in the pan and immediately use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
- Pour about 1/3 to 1/2 of the warm icing over the warm cake and into the holes, reserving at least half, if not more, of the icing in the saucepan.
- Pour the mini marshmallows evenly over the top of the cake.
- Pour remaining icing over the mini marshmallows, covering as many of the marshmallows as possible. The warmth from both the cake and the icing will soften the marshmallows, making them as gooey as the icing.
- Serve cake warm if possible, although it is absolutely delicious once it has cooled. Individual pieces of cake on plates can also be placed in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds each for warming. (Do not place the metal pan in the microwave.)