Jordan: This was going to be a bourbon cake.
Kitra: And then this happened:
And so somehow “let’s make a simple cake that we can take to work” turned into a ganache-laden marshmallow-filled graham cracker bundt cake.
But really it’s been building since about 2011:
(That was from back in my Boston Cream Pie phase.)
We took the structure from this Twinkie bundt cake, from Smitten Kitchen, but having made the graham cracker cake from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook as an early Cake Day project and found it lacking, we turned to a Food52 recipe for the basis of the cake itself.
I’ve been pulling for a s’mores cake for the last month, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to pull Jordan out of her deep fruit rut.
It’s summer! There’s fruit! We can have cakes without fruit for the other three seasons.
See, this is what I’m talking about.
(Side note: Always refrigerate your fruit-based cakes if you live in a humid area. Otherwise they’ll get moldy and you’ll turn into a bitter anti-fruit crusader.)
(Side note to the side note: Fruit is dumb.)
Anyway. This cake was… an adventure.
And not just because we left to get a soft pretzel halfway through.
Soft pretzels are the opposite of adventurous, but okay. Point is, we made a lot of mistakes so that you don’t have to. Exhibit A: We started with a batch-and-a-half of the original recipe, realized it wasn’t going to be deep enough, and added another half batch on top like the cake version of the Washington Monument.
Overall, there’s nothing wrong with the way we did it, but this cake can be so much easier than we let it be. LEARN FROM US. Also, you should always use weights in baking but you should especially use them here because then you can measure things in grahams.
The instructions below are adjusted to be the way we should have made it, not the way we did, so you can trust them. Probably.
Although we made way more ganache than we needed (it’s cut in half here), and I’m not sure that was a mistake. Just eat that with a spoon, my friends.
S’mores Bundt Cake
Adapted from Food52 and inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Don’t skip flouring the pan or you’ll end up cranky and with a very ugly cake. You could also probably coat it in butter and finely crushed graham cracker crumbs, which is a brilliant idea we had way too late.
We actually used 1⅜ cups of flour, but we don’t think the extra 2T will hurt it so have written it as 1½ cups to save you some effort.
If you want extra chocolate, you could stir a few handfuls of milk chocolate chips into the batter, after you’ve combined everything else.
Depending on how big you scoop the holes for your filling, you may need a bit more than one jar of fluff. We’d recommend buying extra just in case, because then you have an excuse to make fluff-n-nutter sandwiches with the leftovers. That said, don’t make the holes too giant unless you want to go into a fluff-induced sugar coma later.
If you’re ambitious, feel free to make your own marshmallow fluff. We’ve heard good things about this recipe from the Kitchn.
3c (325g) graham cracker crumbs, from 20-25 full sheets
1½c (180g) flour
2T baking powder
1c (2 sticks, 8oz) butter, softened
1½c (300g) sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F and butter and flour a bundt pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
Mixing thoroughly between each addition, add one third of the the flour/graham cracker mixture, then half of the milk, then one third of the flour, then half the milk, then the remaining flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool at least 10-15 minutes before removing from pan and turning onto a wire rack. (Keep the bundt pan handy though, since you’ll need it later.) Let cool completely before moving onto filling and decorating.
Filling and Decoration
½ c heavy cream
1c (240g) milk chocolate chips
1 7-oz jar marshmallow fluff
A few spoonfuls of well-crushed graham crackers, plus more for decorating (optional)
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan or medium microwave-safe bowl until hot but not bubbling. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate is fully melted and completely incorporated, reheating briefly if need be. Set in the fridge/freezer to cool; you want it to be thick enough to spoon over the cake, but not particularly runny.
Put the cake back into the bundt pan to hold it steady. Using a small cookie scoop, melon baller, or small spoon, scoop out holes of cake all around the ring. (We did 8 holes, lined up with the wider sections of the bundt shape.) Scoop out enough that it’ll hold marshmallow, but be careful not to get too close to the edges or bottom. Set the cake lumps aside to snack on while you impatiently wait for your ganache to cool.
Use a small spatula to fill a small Ziploc or piping bag with marshmallow fluff. Pipe fluff into each hole, filling to the top. Once all holes are filled, sprinkle a layer of graham cracker crumbs over each to keep the cake from sticking to the plate.
Put a plate or cake stand over top of the bundt and flip the cake right-side up. Once the ganache is cool, pour/scoop a thick layer over the top of the cake. (If your ganache is thin, it may sink into the cake, in which case put both the cake and the ganache in the freezer for 5-10 minutes and then do a second layer.) If you’d like a marshmallow drizzle, put a few scoops of fluff into a bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. Scoop into a Ziploc or piping bag and cut a very small hole in the end, then pipe marshmallow over the top of the cake. Top with crushed graham crackers.
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