Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling & Malted Chocolate Frosting

Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling and Malted Chocolate Frosting

This year, I resumed my tradition of baking myself a birthday cake. Each year I like to pick an extra-special recipe that I’ve had my eye on and make it sometime around my birthday. Last year, I didn’t make one since I was in Florida and I spent my birthday eating chocolate, playing tennis and having dinner at an open-air restaurant on the Intercoastal. In the spirt of doing a complete 180, this year I’m home in Pittsburgh, watching the snow fall (holy crazy weather!).

In years past for my birthday, I’ve made an Oreo Cheesecake, a Peanut Butter-Fudge Cheesecake and Tiramisu Cupcakes, to name a few. I had originally thought about making some sort of chocolate-peanut butter/peanut butter cup cake this year, but since I gave up peanut butter for Lent, it will have to wait. Then I remembered this amazing “campfire delight cake” that I had seen on Sweetapolita awhile ago, and it seemed like the perfect over-the-top birthday cake candidate. With SIX(!!) layers of rich chocolate cake, a toasted marshmallow filling and a malted chocolate frosting, the cake was an absolute dream. It lived up to the hype and then some, as it is one of the best cakes to ever come out of my kitchen.

Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling and Malted Chocolate Frosting

Let me tell you, this chocolate cake is intense. The layers are so moist and the flavor is deep and rich, thanks in part to using a high quality Dutch-process cocoa powder and hot coffee to enhance the chocolate.

The toasted marshmallow filling is flat-out genius. Not only is the frosting made with marshmallow cream, but actual toasted marshmallows are added. You get all of the marshmallow flavor along with little bits of toasted marshmallows with every bite. Paired with that chocolate cake recipe, I was pretty sure that things couldn’t get any better…

Then, along came the chocolate frosting. This is no ordinary chocolate frosting. I discovered the wonderment of using Ovaltine in chocolate frosting when I made brownies with buttercream frosting last year; it adds a malted flavor that is distinct but not overpowering and a perfect accompaniment to the chocolate.

Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling and Malted Chocolate Frosting

If you want a cake that has some serious wow factor, you must make this cake! Not only is it sky-high and absolutely stunning, but it tastes even better than it looks!

Since it’s my birthday, I’m off to eat another slice of cake :)  Cheers!

Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling and Malted Chocolate Frosting

One year ago: Cinnamon-Sugar Scones
Two years ago: Salted Peanut Chews and Tiramisu Cupcakes
Three years ago: Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream and Peanut Butter-Fudge Cheesecake
Four years ago: Blueberry Crumb Cake
Five years ago: Caramel-Topped Flan
Six years ago: Oreo Cheesecake

Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling & Malted Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

An amazing six-layer chocolate cake with a toasted marshmallow filling and a malted chocolate frosting. This is one for the ages!


For the Cake:
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Toasted Marshmallow Filling:
16 large marshmallows
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (7½-ounce) jar Marshmallow Fluff

For the Malted Chocolate Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup Ovaltine Classic
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chocolate, melted and cooled
½ cup heavy cream


1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Toasted Marshmallow Filling: Place the marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on the lowest rack of oven, and broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top, keeping an eye on them the entire time so they don't burn. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until the other side is golden brown.

6. Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended together, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and increase the speed to medium-high; beat for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, add the Marshmallow Fluff and toasted marshmallows, and mix on the lowest speed for about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

7. Make the Malted Chocolate Frosting: Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended together, about 1 minute. Add the Ovaltine, vanilla and salt, and continue to beat on low until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.

8. Assemble the Cake: Slice each cake layer in half horizontally so you have six cake layers. Place your first layer face-up on a cake plate and cover with one-third of the Toasted Marshmallow Frosting. Place another cake layer face-up and cover with about ¾ to 1 cup of Malted Chocolate Frosting. Repeat, alternating marshmallow and chocolate filling layers, until you come to your cake final layer, which you will place face-down. Frost the entire outside of cake with the remaining Malted Chocolate Frosting.

Cake is best served the same day it is made, but leftovers can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, well-wrapped, for up to 3 days.


  • You can substitute marshmallow creme for the Marshmallow Fluff.
  • For the cleanest cake slices, refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes before cutting. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water (and wiped dry) between each cut.

(Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita)

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284 Responses to “Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling & Malted Chocolate Frosting”

  1. Modern Jane on March 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Oh my gosh! I love chocolate and marshmallow together, and this looks AMAZING!


  2. natalie@thesweetslife on March 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    whoa. amazing!


  3. Terr A. on March 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    That looks so good! Happy Birthday!


  4. Wyndy T on March 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Happy Birthday! The cake looks awesome, I have been making this recipe as cupcakes for some time and everyone always loves it!


  5. Jen of My Tiny Oven on March 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    OMG, that cake looks AMAZING!! I hope you have a great birthday!!


  6. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on March 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Happy birthday, Michelle!! Thanks for all the great recipes you share with us all year-round!!!


  7. Alex on March 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I will definitely be trying this when I’m up in Connecticut for Easter! This looks AMAZING ! Thanks and Happy belated birthday! Love your blog !


  8. Ashleigh on March 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    By any chance is the cake batter for this supposed to be really thin? I have it all in my mixer but it just seems like it isn’t thick at all even though I followed everything so far. It seems nothing like a normal cake batter!


    • Ashleigh on March 25th, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Nevermind. I see that it says the batter will be very thin 😉 ooops!


  9. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live on March 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    I also make my own birthday cake- it’s so much fun, and I get exactly what I want!! I have a very special occasion coming up, and I will be making the dessert for that also. My boyfriend just rolls his eyes at me! :)


  10. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist on March 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    1. Happy Birthday!!!
    2. Holy crap! I want this cake! I want it for my birthday. And because my birthday isn’t until August, I want it for…tomorrow.


  11. Katie on March 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    This look absolutely amazing!!! Happy birthday, Michelle!!!


  12. Amy on March 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Do you think that this could be made with cupcakes instead, putting the marshmallow filling into the center of the cupcakes once they’re baked?


  13. Lori @ RecipeGirl on March 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    oh my gosh, Happy Birthday and you are amazing. This is gorgeous!


  14. Tamara on March 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    This looks and sounds so incredibly YUMMY!!! I have never baked a from scratch cake (outside of carrot cake) before and I was wondering what brand of Dutch process cocoa powder you used, or brands in general you recommend. I imagine this is intended to be something more than the Hersheys stuff. And…Happy Birthday!!! ~Tamara


    • Maria Hanrahan on March 25th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Hey Tamara, I’m an avid baker that saw your questions and wanted to share my input. Dutch-processed (or alkalized) cocoa has been treated with an alkali to neutralize the acids. This results in a more delicate, less bitter, smoother flavor. Regular Hershey’s Cocoa Powder is natural, not Dutch-processed, but Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder is a blend of natural and Dutch-processed cocoas.

      When you have natural cocoa powder and a recipe calls for Dutch-processed, a suggested substitution is adding 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda for every 3 tablespoons of natural cocoa powder, but it’s best to use Dutch-processed if the recipe calls for it. I love Penzeys Spices and they have a Dutch-processed cocoa powder (as well as a natural one) that I like and that won’t break the bank.


      • Tamara on March 29th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

        Thanks for the info! :)


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Tamara, I use Penzeys Dutch-process cocoa powder.


      • Tamara on March 29th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

        Thanks Michelle!


  15. Olivia on March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Happy Birthday to you….Wow it looks really amazing…. Keep baking… God bless you….


  16. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on March 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Holy mother of chocolate cakes! This is epic. The most wonderful birthday present to yourself ever :) Happy happy birthday!


  17. Gayle on March 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! Hope you had a great day and wow, now that’s a cake!


  18. Diana on March 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    You Are….AWESOME! Thank you for posting this on my snow day from school :-)
    I shall be making it shortly! And Happy BDAY! Your site rocks! LOVE IT!


  19. Tina @ Tina's Chic on March 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Gorgeous!!! This looks like something straight out of a food magazine. Almost too good to eat..almost. 😉


  20. Sues on March 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Holy moly this looks awesome! I NEED to try toasted marshmallow filling!!


  21. Tracy {pale yellow} on March 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    1. Happy Birthday!
    2. I think all bloggers make their own birthday cakes, it’s too hard not too!
    3. This cake looks spectacularly delicious, beautiful work!


  22. Annie @ Annie's Noms on March 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Happy Birthday! I think I just about died and went to cake heaven! This cake is beautiful! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making your own birthday cake haha! You know exactly how you want it to look and what’s gone into it! I’m making my own cake this year and I can’t wait!


  23. Joan on March 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    A friend of mine is celebrating a milestone birthday this year, and I’ve been searching and searching for the perfect cake to make him. I just found it! YUM-O!


  24. Kate on March 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Happy Birthday! This cake looks GORGEOUS.


  25. Jen on March 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Is there something I can substitute for the coffee ? This looks amazing!


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Hi Jen, Unless you need to substitute due to dietary or religious restrictions, I would really, REALLY recommend that you use the coffee. You can’t taste it, but it makes the chocolate flavor really deep and rich. If you need to substitute, use hot water, but do so with the understanding that it could really affect the final flavor.


  26. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on March 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    With a cake like this I’d consider having a birthday every year rather than every 10 :)

    Happy Birthday!


  27. Laura Dembowski on March 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Happy, happy birthday, Michelle :) I always make a special treat for my birthday too. This cake looks amazing! The frosting is so unique with tje toasted marshmallows. Marshmallows make everything better. Hope you had a great day!


  28. Beth @ Decadent Dragon Bakery on March 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Happy Birthday. Such a beautiful cake! Can’t wait to make this. Definitely pinning this one.


  29. mindy on March 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I made this for my sons 5th bday last year! It was AMAZING!!


  30. Emily on March 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Looks amazing!! I have to ask if there is a substitute for the coffee? I know it is supposed to make the chocolate better but I am one of the few people who HATES coffee!! I can’t bring myself to add it to desserts. :)


    • Julia on March 27th, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Hi! I don’t like coffee either! I usually add hot chocolate. Sometimes, I’ll add a flavored kind. Hope that helps!


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Emily, I am not a coffee drinker (never liked the flavor), but you can’t taste it at all and it adds a significant amount of flavor to chocolate baked goods. You can sub hot water (I’ve never tried hot chocolate, but sounds like a valid suggestion), but know that you might sacrifice significant flavor.


  31. Cathy on March 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Can you make these into cupcakes? Fill them with marshmallow and frost them wih the malted frosting? Any suggestion on how long to bake the cupcakes?


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Cathy, Absolutely! I would start checking the cupcakes around 18 minutes or so to make sure you don’t over-bake them.


  32. Molly_Bakelette on March 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    This cake looks INSANELY good! Can’t wait to try this!

    Happy Happy Birthday Michelle!!! Go have another piece! Hehe!
    Xoxo M


  33. Mimi @ Culinary Couture on March 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    This looks intense! I love all of Sweetapolita’s cakes—I’m sure this one would be no exception!


  34. Radhika on March 26, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Happy Birthday Michelle! May the year bring happiness in your new home!


  35. Hari Chandana on March 26, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Wish you a very happy birthday.. Cake looks absolutely fantastic and tempting.. first time here.. happy to follow your space :)


  36. Patricia on March 26, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Happy Birthday, a lil bit late but hope you had a nice day :)
    A made this cake yesterday. And it taste so good.
    We will make it sunday too and some Chai Ceescake for sure.
    Thanks for the ispiration.
    Love. P


  37. Dana on March 26, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Gorgeous cake! Perhaps I’ll make it for my birthday, too (not until November though, and that’s a LONG time to wait for such a beauty!). The marshmallow filling is especially intriguing. Hope you have a very happy birthday…this cake should certainly help!!


  38. Amy J on March 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Happy Birthday! This cake looks AMAZING! Have added it to my recipe list… :-)


  39. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up on March 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Happy Birthday!!! This cake looks DECEDENT! And AMAZING. So many good things going on there… Pinned!


  40. Meghan G. on March 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    It made me so happy to open your email. First, I was happy because I see it’s your birthday (****HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!*****) and that means I share a birthday with one of my favorite bloggers since it’s my birthday also! Second, I LOVED that you made this fabulous cake for your birthday cake. I’m the same as you-I bake my own cake usually. This year, I hadn’t found something that entirely peaked my interest, until I saw your cake. My three sons were sick for my birthday, so we’re postponing cake and date till later when everyone’s well, and I think this will be the cake. Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing!!!


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      A very Happy Birthday to you as well!


  41. Diana on March 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    This cake looks absolutely delicious! I love to find a recipe for a cake that is different! I am unfamiliar with Ovaltine. Do I mix in the powder or the liquid that has been mixed?


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Diana, You just mix in the powder.


  42. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen on March 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Wow, this is the most amazing looking cake! Hope you had a great birthday!


  43. Spencer on March 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    How awesome! I could easily polish that off on my own.


  44. donna on March 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Happy Birthday! And I have to agree this is the absolute best cake I have ever made as well. However when I roast my marshmallows & add them to the frosting, each time I get sticky lumps that don’t smooth out as I whip the frosting? Any ideas what I could be doing wrong? I left a comment on for Rosie too, but didn’t hear back from her. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
    And for the record, this recipe makes fabulous cupcakes too!
    Enjoy your day & I love your blog!


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Donna, Mine was definitely lumpy at first, but as I mixed it smoothed out. I was actually surprised that I didn’t have more big pieces of marshmallow. Make sure you’re toasting them enough, too. They dissolve more easily if they’re toasted through and really soft, versus still being solid marshmallow. Hope that helps!


      • Donna on March 28th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

        Thank you so much the reply, I will roast them longer next time! hope you had a great birthday and congrats on the house!


  45. Gretta on March 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    This cake looks stunning! Happy belated birthday. I am wondering, what are you favorite cakes ever? can you make a new list


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Gretta, Great suggestion! I will work on getting those Top 10 lists updated!


  46. LAURA on March 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Happy Birthday! thanks for all the awesome baked goods (and a lot more). I think I will copy you (again) by making my own bday cake each year from now on. I make cakes for everyone but the postman and yet I don’t get a bday cake which always frustrates me. So instead of sulking let’s go baking me the best cake ever!!!


  47. Jessiker Bakes (@jessikerbakes) on March 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! I’m a March baby too! This cake looks amazing and VERY moist!


  48. Nikki @Seeded at the Table on March 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    How can this possibly taste better than it looks? It’s beautiful!! Happy birthday!!


  49. Julia on March 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I’m hoping someone can answer me quick because I’m in the process of making this cake and realized that I have no idea what Ovaltine is! I’ve never heard of it before. Is it a powder or liquid? Can I use something else instead??!! Help please!! I just finished making the marshmallow icing….YIKES! It’s delicious!


    • Linda on March 28th, 2013 at 1:27 am

      To Julia, Ovaltine is a cocoa powder that is used to make hot chocolate. I haven’t had it since I was a kid but I think t has kind of a malted milk ball chocolate flavor. You should find it in the grocery section that has hot cocoa mix. Good luck!!


    • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Julia, Ditto Linda – Ovaltine is a powder used to make hot chocolate drinks, and it has a malted flavor.


      • Ela on April 12th, 2013 at 1:08 am

        The Ovaltine I found is in granules and not powdered, is that was you used for the icing? Will the granules dissolve during mixing? Thanks!


        • Michelle on April 12th, 2013 at 11:46 am

          Hi Ela, I have never seen Ovaltine in granules; I have no idea if it will dissolve or not, but if you can find the powder, that’s your best bet.


  50. Debbie on March 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    This looks beautiful! Question – I only have 9″ cake pans – If I placed the batter in two 9″ cake pans, how would this affect the baking time?


    • Michelle on March 30th, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Hi Debbie, You would need to reduce the baking time a little bit (I can’t say for sure by how much because I haven’t made this in 9″ pans).


      • Debbie on April 1st, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Thank you!


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