if it’s got a candle on it, the calories don’t count

devils food cake and marshmallow frosting

It’s my sister’s birthday today. Normally a very happy occasion, but right now we are separated by more than 2,000 kilometres and the Tasman Sea. And it makes me sad to know we aren’t even celebrating together in the same time zone. It’s the second birthday we’re spending apart and it’s not getting any easier, in fact it seems to be getting harder. What does make me happy however, is being able to celebrate another year of her life. In the sister department, she’s pretty much the best you can get, and I seriously hit the jackpot with that one. She’s my best friend, my inspiration, my soundboard and my pillar of strength. And I’m so excited to see what this year is going to bring for her and what we’re going to celebrate at the next birthday!!

devils food cake and marshmallow frosting

Of course, if we were in the same city, I would have made her anything her little heart desired. But although we are not, I still wanted to make something I could virtually deliver to her and make me feel (marginally) better at the same time. And two things in life that makes me really happy is chocolate and marshmallows. Imagine my giddy delight in being able to combine it in baking to produce Devil’s Food Cupcakes with a Marshmallow Frosting. I feel obliged to include some sort of disclaimer or warning in making this – it is highly addictive. I nearly went into a sugar coma before even having a chance to take any photo’s. But, as I’ve read somewhere recently, if it’s got a candle in it the calories don’t count, never mind the candles weren’t technically for me, I’ve been enjoying them guilt free!

devils food cake and marshmallow frosting

If you’ve never had marshmallow frosting, you need to get up right now and make this, and if you must, without the cupcakes and just have spoonfuls of the frosting on its own. And full credit here to the recipe I found in the Primrose Bakery Book for the frosting. My brother gave the book to me for Christmas last year and it is one of my prized (cookbook) possessions. I would highly, highly recommend the book if you love baking, and love seeing recipes that are just a little above the ordinary. The frosting will work well with any chocolate cake base you want to use, although I obviously cannot speak highly enough of this devil’s food cake recipe, it’s moist and chocolaty, rich and dreamy (I’m having to use every last ounce of self-discipline to not get up right now and have another one while writing this) and it’s seriously easy to make.

devils food cake and marshmallow frosting

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
makes 12 cupcakes
90g dark chocolate
2 tbs cocoa powder
¾ cup water
125g butter, softened
2 eggs
⅓ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup plain flour, sifted
½ cup self-rising flour, sifted
pinch of salt
½ tsp baking soda

Marshmallow Frosting
2 egg whites
120g granulated sugar
80g golden syrup
1½ tbs water
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
drop of colouring paste (optional)


  • Pre-heat your oven to 160°C.
  • Over medium heat, stir together the chocolate, cocoa and water until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Leave for about 10 minutes to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl add together all the rest of the ingredients and add the cooled chocolate mixture. Mix together on a low speed until all the ingredients are incorporated then increasing the speed, beat together for about a minute until the mixture starts becoming paler in colour. (It will be rather runny, don’t be alarmed at this, it’s what it is meant to be like. I pour the batter into a measuring cup for the next step, it’s easier to pour into the muffin tray rather than using a utensil).
  • Line a muffin tray with paper cups and pour batter into each hole. There is not a lot of rise in this recipe so I fill my cups nearly to the top leaving about 5mm space.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool while making the frosting.
  • To make the marshmallow frosting: combine the sugar, syrup and water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it reaches “soft ball stage”, after about a minute on the heat. I have a candy thermometer that cleverly shows the different stages, and I would very much recommend getting this for your kitchen (mine cost less than $10) but has come in handy so many times.
candy thermometer

Candy thermometer

  • In a stand alone mixer, whisk together two egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • While the mixer is going on a medium speed, slowly start pouring the sugar syrup into the whipped egg whites.
  • Once fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to high and whip until the mixture is thick and glossy (about 5 minutes).
  • If you’re adding vanilla extract and food colouring paste, do so now at the end (I added a little rose food colouring paste).
  • Use the frosting straight away, while it is still slightly warm, as it’s easier to pipe onto the cupcakes.
  • Fill a piping back with the frosting and pipe generously onto the cupcakes.
  • Enjoy straight away or place in an airtight container for up to two days.
  • Devil’s Food Cake recipe adapted from Woman’s Weekly cake recipe, Marshmallow Frosting from Primrose Bakery.



8 responses to “if it’s got a candle on it, the calories don’t count

  1. Pingback: a woodland forest birthday | little bean bakes·

  2. Pingback: minion madness!!! | little bean bakes·

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