Today is National S'mores Day, so what better day than to share with you the S'mores cake I made last weekend for a friend's birthday. This girl loves anything chocolate, so when i asked her what kind of cake she would like this year, she first replied 'something chocolate'. Then a few minutes later she sent a text saying 'Actually, can you make a s'mores cake???' The funny thing is, I had planned to make a s'mores cake back in June for my boyfriend's birthday, but I didn't have some of the necessary equipment (you will need a culinary blow torch) and I was short on time. I ended up making a chocolate cookie dough bundt cake, which didn't require any decorating time.
So fast forward to August and I couldn't have been more excited to make a s'mores cake. The cake itself has ground graham crackers mixed into it for that perfect s'mores taste. Then a milk chocolate ganache sandwiches the layers together, and everything is coated with a thick layer of homemade marshmallow fluff. This marshmallow fluff is the best you've ever had. Trust me, the store bought variety can't even hold a candle to the homemade stuff. I can't stress enough how important it is to NOT use the store bought fluff. It will turn your cake into a soupy mess as it doesn't hold up well. So if you are short on time, I wouldn't suggest making this cake. Save it for when you have the time to make your own fluff, and you won't end up with a mess on your hands. You will however, be left addicted to this wonderfully delicious marshmallow fluff. And the best part is getting to torch it. So much fun!
This particular cake was enjoyed at a picnic in Prospect Park. We were especially lucky that it wasn't a hot summer's day; it was only in the low 80s. I suspect if it had been a normal NYC summer's day, the marshmallow fluff wouldn't have held up. So thank you, weather gods!
*Recipe adapted from Liv For Cake.
For the cake:
2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 & 1/4 cups ground graham cracker crumbs
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 & 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 & 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate ganache:
12 oz good quality milk chocolate, roughly chopped
6 oz heavy whipping cream
For the marshmallow fluff:
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup or honey
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and grease 3 9-inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper.
- Grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb using a food processor. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add both sugars and beat on high until pale & fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
- Starting and ending with the flour, alternate between adding the flour and buttermilk to the mixture. Combine well but do not overmix.
- Pour batter evenly into the 3 pans, smoothing the tops. Evenly distribute the batter by whacking the pans onto the table. This will also get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto rack to cool completely. Once cool, place cakes into the refrigerator while you make the ganache.
- Make the ganache: Place chopped chocolate into a medium sized bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until it's just barely simmering. Pour over chocolate and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand for 2 minutes and then stir with a spatula until fully combined and smooth.
- Cool ganache in the refrigerator until thickened, but still soft. (stir every so often).
- Using a mixer, beat ganache for about 2 minutes until fluffy and lighter in color.
- Make the marshmallow fluff: place water, sugar, corn syrup (or honey) into a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Heat over medium high and insert a candy thermometer into the saucepan. Do not stir from this point as sugar crystals will form.
- Ensure mixing bowl and beaters and completely grease-free. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl. Once the sugar syrup reaches 225°F, start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks (about 3-4 minutes). When the whites are ready, the sugar syrup should be at 240°F. Remove from the heat and turn mixer to medium speed, and very slowly pour the sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream.
- Once all of the syrup has been added, continue whipping on medium/high. The whites will deflate at first but then thicken and fluff up. Continue to whip for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture is thick & glossy.
- Add the vanilla and continue to whip until the fluff has cooled.
- Cake assembly: Frost cake layers with the ganache, spreading it down the sides and also on top. Place in refrigerator to set. Spread marshmallow fluff over entire cake and toast with a blow torch. Serve at room temperature. Leftover cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
*If there is even a speck of grease (or egg yolk) the whites will not whip. Wipe everything down with white vinegar (or lemon juice) before adding the egg whites.
*The sweet spot for getting the stream right is between the whisk and the sides of the bowl, so the syrup doesn't get splashed by the whisk.
*The spread can be rewhipped by hand if it becomes flat.
Items I used: