S'mores Layer Cake
For some reason, I have again taken it upon myself to make an impossible birthday cake for, um, myself. I don’t really even like cake! Layer cakes especially! And yet, here we are, again, after the infamous almost disaster birthday cake I made last year, talking about another intricate cake I made for myself.
This year, I decided to go with a s’mores cake after paging through Christina Tosi’s All About Cake and reading her recipe for graham cracker cake that’s an element of her key lime pie layer cake. I thought “gross. I hate key lime pie. Why would you ever make a graham cracker cake and not make it a s’mores cake?” So I riffed on her recipe for the cake and the crumble, figured the rest of it out myself, and here we are. Bake the cakes and the graham cracker crumbs first, then worry about the icing and the ganache. And, as always with layer cakes, please please please cool everything before assembly. Take it from someone who has cried tears over cakes.
Check out my Instagram story highlights to see how I assemble a cake, and grab all of the tools you need below.
S’mores Layer Cake
Because why have a s’more when you can have cake?
S'mores Layer CakeBy Page & Plate, March 4, 2019
Layers of graham cracker cake, double chocolate buttercream, marshmallow ganache, and graham cracker crumbles come together to make this decadent, over-the-top cake taste just like your childhood favorite.
Makes: 12 servings
- 1 1/4 cups of cake flour
- 1/4 cup of graham crackers, blended or processed until crumbs
- 1 heaping tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 2/3 cups of sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cups of whole milk
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350, and grease and line a 9x13" baking pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to evenly combine, then set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment or a bowl using a hand beater, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- After 2-3 minutes, add in the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each egg.
- Whisk together the milk, oil, and vanilla extract in a small measuring cup, then pour half of the mixture into the batter. Beat to incorporate.
- When the liquid has been incorporated, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Add the rest of the liquid, mix to incorporate, and then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then slam it on the counter once or twice to get the air bubbles out. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown, then cool completely.
- 3 TBSP of unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1 TBSP of honey
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, pulsed or blended until fine
- Preheat the oven to 250, and grease a large cookie sheet.
- In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, honey, and salt. Whisk until combined.
- Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, then, using your hands, spread mixture on prepared cookie sheet, being careful not to break up all the lumps.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.
- 14 oz. of milk chocolate
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/2 cup of Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 5 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 TBSP of heavy whipping cream
- Put a small saucepan of water to boil. Add the 14 oz. of milk chocolate to a metal bowl, and set bowl over saucepan. Stir chocolate until melted, then set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile in a stand mixer or a bowl using hand beaters, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the salt, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar, and beat until soft and fluffy peaks have formed.
- Drizzle in the melted milk chocolate, and beat to incorporate, thinning as necessary with the heavy whipping cream (you may need more or less).
- Add icing to piping bag, then set aside.
- 8 oz. of plain marshmallows
- 3 TBSP of unsalted butter
- 3-5 TBSP of heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- Put a small saucepan of water to boil. Add the marshmallows and butter to a metal bowl, and set bowl over saucepan. Let marshmallows sit until melted, stirring occasionally, then set aside to cool slightly.
- When cool, add to a stand mixer or a bowl using hand beaters, and whip until fluffy.
- Add heavy whipping cream, and beat until completely incorporated.
- Add the powdered sugar, and beat until completely incorporated.
- Add ganache to piping bag, then set aside.
- Cut two circles of cake out of the 9x13" pan. Set the two "perf" layers aside, and use the scraps remaining to build a bottom layer on a cake stand. This takes some creativity.
- Add about 1/4 of the double chocolate buttercream on top of the bottom layer, and use an inverted spatula to spread evenly.
- Top the buttercream with about 1/4 cup of marshmallow ganache. Spread evenly.
- Top the ganache with 1/3 cup of graham cracker crumbles.
- Add the next layer of cake and repeat.
- Add the final layer of cake. Cover the top of that layer and the sides of the cake with the remaining chocolate buttercream using an inverted spatula.
- Drizzle remaining marshmallow ganache on top of cake and let it drip down the sides.
- Cover top of cake and sides in remaining graham cracker crumble.
- Optional: top cake with marshmallows and graham crackers.
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