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Large slice of black and white cake on a plate.

Black and White Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black and white cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 14 slices
Calories: 691kcal
Author: Kara @I Scream for Buttercream
A moist and rich, dark chocolate cake made with dark and regular cocoa powder that's covered and filled with a fluffy marshmallow frosting to give it that black and white look.
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For the cake:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • cup unsweetened black cocoa powder (this is different than regular cocoa powder, see the FAQ section in post for questions)
  • cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (regular unsweetened cocoa, like Hershey's – not dutch cocoa powder - see FAQs in post for questions)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or hot water)

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (4 sticks ) (See notes section about alternative tips to getting super white frosting)
  • 1 14 oz jar marshmallow fluff (marshmallow cream) (or may use two 7 oz jars)
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar (can use up to 5 cups if needed to thicken)


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 inch round cake pans. (If you only have two pans, don't try to bake all the batter in only two pans, it's too much.) (Just pour a ⅓ of the batter into each of your two pans, then chill and cover the rest of the batter while the cakes bake. Once they're baked and removed from their pans, clean one of your pans, grease and flour it, then bake the remaining batter in it.)
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugars. Whisk and set aside.
  • In another bowl, add the softened butter, oil, vanilla paste or extract, milk and eggs. (Do not add the coffee or hot water yet.) Whisk well.
  • Add the liquid ingredients (except for the coffee or hot water) to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high until the ingredients are well combined. Be careful not to mix too long or the cake will turn out dense. Stop mixing once the ingredients are well combined.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl and add the hot coffee (or water). Mix until well combined.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. (See above note if you only have two pans.)
  • Set on wire racks to cool for about 15 minutes, then turn out the cake layers onto the racks and remove from the pans to cool completely before assembling the cake and adding buttercream frosting.
  • Once the cake is cooled, add one layer of cake on a cake plate, then add the buttercream frosting. Continue until all three layers are on the cake plate with two layers of filling. Cover the entire outside of the cake in the buttercream frosting.

For the buttercream frosting:

  • In a mixing bowl, add the butter and mix on medium until smooth.
  • Add in the marshmallow fluff, vanilla extract and the pinch of salt. Mix on medium until well combined.
  • Add in two cups of the confectioner's sugar and mix on medium until smooth.
  • Add in the last two cups of confectioner's sugar and mix on medium high for several minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Once whipped, if you want it even whiter, see the notes section below for a couple tips.
  • If the frosting is a little soft, place in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes or so to firm up a bit before adding to the cake.


Can I bake this cake in two pans instead?
This recipe will make enough batter to fill three 8 inch round cake pans. If you split the batter between two pans, it will be too much batter and it will overflow. If you only have two pans, fill those pans a little over halfway up, then cover and refrigerate the remaining batter until the two cake layers are finished baking. After cooling for about 10 minutes, remove the cake layers from the pans, clean one of the pans, grease and flour, then add the remaining batter and bake.
To get a super white frosting, you can replace one cup of the butter in the frosting with vegetable shortening, or you can still use all butter and just add in a few specks of violet gel food coloring. Only add a tiny amount and it will cancel out any yellow. This is my preferred method as you still get the yummy taste of an all butter buttercream, but it turns out white. Also, make sure to whip the buttercream for several minutes as this will lighten it up as well.
This cake will keep for about a day, covered well at room temperature, then cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five more days. To eat, add a slice to a plate allow it to come closer to room temperature on its own.
Nutritional values are an estimate.
Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which may answer questions you may have.
*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Calories: 691kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 1092IU | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg