Cakes Holidays Summer Winter

S’mores Gift Cakes

This is a recipe I came up with for Valrhona chocolate a few weeks ago; they featured it in their newsletter. I was given permission to share it on my site as well, and I’m so glad because I had so much fun making these cakes, and they are quite delicious.

I used the chocolate gift cake base from my cookbook Baking From the Holidays, swapped out the chocolate buttercream for marshmallow creme (toasted, of course) and then topped everything off with chocolate ganache and toasted graham cracker crumbs sprinkled on top. My family LOVED this cake, and we had to quickly give the extra away to our neighbors so we didn’t devour them all ourselves.

Packing Cakes for Gifting:

This recipe makes three 6 inch [15 cm] cakes; two for gifting and one for keeping yourself. When passing out these smaller cakes to friends and neighbors, I like to place them in a cake box (I use this gold one here). I find the box keeps them well protected. Because these cakes contain both marshmallow fluff and chocolate ganache, they are best eaten the same day they are assembled (the chocolate cake layers can be made ahead of time, either a week ahead and frozen or a day ahead and refrigerated).

However, if you need to assemble the cakes a day ahead, store them in the refrigerator and then let them come to room temperature before serving. I wrap the sides in plastic wrap (you can grease it slightly so the plastic doesn’t stick to the marshmallow fluff) and then once the ganache has set and isn’t wet, place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the cakes.

More S’mores Recipes:

s'more gift cakes sitting on marble

S’mores Cakes for Gifting

Servings: 3 (6 inch) cakes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
S'mores in cake form! These small chocolate cakes are topped with marshmallow creme, chocolate ganache, and graham cracker crumbs.
Sarah Kieffer
5 from 4 votes
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Ingredients

Cake

  • ½ cup [120 g] sour cream at room temperature
  • ½ cup [120 g] whole milk at room temperature
  • ½ cup [112 g] canola oil
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup [200 g] granulated sugar
  • 1 cup [200 g] light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup [75 g] Valrhona Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup [240 g] strong freshly brewed coffee, hot

Marshmallow Fluff

  • 2 large egg whites [70 g]
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water plus ¼ cup [60 g] room-temperature water
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin
  • ½ cup [168 g] corn syrup
  • ½ cup [100 g] granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

Toasted Graham Cracker Crumbs

  • ½ cup [50 g] graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • For the cake: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Grease three 6 by 2 in [15 by 5 cm] cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the sour cream, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, and baking soda and powder, and salt.
  • With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the milk mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until combined, 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly pour the hot coffee into the batter and mix until just combined. Using a spatula, give the batter a couple of turns to make sure it is fully mixed.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out with the tiniest bit of crumb.
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and let cool completely. Once cool, the cakes can be frosted or wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
  • For the marshmallow fluff: In a small bowl, combine the cold water and the gelatin.
  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, combine the corn syrup, sugar, room-temperature water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, until the temperature reaches 240 [120C]; this will take a few minutes. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat, and whisk in the gelatin. Set aside while whisking the egg whites.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Turn the stand mixer to low speed, and carefully pour the hot sugar syrup along the side of the mixing bowl, being careful not to hit the whisk attachment as your pour (transferring the hot mixture to a liquid measuring cup with a pour spout might make this task easier). When all the syrup is in the bowl, turn up the speed to medium-high and continue whisking until the mixture has doubled in volume, is quite thick and glossy, and sides of the bowl have cooled, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  • For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is simmering and just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic and whisk until completely smooth. Cool to room temperature. When the ganache is cool, whisk for 30 to 45 seconds, until the ganache thickens a little bit. Let the ganache cool for ten minutes.
  • For the toasted graham cracker crumbs: Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325F [165C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with a spatula until evenly incorporated. Spread the mixture on the prepared pan and toast in the oven until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • To Assemble: Fill a piping bag fit with a large round tip with the marshmallow fluff. Pipe a layer of marshmallow fluff over the top of each cake. Toast the marshmallow fluff with a kitchen torch. Chill the cakes in the fridge for 30 minutes while you make the ganache. Top the marshmallow fluff with the ganache, using an offset spatula to even the chocolate. Sprinkle the tops of the cake with the toasted graham cracker crumbs. Let the ganache set for 30 minutes. Wrap and give the cakes as gifts, or slice and serve.
  • Reply
    Kristine
    Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 7:32 am

    5 stars
    Question about the marshmallow layer. Would the recipe for the fluff still work if golden syrup is substituted for the corn syrup? I’m deathly allergic to corn and would love to try this recipe. Thanks 😀

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Friday, May 13, 2022 at 9:32 am

      Hello! I haven’t tested it with golden syrup, but I think it would work fine.

  • Reply
    Jayne
    Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    I cannot get corn syrup and would love to make these, is there something else I could substitute, maybe honey or golden syrup. Many thanks for any advice you could give.

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:17 am

      I haven’t ever used golden syrup here, but I know many people make marshmallows with honey instead of corn syrup. I haven’t tried it in this particular recipe, but I think that it could work. If you experiment with it, let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    KENNEY
    Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    5 stars
    Made these delicious cakes over the weekend but made them as cupcakes (made about 30). They turned out great! The chocolate cake is probably one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made. The fluff was easier to make than I thought it would be. It was light and fluffy and not too sweet. The ganache on top gave the s’mores flavor of the melted chocolate mingling with marshmallow. The graham cracker crumbs on top looked pretty but lacked the flavor of a s’more. I’m wondering if I put a graham cracker on the bottom and poured the batter over, if that would work. I’ll have to try it next time!
    *One comment, the recipe instructions leave out the baking soda and powder. Add these in step 3 with the salt.

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 9:40 am

      so glad you enjoyed the cakes as cupcakes. i’ve added the notes to step 3, thank you for catching!

    • Reply
      MG
      Sunday, April 17, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Kenney, do you recall how long you baked the cupcakes and 350? I’m plan to do the same and am glad you already tested it! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 11:55 am

    5 stars
    The pan bangers may be classic “Sarah”, this recipe is my favorite from the vanilla bean blog master. The cakes are adorable, easy to make and absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    Kim Friedl
    Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Could these little cakes be made in a muffin tin for individual sized portions?

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