There’s something about me you’ve got to know: I really really love s’mores. I had my first one as a kid sitting around a crackling campfire under the stars and have been hooked ever since. There’s something about a perfectly toasted marshmallow, melty milk chocolate, and crunchy graham crackers that just gets me all shook up. Since discovering this fun little fact about me, my mother-in-law keeps her pantry stocked year-round with all the s’mores essentials to make sure I can have them any time I come over. No matter what time of year, you’ll find stacks of Hershey’s bars, jet puffed marshmallows, and honey graham crackers tucked away in my very own corner of her pantry and it makes me feel very known and loved. It was just a given that I would turn these flavors into a cake, and it’s one of the very first recipes I sought to master.
The s’mores cake I’ve created goes like this: layers of graham cracker cake filled with toasted(!) marshmallow buttercream and milk chocolate ganache, topped with vanilla buttercream, a milk chocolate drip, and toasted marshmallow meringue flourishes. Phew. Sounds like heaven right? If you love s’mores, it really is. It’s been one of my most requested flavors to date, and based on the reviews I’ve heard I wouldn’t hesitate to call it a true crowd pleaser.
There are a whole lot of yummy flavors going on in this cake, but I think the real kicker comes from the toasted marshmallow buttercream. It involves mixing in some Marshmallow Fluff and jet puffed marshmallows that have been toasted in the oven, so you get a bit of that smokey, marshmallowy taste that will remind you of a campfire. Paired with the graham cracker cake and milk chocolate ganache, I’d say it’s the closest match to a real s’mores you’re going to find in cake form.
To make sure you get the purest s’mores taste with each bite of this cake, I layer the toasted marshmallow buttercream with chocolate ganache as a double filling. That way you get a little bit of everything all at once, just like the real deal. And it makes for really pretty slices too.
I’m a big fan of highlighting the flavors of the cake by decorating with crushed graham crackers, a milk chocolate ganache drip, and toasted marshmallow meringue flourishes. I use Wilton tips 1M and 4B to pipe the meringue before toasting, and I love how this recipe holds its shape. Years ago I tried this same technique with marshmallow fluff and it did not hold its shape for more than ten seconds, then afterwards melted into a puddle of white goo. It was a heartbreaking situation, but it’s what led me to discover my absolute favorite marshmallow meringue recipe and I haven’t ever looked back. It’s super easy to make, pipes like a dream, and looks gorgeous when it’s toasted.
If you’re on the fence about getting a good culinary torch, let me tell you, it makes all the difference for toasted desserts. I’ve been using this micro butane culinary torch for the past year and it’s worked wonders, plus it’s under $20 which is a complete steal. Toasting the meringue flourishes is the perfect final touch for this recipe, and it’s absolutely my favorite part.
Update 2020: The pan size specifications in this recipe have been revised to reflect the amount of batter this recipe actually makes. Please refer to the pan sizes in the recipe as opposed to the comment section.
S’mores Cake Recipe
Graham Cracker Cake
- 1 1/2 cups (155g) graham crackers, ground into crumbs
- 3 3/4 cups (398g) cake flour, sifted before measuring
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/8 cups (254g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (410g) granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (112g) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup (360ml) whole milk, room temperature
Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream
- 8 large marshmallows
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3.5 oz (half a small jar) Marshmallow Fluff
- 1/4 tsp salt
Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup (183g) milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 cups (840g) powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp (59ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
Marshmallow Meringue Topping
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make The Graham Cracker Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F and prepare three 8-inch or four 6-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with cooking spray and fitting a parchment or wax paper circle to the bottom of each pan.
- Grind the graham crackers into a crumbs by either using a food processor or placing them into a large ziplock back and crushing them with a rolling pin. Place the graham cracker crumbs into a medium sized bowl and add the sifted cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter for one minute on high. Scrape down the bowl and paddle and add the sugar. Cream together on high for two minutes, scraping down bowl and paddle once in between. Turn mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl and paddle as necessary. Once all eggs are added, turn the mixer to high and beat for three minutes.
- Add vanilla and sour cream and continue mixing for one minute. Turn the mixer to low and add all of the dry ingredients at once until just combined, then add the milk all at once. Scrape down the bowl and paddle once more and mix on low for about 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pans (about ⅔ full).
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes for five minutes before releasing from the pan and continuing to cool on a baking sheet or wire rack.
Make The Milk Chocolate Ganache
- Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk heavy whipping cream constantly until you start to see the beginnings of a boil. Just before it begins to form a rolling boil, remove the cream from the heat and pour over chocolate chips. Let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds, then whisk it all together until smooth and uniform in consistency. Cool the ganache on the counter until it reaches room temperature before using in/on the cake.
Make The Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray the surface of the foil with cooking spray. Place your marshmallows on the foil and set in the center rack of the oven. Broil the marshmallows on high until they start to brown on top (watch them closely!), then flip them over so they can brown on the bottom as well. When both sides are toasted, take them out of the oven to cool.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on medium until creamy and light in color, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on low for another 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle afterwards. Add the vanilla and beat on medium for 3 minutes, then add the marshmallow fluff, roasted marshmallows, and salt. Continue mixing on medium for another minute.
Make The Vanilla Buttercream
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter on high for until it’s fluffy and almost white in color, about 7 minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle a few times during the process. Add the powdered sugar a few cups at a time and mix on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and paddle before each addition. Turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla extract, milk, and salt. Beat on medium for another minute until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed.
Make The Marshmallow Meringue
- Whisk the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together in a small heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with an inch or two of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water (or else it will cook your eggs!). Whisk the mixture constantly until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, pour the mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla and whisk the mixture on high for 6 full minutes, until stiff peaks form. You should be able to dip the whisk into the meringue and it forms a peak that maintains its shape when turned right side up and upside down.
- Torte each layer of graham cracker cake to desired height. Pipe a circle of vanilla buttercream around the edge of the first layer to act as a buttercream dam. Fill the center of the circle with half chocolate ganache (room temperature or colder), and half toasted marshmallow buttercream. Place the next layer of graham cracker cake on top and repeat the filling process before placing the third layer on top.
- Crumb coat the cake with vanilla buttercream and place it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes before topping with a final coat of vanilla buttercream. Garnish the cake with a chocolate ganache drip, graham cracker crumbs, and marshmallow meringue piping that’s been toasted with a culinary torch. Or decorate however your heart desires.
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments and tag me on Instagram to show me photos!
LOOKS AMAZING! Making tomorrow. Quick question- what did you mean by “cereal milk” in the graham cake bit?
I can’t wait for you to try this recipe, Jenn! Let me know how it goes! And good catch on that typo. I meant “whole milk” in the graham cracker cake instructions 🙂
Can I do this with an 8″ pan?
Hi Victoria! You can certainly make this cake in an 8 inch pan.
Thank you! Can you tell me what the layer height is on the 6″ you use?
Hi! I have a question about doing a 3 later 8” cake – should only the cake be doubled, or should the vanilla buttercream be doubled as well? Thanks!
Hi Carla! I would just double the cake. All of the other components will be enough to cover an 8 inch cake with three layers 🙂
Can you substitute almond milk? Also, can I skip powdered sugar and use regular?
Hi Allie! Although I have never tried it myself (so not sure how it will taste), you can substitute almond milk in the cake recipe and the buttercream recipe. As far as the powdered sugar goes, it cannot be substituted with regular granulated sugar. The fine-ness of the powdered sugar is necessary to turn that butter into buttercream 🙂
Hi Whitney, this cake looks and sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to be trying it.
Just wondering, how far in advance can you decorate with the meringue on top before it would start to run down the side of the cake?
Hi Agnes! Can’t wait for you to try this cake! For the meringue topping, you have to whip it up right before you want to pipe with it. I found that storing it in the fridge and trying to pipe with it at a later date doesn’t work. After you make the meringue, you can pipe it onto the cake and the consistency will be stiff enough that it won’t run down the sides at all. I usually toast the meringue right after piping it. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator after you toast it, beyond a few days it will start to weep. So my recommendation would be to make the cake the day before you want to serve it if you want to make it ahead of time.
kemala hayati says
Hi i wanna try this recipe, but would u please convert this to gram?
it would be helpful for me and other international reader who rarely use cups thanks
note: if possible please add gram conversion to all of ur recipe✌
Hi Kemala! I am working on converting all the recipes to grams this week (just bought my first kitchen scale!). I’ll make an announcement once they’ve all been converted. Make sure you’re signed up for my email list so you’ll be one of the first to know!
Sonal Chaddha says
Just wanted to let you know that I made this cake exactly as it was in the picture. It turned out perfectly and I finally get what you meant by making the meringue just before I ice. I made mine a few hours prior and they did not hold as well but still I managed to make them look close enough.
Will Tag you in my pictures. This will forever be my go to S’mores cake recipe.
Thank you so much!!
Hi Sonal! I’m so happy to hear you loved the s’mores cake! And yes – the meringue starts to lose it’s shape over the course of a few hours. It’s best to make it right before you pipe it, because after it’s piped it won’t lose its shape! I’m glad it still piped well and I can’t wait to see your cake!
Can this full recipe make a 9×13 cake?
Hi Lori! I would actually half the recipe to make a 9 x 13 cake. To half the eggs, use 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk. Here’s all the info you need on how to turn my layer cake recipes into sheet cakes: https://sugarandsparrow.com/sheet-cake-recipes/
Made for my daughters 26th birthday and it turned out beautiful and tasted as good as it looked. Will be making this cake again!!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe and all the details!
Yay, Jamie! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit – what a fun birthday cake idea!!
Halima Yahya Khan says
Hi. This cake looks absolutely yummy, in fact all your cake does. I will be trying them soon. Lots of love and best wishes to you
Thank you so much, Halima!
Rita Bartolome says
Hi. You said on the instructions to prepare 3 8 inch pans. So I’m thinking this recipe would be enough for 3 8 inch pans. But after reading the comments, you said that I have to double the cake recipe if I’m using 8 inch pans? So do I need to double it or not? A little confused.
Hi Rita, sorry for the confusion! This recipe makes enough for three 8-inch pans as-is. The pan size specifications have been revised since those comments were posted, there’s a little revision disclaimer in the paragraph before the recipe.
Carla Coppick says
Can you use all purpose flour instead of cake flour ?
Hi Carla! You can, but since cake flour is what makes this cake light and fluffy, the cake will end up more dense if you use all purpose. If you don’t have cake flour on hand I recommend making this diy version that uses all purpose flour: https://sugarandsparrow.com/homemade-cake-flour hope that helps!
Are the cake pans 6 inches in diameter with an2 inch depth?
Hi Sarah! Yep, they’re 6 inch diameter pans with 2 inch tall sides
Hi! I made this cake using the same recipe but for 6” pans. I had leftover batter so I made ten cupcakes! Used the toasted marshmallow as filling for the cupcake. Dipped them in the ganache and piped vanilla buttercream on top with a dollop of the marshmallow merengue and then torched it. Both came out great! Thank you!!!!
Oh my goodness Melanie! The cupcake version sounds amazing! I’m gonna have to try that myself 🙂 So happy you loved the recipe!
Karen Coyne says
What a great idea! I have several 6 inch cake pans and I love small cakes. They are so cute.
What would be your thoughts on frosting the outside of a cake with the Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream? Would it be stable enough and be able to be used to create smooth sides? Thanks!
Hi Jennifer! You could totally use the toasted marshmallow buttercream on the outside of the cake. I’m sure you could get a smooth buttercream finish with a little work (just because of the toasted marshmallow chunks). I’d recommend adding a little milk to thin it out to frosting consistency but I think it would work great!
Hi! Can I use buttermilk instead of whole milk for the cake batter? If yes, would it be the same amount?
Hi Marie! Buttermilk in place of whole milk will work just fine. You can use the same amount 🙂
Love this recipe! That marshmallow buttercream is FANTASTIC!! Out of curiosity- why is this vanilla buttercream different than your other? Why more powdered sugar?
Hi Kayla! Thanks so much – so happy you’re loving the marshmallow buttercream recipe! And there’s no difference between this vanilla buttercream and my other one, it’s just a double batch 🙂
Donna Walden says
This cake is so cute! Making it for my grandson’s birthday. Can you explain how you applied the graham cracker crumbs to outside of cake?
This is going to make such a great birthday cake for your grandson, Donna! For applying the crushed graham crackers, after frosting the cake I cupped the graham cracker crumbs in my hand and gently pressed them to the sides of the cake. Here’s a video showing the technique, but with cookie crumbs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0ueDZbC2-U&t=1s
Melissa Adams says
Usually you measure flour, then sift. Your instructions say sift flour, then measure . Is that correct?? Thanks!
Hi Melissa! The instructions are correct: sift, then measure by spooning it into your measuring cup. That way you end up with exactly the right amount of flour, as doing it the other way around often results in too much flour measured.
I am kinda new to baking and do not have a stand mixer. Can I use a hand held mixer to make this. It sounds amazing.
Hi Kandy! You can certainly use a hand held mixer for this recipe. Just follow the same mixing speeds/times and you’ll be good!
Just made this for my daughter’s birthday. Thank you the recipe. Absolutely thrilled with result!
Yay, James! So happy to hear that and happy birthday to your daughter!
Stephanie Kennedy says
Hi – I’m in the middle of making this and the ganache seems sooo thin. Am I crazy? Should it thicken as it cools? Looks like chocolate milk.
Hi Stephanie! It should be very thin when it’s hot and thicken as it cools to room temp. Just whisk it together and walk away for a good 20-30 min, then test the consistency. Let me know how it went!
In this cake recipe you have one cup milk chocolate chips to one cup cream, but in your ganache link you have two cups milk chocolate chips to one cup cream.
I believe that is why some people are getting runny ganache
Oh good catch! I’ll update that ratio for this recipe. Thanks, Lindsay!
aimee sandler says
Hiya, I always love your recipes. I’m wondering if the toasted marshmallow buttercream ends up being ‘piping’ consistency, to be able to use for decoration? thank you!
Hi Aimee! I answered this on Instagram but I want to post a response here too. The toasted marshmallow buttercream is piping consistency, but there are tiny bits of toasted marshmallow in there that may end up clogging more intricate piping tips. Let me know if you end up using it for piping, I’d love to see how it turned out!
Jodi Murphy says
Can you use Hershey Chocolate syrup instead of ganache? Not opposed to the ganache. I’m just trying to save a step. Thanks!
Hi Jodi! I would imagine that Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup is too thin to create drips that don’t drip all the way down to the bottom of the cake, but I could be wrong. You could always try it!
Made this for my camping-themed murder mystery birthday dinner. It was a huge success! My ganache was a little runny but still tasted and looked great. And I didn’t read instructions well and used the toasted marshmallow buttercream for the outside too (afterwards it made sense why I had to make another batch of it but had a ton of vanilla buttercream left). Just looked like I hadn’t dirty iced it, but no one else noticed or cared. Tasted FANTASTIC! Thank you!!
What an awesome birthday dinner theme, Annie! I bet that was so much fun and I’m so happy this cake was a hit!!
Juliana Frazier says
Hi! Just wondering, if I dont have one of those baking torches can I use a lighter or even a match and still get that toasty effect. Im planning on making this for my aunts birthday she loves smores so this is perfect!
Hi Juliana! I have tried this with a lighter/match and it doesn’t toast quite as well as a kitchen torch, but it should work in a pinch!
I made this cake for my birthday and it was amazing! The instructions were clear and easy to follow. A little bit of time but so worth it! I did have some trouble with the ganache, it wasn’t as thick as I wanted so I just made another batch using half the cream and it was perfect. It was the prettiest cake I’ve ever made and everyone loved it, thank you so much!
So happy you loved this recipe, Crystal! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know and happy belated birthday!!
I tried the recipe i liked it but only i found it too sweet for me
Maybe next time i will reduce the sugar
Hi Enas! It’s meant to be a sweet cake (just like a s’more is sweet!) but feel free to experiment with the sugar amount in the different elements of this recipe.
Does the meringue need to be torched? Can it just be piped on and left white? If so, will it maintain its shape..in particular the meringue that’s piped on the sides of the cake?
Hi Masey! You can totally just pipe on the meringue, but toasting it with a kitchen torch is what helps it keep its shape. If it’s not torched it will end up drooping after awhile. Hope that helps!
Kylie howell says
Can I use a 7″ or a 9″ pan for the CAKE? I don’t currently have an 8″ or a 6″
Hi Kylie! Your layers may be a little shorter than mine, but those sizes should work just fine. If you want the layers to be as thick as the ones pictured, you could bake three 7″ layers (fill the pan to about 2/3 full), although you may have a little extra batter left over. Hope that helps!
Wow. I always taste a cake batter (raw eggs and all) before baking, but this is one of very few that I actually want to eat by the spoonful. It is DELICIOUS, even raw. Once baked, the graham flavor mellows a bit, but still shines through in a not-too-sweet cake that pairs well with the super duper sweet marshmallow icing. I had a little bit of trouble getting the tiny bits of “toast” from the marshmallows to smooth out in the filling.
The milk chocolate and typical vanilla buttercream are a nice pair with the sweet marshmallow filling and the slightly sweet graham cake, but the toast swiss meringue is the star of the show here.
I’m so happy to hear that you love this recipe so much, Lisa! I feel the same way about the cake batter, haha! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about the flavors and tell me how much you enjoyed them 🙂 makes my day!
Is there a benefit to using sour cream in this recipe? Can the sour cream be substituted or omitted?
Hi Ambrogia! The sour cream is what makes this cake extra moist. If you want to substitute it, the best sub is plain greek yogurt. I don’t recommend omitting it just because it’s so essential to the moisture!
Love this toasted marshmallow buttercream! One question…I am making hot chocolate cupcakes and would like to use this recipe but was wondering if I could leave out the toasted marshmallows. Would I need to add more marshmallow fluff to make up for the missing marshmallows? Or would I have to adjust the butter/powdered sugar? Or both? Thanks for any help you can provide!
Hi Susan! I’ve never tried making it without the toasted marshmallows before, but I think if you added a little extra marshmallow fluff (maybe an extra 1/8-1/4 cup or so) you should be good to go!
Great! I’m going to try it out this weekend! Will let you know how it goes! Thanks!
Annette Crady says
I’m not sure what I did wrong, even measuring everything to the gram, it was dry. Such a bummer because everything else was amazing.
Oh no, Annette! I’m sorry to hear that! Did you make any substitutions at all? Aside from potentially overbaking the cake or ommitting/substituting some ingredients I’m not sure what could have made this cake dry.
How long will the meringue decorations hold? I need to make the cake a couple of days before eating it.
Hi Denise! As long as you toast the meringue it should be good for a couple days.
Does (should) this be stored in the refrigerator if assembling the day before?
You don’t have to but I always store my decorated cakes in the refrigerator to keep all the decor looking its best. If you do store it in the refrigerator be sure to take it out 1-2 hrs before serving to bring it to room temp (tastes better that way!).
Hello! I saw that the toasted meringue holds well in the fridge if you make this the day before but do the graham cracker crumbs hold up as well? I was curious if they would go soft and not taste as great. The cake looks amazing with them so I would hate to make the cake a day ahead and omit the graham cracker crumbs on the outside. 🙂 Or I’ll just get up super early to decorate it. Haha!
Hi Jennifer! The graham cracker crumbs are definitely more crunchy day-of, but they still taste great after being refrigerated a day ahead. It’s totally up to you! But I think you’ll be fine to do everything the day before and refrigerate overnight. If you do go the refrigeration route, be sure to bring the cake to room temp before serving it by taking it out one to two hours beforehand. It tastes best at room temp. Enjoy!
I doubled this and made a huge3 layer 9 inch cake. Everything was absolutely delicious! I love this cake. It’s not overly sweet, just perfrct. Everyone flipped over it! Thank you!!!
Yay, Karen! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit!!
Could you use the marshmallow frosting on the outside instead of vanilla or would the consistency not work?
Hi Teresa! You could but there are bits of toasted marshmallow in the frosting, so it might be a bit harder to get an extra smooth finish. If you don’t mind that though, you could double the marshmallow buttercream recipe and use it as filling and frosting. Hope that helps!
Lori L. says
I just made this cake for my girlfriend who LOVES s’mores. She thought it was one of the best cakes she has ever had! My husband agreed. He said it was one of the best I’ve ever made. Thank you so much for the deLicious recipe and precise instructions. Your recipes ROCK!!!
That’s amazing, Lori! I’m so glad the recipe was a hit!
So excited to try making this cake for my son’s 5th birthday! Quick question, what do you mean by “Crumb coat the cake with vanilla buttercream”?
Hi Kayla! I’m excited for you to make this recipe! Here’s a tutorial on crumb coating the cake and why it’s important: https://sugarandsparrow.com/crumb-coat/
Lori R. says
I made this cake last night for a nerighborhood dinner. Overall it was delicious! I thought the cake was a little dry, so wondering if you may have some thoughts on what could have caused it to be slightly dry?
Hi Lori! Did you make any substitutions in the recipe?
Lisa Hardesty says
Oh my goodness… This was an amazing recipe and the directions were perfect!!! I wish I could post a picture!
Yay, Lisa! I’m so happy to hear you loved this recipe! You can send me the photo on Instagram (@sugarandsparrowco) if you want!