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Smores Cake – A three layer showstopping cake that everyone will ADORE! Moist and tender layers of chocolate cake along with crunchy graham cracker crusts, sweet marshmallow buttercream frosting, toasted marshmallows, and chocolate bars for a true smores experience! So many AMAZING textures and flavors in this rich and decadent smores cake! My very detailed post walks you through making this cake in extreme detail so it’s easy enough to master even for average bakers!
Smores Layer Cake Recipe
This three-layer smores cake is a definitely a showstopper and is comprised of so many wonderful textures and flavors.
There’s a graham cracker crust which lends a sugary, sandy, crunch under a moist, soft, and tender chocolate cake.
The chocolate cake layers are divided by a thick, smooth, marshmallow buttercream that is rich and decadent.
On top of the cake there’s a thin layer of marshmallow fluff that’s then topped with homemade marshmallows. They’re toasted to bring in the classic flavor of roasty-toasty smores.
Smores cake is very rich, decadent, and is the essence of summer around a campfire, minus the actual campfire.
This is a lengthy, detailed post with lots of photos. Feel free to scroll right down to the recipe card section if the discussion nor the photos preceding the recipe are of interest to you.
Ingredients In Smores Cake
To make the scratch chocolate cake batter for the smores cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- All-purpose flour – This is the basis of our cake and is the primary structure.
- Granulated sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to the cake, it also aids in the texture and structure.
- Cocoa – This is what gives the cake its chocolate flavor.
- Baking soda & baking powder – These work in conjunction to help the cake rise.
- Salt – This enhances all of the flavors in this delicious cake.
- Eggs – Eggs help to bind the cake by creating structure and stability.
- Buttermilk – Besides adding moisture to the cake, buttermilk adds in a light tang and helps to create a soft cake.
- Oil – We use oil in this cake instead of butter as it is softer and results in a more moist and tender cake.
- Vanilla – Vanilla is used for an added, complemental flavor to the chocolate.
- Hot water – Hot water is added to help bloom the cocoa and break it down so that the cake has a rich cocoa taste without clumps of cocoa powder throughout.
Ingredients In Homemade Graham Cracker Crust
To make a homemade scratch graham cracker crust that’s fast and easy, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Graham crackers – These are the basis of the graham cracker crust.
- Granulated sugar – Adds sweetness to the crust.
- Brown sugar – This brings out the richness of the graham crackers a little better than regular granulated sugar does. It enhances the crust which helps it stand out in this multi-layered cake with lots of big flavors.
- Butter – Butter helps to bind the graham cracker crust together.
Supplies Needed To Make a Homemade Smores Cake
- Medium and large mixing bowls
- Rubber spatula
- Three 8-inch round cake pans
- Offset spatula
- Piping bag, coupler, and #1a piping tip
How To Make Chocolate Smores Cake Batter
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and whisk together.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until well combined, before adding the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and whisking.
Add the dry flour mixture and mix until combined. Pour in the hot water and mix. At this point, the batter will be thin and runny.
Divide batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs.
Bake times will vary from oven to oven so check the cakes at 13 minutes to determine if they need to bake for longer.
Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.
Let the cakes cool for about 30 minutes or until they reach room temperature. Run a butter knife around the edges to release the cakes and turn them out onto a flat surface such as a cutting board or plate.
While the cakes are cooling, make the graham cracker crust.
How To Make A Graham Cracker Crust
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, sugar, and brown sugar, before adding melted butter and mixing together.
I suggest whizzing the graham crackers together in a food processor but you could put them in a plastic bag and roll over it with a rolling pin, wine bottle, or something like that.
Assembling the Graham Cracker Crumb Crusts
Line the three cake pans used to bake the cakes with plastic wrap.
Evenly divide the graham cracker mixture between all three pans. Press it into the bottom of the pan into an even layer, keeping it from moving up the sides of the pans.
Place the pans in the freezer to set for at least 20 minutes.
After that, the graham cracker crust layers are ready to use.
Assembling a Three-Layer Homemade Smores Cake
On a cake stand or plate, place one of the graham cracker layers.
It will be very cold, almost frozen, firm, and easy to manipulate.
Lay one of the cooled cakes on.
Using a rubber spatula or an offset spatula, frost the chocolate cake with marshmallow buttercream by filling a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip with marshmallow buttercream.
Pipe a border around the edge of the cake.
Spoon on about ¼ c of marshmallow fluff and spread it to the buttercream border as best you can. It’s very sticky stuff!
Let set for a moment so that it finishes spreading itself out.
Using a torch on medium low heat, toast the marshmallow fluff staying a few centimeters away so as not to burn it. It will just take a few seconds to toast to a nice brown color.
Note that marshmallow buttercream will melt if it is toasted so you don’t want to do that.
Repeat this process two more times.
Making A Crumb Coat
For the third layer, layer on the last graham cracker crust and chocolate cake. Frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of marshmallow buttercream.
This is just the crumb coat so don’t worry if the graham cracker crust comes apart and there are pieces of it throughout the frosted cake.
The crumb coat should almost be thin enough to see the cake through.
Place into the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set so that once you frost it, the pieces in the crumb coat don’t move through the frosting.
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
This rich, sweet marshmallow buttercream is the best frosting for this cake. It keeps structure between layers. You cannot use Marshmallow Fluff or Marshmallow Creme because they are too soft and would not hold up between layers and would squish out.
Please be patient as I am sharing the Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting recipe on Wednesday which is when the link will work.
Once the crumb coat has set, frost the sides and the top with the remaining frosting. Using an offset spatula, smooth the sides out by holding the spatula parallel to the cake at a 45-degree angle. It will take a few times around the cake to smooth it out.
To smooth out the top, place the offset spatula at a 45 degree angle at the edge and pull in towards the center of the cake. Go around the cake until the edges are smoothed down and somewhat square.
Pipe dots about the size of a quarter onto the cake a centimeter from the edge.
Pipe the remaining frosting in a circle in the center of the cake which helps hold the marshmallows in place.
Using your hand, press crushed graham crackers onto the sides of the cake to add extra visual appeal as well as crunch.
Homemade marshmallows garnish the cake and be toasted for a gorgeous finish.
Pile the marshmallows onto the center of the cake and work outwards. Don’t lay them all flat because when you start stacking, they will tumble. It is best to lay them at all different angles.
Using your torch, on medium low heat, toast the marshmallows until they are charred to your liking.
Additionally, you don’t need to make homemade marshmallows. On Friday I will be sharing the recipe for them so that you can dive into this cake project over the weekend.
Although, in the meantime for anyone super eager, store bought large marshmallows to top the cake with and then toast will work perfectly fine.
Finally chocolate squares are needed and are used to garnish and help decorate the cake and give it even more intense chocolate flavor.
Tips For Making a Homemade Smores Cake
Although I wouldn’t describe the smores cake as “quick and easy”, it’s easier than you’d think. No individual component is overly difficult, although yes, it’s a time commitment.
And as I mentioned, to save time, use store bought large marshmallows rather than making homemade.
I put a couple of whole mini chocolate bars on as well as a few broken pieces.
The chocolate pieces will begin to slightly melt on their own from the residual heat in the marshmallows if you’re using homemade.
If they do not melt but you want them a bit melty, you can use your torch to heat them for just a few seconds. However be careful because if you get too close to the chocolate or heat it for too long, it will burn.
Smores layer cake may be stored on a cake stand with a dome lid for 2 to 3 days at room temperature or for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (have not tested with Dutch process)
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk (have not tested with yogurt, DIY buttermilk, etc.)
- 1 c vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 3 cups crushed graham crackers (18 crackers; or use store bought graham cracker crumbs)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted (20 Tbs)
- 1 recipe Marshmallow Buttercream (recipe to follow Wednesday)
- ¾ c marshmallow fluff or creme (store bought)
- ¼ c crushed graham crackers
- Homemade marshmallows, about 12 or as desired as desired (recipe to follow Friday OR store bought large marshmallows)
- Hershey's mini chocolate bars, to taste
- Chocolate Cake - Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray; set aside.
- To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, baking
soda, and whisk to combine; set aside.
- To a large-sized mixing bowl, add the sugar, eggs, and whisk until well combined.
- Add the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and whisk until combined.
- Add the dry flour mixture and mix until just combined, don't overmix or it will create tougher cake.
- Pour in the hot water (warm it in a glass measuring cup in your microwave for about 1 minute; you don't need it to boil because that will cook the eggs, but it should be warm like as warm as you'd serve hot coffee) and whisk. At this point, the batter will be thin and runny; don't worry.
- Divide the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven and for about 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, but no batter. Baking times will vary from oven to oven, climate and ingredient variances, so check the cakes at 13 minutes to determine if they need to bake longer.
- Once baked, remove from the oven, and place the cakes still in the pans onto a wire cooling rack.
- Allow the cakes cool to for about 20-30 minutes, or until they reach room temperature.
- Run a butter knife around the edges to release the cakes and turn them out onto a flat surface such as a cutting board or plate. Keep them right-side-up, as they had been baking in the pan rather than inverting/flipping them upside down.
- Graham Cracker Crust - To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the crushed graham crackers (blitz them briefly in a food processor or add them to a plastic zip top bag and roll over them with a rolling pin, wine bottle, or similar; or use store bought graham cracker crumbs) and both sugars.
- Add the melted butter and mix with a spatula.
- Line the three round cake pans used to bake the cakes with plastic wrap.
- Evenly divide the graham cracker mixture between the 3 pans. Press into the bottom of each pan to create an even layer, making sure to keeping the graham crackers from moving up the sides of the pans.
- Place the pans into the freezer to set for at least 20 minutes, or until very firm almost "frozen". After they are set, the graham cracker crust layers are ready to use.
- Cake Assembly - To a cake stand or plate, place one of the graham cracker layers. They should be very firm and easy to manipulate and the plastic wrap will slip right off.
- Next, lay one on it the cooled cakes on top.
- Using a rubber spatula or an offset spatula, frost the chocolate cake with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting (recipe live and link will work on Wednesday). The buttercream layer should be about ⅛” thick.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a round 1A piping tip with marshmallow buttercream.
- Pipe a border around the edge of the cake.
- Spoon on about ¼ cup of marshmallow fluff or marshmallow creme and spread to the buttercream border as best you can. Let it set for a moment so that it finishes spreading itself out.
- Using a kitchen torch on medium low heat, toast the marshmallow fluff*, staying a few centimeters away so as not to burn it. It will just take a few seconds toast to a nice brown color.
- Repeat steps 20 to 22 once more with another layer of graham cracker crust, cake, buttercream, and so forth.
- For the third layer, layer on the last graham cracker crust and chocolate cake.
- Crumb Coat - Frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. This is just the crumb coat so don’t worry if the graham cracker crust comes apart and there are pieces of it throughout the frosted cake. The crumb coat should almost be thin enough to see the cake through.
- Place cake in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set so that when you do frost it, the pieces in the crumb coat don’t move through the frosting.
- Frosting the Cake - Once the crumb coat has set, frost the sides and the top with the remaining marshmallow buttercream frosting. You should still have about ⅓ to ½ cup of frosting in your piping bag which will be used for the top.
- Using an offset spatula, smooth the sides out by holding the spatula parallel to the cake at a 45 degree angle. It will take a few times around the cake to smooth it out the sides.
- To smooth out the top, place the offset spatula at a 45 degree angle at the edge and pull in towards the center of the cake. Go around the cake until the edges are smoothed down and somewhat square.
- Pipe dots about the size of a quarter onto the cake about one centimeter from the edge.
- Pipe the remaining frosting in a circle in the center of the cake. This is used to hold the marshmallows in place.
- Using your hand, press crushed graham crackers onto the sides of the cake.
- Pile about 12 homemade marshmallows (link will work Friday) or large store bought marshmallows onto the center of the cake and work outwards. Don’t lay them all flat because when you start stacking, they will tumble. It's best to lay them at all different angles.
- Using your torch, on medium-low heat, toast the marshmallows until they are charred to your liking.
- Once you have toasted the marshmallows, place several chocolate bars on, around, and in between the marshmallows. I put a couple of whole mini chocolate bars on as well as a few broken pieces. The chocolate pieces will begin to slightly melt on their own from the residual heat in the marshmallows if using homemade. However, if they do not melt, and/or you're using store bought, you can use your torch to heat them for just a few seconds to create a melty chocolate effect noting that if you get too close to the chocolate or heat it for too long, it will burn.
- Cake will keep airtight at room temp in a cake stand with a domed lid for 2 to 3 days or in
the fridge for 5 to 7 days.
*Make sure not to torch/toast the homemade marshmallow buttercream frosting because it will melt. Only marshmallow fluff/creme can withstand torching.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 641Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 657mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 3gSugar: 62gProtein: 7g
Favorite Smores Recipes:
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting – A five-minute decadent frosting recipe made with just five ingredients! Rich, sweet, smooth, perfect for piping or just spreading on your favorite cake, cupcakes, brownies, and more! So EASY yet so good!
Homemade Marshmallows – Easier than you think to make and the results are so WORTH IT! Chewy, sticky, bouncy, soft yet firm, and they blow store bought marshmallows away! Learn how to make marshmallows at home with my straightforward and simple recipe!
Soft and Gooey Loaded S’mores Bars — No campfire required for these soft, gooey, rich s’mores bars that are loaded with texture and flavor! The combination of chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows, all suspended in a buttery, brown-sugar based dough, is just magical.
S’mores Bars — SO EASY, NO-BAKE, just FOUR ingredients, and ready in FIVE minutes!! It doesn’t get any better than that and no campfire required! A hit with kids and adults at parties, potlucks, and picnics!!
Chocolate Chip S’mores Cookie Bars — Between layers of super soft chocolate chip cookie dough there’s chocolate, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs for the most DECADENT smores ever!! So EASY and just 4 main ingredients!!
S’mores Cake — Chocolate cake gets poked all over and soaked in a marshmallow creme mixture before being topped with crushed graham crackers, toasted marshmallows, and hot fudge sauce.
S’mores Brownie Pie — Each bite of the pie is so satisfying and starts with a base of dense, fudgy, rich brownies, topped with melted chocolate chips, fluffy gooey marshmallows, and sprinkled with crunchy bits of graham crackers!
Soft and Chewy S’mores Cookies — Loaded with chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers!! The best smores you’ll ever eat and no campfire required!
Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Pie — A peanut butter and graham cracker cookie underneath gooey marshmallows and melted chocolate!! You don’t need a campfire for these easy and AMAZING smores! Grab a spoon and dig in!
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