I’ll admit, I’m not into camping or most outdoor activities in general. But every now and then, I enjoy a good bonfire, as it is inevitably the perfect excuse to make s’mores. I created this cake with that in mind, a graham cracker cake filled with a whipped milk chocolate ganache and covered in a fluffy layer of marshmallow frosting that gets toasted with a kitchen torch. It is a literal slice of Americana, without the pesky mosquitoes or even having to even step outside, for that matter. The chocolate blend is up to the baker, but I personally liked a mix of 54% and 39% milk chocolates the best.
Makes one 8” cake, serves 10 to 12
Graham Cracker Cake:
- 2 ¼ cups (256 grams) cake flour
- 2 ¼ cups (191 grams) cinnamon-flavored graham cracker crumbs, finely ground
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 24 tablespoons (338 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups (248 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (216 grams) light brown sugar
- 6 (300 grams) large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (360 grams) buttermilk
Whipped Milk Chocolate Ganache:
- 12 ounces (340 grams) milk or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (268 grams) heavy cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
- 10 tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups (298 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Dash of salt
- 1/3 cup (79 grams) water
- 2 (60 grams) large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake plans and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the cake flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed to incorporate and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
- Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the flour and buttermilk in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition until just incorporated.
- Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes until set or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on a rack.
Make the Ganache:
- Place chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixture and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream and corn syrup to a boil over medium high heat. Once it is at a boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a minute and then whisk to combine, working from the center outward.
- Set the mixture aside to cool and set at room temperature.
- Once the mixture is set, using the paddle attachment, beat the ganache on medium speed until light and aerated, about 2 minutes.
- Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time to incorporate and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Make the Marshmallow Frosting:
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the vanilla. With a hand mixer, whisk to combine, about 30 seconds.
- Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk with hand mixer until shiny and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add the vanilla and beat another 2 to 3 minutes to cool.
Assemble the Cake:
- Level the cakes and fill with the ganache. Lightly crumb coat the outsides with the remaining ganache and refrigerate until firm.
- Coat the outside of the cake with the marshmallow frosting, making swirls all over the cake to help create texture.
- Using a kitchen torch, toast the outside of the cake to whatever level of doneness you prefer. Serve immediately at room temperature. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days but be sure to let the cake sit out to come back to room temperature before serving. The marshmallow will lose some of the crispy layer on the outside, but it will still taste delicious.