Rocky road is a classic ice cream flavor made with chocolate ice cream, walnuts and marshmallows. This snack cake packs all of the elements of rocky road into, well, a cake! As much as I like the ice cream, I have to admit that I just might like this cake a little more. It’s easy to make, easy to snack on and it has a fun look to it.
The Rocky Road Cake has a very tender, brownie-like base to it that is chock full of walnuts. The ingredients for the cake look similar to the ingredients for brownies, but the texture is much lighter than a brownie recipe and it has a soft, almost fluffy texture – not a fudgy one. I used very large chunks of walnut – halves, quarters and other big pieces – to give the cake a lot of texture and make sure the buttery flavor of the walnuts really came through.
This cake is baked in a 9×13 pan, and just before it is finished baking, several cups of miniature marshmallows are sprinkled on top of the cake. The cake goes back into the oven, where the marshmallows puff up and turn into a sweet, sticky topping. A little bit of chocolate fudge glaze is drizzled over the marshmallows to finish off the cake. The fudge glaze is a small-batch version of a marshmallow fudge recipe, and some of the mini marshmallows are actually mixed into it. It makes for a pretty presentation and definitely helps tie everything together.
Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing it, and use a very sharp knife that has been lightly greased with vegetable oil to ensure clean slices. The cake keeps well in an airtight container for several days after baking and is perfect to take to an end-of-summer barbecue or picnic!
Rocky Road Cake
1/2 cup butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee/espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Marshmallow Topping and Chocolate Fudge Glaze
10 1/2-oz package miniature marshmallows, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt together butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add in cocoa powder, instant coffee and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth. Stir in chocolate mixture. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Stir in remaining flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of flour remain. Fold in walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle all but 2/3 cup marshmallows evenly over the cake (approx 4 cups). Return cake to oven for 2 minutes, until marshmallows are puffed but not browned.
Allow cake to cool for several minutes while glaze is prepared.
For the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and marshmallows until smooth. Drizzle over still-warm cake.
Allow cake to cool completely before slicing.