Food Styling Challenge | Malted Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling


If you only have the chance once in your life to eat chocolate cake, let it be this Malted Dark Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling.  You’ll die happy and complete, I promise.

Malted Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Cream Filling at TidyMom

I have a confession to make………cake decorating kind of scares me.  I’m not sure why, but it does.  For years I always just made cake using a 9×13 pan, frosted the top with a knife and called it a day.

Then not long after I started blogging, I began reading i am baker.  Amanda shares the most mouth watering, hip widening confections, and she’s best known for her cakes.  You see, Amanda believes cakes should be beautiful from the inside out.  She first introduced the world to the infamous Rose Cake to her to her jaw dropping “how did she do thatsurprises in cakes!  Amanda generously shares HOW she makes and decorates cakes on her blog, i am baker, and I’m ever so patiently awaiting her first book, Surprise-Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion–with a Little Something Extra Inside (William Morrow Cookbooks) due out this fall!!

Virtually, Amanda has helped me with my very first layered decorated cake, offered a simple suggestion on how to decorate a Thin Mint Cake for my mom, cheered me on as I followed her step-by-step tutorial that made me feel like a star when I made a gorgeous Rose Cake for my Aunt, and she gave me the courage to think creatively when I decorated a cake covered in chocolate chips for a friend’s birthday .  Yep, I have Amanda to thank for all those amazing cakes!

Now Amanda is pushing me one more time!  Earlier this year she asked if I would be interested in participating in a Food Styling Challenge. Each month, she has asked one blogger to take on the challenge of making a chocolate cake with a budget of just $25 to purchase second-hand props and style it ourselves.

Amanda admits,  “I personally find cake to one of the hardest foods to style, and am constantly searching for new and creative ways to share baked creations.”

Challenge accepted!

It was a fun challenge and if you head over to her blog you can read about my experience. You can also see the other pictures I submitted, which include all of the props I purchased and stayed well within my budget.

Malted Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Cream  -TidyMom 

The cake I made for this Food Styling Challenge is a chocolate lovers dream cake!  I first spotted the cake over at Brown Eyed Baker in six layers of glory!  Michelle slightly adapted the cake recipe from Rosie at Sweetapolita.

If you hang around here much, you know how much I LOVE to doctor the Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix just a little.  It’s my very favorite for a rich, moist delicious chocolate cake.  

I wanted to keep this cake more simple all around.  So I made it using just 2 nine-inch cake layers, with just one layer of the most amazing Toasted Marshmallow Cream Filling.   This stuff people was DREAMY!!! I’ve had marshmallow cream filling before, but toasting 16 large marshmallows to mix in with the marshmallow fluff is what puts this cream filling over the top.  I’m already dreaming up more recipes I can use it in……….so stay tuned for another appearance of that star!

If you wanted to make a 4 layer cake instead, you could easily do so with the cake mix by using 8″ cake pans and cut your layers in half.  But again…………simple was my goal here.

Since my cake was smaller, I only made half the Malted Chocolate Frosting that Rosie and Michelle made for six layers – so keep that in mind if you choose to make 4-6 layers. 

Thanks, again to Amanda, for challenging me in such a fun way…be sure to head over to i am baker to check out my answers to some her challenge questions and to see the rest of the images for this shoot. 

Food Styling Challenge: Chocolate Cake

Be sure to see January’s participant; Kristen from Dine & Dish who did an incredible job with this White Chocolate Confetti Cake, February was Mike from Verses From My Kitchen who awed me with his talent and a Blackberry Chocolate Cake and March brought us Michael from Inspired by Charm who was a master with his Cookies and Cream Cake.

Great posts for Food Photography and Styling and Cake Recipes!

Let’s get baking………..


Food Styling Challenge | Malted Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 12-14 servings

Serving Size: 1 slice

Food Styling Challenge | Malted Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling

Starting with a box mix makes this rich chocolate cake with a toasted marshmallow filling and a malted chocolate frosting a fabulous recipe they will ask for again and again.



    Make the Cake
  1. Position rack in middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9x2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust pans with flour, be sure to pat out excess flour.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  3. Add cake mix, eggs and water to the butter in large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix on low for 1 min. Then mix on medium high for 1 min.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 25-29 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.
  7. Make Toasted Marshmallow Cream
  8. Set oven to broil, and position rack in the lowest part of oven.
  9. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place marshmallows in the center of the baking sheet and broil in oven, watch until golden brown and melty (about 2 minutes).
  10. Remove pan from oven, and carefully flip marshmallows over, and broil other side until brown (1-2 mins). Remove from oven and set aside.
  11. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar for one minute using the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes on medium high. Add the marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows and mix on low for 1 minute.
  12. Make the Chocolate Frosting
  13. Break up chocolate into a microwave safe bowl, and melt in microwave on high in 30 second intervals. Stir after each 30 seconds until fully melted. Set aside to cool
  14. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the Ovaltine, vanilla and salt and mix on low 1-2 minutes, until well combine. Scrape the sides and add melted chocolate, beat for 2 minutes on medium, then slowly add whipping cream beating on medium-high for 1 minute.
  15. Assemble the Cake
  16. Put one cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with toasted marshmallow filling, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake's edge. Top with second cake layer.
  17. Frost top and sides of cake with Malted Chocolate frosting using an offset spatula.
  18. Remove waxed paper strips and enjoy with a glass of cold milk!


Cake is best served the same day it's made. MAKE AHEAD TIPS

You can bake, cool, wrap, and store the cake layers at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. frosting recipes from Sweetapolita



more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

51 Responses to “Food Styling Challenge | Malted Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling”

  1. Stephanie posted on April 22, 2013 at 8:59 am (#

    Love it! I just wrote about how decorating cupcakes makes me overwhelming! But I tried and it wasn’t so bad. :-)

  2. Kristen posted on April 22, 2013 at 9:06 am (#

    What a gorgeous cake!! I love everything about the flavors.

  3. Maria posted on April 22, 2013 at 9:30 am (#

    I want a big fat piece!

  4. Shellie Cadogan posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:04 am (#

    Yes Ma’am I just Love you!

  5. Amanda posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:04 am (#

    Looks amazing Cheryl!!! Want this now!! :)

  6. Amanda posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:09 am (#

    I could not love this cake more!!! And I just adore that you made it easy enough for any level baker to attempt. Plus you know I love a good box mix! Thanks so much Cheryl… I am such a huge fan of you and all your talent!!

    • TidyMom replied on April 22nd, 2013 at 10:38 am

      you know I’m ALL about easy {hehe} Thanks so much for challenging me Amanda and all of your cake mentoring you’ve given me!

  7. Brian @ A Thought For Food posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:13 am (#

    Ummmmm… cake decorating TOTALLY terrifies me. But you did a freakin’ awesome job! Looks amazing!

    • TidyMom replied on April 22nd, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Thanks so much Brian…….I really struggled with this one, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out in the end.

  8. Gina posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:27 am (#

    I could eat that morning, noon & night Cheryl. You did a great job. I have been wanting to take this challenge & have been following it very closely since Amanda started it. Styling is the thing that always gets me when it comes to posting about my recipes. That is where I feel I need to work the most.

    Love what you did for this one- I’m thinking chocolate cake for breakfast-

    • TidyMom replied on April 22nd, 2013 at 10:33 am

      thanks so much Gina……..I struggled with this a bit, cakes are hard!!………just need to eat a bil ‘ole piece and move on! lol

  9. Carolyn posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:28 am (#

    Wow… that looks so good. I think I will make for my daughters Communion coming up!

  10. Claire @ A Little Claire-ification posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:35 am (#

    Cheryl this looks so delicious! I am posting a round up of Mother’s Day dessert ideas later today and this yummi-ness just came through in my inbox. Mind if I include it?

    • TidyMom replied on April 22nd, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Sure! Thanks so much, and thanks for asking Claire.

  11. Brenda posted on April 22, 2013 at 11:08 am (#

    Beautiful photos to show off a pretty cake that sounds absolutely delicious! Duncan Hines is great, especially the chocolate fudge ;)

  12. Me posted on April 22, 2013 at 11:11 am (#

    I need a dessert for a meeting tomorrow night. As much as I would love to make the marshmallow filling, I am thinking that timewise, I will just make the cake in a 9×13 and also the frosting. Do you see any problems with that?

    • TidyMom replied on April 22nd, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Nope! Would still be delicious!!……..just promise you’ll try the marshmallow filling some time! ;)

      • Me replied on April 22nd, 2013 at 11:34 am

        will do….

        • Meg McGinn replied on April 23rd, 2013 at 1:12 pm

          Ok – cake and frosting made – I was able to taste the frosting – YUM – but not the cake yet – I have leftover frosting – can I keep it in the fridge til Sunday when I am having my book club here?

  13. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen posted on April 22, 2013 at 11:33 am (#

    Your cake looks divine! I really love your photos too – totally stunning!

  14. Lisa | With Style and Grace posted on April 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm (#

    wow. absolutely stunning!!

  15. Jen Y posted on April 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm (#

    I think the vast majarity of cakes I’ve pinned have been from I am Baker. I’m a huge fan of hers as well. This cake looks so yummy & I’ll be pinning it as well.

    Just this morning I was thinking about how much I love baking cakes. I wonder if I could get any of my girlfirends to meet me once a month just to eat cake? My small family of three just can’t eat cake often enough to warrent me making them – I only make one or two a year for my family. We love cake but we really want to be healthy. So, when I bake, I usually give it away. Cakes are much harder to do this with unless I make small cakes – I do want to at least taste the cakes I make.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration. :o)

  16. Jeanette posted on April 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm (#

    Loved seeing all the props you used for your cake styling – your cake looks beautiful Cheryl – I’m not a baker and I’m definitely not a cake decorator so I am inspired to see all the pretty cakes you’ve been coming up with. Great job!

  17. Aimee @ ShugarySweets posted on April 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm (#

    Gorgeous photos Cheryl! And that cake? OMG.

  18. MikeVFMK posted on April 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm (#

    Absolutely beautiful. Love your styled shots and the recipe looks amazing. I’ll head over to Amanda’s site now!

  19. Diane {Created by Diane} posted on April 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm (#

    Looks delicious and I love how you styled the photo. Great work Cheryl!

  20. Wendy Reese posted on April 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm (#

    Just wondering if the Toasted Marshmallow Cream could be piped? I was thinking about making cupcakes and putting the filling in the center. I just love all the recipes and tips you have. Thanks for all you do!

  21. Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective posted on April 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm (#

    Great job, Cheryl! The photos are amazing! :)

  22. Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats posted on April 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm (#

    ooh this sounds so mouth is watering!

  23. Deborah posted on April 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm (#

    First of all, this cake is gorgeous! And your photos are always so perfectly styled – love it!

  24. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen posted on April 23, 2013 at 3:11 am (#

    You and Amanda always make killer cakes. That toasted marshmallow filling sounds so good with the chocolate cake!

  25. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme posted on April 23, 2013 at 9:20 am (#

    This is an absolutely gorgeous cake, Cheryl! I always look at other people’s dessert creations with longing and wishing that I had the talent for creating beautiful cakes, pies…whatever. I just didn’t get that gene! So I really appreciate yours and Amanda’s talents in making beautiful, sweet confections. Bravo!

  26. Ridgely's Radar posted on April 23, 2013 at 9:35 am (#

    This is the answer to my prayers! I am making this this weekend! YUMMY!

  27. Shaina posted on April 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm (#

    This looks so good. I love how the styling turned out, and the cake. Oh that cake.

  28. Brenda @ posted on April 24, 2013 at 1:29 am (#

    Your cake looks beyond scrumptious!! I wanted to let you know that I featured it in a blog post today as one of my favorite pins of the week! :) … Have a fabulous day, Cheryl! :)

  29. Amy Huntley posted on April 24, 2013 at 9:32 am (#

    This looks absolutely amazing! You are such a talented photographer!!!

  30. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen posted on April 24, 2013 at 11:26 am (#

    The flavors going on here are over the top awesome!!

  31. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies posted on April 24, 2013 at 7:40 pm (#

    Beautiful cake and beautiful styling too! The platter is gorgeous. :)

  32. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles posted on April 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm (#

    That cake is gorgeous, Cheryl! I wish I could have just one piece with a big cold glass of milk. :)

  33. Carolyn posted on April 25, 2013 at 6:06 am (#

    You’re just like my mum, Cheryl…she always just baked the cake in a 9×13 and then frosted the top. I am not much of a cake decorator, but I have discovered the joys of layer cakes. I think you did a fantastic job with this gorgeous cake!

  34. Russell van Kraayenburg posted on April 25, 2013 at 10:37 am (#

    This recipe looks phenomenal!

  35. bridget {bake at 350} posted on April 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm (#

    Oh, I know that cake MUST be delicious!!!

  36. Danielle posted on April 26, 2013 at 8:02 pm (#

    Goodness, this looks absolutely sinful – I love it! I totally agree – I rarely make cakes because decorating is just like a foreign language for me. I’m gonna have to see about I Am Baker tips sometime :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  37. Kinsley @ Home | Styled posted on May 1, 2013 at 11:20 am (#

    Good morning Cheryl! I found your post at Lil’ Luna’s link party! This is such a great recipe idea and it’s definitely a must-try! l

  38. Sarah posted on July 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm (#

    This cake is luscious, the photos are beautiful. Oh, and I love Malted Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling. I had featured u in the post of Top 7 Sweet Cakes for Mother’s Day on AllFreshRecipes, Except ur more delish Eats!


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