Oh lovely Sno-Ball, your glowing pink coconut beckons. Your silken vanilla creme- a treasure hidden deep within your chocolate deliciousness- concealed under your marshmallow dome. You stole my heart years ago, and I am still hopelessly smitten.
How about you? Do you hold the same affinity for that time honored Hostess treat? Do you watch for the changing colors of Sno Balls like you watch for the changing of the seasons?
One of my students gave me the January Cook's Country magazine for Christmas (Thanks again, M.!) and this Chocolate Snowball Cake was pictured inside the back cover. Being a long time lover of those tasty Hostess treats, I knew I had to pay homage to the Sno Ball I've known and loved, by baking this tasty tribute.
It was absolutely wonderful even though it hasn't replaced the original Sno Ball in my heart of hearts. (It must be something about the preservatives and the crinkly plastic wrapper that keeps bringing me back.) It has, though carved out its own special place in my world, the perfect treat for a birthday or as a special sweet for my Valentine.
No special pan is needed to make your own little bit of nostalgia. You could even use a cake mix if you want. If you're not a chocolate fan, make your cake any flavor you like. It won't be a Sno Ball, but I'm sure it will still be yummy!
For the Sno Ball Cake, you'll need:
- Two nine-inch layers of cake- I used Hershey's Black Magic cake (recipe follows) but you could use your favorite.
- A two-quart bowl- I used a Pyrex bowl. It is helpful if the bowl is glass so you can see through it when you arrange your cake in it. Mine was opaque though, and it worked fine. (original recipe called for a 1 1/2 quart bowl)
- Plastic wrap to line your bowl
- One recipe of Marshmallow Frosting (recipe follows)
- Two cups of shredded sweetened coconut plus 2 drops of red or pink food color
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (as in not liquid but really, really soft)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups marshmallow cream (about 9-10 oz)
Combine water and gelatin in large bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatin dissolves, about 30 seconds. (Mine took at least a minute, but my microwave is small. Your mixture does need to heat and be bubbling around the edges.) Stir in butter, vanilla and salt until combined. Let mixture cool until just warm to touch, about 5 minutes. (Mine did not take this long to cool.) Whisk in marshmallow creme until smooth. I whisked about one third of the marshmallow creme at a time. When you finish, the mixture will be thin. Refrigerate the mixture until it is thick and spreadable, about 30 minutes.
To Assemble Sno Ball Cake:
- Prepare Marshmallow Frosting and put in refrigerator to set.
- Combine coconut and food coloring (I whirled it together in my food processor)
- Line your bowl with plastic wrap, leaving the ends overhanging the edges of the bowl.
- Cut one of the cooled cake layers into 8 even wedges. Line the bowl with the cake wedges, packing gently so there are no spaces between wedges. This was where I ran into trouble the first time I made it. I couldn't get them to fit together in the bowl.The second time though, I trimmed the top edge (diagonally) off of each of the three sides of each wedge. After trimming the wedges they fit together nicely. There shouldn't be any gaps on the inside or in the parts touching the bowl. If you have any gaps on the inside, fill them with with parts you trimmed off.
- Fill cake lined bowl "cavity" with one cup of the marshmallow frosting.
- Top with the remaining nine inch layer cake, trimming it to fit the inside of the bowl.
- Pull the edges of the plastic wrap over the cake, and put it in the refrigerator about one hour.
- Unwrap the cake and carefully invert it onto serving dish. Remove plastic.
- Spread remaining marshmallow mixture evenly over the cake and sprinkle with coconut. (I found the frosting to be difficult to spread evenly, but the coconut covered it nicely.)
- Slice, serve and enjoy your little bit of nostalgia! :)
Hershey's Black Magic Cake
Recipe from Hershey's
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Grease and flour 2 nine-inch round cake pans.
- In your mixer bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- Stir in eggs, coffee, oil and vanilla.
- Beat on medium speed for two minutes.
- Divide batter evenly between the two pans. (Batter will be thin.)
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on racks.