This simple S’ more cake will have you thinking of hot summer nights, catching fireflies no matter what time of year it is.
Who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow, right!
It’s a childhood treat that follows you into adulthood and every time you have one reminds you of happy moments.
I’ve added a bit of sophistication to it with Italian Meringue. I’ll be showing you how to whip up a light and creamy meringue that will become a new favorite way to enjoy the s’ more flavor.
This cake is really the perfect ANYTIME cake, it’s a single layer cake perfect for smaller celebrating, weeknight dessert, or bring it along with you on a small outing, camping trip, or RV adventure!
Chocolate is one of my favorites, I’m not picky. I like it on its own or enjoyed in cookies – like these Spritz Cookies with Whipped Chocolate Ganache, brownie cookies, or enjoyed one bite at a time in my chocolate mousse.
To begin, preheat the oven to 350°.
While the oven is preheating, prepare an 8″ round cake pan with a baking spray or oil and flour pan. This is done so the cake releases easily (I use Baklene baking spray, it never fails!)
Where I love my mixer, I also enjoy how this recipe can be made with just a medium sized bowl, whisk, and spatula.
In your bowl add butter and sugar and whisk until well blended, if you’d like, let your butter soften a little beforehand.
Next, add in vanilla and egg and whisk to combine. The mixture should be smooth but will look grainy.
Combine the cocoa, baking soda, salt, and flour add to your butter-sugar mixture and mix until fully combined. It may seem a little dry, but never fear – we are about to add our tang with buttermilk, and your pick-me-up with coffee!
Grab your buttermilk and add to your cake mixture, stirring to combine.
Finally, add in coffee and stir until smooth.
Pour your batter into the prepared baking pan.
Wrap the outer edge of the pan with a wet baking strip or towel to bake the cake evenly.
Bake at 350° for 33-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then place wax paper over the top of the cake to turn the cake onto a cooling rack.
Allow the cake to cool completely before applying any frosting.
Now on to our Meringue!
A quick Baker’s Note before we begin:
Meringue is made best right before you plan to use it. It’s sensitive to temperature changes, so making it ahead of time is not advised.
You’ll need a small saucepan, where you’ll combine the sugar and water, bringing the mix to a boil. Continue to watch and stir.
When your sugar thermometer reads 210°, you’ll prepare your eggs – continuing to keep a good eye on your sugar-water mixture.
Crack and separate your egg whites from the yolks. You can use a tool specifically for this, the eggshells themselves, or just your hands. Discard Yolks.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer. Starting on low, begin to whip the egg whites increasing the speed to medium. They will begin to look fluffy, once this happens increase speed to high until the egg whites form a stiff peak. To test this, if you raise your whisk, the egg white mixture will create stiff peaks that do not fall.
Switching gears again, your sugar mixture should register 240° when it’s ready.
When the sugar syrup is ready, with the mixer on medium-low speed, drizzle the syrup in the eggs in a thin steady stream. YOU MUST GO SLOW. This is vital, your sugar mix will be hot and can burn you quickly. The other reason is if you pour the hot sugar on the eggs too quickly, you’ll ruin your meringue by cooking the egg too fast. You’ll also want to pour the liquid sugar away from the sides of the bowl as it won’t mix well and just stick to the sides of the bowl. Be careful the pot you cooked the sugar syrup in will be hot, hold it carefully while pouring.
Continue mixing until all the syrup is all added.
Next, increase the speed and whip on high until the mixture cools to room temperature. This can take 5 minutes or so. It will have firm peaks (not stiff) it will flop a little at the ends when the beater is pulled out of the meringue.
The hard part is over, and the delicious part begins!
Place the meringue on your completely cooled cake.
You can swirl the meringue with the back of a spoon in sweeping motions to create hills and valleys that will allow the toasting to look dimensional.
I like to apply graham cracker crumbs to the sides. To do this, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butter until well blended.
Apply the graham cracker crumbs around the perimeter of the cake, I scoop them into my hand and press them gently onto the sides of the cake. You can also do this with a spoon.
Lastly, toast the meringue with a kitchen torch, waving it over the meringue until it’s golden, or under a high broiler for a couple of minutes. If using the broiler, be sure to keep an eye on it, it’ll only take about 3 minutes.
Now, slice a piece of this nostalgic treat and enjoy!
Welcome to the Inquiring Minds section:
I’d like to use a marshmallow topping in place of the meringue, do you have any good suggestions?
Absolutely! I also love marshmallow flavor and so this recipe for Marshmallow Frosting could be used!
You could also place marshmallows on top of the cake and toast them. But let’s be honest, the meringue is a show stopper and so delicious! (Give it a try!)
How much flour should I use when choosing to oil my cake pan instead of using a spray?
Use a tablespoon. You don’t have to measure it, just eyeball it. Once in the pan, shake it around until the inside of the pan is completely covered, then dump the excess out.
If you want to add some extra chocolate this cake, add a layer of chocolate ganache (this is a larger portion, you’ll most likely use half, you can make a full recipe or just make half for this cake) or you could make hot fudge sauce, cut the cake into two layers, add a layer of hot fudge sauce then top with remaining cake and then add the meringue.
If you’re looking for more S’more inspired treats check these out!
- S’ more with marshmallow frosting
- S’ more Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Mini S’ more Pies
- S’ more Cupcakes
- S’ more Peanut Butter Bars
- Simple Baked Alaska
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dutch process cocoa, or unsweetened cocoa
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup buttermilk (or ¼ cup milk and 2 teaspoons vinegar blended)
- ¼ cup hot coffee or boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prepare an 8" round cake pan with a baking spray or oil and flour pan, so the cake releases easily (I use Baklene baking spray)
- Wrap the outer edge of the pan with a wet baking strip or towel to bake the cake evenly.
- This cake can be made it a bowl with a whisk and spatula (no mixer needed)
- In a medium bowl add butter and sugar and whisk until well blended.
- Add in vanilla and egg and whisk to combine.
- Add in cocoa, baking soda, salt, and stir in flour
- Add in buttermilk and stir to combine.
- then add in coffee and stir until smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake at 350° for 33-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes then place wax paper over the top of the cake to turn cake onto a cooling rack.
- Cool cake completely before applying any frosting.
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 egg whites, from large eggs
- ⅓ cup graham cracker crumbs ( or 3 paired graham crackers, crushed)
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Begin making the meringue when you are about to use it, not ahead of time for best results.
- In a small saucepan bring the sugar and water to a boil until it reaches 240°.
- Just before the frosting reaches 240° ( I start when it's at about 210°)
- Place egg white s in the bowl of a mixer and begin on low and start to whip the egg whites increasing the speed to medium when they are fluffy and then onto high speed until the egg whites form a stiff peak.
- When the sugar syrup is ready, with the mixer on medium-low speed drizzle the syrup in the eggs in a thin steady stream carefully (boiling sugar is very hot) try to keep the syrup in a steady stream without it touching the mixer or the sides of the bowl as it won't mix in well,
- Continue mixing until all the syrup is added.
- Then increase the speed and whip on high until the mixture cools to room temperature, it takes at least 5 minutes. It will be at firm peaks (not stiff) it will flop a little at the ends when the beater is pulled out of the meringue.
- Place the meringue on the completely cooled cake.
- Swirl the meringue with the back of a spoon in swooping motions to create hills and valleys that will allow the toasting to look really dimensional.
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butter until well blended.
- Apply the graham cracker crumbs around the perimeter of the cake, I scoop them into my hand and press them onto the sides of the cake.
- Toast the meringue with a kitchen torch, waving it over the meringue until it's golden or under a high broiler for a couple of minutes, be sure to keep an eye on it, it'll only take about 3 minutes under the broiler.