WHAT CAN BE BETTER THAN A S’MORES CAKE?!
In the past, I’ve tasted and also made S’mores cupcakes before. The first time I had a s’mores cupcake was by Sprinkles Cupcakes and it was extremely divine. After my first, I went back just to buy it again and found out they were a limited time and seasonal cupcake. From hearing that, I grew an even greater craving for it and sought out to make my own s’mores cupcakes. Then one fine day later, I decided to go even bigger and turn the cupcakes into a full 8in cake.
Taking the marshmallow and graham cracker recipe from the cupcakes, I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe to create this s’mores cake.
Each cake layer was cut in half to make a total of four layers. As for the fillings, I alternated between two layers of homemade marshmallow fluff and one layer of chocolate ganache. The marshmallow fluff is able to balance the sweetness of the overall cake as it is lighter and less sweet than a typical frosting. I then piped vanilla buttercream onto the sides of the cake and lightly packed the top with oven toasted graham crackers.
While there are so many different components to this cake, it is a lot easier to break it up into two days to make.
The first day I baked the cake and toasted the graham crackers as both are required to cool down to room temperature before you use them. Set them aside for the next day to use.
The second day is when I made the buttercream, the marshmallow fluff, and the chocolate ganache. These must be made on the day of as the buttercream may dry out and become chunky, and the homemade marshmallow filling and chocolate ganache must be handled while still warm. Once you make the ganache and marshmallow fluff, assemble the cake as soon as possible. If left out, the fluff turns into a giant marshmallow as it will thicken and become more solid as it cools to room temperature. Once the cake has been layered, then begin to make the buttercream. Careful you do not make it too soft as the ruffles will wilt, nor do you want it to be too stiff as your hand will cramp from piping!
To make this zigzag cake design, I used a 1M piping tip. I also tried it with a 2D tip but it didn’t create the ruffle look that I was aiming for. To pipe, start at the bottom of the base and pipe 1 1/2 in to 2 inches, then zigzag from the bottom base of the cake to the top of the side. Continue doing so section by section until you have completed the whole side of the cake. Gently press in the toasted graham crackers onto the top of the cake and pipe a buttercream boarder around the top. Lastly, I drizzled the top with some melted chocolate chips so it isn’t just a blank sandy top.
In my opinion, the flavors go insanely well together as a cake. There’s just something about marshmallows, toasted graham crackers, and chocolate that everyone loves together. Perfect match made in heaven! Now if you just excuse me, I have a giant hunk of cake waiting for me!
I used this Classic Chocolate Cake recipe
Toasted Graham Crackers
4 full sheets of graham crackers
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roughly crush the graham crackers in a ziplock freezer bag. Add sugar and melted butter and combine. Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-50 minutes until it has a toasty look and is more brown than its normal color. Remove and cool completely.
Marshmallow Fluff Filling
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 egg whites, room temp
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and slowly pour the syrup as the whites continue to beat. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until it has thickened.
**Tip: To see if the sugar syrup has reached a soft ball stage, fill a ramekin or small tea cup with room temperature water. Take a small spoonful of the syrup and drizzle some in. With your finger, you should be able to pick up and form a small, soft, malleable sugar ball in the water. If it dissolves into the water, it is still too soft. If the ball formed is not malleable and too rock solid, it has become a “hard ball” stage and cannot be used.
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
3 oz semi sweet chocolate
Heat up the heavy whipping cream in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until it begins to bubble. Stir in the chocolate chips until it melts. Once it is smooth, it is ready to use!
Make the toasted graham crackers and the chocolate cake one day in advance to allow time for them both to cool. The next day, take the two cake layers and slice in half. Then proceed to make the chocolate ganache, then the marshmallow fluff. Once the marshmallow fluff has thickened but still warm, begin layering (do not let it cool completely). Fill the first layer with marshmallow fluff, then add a cake layer. It then alternates ganache, cake, marshmallow, then the final cake layer. Once the layering is finished, make the buttercream. Too stiff may give you carpal tunnel, but too soft will produce a cake with wilted piping. Create a crumb coating (thin layer of frosting around the whole cake) and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove and gently press the toasted graham crackers into the top, leaving a 1/2 in boarder. Pipe the sides of the cake with whichever design you would like, I decided to do a zigzag pattern with my 1M tip, and a boarder around the top of the cake. Using either some left over chocolate ganache or some more melted chocolate chips, drizzle around the top of the cake on the graham crackers to finish.