Merry Christmas – Red Velvet Cake with Marshmallow Icing


Every year for my boyfriend’s birthday I bake him a birthday cake. I try to go all out, to make something stunning and to get creative, because he really deserves it. It is my way of saying thank you and I love you.

Normally, I do get inventive, mix and match a little bit. However, this year while browsing Donna Hay’s website my eyes landed on this theatrical cake and I was determined to make it. I have never heard of marshmallow icing before and couldn’t imagine how the texture would turn out. I am unsure if I can describe it accurately enough, but the closest thing I can think of is toasted marshmallows. Now, some of you may have read before that I’m not a huge fan of icing and to compound to that I also dislike marshmallows (unless is toasted). So how was this ever going to work in my favour? Well, surprisingly I loved it and even more surprisingly it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. It almost felt like magic creating that texture. I don’t have a blow torch, but if you do I suggest to caramelised the top lightly with one. I think that toasted marshmallow feel will add another dimension to this well balanced but oh-so-delicious cake.


This cake actually also reminds me of Santa, which is why I am posting it now. Don’t you think that fluffy marshmallow icing kind of looks like a fluffy white beard? Maybe, just maybe. Well, here I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy festive season, filled with love, laughter and of course, lots and lots of yummy food. Thank you for reading this blog and being so forgiving of my inconsistencies. Give this fun celebration cake a go during this silly season, you might just fall in love with it as much as I did.

Red Velvet Cake with Marshmallow Icing

Recipe courtesy of: (with minor modifications)

Serves 10–12.


  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups (275g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (300g) self raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
  • ⅓ cup (35g) cocoa, sifted
  • ¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk
  • ¼ cup (60ml) red food colouring
  • 250g fresh raspberries/young-berries/mixed berries/strawberries (try to choose something a little tart to balance out the sweetness)

marshmallow icing

  • 4 eggwhites, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar


Red Velvet Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add the flour, cocoa, buttermilk and food colouring and beat on low speed until just combined.
  4. Spoon into a lightly greased 20cm-round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper and smooth the top with a palette knife. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes – 1 hour 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Marshmallow icing

  1. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk with a hand-held electric mixer for 4–5 minutes or until thick.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk for a further 3–4 minutes or until cooled to room temperature.


Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally and place the bottom layer on a serving dish. Spread 2 cups (500ml) of the icing evenly over the base, top with the berries and the remaining layer of cake and top with the remaining icing to serve.

*Note: If the icing stands for too long in the bowl, it will go stiff. To soften, simply add 1 tablespoon of water and stir vigorously with a spatula.


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