Engagement Cake

I mean, chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting!

Happy wedding day Helen and Joe!

This is the cake we made for their engagement party, our first ever attempt at a tiered cake. Helen requested chocolate, so when we found a recipe for deeply chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting, we knew we had to try it. Of course, since it was such a special occasion, a simple layered cake was not enough. We decided to make it tiered, with a flowery cake topper and everything.

The tiers weren’t really that hard to do, but they rose A LOT and we ended up with some leftover scraps of cake (of course, those are trifle-worthy). Good thing there was some leftover frosting.

I made a double recipe because a single one filled the big pan. You can make this cake without the tiers, just follow this exact recipe. Want to make the tiered version? Double it! The marshmallow frosting was sticky, gooey, and really tasted like marshmallows, just without the gelatin. Plus, it was kind of easier to make than marshmallows.

Now I know the ingredient list seems long, but if you ever bake, you should have most of these things in your pantry. I know I did – I really only had to buy the rice dream and chocolate bar. You’ll have to buy a bar of chocolate, but that has two uses, and you can snack on the leftovers.


For the cake:

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter, if you’re making it dairy) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup rice dream (or your favorite milk substitute), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you haven’t done so already, boil 1/2 cup of water!

2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3. In your stand mixer, beat the Earth Balance on medium speed until it’s soft and creamy.

4. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, and beat (still on medium) for three minutes, until well incorporated.

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating (medium!) for one minute after each egg

6. Reduce speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate.

7. Mix in the dry and wet ingredients, alternating. Start and end with the dry (add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, 1/2 of the wet, 1/3 dry, 1/2 wet, and then the last 1/3 of the dry).

8. Mix in the boiling water.

9. Pour the batter into your cake pan, I recommend two 9 inch round ones.

10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

While the cake is baking and filling the entire house with a delicious chocolatey, smell, prepare the frosting!

For the marshmallow frosting/filling:

  • 1/2 cup egg whites (I used 5 large eggs for this, but 4 may do. It really depends on your eggs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


1. Put egg whites in your CLEAN stainless steel mixing bowl – you can use a hand mixer or electric stand mixer for this.

2. Have candy thermometer ready!

3. Combine sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a small saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and boil for three minutes.

4. Uncover and boil until the mixture reaches 242 degrees. (Using a thermometer with an alarm is helpful for this.)

5. Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until they form firm, shiny peaks.

6. On medium speed, pour in the syrup. This hot mixture will definitely grow in volume, so make sure to stand back while doing this! I wore an oven glove, just to be extra safe.

7. Add vanilla and beat for five more minutes.

Cool the cakes on a drying rack. When they are cool, put the bottom layer on the plate you want to serve it on. Top it with a LOT of frosting, and smooth out. Put the second cake on top, and put the frosting on the top. Starting from the top, spread the frosting all around the cake, always moving in a downward and circular motion.

If you want to make a 4-layered cake, cut each round cake in half, making sure to place one hand on top and that you are slicing the cake in half (somewhat) evenly. Stack all the layers and then frost the cake.

Making the tiered cake like me? Double the recipe (cake and frosting). Try to bake and assemble it in the same place you are serving so you don’t have to deal with sticky, gooey frosting in two kitchens, a car, and a bunch of tupperwares.