Homemade Sno-Balls

My husband has never eaten a Hostess Sno Ball. I know, shocking! I, on the other hand, have had my fair share. With the news that Hostess has filed for bankruptcy, I’m sure there are people fretting over where they will get their cakey, cellophane-wrapped snacks. Worry no more! Homemade sno balls coming right up.

I found this mini-ball cake pan at a local baking supply store. They made the cutest chocolate cake mounds, and were the perfect size for sno balls. I made twelve mini-cakes, and had extra batter. I probably could’ve made another 4 more cakes, but opted to do something else with the batter.

I tried to dip the cakes in the marshmallow by inverting them, but they got stuck once I they were more than halfway submerged. I ended up coating the rest of the cakes using an off-set spatula and keeping the cakes upright. To cut down a bit on the crumbs, I recommend wearing gloves during the coating process. I came to this brilliant realization when there were only 2 cakes left. Oh well, better late than never.

cake recipe from David Lebovitz
marshmallow coating adapted from Coconut and Lime

Homemade Sno-Balls

Homemade Sno-Balls


½ c plus 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c cake flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ c sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ c brewed coffee
½ c milk
Marshmallow coating
1 lb sweetened, shredded coconut
Pink gel food coloring (if desired)
1 ½ packets of unflavored powder gelatin (about 9 grams)
¼ c cold water
1 c sugar
⅓ c corn syrup
2 Tbs water
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
Creme filling
½ tsp warm water
Dash of salt
Half of a 7 oz. jar of marshmallow fluff
¼ c shortening
2 Tbs powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract


  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour the wells of 2 mini-rounded cake pans.
  2. Sift the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the coffee and milk. Stir half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Stir in the coffee/milk mixture. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir to blend. Pour batter into prepared cake pans until ⅔ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, about 18 minutes. Let cakes cool completely before turning the pan over to remove them.
  4. For the marshmallow coating: Pour coconut into a bowl. Mix with a teeny bit of food coloring. Mix well to evenly tint the coconut. Set aside.
  5. Place the ¼ c of cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let set. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 2 Tbs water. Bring to a rolling boil. Fit the whisk attachment to the stand mixer, and turn to low to break up the gelatin. Pour the corn syrup mixture into the stand mixer with the gelatin and beat on high for 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the salt and vanilla. Continue beating on high for another 6-8 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer.
  6. Using a fork or spoon, dip the rounded side of the cakes into the marshmallow. Quickly roll the marshmallow-coated cake in the coconut, making sure to cover the entire marshmallow surface. Place uncoated side down on a sheet to set.
  7. For the creme filling: Combine salt and water in a small bowl. With a mixer, combine fluff, shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Add the salt mixture, and beat until combined.
  8. Using a large plain decorator’s tip, pipe the filling into the center of each cake, from the bottom.

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Sweet Comments:

  1. omg, I LOVE sno balls!! I will definitely need to try this recipe out soon. Thanks for posting this!!

  2. My mom used to pack a pink sno ball in my lunch box for Valentine’s day. I’m going to have to try this recipe and surprise her. Thank you!

  3. How cute!!!!

  4. So cute! I love treats that can instantly take me back to my childhood.

  5. how darling! beautiful pictures!

  6. I was SO going to do this! If you don’t mind a little “waste” I would imagine placing the cakes on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and pouring the marshmallow layer over would be quite simple as well!

  7. Oh those cno-balls are so cute, especially those pink ones:-)

  8. Um I actually started to cry from sheer joy when I saw this. I am making these this weekend. And I’m not going lie, they’ll be pink and I’m gonna eat a dozen all by myself.

  9. Your link to my recipe doesn’t work.

  10. Rachel,

    Fixed the link. Thanks for the heads up.

  11. Sno-Balls are my dad’s favorite Hostess treats! They are also something I’ve wanted to try to make for a while, but I was never sure how. So glad to have a recipe!

  12. I have an order-of-operations question: why fill after frosting? Is this needed for the treat’s integrity, or is it easier in some fashion to fill after frosting?

    I worship at the altar of Sno-Balls, btw. I make all kinds of things fresh and bake like a crazy woman, but Sno-Balls are my krytonite (of commercial snackage).

  13. Matti,

    You could fill the cake at either time – before coating with marshmallow or after.

  14. Not to butt in but since Koko used my recipe/technique, i thought I would help. When I developed it, I found it was better to fill them at the end. Before and the cream had a tendency to leak out when you were handling them to coat in marshmallow/roll in coconut. I am not sure if Koko did it both ways but I did and that is why I wrote the recipe the way I did.

  15. Heather W. says:

    So I just made these. My 6 yo is having her birthday party this weekend. Its a Cocoa & Snow theme. I wanted to make snowball cakes after finding the orb cake pan. I’ll admit I used a boxed white cake mix (Duff) and then made neon color swirls in the cake. But I did use the marshmallow topping from here. These are AWESOME!! So fun. Labor intensive for a newbie baker like myself with a 6 month old hollering for me every ten minutes. I didn’t have vanilla and improvised using some peppermint flavoring I had. WOW!! I also added the peppermint to the coconut. Now when you bit into them you get a nice frosty zing. It worked out excellent. Very “snowball” like. I made a double batch of the marshmallow since I had 18 cakes to cover. It was WAY too much. I’m sure 1 batch would’ve worked fine. I also used the left over cake from where I leveled off the orbs to make cake balls and covered them in the marshmallow and coconut. Worked great! I wore rubber gloves like you suggested and rubbed oil all over them before handling the marshmallow and every so often in between. This kept the marshmallow from building up on my hands and it slid right off. I don’t have an offset spatula so I used a large dinner fork. It worked really well as it sort of formed to the orb shape. But really, I didn’t care if they came out all smooth…they’re snowballs! Turns out though, they did. If I would’ve made more, or had bigger kids to treat, I might’ve considered sticking two orbs together using the marshmallow as a glue in order to make actual [snow]balls. I didn’t end up doing the cream filling because frankly I was too tired and I still have a lot more to get done.

  16. I just made these. They are so good but SO messy. definitely worth it. I didn’t have an orb pan, so I just filled a muffin tin and make cupcakes, after covering with marshmallow and coconut, you couldn’t tell they weren’t round. But I did have one problem: my cream filling went runny after filling my sno balls and leaked everywhere. I noticed this about half way through, so I filled from the top and covered it again with coconut, problem solved. I think the cream just couldn’t take this intense southern heat. My kitchen is now a mess but it’s worth it


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