So I’m all about from scratch treats – but I do have a few packaged snack weaknesses… And Hostess Sno Balls are one of them. I mean whats not to love – chocolate cake, creme filling, covered in a sheet of marshmallow and covered in coconut…. YUM. So its no surprise that it’s been on my list for a few years to recreate and this year I finally did it! And not just the traditional sno balls – but a GIANT Sno Ball cake! I mean I HAD to right? Do you have a favorite snack I should make a HUGE version of?
The base is my favorite Chocolate Cake recipe, and the topping is my classic Marshmallow recipe. So all I really had to come up with was the filling. I did a lot of research – what is the actual filling in sno balls? It’s a creamy vanilla marshmallowy smooth filling. It’s the same filling as the hostess cupcakes and twinkies… so light and smooth too, not super heavy. So not buttercream. I though about using this cooked filling recipe from I am Baker – I made that cake a few months ago and I enjoyed it but it was heavier than the sno ball filling. It seemed that the consensus online is this marshmallow fluff frosting is the way to go. I did make a few changes, one being I added corn syrup to help with the shininess and smoothness of the frosting (I think corn syrup is magic for frostings and candy)
ANNNNDDDD I think it turned out perfect, sweet but not too sweet, nice and light but thick enough to hold up inside the cake. Since “marshmallow” flavor is simply vanilla so the flavor is simple and lite as well. And of course I love the other components. I mean look at that thick layer of marshmallow!!!! Does it get any better? I think not.
For the small ones I had the kids all color their own coconut – we had a couple of classic pink and white ones, but being able to make your own was so much fun for the kiddos! I love food you can color because then you can make it for any event or theme and match it to any event!!! What color of snow would you make?
So my sister and her kids were in town visiting so they joined me in the kitchen making these along my daughter. My kids love helping in the kitchen but so often I working on something it’s for a client or for something important so it’s super fun when I’m creating something they can help with. And they had so much fun – being able to personalize the mini cakes with your own color is also easy and fun when making these with a crowd.
- 6 C shredded coconut
- Food dye
- Water – if needed
- Either a 8 inch half ball pan or 2 dozen cupcakes
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 2 C granulated sugar 2 C - 2 Tbsp for high altitude
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour 1 1/2 C +1 Tbsp for high altitude
- 3/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp for high altitude
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 C HOT water 1 C + 1 Tbsp water for high altitude
- 5 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 C sour cream OR greek yogurt
- 1/2 C vegetable oil
- 2 lrg eggs slightly beaten
- Enough for the cake a little too much for the cupcakes
- 6 Tbsp butter softened
- 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
- ¾ C marshmallow creme/fluff
- 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 6 Tbsp unflavored gelatin powder
- 3/4 C cold water
- 6 3/4 C granulated sugar
- 3 1/3 C water
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
put the coconut into a bag and add the dye
knead the bag, add water if needed to spread evenly
- Preheat the oven to 345
- Prepare either a 8 inch half ball pan or two dozen cupcake by spraying them with a no stick spray like Bakers Joy
- Melt the baking chocolate in double broiler (or in a bowl over a simmering pot of water) then let it cool.
- In a large bowl, or bowl of a mixer add the sugar, flour, soda and salt and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl (or a large glass measuring cup) mix the hot water and cocoa
- Then add the sour cream and oil and whisk.
- Add the wet mixture in a stream to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.
- Add the lightly beaten eggs slowly while beating on low.
- Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix until uniform in color.
Bake at 345 55-60 mins for the cake about 14 mins for the cupcakes (raise the heat by 25 degrees and lower the time by 5 mins for high altitude)
Using a mixer, beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar and Marshmallow Fluff.
Add the cream and corn syrup and beat just until smooth.
- Soak the gelatin in the cold water in a small bowl and set aside to swell for 10 minutes.
- In a large saucepan (this will grow while it boils) dissolve the sugar in the 1 1/2 C of water over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Add the swollen gelatin and dissolve.
- Raise the temperature and bring to a boil.
- Boil steadily, but not vigorously, for 15 minutes without stirring (unless your using a stainless steel pan – then stir).
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool about 10 mins.
- Pour into a bowl, or mixer, add the vanilla and beat the mixture until very thick and white.
- For filling the cupcakes – you can use a “filling” tip or cut a hole in the cupcakes and fill, replacing the top afterwards
- For filling the cake – cut in half about 1 ½ inches up then carve a well into both halves, fill and close. I used some leftover chocolate ganache to seal the cake back together
- Adding the marshmallow coating
- the Cake I used a glass 3.5 quart bowl, for the cupcakes I used the Wilton mini ball pan with 3 ½ inch wide cavities.
- Spray or brush with coconut oil
- Add the colored coconut and spread around the pan (there will be extra to add later)
- Pour the marshmallow half way up the pans and press the cake or cupcakes into the marshmallow and press down – let the marshmallow set completely then pop out the cake/cupcakes
- Coat with the extra coconut
MY OCD NOTE – in the video you can see that the marshmallow on top of the cake was very thin – I wasn’t happy with it so the next time I made it I made an additional change. After poping the cake out of the glass bowl (that had a flat bottom) I cut the very top of the cake off to get the coconut off and leave fresh marshmallow exposed and I made a very small batch of marshmallow and added it to the top, then recoated with the coconut – you can see in the blog pictures that it’s thicker and totally seamless!
So the hostess sno ball is actually just the hostess cupcake unfrosted, turned upside town and covered in a sheet of marshmallow!!! Oh YEAH – have you seen the video of the factory? that sheet of marshmallow is pretty epic. I think I need a marshmallow sheet machine in my life. I love those factory videos, seeing how things are made. What is your favorite “how it’s made” video.
More Copycat Recipes
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