Summer’s Perfect Dessert: Smore’s Cake

When I think about summer I think about watermelon, lemonade, camping, campfire, and smore’s of course! The thing is, I am not a big fan of smore’s. I know, don’t hate me but it is just a sugary mess and I get all sticky and I hate it! But, I do enjoy smore’s desserts, like the smore’s blizzard from Dairy Queen, my favorite. The other day I was talking with some friends and came up with the idea to make a smore’s cake!

Time for the nitty-gritty, the cake itself is a graham cracker, chocolate chip cake, next is a layer of marshmallow cream, then it is frosted with marshmallow buttercream, and topped with a chocolate ganache. This was the first time I have ever made this, as a result, it was a learning experience and I will share what I learned to help you guys make it better through helpful tips in the directions!

Disclaimer! I did not come up with these recipes, but took guidance from others before me and tweaked them to better suit my creation. So the cake recipe I tweaked a little was from FOOD 52 , the buttercream recipe I messed with was from Betty Crocker, and the ganache was my own recipe.

YIELDS ABOUT 8-12 (Depending on how you cut it)

INGREDIENTS: 

CAKE: 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups ground graham crackers (18-20 crackers)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

FILLING: 

1/2 jar of marshmallow cream

BUTTERCREAM: 

1 jar of marshmallow cream (7 oz)

1 cup salted butter (room temperature)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs milk of choice

3 cups powdered sugar

GANACHE: 

8 oz chocolate chips (approximately 1 1/2 cups) If you have a scale use it!

1/2 cup heavy cream is best, but I used almond milk and it was fine, it was more runny than normal so I added an extra handful of chocolate chips.

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, then line the bottom with parchment paper. TIP: rip off a good size piece of parchment paper, fold fourths, then fold one more time into a triangle, where the center of the parchment paper is the point. Turn your 8-inch cake pan upside down and place the point of the parchment paper in the center, then cut the paper around the edge of the cake pan. img_20200419_133347851
  2. Next, place the graham crackers in a blender or food processor and ground into a flour texture, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon if using. Pulse until combined.
  3. Now, in a stand mixer, or large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Then, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined; then add the vanilla.
  5. Now with the mixer on low, add a half cup of the flour mixture, then a quarter cup of milk. Do this until the flour mixture and milk is gone. Mix until just combine be careful not to over mix because it will cause your cake to become an unpleasant texture.
  6. Use a spatula and fold in the chocolate chips. img_20200419_133358393
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. TIP: I poured a half cup of batter into each pan at a time. It helps with dividing the batter evenly.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick, if batter sticks then place back into the oven for 5 more minutes. Let the cake cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Then place on a cookie cool rack or anything that allows air to circulate around it. img_20200419_152635378
  9. Let the cakes cool completely, I waited around 2 hours. You can place the cakes in the refrigerator to quicken the process. While the cakes cool make the ganache first, then the buttercream.
  10. I keep my chips in the freezer so I placed them in a small bowl and put in the microwave for 1 minute, if you don’t keep your chips in the freezer, microwave for 30 seconds. Then place the liquid in the bowl and microwave for 30 more seconds. Use a whisk and whisk the ganache, add the salt and continue to mix until there are no more lumps. Set the bowl aside and make the buttercream.
  11. TIP: It is very important that the butter is room temperature, the buttercream will not turn out right if the butter is not at room temperature. To do this I leave the butter out the night before I make buttercream.
  12. To make the buttercream, cream together the marshmallow fluff and butter until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla, and 1 tbs of milk. When the ingredients are well mixed together (it will be a little clumpy and that is okay), add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time. TIP: the original recipe called for 2 1/4 cup and I found it was too runny for a layered cake, so I added 3/4 more cups and it became stiffer. If yours is not as stiff as you would like, continue to add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until it is the stiffness you prefer. When it is all mixed stick into the fridge until both cakes are cool and you are ready to frost.
  13. When cakes are cool take them out and use a bread knife (the knife with the serrated edge) and cut the tops of the cake to make them even. This will help when you layer your cakes.
  14. If you don’t have a pastry bag use a gallon bag and stick it into a tall glass with the tip at the bottom of the glass. Fill it with buttercream, twist the top, and then cut a small hole at the tip. Around the edge of one of your cakes pipe a good amount of buttercream. Then pour the marshmallow cream on top of the cake. TIP: I heated the cream up in the microwave for 20 seconds to make this process easier. img_20200419_154410400 (After this picture I piped another row of buttercream to fill the space)
  15. Place the other cake on top and pipe the buttercream around the cake. img_20200419_154649798
  16. Use an icing spatula to spread the buttercream around the cake. You can use a regular spatula, but an icing spatula makes it a lot easier (I know this from experience). img_20200419_155133543
  17. Now the ganache should have cooled a little during this time and will be thick. Place quart size bag in a tall glass with the point at the bottom of the glass. Pour the ganache into the bag. Cut a tiny hole at the tip and start from the center of your cake and pipe in a round until you get to the edges and then spill some over where you want. TIP: it is very important that your ganache is cool, or when your pipe it on the cake it will melt the buttercream. img_20200419_160851770TIP: This cake is sweet, so I added salt into the recipe, if the cake is too sweet, you can add a sprinkle of salt on top. It will enhance the chocolate flavor and balance the sweetness of the cake.

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