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This s’mores cake is a chocolate lovers dream. Get your fork ready for rich chocolate ganache, buttery graham cracker crumbles and gooey marshmallow frosting!
With summer in full swing, I’m all about fresh and easy meals. Salads, fresh fish and I cook pretty much everything on the grill. But summer is also about sweet treats. Dripping ice cream cones, Italian ice and of course, s’mores. I mean it really doesn’t get much better than gooey roasted marshmallows and melted chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. Or does it?
Enter the s’mores naked cake. This cake pretty much goes against my whole summer philosophy. First off, I have to turn on my oven. Second, it has several steps (but so worth it) and finally, it’s anything but light. But after one slice of this cake that little s’more sandwich looks downright paltry and sad.
I know, I know, another naked cake recipe. I told you I was a little obsessed. But I promise you that this is the last one for a while. I came across an extra container of whipped chocolate ganache in my freezer and was inspired to create a chocolatey treat for some friends. And it being summer and all…of course I thought s’mores.
Oh and yes, you heard me right. An extra container of whipped chocolate ganache. As I was typing that I thought of how ridiculous that sounds to most people. But my frig and freezer sometimes look like I conduct lab experiments with all the containers, jars and baggies stacked up. Thanks to almost constant recipe testing and development, I always have an extra this or leftover that that I’m sure will come in handy another day. And it’s a good day when that actually pans out.
So back to this cake. I use my favorite chocolate cake recipe that is, dare I say it, pretty much no-fail. It comes together quickly and always bakes up moist and delicious. Then I alternate layers of whipped chocolate ganache with fluffy marshmallow frosting. Oh and of course the graham crackers! I basically bake a crunchy graham cracker crust into one big cookie, than crumble it and sprinkle it on top of the ganache and frosting between the cake layers. And the pièce de résistance? I take my kitchen torch and toast the edges of the marshmallow frosting. Not really necessary, but oh so pretty.
So before making this cake, be warned. It is rich and decadent and demands some time spent in the kitchen instead of the beach. But the beauty of the naked cake is the decorating part is easy. Spread or pipe the frosting between the layers, add a sprinkle of graham crumbles and you’re well on your way to wowing your guests. And maybe make a little extra ganache and tuck it in the freezer. Trust me, you never know when you might need it.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 5 oz graham crackers, 9 full crackers
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter, (1 stick) melted
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
- *special equipment: kitchen torch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat 2 - 8 inch round baking pans with non-stick spray. Measure and cut parchment rounds to fit in the bottom of each pan and place in bottom.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add buttermilk, eggs and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.
Slowly add in boiling water and mix to combine.
Pour into prepared pans and bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cake in pans for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan, peel off the parchment rounds and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Heat heavy cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour cream mixture over. Let stand for 5 minutes and then stir until blended.
Place bowl in refrigerator for about an hour, stirring occasionally until ganache thickens to a spreadable consistency.
Remove from refrigerator and beat on high until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Cover and reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Break up graham crackers and place in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Alternatively place crackers in a large ziplock bag and bash/roll with a rolling pin until fine.
Combine crumbs with sugar, salt and melted butter and push together into about a 12 x 6 inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick) on the prepared sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool and break into pieces.
Place all ingredients except marshmallows in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Beat with an electric mixer until thick and glossy, about 7-8 minutes.
Add in the marshmallows and continue to beat until marshmallows are melted, about 3 mins.
Remove from heat and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until slightly cooled.
Slice the top off of each cake to create a nice, flat surface.
Divide each cake in half to create four layers.
Place one layer (save your best for the top layer) on a cake plate and top with one half of the whipped ganache and one third of the graham cracker crumbles.
Place another cake layer on top and spread with about 1 1/2 cups of the marshmallow frosting and one third of the graham cracker crumbles.
Top with another layer of cake, remaining whipped ganache and last third of the graham cracker crumbles.
Place the final cake layer on top and spread with the remaining marshmallow frosting. You can use a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip or simply create pretty peaks using a spatula.
Toast the marshmallow icing with the kitchen torch until golden.
Special equipment: kitchen torch