Food for Thought – November 3, 2015


For The Vista

The holidays are right around the corner, and I’m planning menus for get-togethers, stocking up on the ingredients for my candy and cookies, and researching new recipes for my annual cookie exchange.

For this party, my women friends bring two dozen cookies to exchange, and I usually make 10-12 appetizers and a few desserts. Next week, I’ll begin sharing some of my favorite recipes from past exchanges with you.

But today, I’m in the midst of cooking a 50th birthday dinner for a good friend, and thought I would share this recipe for her favorite dessert—Hostess pink snowball cupcakes.

This recipe is a bit easier since it’s a cake, not cupcakes.

Pink Snowball Cake (serves 8-10)


6 T cocoa       6 T hot water

1 1⁄2 c flour       1⁄2 tsp baking soda

1⁄2 tsp baking powder       1⁄2 tsp salt

1 1⁄2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tbsp)

1 c plus 1T sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1⁄2 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 quart heat-proof bowl (stainless or Pyrex) with shortening and lightly flour. Set aside.

Whisk together cocoa and hot water. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour mixture into a mixing bowl. Beat until mixture has cooled enough to add the eggs without scrambling them.

Add eggs, vanilla, and then cocoa mixture. Beat until well-combined. Reduce mixer speed and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream.

Pour into greased bowl and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.

Let cool slightly. Run a knife around the edge of the cake, and then turn out onto a cake stand or serving tray lined with wax paper strips. Let cool almost completely. Cut the dome of the cake off about 1/3 of the way down from the top. With your fingers, press to make an indentation in the middle of the base of the cake. (If you let the cake cool completely, this step sometimes cracks the bottom layer; so do this before it cools completely). This will make room for the marshmallow filling without wasting any cake.


1 lb unsalted butter, softened

1-16 oz. jar marshmallow cream

1 c confectioners’ sugar     1 generous c sweetened flaked coconut

Pink soft gel food color

Beat butter with mixer until fluffy. Add marshmallow cream and beat again, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. When thoroughly combined, remove 1 cup of the white mixture and place in the center of the cut cake. Place the top of the cake over the marshmallow center and line up the edges as best as possible.

Add the 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar to the remaining frosting. Mix well. Use a small dab of pink food coloring to tint the frosting pastel pink. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl so no white streaks remain. Frost cake with an offset spatula. (I like metal ones best).

In a medium bowl, tint coconut with a drop of pink gel food coloring.  Mix well; you can use a fork but I found my fingers did a much better job.  Coat frosted cake with pink coconut.  Remove wax paper strips from underneath the cake and tidy up the serving plate edges if coconut remnants are present.

*You must use a 2 quart (8 cup) bowl for this recipe. The batter is approximately 4 cups and needs plenty of room to rise while baking.