Decadent S’mores Drip Cake
By Sarah from A Spoonful of Vanilla
June 22, 2021
I am so excited to be featuring a recipe from my friend Sarah again. And honestly, you are in for a real treat with this one. I grew up eating s’mores during my summers at Girl Scout camp, so this show stopping dessert is extra nostalgic for me, in addition to being super tasty. Plus, I’ll admit, I am a little jealous of Sarah’s ability to make anything into an incredible cake, like this decadent s’mores drip cake.
Note that Sarah is based in the UK, so she may use some measurements and terms that are less familiar around here! However, we tried to add in notes about imperial measurements and substitutions where needed.
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What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this s’mores drip cake at your grocery store:
- Pantry: Light brown sugar, Self-rising flour, Baking powder, Vanilla extract, Confectioner’s sugar, Cocoa powder, Graham crackers, Dark chocolate, Marshmallows
- Fridge: Butter, Eggs, Milk, Heavy cream
- Equipment: Mixing bowl, Spatula, Cake tins, Piping bags
Piping tips: Wilton 1M, small round and large round, Cake smoother, Offset spatula, Blow torch
- Optional Equipment: Stand mixer, Food processor, Squeeze bottle
Now, let’s hear from Sarah!
This S’mores Cake is a real showstopper. It has four layers of light brown sugar cake, chocolate buttercream, crushed biscuit, chocolate ganache and toasted marshmallows.
When Kait replied to my tweet and asked if I could make a showstopper cake, I just knew it had to be this S’mores Cake. We decided because I stay in the UK and she stays in the US that it had to be made with ingredients readily available in both countries.
I decided on a S’mores Cake because when I lived in the US a few years ago, one of my favourite memories was sitting by a campfire at the lake toasting marshmallows with the children I was looking after. Also, the good thing about S’mores is you can use any kind of marshmallows, chocolate and biscuits.
I decided to make the cakes caramelly flavoured as I thought it would marry well with the rest of the flavours but if you want to make the cakes chocolate then just head down to the alternatives section below for the ingredients.
In the cakes I used light brown sugar but if you prefer to make this cake just a normal vanilla cake then you can use caster sugar (or granulated sugar) instead. I just think the caramelly taste, with the chocolate buttercream, toasted marshmallow and crushed biscuit is just divine.
How to Make the Cake
Before you start baking
Just before you start baking line your cake tins with parchment paper and leave to one side. For this recipe I used 4 8” loose bottomed cake tins.
Also preheat your oven so that it is the correct temperature when your cakes are ready to bake.
S’mores Cake Layers
I creamed the butter and sugar together until it was light and fluffy. Next, add in the remaining ingredients and mix until they are fully incorporated. You don’t need to mix the mixture for very long, if you have a stand mixer, I wouldn’t recommend putting it on and walking away to do other things because overbeating the mixture will cause lots of problems.
Once your mixture is combined and smooth split it between your cake tins. I weigh mine and get approximately 450g of cake batter in each pan, but you could do it by eye. Bake them in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
How Do I Know When the Cakes Are Ready?
It can be quite difficult to tell when cakes are ready especially if you have decided to make a chocolate cake.
The first thing I do when I take my cakes out the oven is gently press down on the top of the cake. If it springs back when you remove your fingers, then it is ready. If not pop it back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and then check again. Repeat until the cake springs back.
You could also test your cake by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the cake, if the skewer comes out clean then your cake is ready, if there is still cake batter on the skewer then pop it back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and repeat until the skewer comes out clean.
Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 15-20 minutes and then place them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, I followed a recipe I used for my Chocolate Drip Cake. I just made slightly more to cover the extra cake layer. I mixed together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter until the mixture is fully incorporated.
To make the buttercream, please, use unsalted butter. You can use a baking spread (or margarine) for the cake, I normally do, as I find it makes a lovely and light cake, but it is too soft for buttercream.
If you find your buttercream is quite thick then you can add 1 tsp of milk (I use whole milk, but any milk will work perfectly) and mix again repeat until the buttercream is the desired consistency. Pop the buttercream into a large piping bag with a round nozzle and leave to one side.
I used digestive biscuits, but you just need to use a plain biscuit (or vanilla cookies). I think the best alternative in the US is Graham Crackers. Pop them into a food processor and blitz (or pulse) until they are small crumbs. Alternatively, you can put the biscuits into a food safe bag and crush with a rolling pin. Leave to one side.
We are going to use the chocolate ganache to create the drip on top but also to add something a little extra in between each layer of the cake.
Making ganache is a lot easier than a lot of people think. Put your chocolate and double cream (or heavy cream) into a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave in 20 second bursts stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted, and the mixture is lovely and smooth.
If you don’t have a microwave, do not worry! Add your chocolate to a heatproof bowl and add the cream to a saucepan, heat on a low heat until you can see steam coming from the cream. Pour it over the chocolate and mix until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Leave to one side.
Let’s Decorate Our S’mores Cake
Okay, so we have made all the elements of this epic showstopper now just to put them all together.
Start by putting your first cake onto your serving plate or board and pipe the buttercream onto the top. Smooth using an angled palette knife (or offset spatula). Don’t worry if some of the buttercream splodges out the side. Once the buttercream is smooth pipe a border around the edge of the cake and fill the centre with the crushed biscuit.
Add the second cake on top and repeat this time filling the centre with some chocolate ganache. Add the third cake and add more crushed biscuits.
Once you have stacked all the cakes pipe the buttercream onto the top of the cake and pipe the buttercream into any gaps around the side. This is the crumb coat. Smooth the buttercream into the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry if you can still see the cake through the buttercream, we will fix this. Pop the cake into the fridge until the buttercream has hardened.
Once the buttercream has hardened, pipe the remaining buttercream onto the cake and smooth with a cake smoother. If there are any gaps just fill these in with some more buttercream and smooth again. Smooth the edges of the cake with your angled palette knife.
Drip and Crushed Biscuit
It is completely up to you which you want to do next whether it is adding the crushed biscuit to the bottom of the cake or adding the drip to the top. Personally, I went with the biscuits. I found the easiest way to add the biscuits was to take a small handful and just gently press them into the cake. I did this the whole way around the bottom of the cake. Don’t worry if it isn’t the perfect straight line. If there were any gaps, I filled these in once I had gone around the entire cake.
Next, I added my chocolate ganache to a piping bag. If you have found it has started to set just place it back into the microwave and gently warm for around 10-20 seconds and stir. I use disposable piping bags so once I have added the ganache to the piping bag, I just snip the tip off. If you don’t have disposable piping bags, I would recommend using a small round piping nozzle or you could also use a squeeze bottle. Go around the edge of the cake and gently pipe the chocolate ganache on. To create the drip effect just hold the piping bag slightly away from the cake. The longer you hold the bag, or the harder you squeeze the longer your drip will be.
Once you have created the drip, pipe the remaining chocolate ganache onto the top of the cake and smooth. Pop the cake back into the fridge to allow the ganache to set. If you try and pipe the swirls onto the top of the cake while it is still wet the buttercream will just slide straight off.
Once your chocolate ganache has set, pipe the remaining buttercream onto the top of the cake. This is the buttercream I scraped off from the side or had left over. I used a Wilton 1M Piping Nozzle to pipe the swirls. I then sprinkled over any left-over crushed biscuit and filled the centre of the cake with the crushed biscuit too.
Finally, I added my marshmallows.
Phew, this has been a long blog post, but we are finally at the last step. The toasted marshmallows. Now I used Pink and White Marshmallows and just alternated them on top of the swirls, but you can use any kind of marshmallows you fancy.
I then used my blowtorch to toast them. I put the blow torch on a super low setting and gently toasted the top and sides.
I will say now, please be very, very careful when using the blow torch. You need to use it on a super low setting because you don’t want to melt the buttercream or chocolate ganache. You also don’t want to burn yourself, so remember and tie your hair back and hold the blowtorch at arm’s length.
You could make the cakes chocolate if you prefer. Just remove 50g of self-raising flour (about 1/3 cup) and replace with (1/2 cup) cocoa powder.
You don’t need to use the chocolate ganache and crushed biscuits in the middle of each layer. Just make half the amount of each to make the drip and the crushed biscuit base.
Related Recipes from A Spoonful of Vanilla
S'mores Drip Cake
- 2 ½ Cups Light Brown Sugar (475 g)
- 2 Cups + 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter or Margarine (475 g)
- 3 ¼ Cups + 2 Tbsp Self-Rising Flour (475 g)
- 9 Eggs
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 ¾ Cups Confectioner's Sugar (icing sugar in UK) (950 g)
- ½ Cup (scant) Cocoa Powder (50 g)
- 2 ¼ Cups Unsalted Butter (500 g)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2-3 tsp Milk as needed
- 150 g Graham Crackers (plain biscuits in UK)
- 7 oz Dark Chocolate (200 g)
- 6 ¾ oz Heavy or Double Cream (200 mL)
- 12 Marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 325°F/170°C (150°C Fan). Line four 8” cake tins with greaseproof paper and leave to one side.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract. Whisk until all combined.
- Pour the mixture into the individual cake tins and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. You will know they are ready when they are springy to touch.
- Leave them to cool in the cake tin for 15-20 minutes and then remove and put them on a wire rack to cool fully.
- In a bowl mix together the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and cocoa powder until combined. The mixture will be quite thick
- Add 1tsp of milk to the buttercream and mix. Repeat until the buttercream is the desired consistency.
- Put your buttercream into a piping bag with a large round nozzle and leave to one side.
- To crush the cookies: Add the graham crackers/biscuits to a food processor and blitz until the resemble small crumbs. Alternatively, add them to a food safe bag and bash them with a rolling pin. Leave to one side.
- To make the ganache: Put the chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave in 20-second bursts. Stirring in between until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Leave to one side.
Building the Cake
- Place your first cake on your serving plate and pipe the buttercream on top. Smooth using a spatula, don’t worry is any of the buttercream splodges out the side. Pipe a border around the edge of the cake and fill the centre with crushed biscuits. Repeat, alternating each layer with crushed biscuits and chocolate ganache until your cake is stacked.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the top of the cake, and onto any gaps around the sides of the cake.
- Using your cake smoother smooth around the sides of the cake. Don’t worry if you can see the cake through the buttercream, this is just the crumb coat. We will cover the cake soon. Pop the cake into the fridge until the buttercream has set.
- Once the buttercream has set pipe the remaining buttercream onto the sides of the cake. If any of the buttercream comes off on your smoother just pop it back into the bowl.
- Go around the cake with your cake smoother. If there are any gaps just fill these in using the buttercream you have scraped off the cake.
- Once the cake is completely smooth, add your crushed graham crackers/biscuits. Take a handful, and gently press these into the bottom of the cake. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly in a straight line. Fill in any gaps once you have gone around the entire bottom of the cake.
- Put your chocolate ganache into a piping bag with a small round nozzle, or if you are using a disposable piping bag snip the end of the bag off. Note: If the chocolate ganache has started to set pop it into the microwave for 10-20 seconds, remove and stir, repeat until it is lovely and smooth.
- Go around the edge of the cake and encourage it to drip. I do this by holding the piping bag or squeeze bottle ever so slightly away from the cake. If you have any leftover ganache pour it onto the top of the cake and smooth.
- Pop the cake into the fridge for half an hour to allow the ganache to set. If you don’t your buttercream will just slide off.
- Once the Chocolate Ganache has set put your leftover buttercream into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the top of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining crushed biscuits.
- Place the marshmallows onto the top of your swirls. Using a blow torch* on the lowest setting gently toast the top and sides of the marshmallow.
- Using a blow torch: Be careful, because you don’t want your buttercream or chocolate ganache to melt. If you find it is starting to melt pop the cake back into the fridge for 20-30 minutes to give it a change to reset and then resume toasting the remaining marshmallows.