Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ode to a Pink Sno Ball

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
Marshmallow Frosting
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
2 eggs
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.
This post is linked to Ingredient Spotlight: Cocoa @ Eat at HomeFull Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage, and  Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies.


    1. Oh my gosh, what a fantastic cake!!! I want to run into my kitchen to make that. Love it. You did a wonderful job. I love those sno-balls too!

    2. Wow! This looks so good. Perfect Valentine Cake. I just don't know if I have the skill set. Your blog is just lovely. I need to check back in more often.

    3. Oh wow, what a fantastic cake.
      Awesome work.
      Have a great weekend ♥

    4. This looks so pretty! I love everything about it - the pink coconut, the dark cake and the marshmallow filling!

    5. Such a fun cake! I'm sure it's scrumptious too!

    6. Oh my!!!! We love Snowballs!!! What an incredible cake! I am putting it on my list to make. It's just beautiful.

    7. This looks wonderful and perfect for parties. thanks for sharing!

      I'm having the very first GIVEAWAY on my blog. Please stop by and submit an entry. Good Luck.

    8. This looks just beautiful! Yes, would be perfect for Valentine!

    9. This cake is amazing!! I LOVE Hostess Snowball cakes. I've got to try this! Thanks for sharing : )

    10. oh my goodness! i really want to try some of this! my mom would love it, she's always buying sno balls!

    11. wow . white, black, pink...what a fabulous combination of colours. And the whole piece just looks wonderfully delicious!

    12. OMG Betty that looks fantastic! I thought it was one of those giant snowball snacks but this is even better! :D

    13. I have never tried the Hostess ones but I do remember we used to get Snowballs from our local Farmers Market bakery as a kid.

    14. I haven't even seen a snowball is years and years! How fun! This looks awesome... my husband would love it!

    15. What a beautifaul sight! Have not made this since my boys were growing up. Love re living those memories;Perfection!

    16. Be still my heart! I loved sno balls. They were right up there with Moon Pies!! I only remember them in pink or white and haven't seen either in years. Maybe they don't have them where I now live? You're right. This would make the perfect Valentine's dessert.


    17. Wow this is beautiful! I was never really into Sno Balls as a kid cause I didn't like coconut back then. I was clearly delusional.

    18. Oh you did such a great job with this! I loved learning how you made the dome too. I would have thought you had to buy a special baking pan. I wish I could have a slice of this sweetness. It would be a perfect treat for a Sunday afternoon. Thank you for sharing with me!

    19. This looks so yummy! I actually have one of those novelty domed cake pans, so this will be made for sure! Great post!

    20. wow....what a darling cake...LOVED the plate it is on too...

      what a great valentines day dessert :-)

      such a sweet post...thanks for sharing this with us...

      kary and teddy

    21. What a beautiful cake! I just may need to see if I can make this gluten-free. I'm a full-time teacher too. 4th grade. Cooking is a nice release!


    22. all I can say is WOW. beautiful cake!

    23. SO beautifullll i mussst make this too, thannxx for the Inspiration:-)
      My fav choco cake and this , loveee everything about it really...
      GOsh , i wanna close my eyes and take a bite and another and another and not stop!
      And of course , its v official that my fav color is Pink:-)))

    24. Ok question time:-)
      do u cut the wedges for the lower layer as such that there is a kinda hollow , so u can fill it up with the Dream fluff:-)

      And the base layer is flat , ie the layer that goes in later , is kinda flatter , so thats trimmed to that right?

      And the top , that goes in second , is rounded , so the top bumped part of the cake does that?
      M sorry for asking too many questions but honestly have never had a snow ball my whole life:-)))

    25. I love Cook's Country. My subscription just ended, I didn't get this one. Great job on the snowball cake! That's looks amazing. I loved having those in my lunches when I was a kid.

      I am new to your blog today, I'm glad I found it. I am working on a fun project and was wondering if I could ask for your assistance.

      Can you e-mail me @ and I'll give you the details? Thanks!

    26. What a beautiful cake! I never was a big fan of Sno-Balls, I was more of a Hostess cupcake kind of girl but that Black Magic Cake base sounds amazing.

    27. Your Snow Ball Cake is a masterpiece. It looks so delicious and I can't wait to try it. Thank you so much for bringing it to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

    28. Can't wait to make this. It looks AMAZING! Great homage to a favorite snack.

    29. I miss snowballs and it was fun reading this post just to reminisce about pink snowballs. I like your technique for making the domed cake and I think it's perfect for Valentine's day;-)

    30. Looks like you're all set for Valentine's Day. Such a pretty cake. Love the round look with the pink marshmallow frosting and the coconuts.
      So delicious looking too!

    31. Wow! That looks so amazing, I bet it's to die for! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

    32. My husband loves the snowball treats! I love anything pink :) We both win!

    33. This looks so beautiful! My husband is a big snowball fan! I am a Twinkie girl But I would definitely love this decadent beauty:) The cake and frosting sound amazing.

    34. ah! this is perfect for valentines day! too cute!

    35. Oh my gosh, that is quite a cake! Anyone would be lucky to dig into this as a special Valentine's Day treat. Thanks for sharing your wonderful talents in the kitchen, Betty! This looks just amazing.

    36. Awesome cake-what a great idea:)

    37. It's weird,but I don't think I've even had one of those Hostess treats (Snowballs, twinkies, etc. )

      This cake sounds great, though... definitely something I'd like to try!

    38. Your cake brings back memories of my childhood when I used to see those sno-balls at the grocery store. I love your idea of making one BIG sno-ball and that shot of it sliced open is just lovely. You did a fantastic job with this and it sounds delicious. Thanks so much for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday. I really appreciate the support and hope you'll be able to join in next Saturday. By then I'll have a cute button that you can grab.

    39. This cake is so well-sculpture and flawless.

    40. This is truly and honestly one amazing cake! I haven't seen anything quite like it! It looks so delicious I wish I could have a piece!

    41. I think I might just have to make this! Fabulous! I have that magazine issue sitting in my stack of things I'll never get around to looking at. You might have just rescued it!

    42. Betty, what a nice the colors and the flavors of this cake...absolutely gorgeous :-)

    43. This cake is beautiful!! Perfect for Valentines Day parties. The pink coconut is awesome!

    44. I haven't had a sno ball in forever. Your cake is so darn cute! I bet it tastes better than the original! ;) Love the pink with the chocolate!

    45. How fantastic! I have loved snow ball since I was a kid, but have never seen a giant one :) Love this!

    46. What a fantastic looking cake! It's so beautiful and no doubt the taste contrast would be delicious. Well done..this is well worth the work.

    47. how awesome! it delivers in appearance and flavor--that marshmallow frosting might not make it to the cake, i'll confess. :)

    48. Wow, I love this cake! This would be a hit at any party. Snowballs were a favorite when I was young.

    49. OMG this looks perfect!!! hahaha just looking at it makes me giddy :D

    50. Oh yes!!! That is one pretty sno ball. I used to love eating the Hostess Sno Balls growing up. My kids would love this cake and I would do too. Thanks.

    51. What fun! And perfect for Valentine's Day. It looks delicious.

    52. i can see that you're all set for valentines day! this looks so pretty i just cant get over it. love it.

    53. Congratulations Betty! Your Pink Sno Ball Cake is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week 1-27-11. It was so good!
      Best Wishes,
      Miz Helen

    54. This is like a giant version of those pink plastic wrapped cakes. But man, this looks so much better! :)

    55. I love this - so fun and festive! It looks exactly like the original snowball... but I am sure ...yours tastes much better! So impressed!


    56. Wow - this looks amazing. We don't get Sno-Balls in New Zealand, but I bet they're a real treat. We don't get Twinkies either. Clearly we're very deprived here!
      Sue :-)

    57. Oh the memories!!! Perfect for Valentines Day. Thanks for sharing. I loved it! B:)

    58. SWOON! Sno-balls were my favorite as a kid...and this is a giant one. I would so eat that whole thing myself.

    59. Hello, again! I wanted to let you know that I've awarded you a "Stylish Blogger Award" via my blog! Congrats!

    60. Ahh! So amazing. Just perfect!

    61. Hey thannxxxxx for the pics , lods:-)))
      I kow exactly what u mean now:-))
      Very sweet of u to take pics and put them up :-)
      I loveee coming to ur warm place and can see all ur pals do too:-)
      When i do make this ,i sure will link back here :-)
      Lodsa love and warm hugs,

    62. I love this! The coconut is tinted such a sweet pink too.

    63. Oh I love this!! Thank goodness you shared all the step by step photos. I nights actually be brave enough to try it. How could we not love your post? It's an American classic. Made big. Gotta go show this to my hubs.

    64. Brings back so many childhood memories. I loved those things. This one looks too cute.

    65. Now this is a fun cake! I agree - brings back happy memories!


    66. I'm over-the-top impressed with this beautiful domed cake! What a challenge to undertake--I feel like this is the sort of recipe that I dream about making when I'm browsing cooking magazines, but never actually try! Your rockin' results definitely inspire me :)

      Hope you've had a great week so far!

    67. This is incredible! Its so beautiful.

    68. Betty , this sno ball cake has been on my mind all the time and i know i have to fit it in too.
      Thannx a bunch again for ur love and kind words.

    69. The pink sno ball is just too cute!! I could eat that whole thing!

    70. This is one of the prettiest cakes I've ever seen. I'm dying to try it out!

    71. hi! i have all the ingredients and am making the cake now. what do i do with the buttermilk? it's in the ingredients list but not in the directions. thanks!

    72. Sorry about that! Just add it in with the coffee, eggs, oil and vanilla. Hope you love it as much as I do. :)


    Thanks for stopping by scrambled hen fruit! I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading them.

    Related Posts with Thumbnails