While I may have created this s’mores cake in time for National S’mores Day, I sadly didn’t share it in time! I am a firm believer of the saying “better late than never,” so I’m sharing it anyways.
I originally made this s’mores drip cake back in 2016, but remade it this summer to create video footage of this cake for the Food Network.
It’s funny how differently a cake can turn out the second time you make it. I see quite a few differences!
Above is my first, and below is my second version. I decided not to make a s’mores tower this time, to make it easier to cut into.
That’s one of the things I love about cakes, each one is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. No two are ever truly identical (or at least none of mine :P).
Making This S’mores Cake
This cake is made with my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe. It’s frosted with marshmallow and chocolate buttercream, and filled with toasted mini marshmallows, crushed graham crackers, and chocolate ganache.
Did I mention it’s topped with baby S’MORES?? That’s prob my favorite part of this cake. While it did feel a bit strange to make s’mores alone in my kitchen, it sure was fun to stack them on top of this cake.
For this cake, I chose to use 4, 8-inch chocolate cake layers.
Since there are lots of add ins between the layers, AND we’re piling s’mores on top, this cake ends up being pretty tall.
With that in mind, 7 inch layers would’ve made it even taller!! So 8 inch cake layers really are ideal for this design.
Assembling and Filling The Cake
Once all the cake components are prepared, frost each layer of cake with an even layer of marshmallow buttercream, using a large offset spatula.
Next, sprinkle a generous layer of crushed graham crackers on top of the frosting. Carefully add the mini toasted marshmallows.
Add a generous drizzle of warm chocolate ganache. Repeat with two more chocolate cake layers.
Flip the fourth cake layer upside down, and gently press on top of the stacked layers.
Applying a bit of pressure with your hands pushes out any air that might be stuck between your layers, and will help them settle before you being to frost the cake.
This will prevent the frosting from bulging between the layers, or cracking later in the process.
Crumb Coat & Chill
Once the layers are filled and stacked, crumb-coat the cake by cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting.
This makes the overall frosting process so much easier, and ensures that no crumbs get into your final layer of frosting.
Place the cake in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, until the crumb coat is firm to the touch.
The Second, Striped Layer of Frosting
To add the second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, use piping bags to pipe horizontal lines of chocolate and marshmallow frosting.
Alternate lines of chocolate and marshmallow frosting. Smooth using a bench scraper. Make long, slow strokes around the cake, removing excess frosting and scraping it into a separate bowl.
If you want to see a full tutorial showing how to get smooth sides on a cake, click here.
Place the cake in the freezer, to allow the second layer of frosting to firm up. While the cake chills, make the s’mores. Toast marshmallows using either a kitchen torch or a broiler.
Creating The Mini S’mores to Top The Cake
Create a sandwich using graham crackers, a chocolate bar, and a toasted marshmallow. Use a bit of chocolate frosting to help keep the s’more together.
Once the cake is chilled, add the chocolate ganache drips.
Adding the Chocolate Ganache Drips
I prefer to use a bottle, since it makes the process so much easier, but I also like the way drips look when they’re added to a cake using the spoon method.
Two factors are critical to getting a perfect drizzle!
The first is that your cake is properly chilled. Once frosted, you should allow it sit it your fridge for at least 20 minutes, or in your freezer for 10 minutes, so that the frosting is cold and firm to the touch.
The second important aspect of a drip cake is the temperature of the ganache!! It should be slightly warmer than room temperature, but not so hot that it melts your buttercream as you drizzle it!
The best way to ensure your ganache is the right temperature is do a test drip. You can’t tell, but the first drip on my cake above was a test drip. Once I knew i had my ganache at the right temperature, I continued adding my drips.
MAKING A TEST DRIP IS SUCH A CRUCIAL STEP!!!
Make one drip on the side of your cake, and let it flow. Allow it to sit for a couple minutes.
See what it looks like, if it’s the length and look you’re after. If not, adjust as needed. Either pop the ganache into the fridge for a couple minutes to allow it to cool off a bit more, or pop the bottle (or bowl) in the microwave and heat for 5-10 seconds.
Decorating The Top of this S’mores Cake
Next, pipe some buttercream on top of the cake using your favorite piping tip, to help the s’mores stay in place (I used a Wilton 1M). The last step is to cover the top of the cake with the s’mores!!
The s’mores do make it a bit interesting to cut, but I just cut sliced around each s’more. When I cut slices for a crowd, I usually cut a generous slice, then cut it in half! This give each person two layers of cake and filling.
In addition to the below components, you will also need graham crackers, marshmallows, and some chocolate bars for both the filling of the cake and to create the s’mores!
Let Me Know What You Think!
If you try this s’mores cake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Please share your thoughts or any questions you might have in the comments section below.
Other Recipes You Might Like:
Chocolate Cake Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (500 grams)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (2 sticks, 226 grams)
- 4 large eggs, room temp (224 grams)
- 1 tsp baking soda (6 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 1 cup hot water (237 grams)
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temp (240 grams)
- 1 cup black cocoa (100 grams)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (390 grams)
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
- 2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (452 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
- 6 cups powdered sugar (750 grams)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (115 grams)
- 1 cup (7.5 oz. jar) of marshmallow fluff (213 grams)
- 1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa, sifted (100 grams)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled (90 grams)
Chocolate Drip Recipe
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (88 grams)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (77 grams)
Optional Fillings and Add-Ins
- 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
- 1 cup mini marshmallows, toasted
- 6 small s'mores (made with graham crackers, normal sized marshmallows and a piece of chocolate)
Chocolate Cake Layers
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line four seven-inch or three 8-inch pans with parchment rounds and spray with non-stick baking spray.
- Add 2 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together on a high speed for 1-2 minutes with a whisk attachment or hand mixer. The mixture should become light in color.
- Mix in 4 large eggs on a medium speed, two at a time.
- Add 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 baking powder, and 1 tsp salt. Mix on high for another minute.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of hot water, and 1 cup of buttermilk. Pour in 1 cup of black cocoa and whisk until no clumps remain.
- Next, add 1 cup of flour into the butter/egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated.
- Pour in half of the buttermilk/cocoa mixture and gently pulse the mixture to incorporate the liquid (if you don't, you'll end up splattering the cocoa mixture all over you kitchen!)
- Mix in the 2nd cup of flour, at a low speed. Pour in the remaining buttermilk/cocoa mixture, and again gently pulse, then mix on low until fully combined.
- Add in the last cup of flour, and mix on low until the flour is incorporated.
- Evenly divide between the prepared pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure each pan has exactly the same amount of batter.
- Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow layers to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the edge of the pans to help separate the layers from the pans.
- Place the pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
- Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, then set aside. If you make the cake layers in advance, you can wrap and freeze them for up to 3 weeks.
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
- While the cake layers bake and cool, make the chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Beat 2 cups of butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment or hand mixer, until smooth.
- Mix in 1/2 tsp of salt.
- Slowly add in 6 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Half way through adding the powdered sugar, pour in 1/2 cup of heavy cream or milk to make it easier to mix the frosting.
- Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated, mix in about 1 cup of marshmallow fluff
- Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting is too thick, add an extra Tbsp of heavy cream. If it's too thin, add in another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
- Stir by hand with a rubber spatula for a couple minutes to get the frosting SUPER smooth.
- Place 1 1/2 cups of marshmallow frosting into a large bowl and mix in 1 cup of sifted cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of melted, cooled dark chocolate. Stir until smooth then place into a large piping bag. Seal the top with a rubber band. Snip 1 inch opening at the base of the bag.
- Place the rest of the regular marshmallow frosting into a large piping bag and seal the top with a rubber band. Snip 1 inch opening at the base of the bag and set side.
Chocolate Ganache Drip
- Place 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1/3 cup of heavy cream in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until gently bubbling.
- If you don’t have a microwave or prefer to use the stove top, you can heat the cream over a medium heat in a pan until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat.
- Gently pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips, making sure they are covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir slowly until the cream and chocolate are fully combined, and ganache is silky smooth. Pour into a plastic squirt bottle to easily add drips to a cake. If you don’t have any plastic bottles on hand, you can also use a spoon to drizzle it over cakes.
- Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes (or place in fridge for about 10 minutes), until the mixture is just slightly warm to the touch.
To Assemble This S'mores Cake:
- Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
- Add an even layer of marshmallow buttercream between each cake layer with a large offset spatula. Top with mini toasted marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and a drizzle of chocolate ganache.
- Repeat with remaining cake layers.
- Once the cake layers are stacked, spread a thin coat of frosting around the the cake, to fully cover the cake layers.
- Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
- Pipe alternating stripes of chocolate and marshmallow frosting around the cake and smooth using a bench scraper.
- Chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch again before adding the chocolate drip.
- Once the cake is chilled, complete a test drip to check the consistency of you ganache. If the test drip seems too thick, try heating up the ganache for 5-10 additional seconds in the microwave. If the mixture seems too thin, allow it cool a bit longer, then try another test drip.
- Top the cake with mini s'mores and enjoy!
Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them: It breaks the process up and make it more approachable.
Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Amount Per Serving Calories 450Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 61mgSodium 274mgCarbohydrates 73gFiber 3gSugar 54gProtein 5g