Sno Ball Cake



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Sno Ball Cake

This Sno Ball Cake is what we’re discussing today because it’s delicious! And cute.

When I’m recipe testing, I like to prop up my computer on a cutting board and watch trashy television. It helps cake and pie and cookie failures go down a bit easier.

Oh and my standards for trashy tv are SO low. It has been everything from Say Yes to the Dress (the Atlanta season is my favorite) to Rich Kids of Beverly Hills (oof!) to what I’m currently watching, Teen Mom.

Sno Ball Cake

Hostess Sno Ball Cakes

This cake, inspired by my childhood favorite (the sno ball!) was created thinking of those afternoons when I’d ride my bike to the corner store and buy sno balls in those plastic packets.

I’d usually get an iced cold coke and consume those two together. I’d go home and my mom would always ask me, “Did you ruin your dinner?” And I’d shake my head and hope my teeth weren’t brown from all the chocolate. Those were the best of times. Everything was so simple!

Sno Ball Cake

The Breakdown of a Hostess Sno Ball

In case you’re unfamiliar with a sno ball, allow me to elaborate. They’re a fist-sized chocolate cake round filled with marshmallow fluff. On the outside they are rolled tightly in electric pink coconut flakes.

The bright pink color pops out at you while you’re scanning the sugar for what type of sugar to consume. It really draws you in!

Sno Ball Cake

Sno Ball Cake

This cake is inspired by that treat. So here’s how it’s made up:

– The cake is a three layer (6-inch) cake. We have options though. If you don’t have 6-inch cake pans (no worries), make this in two (8-inch) cake pans.
– This super quick chocolate cake is covered in marshmallow frosting.
– This frosting is so fluffy and delicious.
– Coconut flakes are mixed and rubbed together with a teeny amount of red food coloring.
– And then they’re all on the sides and tops of the cake making it look like a gigantic Sno Ball!

Sno Ball Cake

Sno Ball Cake

This cake would make a great birthday cake, shower cake, “it’s just Saturday” cake. If you try it, give me a shout on Instagram.

Sno Ball Cake

Sno Ball Cake

4.86 from 7 votes

Sno Ball Cake

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Decorating Cake: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 1 (6-inch, 3 layer) cake
Sno Ball Cake is inspired by the Hostess snack, sno balls. This is a chocolate cake, layered with fluffy marshmallow frosting and coated in pink coconut flakes.


  • 3 (6-inch) cake pans OR 2 (8-inch) cake pans



  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

7-Minute Frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup white granulated
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coconut Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 drops red food coloring


To Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans. This batter is sticky so I also lined the bottoms with parchment. I highly recommend this. You don’t want to bake the whole thing up and have it stick. Set the pans aside. See below for link as to how to bake cake layers flat. I do this every single time and it’s SO helpful. Also, I own only two 6-inch cake pans and I baked up the first two layers first and then the third last. The batter was a-ok to do this!
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined. Next, crack in the egg and egg yolk, pour in the buttermilk, warm water, olive oil and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. The batter will be thinner than cake batter that you’re probably used to—that’s ok!
  • Divide the cake batter amongst the cake pans and transfer to the oven to bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Clean out the bowl you used to make the cake and dry it thoroughly. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.

To Make the Frosting:

  • In large metal bowl, whisk together the water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and mix with handheld electric mixer at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer bowl from pan to folded kitchen towel on counter and continue beating until mixture is cool and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. (Frosting can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.)

To Make the Coconut Topping:

  • Add the coconut flakes and red food coloring to a bowl. (I ended up covering my hands with a ziplock bag so I wouldn’t get food coloring all over my hands.) Mix the coconut flakes and red food coloring together until evenly distributed. I liked mine to be baby pink. If you want bright pink, you may need to buy neon food coloring.

To Assemble the Cake:

  • Add a few tablespoons of frosting to the center of one of the rounds of cake. Smooth it around, until it reaches the edges. Place the second layer on top. And then place another few tablespoons of frosting to the center of the second round of cake. Smooth it around. Add the third layer. Add more frosting the top and the sides, smoothing it out the best you can. (Since we’re adding coconut flakes, it doesn’t have to be perfect.)
  • Press the coconut flakes to the sides, going all the way around. And add coconut flakes to the top of the cake. Slice and serve.



Serving: 4g | Calories: 312kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

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Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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  1. Hi, this is sooo cool ! Do you think that it would work if I made 1 6″ layer & baked the rest in an oven proof bowl so the top would be round ? I think I would scoop out the middle of the bowl cake & fill with frosting.
    What do you think??
    Thanks, Susie

  2. 5 stars
    I enjoy testing new recipes. Great cake. I don’t eat Hostess Sno balls, but I like chocolate & coconut. I’ll add this cake to my collection. By the 4th day, it’s not as fresh so I would not make it days ahead. To color coconut, I coconut & food color in a stainless steel bowl & just stirred with an oversized fork. Blended perfectly.

    1. yes! i would actually just leave it out on the counter at room temp. if you have a cake cover that’s awesome. if not, i like to use a colander. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I made this cake yesterday for my mother’s birthday. She loves snowballs! I made the three 6″ layers. The only adjustment I made was I replaced two tablespoons of the 1/2 cup cocoa with Hershey’s dark cocoa. I have found it lends a deeper flavor to chocolate cakes but is too much if you replace all of the regular cocoa with it. The cake was incredibly moist if you carefully monitor the baking time. I always set my timer for about 5 minutes less than the recipe calls for and start checking it. The frosting was so good! It was light and fluffy and had marshmallowy flavor that I hadn’t been expecting. It’s absolutely delightful with the coconut on top of it. I did sprinkle a bit of the coconut within the layers as well. My one suggestion is make sure you beat the egg white/sugar mixture to get strong stiff peaks. I thought I had stiff peaks but I think I needed to go about two minutes more. My frosting had a tendency to settle down the sides. I popped it into the fridge which seemed to set it, and with the coconut, you couldn’t even tell. I was just aware of it cause I was seeing it happen while I was frosting it. I will absolutely make this again!

  4. 5 stars
    I’m making this today for my nephew’s birthday, and the batter tastes amazing. but I’m noticing that my cakes didn’t come out as dark as yours. Did you use something other than regular baking cocoa? Dutched maybe? The recipe didn’t specify so I used Hershey’s regular unsweetened baking cocoa. I’m not unhappy with the cake, just want to make sure I’m not missing out on anything for future reference.

  5. If you want to save a ziplock, put your coconut in a jar, add the colour and the put on the lid and shake the daylights out of it. Then if you have more than you need, you can save it for another project!