S’mores Layer Cake with Homemade Fluff

This s’mores layer cake is made up of graham cracker flavored cake layers, frosted with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and homemade heavenly marshmallow fluff.

Two years ago when I first published this post, the photos were…let’s just not talk about it. This s’mores cake though, definitely worth updating. If I recall correctly, someone who tasted this cake said 

“Is this girl married? Cuz if not, then all she needs to do to get married is bake this cake!”

LOL…I am married, and not because of this cake. 

What is a s’mores cake?

I went on a whole rant about this in my peanut butter s’mores cupcakes post but I’ll say it again. Why is it that when you search the internet for a s’mores cake/cupcake, everyone bakes a chocolate cake recipe?! Chocolate is so not the star flavor here, friends. Yes, it’s important, you can’t make a s’more without chocolate but it’s the smallest part of a s’more. 

This s’mores cake consists of graham cracker layers, chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and marshmallow fluff. Aka 7-minute frosting, aka meringue frosting, whatever you want to call it. It’s pretty simple if you ask me and it tastes like an actual s’more in cake form!

How to make a s’mores layer cake?

Layer cakes can be intimidating but I promise, if you follow every instruction, you will succeed. Ok, I’m not going to make promises I can’t keep but most likely, you will succeed. It’s really not my fault if your oven temperature is not accurate or if you don’t grease your pans properly, etc. Just saying…

Ingredients

  • Flour: I always use all-purpose flour and I don’t sift it. Make sure to spoon and level dry ingredients and whisk it when it says to!
  • Graham Crackers: I’m just going to come out and say it…Store bought graham cracker crumbs SUCK, they don’t taste the same. Put those graham crackers in a food processor and stop being lazy! 
  • Cinnamon: cinnamon is my secret weapon. 
  • Baking powder: well, it is a cake so obviously.
  • Salt: Salt brings out the flavor in all baked goods!
  • Sugar: I just love a good combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar. They play different roles in flavor and texture of the cake but substitutions are allowed if necessary. 
  • Butter: MAKE SURE IT’S ROOM TEMPERATURE. Not cold, not softened and greasy, not melted. If you’re going to be stubborn and microwave your butter anyway, slice it and do it on 5 second intervals, rotating every time. Lol, I’m a pro if you can’t tell. 
  • Oil: I prefer to use half butter and half oil in my cakes because I like the texture better. Oil adds more moisture, while butter allows you to incorporate the air and gives good flavor and structure to the cake. Use a neutral flavor like canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil.
  • Eggs: I always use large eggs. I know you guys ignore that part of every recipe that says “use room temperature eggs” but I’m going to say it anyway. Use room temperature eggs. Place them in warm water for at least a few minutes before if you’re not going to listen. 
  • Buttermilk: I love buttermilk for cakes. I’m one of those people that always has buttermilk in the fridge because I bake that many cakes. You can use a homemade buttermilk substitute but just remember substitutes are always substitutes and not the real deal. 
  • Vanilla: Do you even need to ask? 
  • Dark Chocolate: I used dark chocolate because I think it balances the sweetness of the meringue better. You can certainly use milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate as well. 
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Heavy cream is used to make chocolate ganache for the buttercream. 
  • Cocoa Powder: Combining chocolate and cocoa powder is almost always better than using one alone, in MY opinion. 

How to store layer cakes?

You can store the cake at room temperature for 1 day. If it’s any longer, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator for up to a week. If any slices have been cut out, cover the open side of the cake with plastic wrap and store slices in an airtight container. 

So glad you stopped by for a sassy little read today, I hope you guys enjoy this cake as much as we did. Make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram if you make it. If you have any questions at all, comment below or send me a message. As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

Yield: 6-inch cake, serves 8-10 slices

S'mores Layer Cake

s'mores cake with marshmallow fluff and chocolate frosting

This s’mores layer cake consists of graham cracker flavored cake layers, frosted with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and homemade heavenly marshmallow fluff.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (about 1 sleeve or 8-9 sheets of crackers) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp (10g) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon *optional
  • 1 cup (190g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (118mL) oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (237mL) buttermilk
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

Meringue Frosting/Marshmallow Frosting

  • 6 egg (200g) large whites
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla bean paste

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1/2 of Meringue frosting
  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (118mL) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (40g) cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Graham Cracker Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease and line three 6-inch (15.24 cm) cake pans with cooking spray and parchment paper. 
  2. Place 1 sleeve of graham crackers in a food processor and turn it on high until there are no more large chunks. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set the dry ingredients aside. 
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract together, on medium speed, until they’re light and fluffy. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. In five increments, alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat the mixture on medium speed, just until the flour is fully incorporated, making sure to scrape the edge of the bowl as needed.
  5. Distribute the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake springs back when it’s poked. Remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Meringue Frosting/Marshmallow Frosting

  1. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the aluminum bowl and the whisk attachment of the stand mixer (they can’t have any fat residue when making meringue). Once they’re clean and dry, place the egg whites and the granulated sugar in the bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup (118mL) of water to a simmer. Keep the water simmering on low heat and place the bowl with the egg whites and sugar on top of the saucepan, creating a double boiler. Whisk the egg whites and sugar over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar granules are dissolved. You can feel it between your fingers if the sugar is fully dissolved or you can use a candy thermometer and bring the mixture to about 150°F (65°C).
  3. When the sugar granules are fully dissolved in the egg whites, remove the bowl from the heat and place it on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed, until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating the mixture until it's no longer warm. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Remove half of the meringue into a separate bowl and set aside.

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Place the dark chocolate in a medium bowl and in a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it's simmering. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and let it melt for 1-2 minutes. Stir until the chocolate is completely smooth. Set it aside to cool completely.
  2. Place half of the meringue back on the stand mixer and lower the speed to medium. Slowly add in the softened butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time. Once the butter is all incorporated, continue beating on medium speed for a few minutes until it emulsifies into a buttercream (it may go through phases of looking soupy and/or curdled before it emulsifies but it should come together within 5-10 minutes). 
  3. Once the buttercream comes together, add in the cocoa powder, salt and only HALF of the melted chocolate.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Place the first layer of cake on a cake board and spread a thin layer of chocolate buttercream on top. Then spread a layer of meringue frosting and a swirl of chocolate ganache (you can reheat the chocolate in the microwave for 5-10 seconds if necessary). Repeat with the second layer and then place the third layer of cake on top.
  2. Smooth out any buttercream that squished out between the layers and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes. Place the rest of the chocolate buttercream on top of the cake and use an offset spatula to work it’s way down the sides. Add in dabs of meringue frosting and chocolate ganache, lightly spreading them in. Top with extra graham cracker crumbs, or even toasted marshmallows if you’re not lazy!

Notes

  • If the chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream or the meringue frosting is too soft, refrigerate them for 20 minutes before frosting the cake. It's better for them to be slightly too firm instead of too soft.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 858Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 361mgCarbohydrates: 105gFiber: 2gSugar: 79gProtein: 10g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @baranbakery or #baranbakery

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90 Comments

  1. Hi! I’m in the middle of making this recipe but I’m slightly confused. The recipe says 1/2 cup (about 1 sleeve or 8-9 sheets of crackers) graham cracker crumbs, but 1 sleeve (8 crackers for me) of crumbs is 1 1/2 cups. 1 cup of Graham cracker crumbs is pretty different so I want to ask before I move on.

  2. Hi! I have a friend’s birthday coming up and I’d love to give this recipe a try – however the cake will have to travel in the car for about 2 hours. I have a Yeti cooler that can fit a 6” cake. Hoping to get your thoughts on if you think this cake travels well? Thanks!!

    • Hi Taylor, normally that would be totally fine for a cake but if I’m being totally honest it’s a little risky for this cake because of the meringue.
      It’s definitely possible but when you’re assembling the cake, maybe do a border of chocolate buttercream around the layer of meringue so that it’s a little more secure.
      I would also refrigerate it for 10-20 minutes before putting the next layer of cake on top.
      For a better visual on this, you can see how i did it here with the chocolate frosting and caramel filling.

      https://baranbakery.com/chocolate-caramel-cake-sweetened-condensed-milk-frosting/

      Also make sure to refrigerate the cake overnight before putting it in the cooler!
      Hope that helps 🙂

  3. Hi – I noticed in the assembly of the cake you mention chocolate ganache. Where can I find that in the recipe? Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks

  4. Wow! This cake was simple to make. The flavors were amazing. The cake itself was a bit on the dry side. It wasn’t an issue after layering it and letting it sit for the day. I will definitely be coming back for the chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream recipe for other projects.

  5. The cake tasted delicious but there was NO graham cracker flavor at all? To me that is the most important part of the cake? I am not sure whY?? Any ideas?

    Thank you!

    Kristen Berry

  6. I’m always the one who makes the birthday cakes for our family get-togethers because I love baking and decorating. This month the celebration was for me and my two-year old nephew, so I wanted to make something that would please me and be fun for the kids. I used this recipe with camping-themed decorations.

    Wow. Cake is usually good because it’s cake, but this one blew us all away. My husband said it was the best cake he’s ever had. I loved how the cinnamon came through. I loved it that the cake layers weren’t too sweet, letting the frosting be enjoyed instead of scraped off because of the sweetness overload. I loved swirling the chocolate buttercream with the meringue so there was marshmallowyness all over. I will absolutely be making this again.

    Because this was for a large-ish family gathering, I doubled the recipe and used 3 9-inch pans. It turned out great. I added a third to the frosting recipe and it was the right amount to cover the extra surface area. One thing I will say that I would do differently next time is put all the ganache in between layers and not save it for the surface of the cake. I feel like it was a little lost in the middle because I thought I would need it for the outside.

  7. This. Cake. Just WOW.

    Made this cake for our daughter’s birthday and it did not disappoint! It tastes very much like a smore’s and makes an impressive statement. Despite reading the recipe 3 times before making it, I somehow missed that you’re supposed to use 6″ round pans. Well… I had 9″ rounds, so I raised the temp to 375° and baked for about 20+ minutes. Fortunately it turned out great, and I still did 3 layers.

  8. This. Cake. WOW.

    Made this cake for our daughter’s birthday and it did not disappoint! It tastes very much like a smore’s and makes an impressive statement. Despite reading the recipe 3 times before making it, I somehow missed that you’re supposed to use 6″ round pans. Well… I had 9″ rounds, so I raised the temp to 375° and baked for about 20+ minutes. Fortunately it turned out great, and I still did 3 layers.

  9. Hey there. Getting ready to fix this cake for my daughters birthday. We are high altitude. Any changes or add ins I need to do? Thanks

  10. I have friends who have egg and/or milk allergies, I have some good go to substitutes for both but do you have a suggestion for the buttermilk?

  11. Could I make these into cupcakes or do you think the texture would change too much? I know some recipes don’t lend well to switching from cake to cupcake but not sure (other than bake time of course) how to adjust it. Suggestions?

    • Hi Sarah, I haven’t tried it but multiple people have posted that they made the cake into cupcakes without any problems!
      I’m assuming they got around two dozen, probably baked at 350F for 18-22 minutes (once they no longer look wet on top just press on the center of them and if they spring back, they’re done baking).

  12. Made this cake a couple weeks ago. One of the best tasting cakes I’ve made! Tastes VERY similar to a smore. I’m meringue’s biggest fan (and marshmallows) so this recipe was an instant win!! Might double the meringue next time as you can never have too much! Great recipe. Only thing, I got impatient with the meringue step so the sugar didn’t dissolve. Even grainy the cake tasted amazing. My husband said it’s better than most he’s eaten. I was skeptical the graham cracker part wouldn’t taste much like graham crackers. I was wrong. So yummy!

  13. Thank you for this recipe, it turned out great in 2, 8 inch pans. I loved the marshmallow frosting! Thank you for a listing of why you chose specific ingredients as well. For people asking about buttermilk, I find the vinegar /milk substitute odd. King Arther Flour tested some substitutes and found that sour cream or greek yogurt thinned with milk is a great sub. It’s what I used and worked out great!

  14. Would this cake lend itself to baking in a bowl to form a dome cake? (BB-8’s head 😉)
    Also, would it freeze well?

      • This cake is delicious!!! I made it with a 3 year old and it came out fantastic. We followed the recipe (as closely as I could with the help of a toddler lol) and it was very easy to bake and assemble. I’m already getting more requests for us to make this cake!

  15. Loved this cake, and had a blast making it too! One issue that I did encounter was getting granulated sugar to melt completely for the meringue. I heated it up to 150 degrees and for longer that the approximate time and it was still gritty!! After trying this two times I decided to scrap the granulated sugar and go with confectioners. Much easier! Not sure why granulated sugar is suggested- any tips to get this to work properly??

    • Hi Steph, thanks for let me know! I’m sorry that was such a struggle for you. If the sugar didn’t dissolve at that temperature then that means there wasn’t enough liquid from the egg whites to dissolve the amount of sugar. I apologize, I should have written large or x-large egg whites.
      Also if you measure with a measuring cup instead of a scale there’s a really high chance for most people to over measure dry ingredients like flour/sugar, etc.
      I will update the recipe to say large eggs and I will probably lower the amount of sugar just to stay safe. Again, I’m sorry you had to make that multiple times but I’m glad you still enjoyed the cake!

  16. I’m pretty comfortable making a 2-layer 6” cake, but worry about my ability to handle 3. Also, this is just for my daughter—who found your recipe and asked me to make the cake—and her husband—and 3-layer cake for two is a whole lotta cake. Would you suggest baking all three and using two or could I cut the recipe somehow so as not to end up with an extra cake layer. Looking forward to baking it, regardless.

    • Hi Laurie, because there are 3 eggs, I would cut the cake in thirds. You could either make 1/3 of the recipe or 2/3.

      So for 2 (6-inch) layers it would be:

      1 1/3 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
      about 2/3 sleeve or 6 sheets of graham cracker (crumbs)
      2 tsp (7g) baking powder
      1/4 tsp salt
      pinch of cinnamon *optional
      2/3 cup (127g) brown sugar
      1/3 cup (60g) granulated sugar
      3 Tbsp (37g) unsalted butter, room temperature
      2.5 oz (78mL) oil
      2 large eggs, room temperature
      2/3 cup (156mL) buttermilk
      1 tsp vanilla extract

    • I don’t understand why this needed to be said. What was your goal in making this comment? Because it certainly wasn’t anything with a good intention and certainly doesn’t add anything, so maybe next time don’t make it….

  17. Hello, me and my roommates are trying to make this cake, but it is super hard to find buttermilk nowadays… does this recipe have to have buttermilk? Or can we just use regular milk?

        • Cortny, I never buy buttermilk because don’t ever end up using the whole container. Did you know that you can add a Tbsp. of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk, let it sit for five minutes, and that can be substituted for buttermilk? I saw it on the Pioneer Woman, did some digging, and found that this is a common substitute when buttermilk isn’t handy. Hope that comes in handy someday; it certainly has for us!

        • Would this cake lend itself to baking in a bowl to form a dome cake? (BB-8’s head 😉)
          Also, would it freeze well?

      • Hey there!
        I may have missed it but, does the cake freeze well? I’m thinking about making the cakes, freezing overnight and finish the next day.
        Thanks!

  18. Does this cake do well being made the day before and stored in the fridge? I would like to make it for a party but won’t have the time the day of to make it.

  19. I made this cake for my birthday yesterday and it was delicious! Each piece was amazingly delicious on its own, and when put together, the cake is heavenly. However, my three cake layers came out very thin and a bit dense, so I ended up making a fourth layer to make the cake taller.

    • Hi Ellen, some things that can make the cake thin and dense is not beating the butter and sugar long enough in the beginning and after each egg or baking powder being expired. I’m glad it still tasted good and you enjoyed it though 🙂

  20. This looks delightful! I’m thinking of trying it with cupcakes. Scoop out the centers, fill with marshmallow and top with chocolate. If it comes out like I like, I’ll post pictures on Pinterest

  21. Ok, so I will have to be that person. I am so inspired to make this. I only have 9″ pans. Do you happen to know the conversion? I saw that you could do 2 8″ layers, so I assume they would be too flat with 9″. If I multiplied the recipe by 1.25? Help- hoping to make it for a birthday next week. Thanks!

    • Hi Becca! If you want to make a three layer 9″ cake you can simply double the whole recipe 🙂 You will need to also double the “frosting” and the “buttercream”, however I would make them separately. So in the recipe, I made one meringue and split that in half to make the fluff and the buttercream but for a larger amount, I would make them separate. So instead of using “half of meringue frosting” in the buttercream, just make a whole new meringue. Let me know if that doesn’t make sense LOL

  22. How long would meringue keep? In my experience in the past, they usually start deflating and weeping after a day.

    • Hi Ally, this meringue is made using the Swiss method (where the egg whites and sugar are cooked over the double boiler) so it lasts longer than the uncooked, French method. I kept this cake in the fridge for over a week without any problems. It’s generally not recommended to freeze meringues, but to be honest I tested it once and didn’t not have any problems with that either. I believe heating the eggs, the higher sugar content and storing it in an airtight container will keep it from separating/weeping for longer. Hope that helps!

    • Hi Brie, room temperature eggs incorporate into the batter more evenly and room temperature butter allows for the proper aeration of the butter. When you cream butter and sugar together in the beginning, you are incorporating air into the butter which makes fluffier cake. If the butter is too soft or too cold, it won’t get the air it needs to make a fluffy/tender cake! Room temperature should be about 70 degrees, it should be soft and you should be able to press into it with your finger but not to soft that it looks greasy 🙂

      • Wow I had no idea. I’ll definitely be trying that because who doesn’t love fluffier cakes?? Thanks for sharing!

  23. I have to ask, would you know if gluten free flour would work in place of all purpose flour? I already have gluten free graham crackers, so that works! This just looks too yummy!

    • Hi Alene, I haven’t tested it on this cake but I have on some of my other ones. If you use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill, you shouldn’t have any problems 🙂

  24. This cake is amazing! Didn’t have normal graham crackers so I crushed up a graham cracker pie crust I had sitting around and it worked fine. Love this recipe.

  25. I am so excited to make this cake! Thank you for explaining your ingredients list. This looks amazing. So happy I found you!!

    • Hi May, I would start with 40 minutes and once the cake doesn’t look wet anymore, poke the center and if it springs back it’s done baking. Just check it every couple minutes after the top doesn’t look wet anymore. 🙂

  26. This sounds great but I have 8 inch pans. Do you by any chance have the recipe conversion for using 8 inch pans?

      • Hi! Super excited to try! I’d like to make this a couple of days in advance. Would there be a good way to store this? Or ideas on making parts of it advance and some the day of? Thanks!

        • Hi Bailey, I would make the cake layers in advance, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them. Then unfreeze them while you make the meringue/buttercream. It’ll be easier to frost if they’re frozen as well 🙂

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