No-Bake S’mores Cake

Jump to Recipe

No-bake s'mores cake has 14 layers including graham cracker, chocolate ganache, and marshmallow meringue! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve had “s’mores cake” on my baking bucket list since last summer. I envisioned 3 brown sugar cakey layers enveloped with milk chocolate frosting and marshmallow-y meringue topping. Toasted, of course. I scheduled the recipe for this month and after I arrived home from the Kansas farm tour, I got to work in the kitchen. We were going to a friend’s house that weekend, so I’d bring the s’mores cake. Things were perfect.

Only I didn’t feel like testing a brown sugar cake recipe and feared it wouldn’t taste graham cracker-y enough and I didn’t have graham flour on hand and figured you don’t keep graham flour on hand either and I was tired from traveling and my glasses slid off my face and into my bowl of cereal.

It just wasn’t my morning.

No-bake s'mores cake has 14 layers including graham cracker, chocolate ganache, and marshmallow meringue! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So I slightly switched gears, reached for graham crackers, made chocolate ganache and the beloved marshmallow-y Swiss meringue from baked Alaska, and began layering. I had seen something like this on Tasty, so I used that as inspiration. I made the marshmallow layer from scratch and used pure chocolate. I stuck the whole thing in the refrigerator, crossed my fingers, and waited what seemed like a lifetime. Topped the whole thing with toasted marshmallow and my day that started out pretty rough ended with a sublime slice of no bake s’mores cake. Let me share this perfected s’mores cake recipe with you because it’ll make your summer even sweeter!!!

14 Layer No Bake S’mores Cake

This no-bake s’mores cake has 14 layers:

  • 6 layers of graham crackers
  • 5 layers of marshmallow-y Swiss meringue
  • 3 layers of chocolate ganache

You only need 7 ingredients to prepare it and that includes the ingredients for the meringue and the ganache!

No-bake s'mores cake with toasted marshmallow meringue topping on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

Did you know you only need 2 ingredients to make rich, velvety, smooth chocolate ganache? I taught you how to make it in chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes and way back I shared party angel food cake. To make the ganache, heat the heavy cream until warm and pour over chopped chocolate. Use pure chocolate. You know the 4 ounce bars you buy in the baking aisle? I like Baker’s, Ghirardelli, Nestle Toll House, or Lindt baking bars. Chop the chocolate into super tiny pieces. The smaller the pieces, the quicker and easier they’ll melt to create the ganache.

Tip on chopping chocolate: remember from Sprinkled episode 2? Use a serrated knife to chop chocolate.

Let the warm heavy cream and chocolate sit in the bowl for a few minutes, then stir together. It will seem too liquid-y at first, but it will come together as you continue to stir. Set the ganache aside as you prepare the meringue.

How to make chocolate ganache on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make Swiss Meringue

Don’t let the word meringue frighten you. This is a simple 4 ingredient Swiss meringue cooked on the stovetop, then beaten into stiff peaks. It tastes like marshmallow fluff– but better because, you know, it’s homemade!! You can watch me make it in the video below. And if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ve seen it many times before:

  1. baked Alaska (this is June’s Baking Challenge recipe!)
  2. s’mores brownie cupcakes
  3. ultimate birthday cupcakes
  4. chocolate mousse pie (March 2017 Baking Challenge recipe!)
  5. peanut butter hi-hat cupcakes
  6. s’mores tartlets

So hopefully you’ve had some practice up to this point! Whisk egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together in a double boiler or heat-proof bowl over a small pot. You can use the stainless steel bowl that comes with your stand mixer. You’ll need your stand mixer for whipping anyway!

  • What’s the cream of tartar for? The cream of tartar is imperative. It stabilizes the egg whites and helps the meringue whip into stiff peaks. Once the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar are gently cooked, remove from heat, add some vanilla extract, and begin whipping.
  • The trick to Swiss Meringue: whipping! Whipping is where the magic happens. The mixture will go from thin liquid to as voluminous as my hair on a humid day. But much prettier and appealing. While the structure of the Swiss meringue is stiff, the texture is soft, gooey, and sticky. The best part of marshmallow!

Swiss meringue topping for smores cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Graham Cracker Layers

The graham crackers are the structure of the entire cake. You need a little over 1 standard box, about 30-36 graham crackers. There are 6 layers of graham crackers, so about 5-6 graham crackers are used for each layer. As the cake sets up in the refrigerator, the graham crackers soften. They’re chewy and tender, not crunchy in the slightest! Remember my icebox cakes? Just like that.

Assembling No Bake S’mores Cake

Watch the cake come together in the video below!

First, let’s line our square baking pan with parchment paper. This allows us to lift the whole cake out of the pan and cut into squares for serving. Spread a thin layer of meringue on the bottom. This layer doesn’t have to be even because all it’s doing is giving the graham crackers something to stick to. Now the graham crackers. Break them apart to assemble an even layer. On top of the graham crackers is our first “real” layer of meringue. Follow with another layer of graham crackers, then a layer of chocolate ganache, graham crackers, meringue, graham crackers, and so on.

A layer of graham crackers lies between each layer of either meringue or chocolate ganache. You’ll finish with a layer of chocolate ganache before refrigerating for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days. This is the best make-ahead cake for the summertime because it literally needs to be made ahead.

Toasted swiss meringue topping for smores cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Topping

In the recipe and video below, you can read and see that I reserve some meringue for the topping. Why? Meringue breaks down overtime when exposed to even the smallest crack of air. (The layers inside the cake are fine, don’t worry.) We want a creamy, fluffy, soft top so that’s why I recommend reserving about 1 heaping cup of meringue for the topping. Cover and refrigerate it separately from the cake. When ready to serve the cake, give the topping a little whisk to reincorporate some air, then spread all over the top.

Maybe you purchased a kitchen torch this month for your brownie baked Alaska? Break it out again and toast this marshmallow topping. If you don’t have one, they’re surprisingly inexpensive. I love mine! If you’re not in the market for one or don’t feel like using yours, no worries. The cake is literally a 14 layer s’more so it will taste good with or without a toasted topping. Do not attempt to toast the topping in the oven. The entire cake will melt.

No-bake s'mores cake has 14 layers including graham cracker, chocolate ganache, and marshmallow meringue! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

No-bake s’mores cake, including preparing the ganache and meringue, took me about 1 hour to assemble. Most of the work is hands-off in the refrigerator. Grab your kids or a friend to help break up those graham crackers and they’ll surely be entertained as you torch the topping!

More S’mores Recipes

No-Bake S'mores Cake

Ingredients:

  • three 4-ounce bars (339g) semi-sweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 30-36 full-sheet graham crackers (a little over 1 standard box)

Directions:

  1. Line a 9x9-inch or 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the cake out (makes cutting and serving possible!). Set aside.
  2. Make the ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil-- that's too hot!) Pour over chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. Slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. Cover and refrigerate as you make the meringue. Ganache can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before using.
  3. Make the meringue: Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water. Do not let it touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.) Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture has thinned out, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes until stiff glossy peaks form. Remove 1 heaping cup (just eyeball it), cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. This will be the topping.
  4. Assemble the cake: If meringue and ganache are still slightly warm as you assemble the cake, that's ok. Spread a super thin layer of meringue on the bottom of the pan. Doesn't need to be even or perfect; it's just so the graham cracker base has something to stick to. Do the best you can with the meringue because it's sticky. Spread it slowly. Top with a layer of graham crackers. You'll need to break them apart to evenly arrange them; see my video above for a visual. Top with a layer of meringue, then another layer of graham crackers, then a layer of chocolate ganache, then a layer of graham crackers, then another layer of meringue. Repeat for a total of 6 layers of graham crackers, 4 layers of meringue (including the thin bottom layer), and 3 layers of chocolate ganache. The top layer will be chocolate for now. Layers listed out: super thin meringue, graham crackers, meringue, graham crackers, chocolate, graham crackers, meringue, graham crackers, chocolate, graham crackers, meringue, graham crackers, chocolate.
  5. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
  6. Remove reserved meringue from the refrigerator. If it seems deflated, whip it with a fork or whisk a few times.
  7. Remove cake from the refrigerator, then remove from the pan using the overhang on the sides. Peel off the parchment paper (or don't-- if you trust yourself torching the top without the paper lighting up!) and place onto a heat-proof serving platter or cutting board. Spread meringue on top. Use a spoon to create peaks and swirls. Serve immediately OR torch it with a kitchen torch and serve immediately OR loosely cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour before torching/serving.
  8. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 2 days. Topping may begin to wilt.

Make ahead tip: Ganache can be prepared ahead of time. See step 2. Entire cake (without top layer of meringue topping applied) can be assembled and refrigerated up to 2 days. To freeze: prepare only enough meringue for the layers inside the cake. This would be 4 egg whites, 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Assemble cake as instructed in step 4. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Prepare the meringue topping: 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup (100g granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Continue with step 7.

Recipe Notes:

  1. The meringue will break down overtime. (The layers inside the cake are fine!) We want it fluffy on top, so that's why I recommend separating the top layer (1 heaping cup) in step 3 and gently whipping it with a fork or whisk in step 6 before adding to the top of the cake.
  2. Non-US readers: Use digestive biscuits instead of graham crackers. I'm unsure exactly how many.
  3. What to do with leftover egg yolks? Here are recipes using only egg yolks. I recommend lemon curd!
  4. What to do with the rest of the 2nd box of graham crackers? Here are recipes using graham crackers and graham cracker crumbs.

Inspired by Tasty

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

SHOP THIS RECIPE

 

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | 9-inch Square Pan | Kitchen Torch | White Plates

No-bake s'mores cake has 14 layers including graham cracker, chocolate ganache, and marshmallow meringue! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

63 Comments

All Comments

  1. Hi Sally,
    We love your recipes! This one looks so yummy. A few questions:
    1. If we don’t have 12 hours to refrigerate before serving, should we freeze for a period of time?
    2. How would you modify the amounts to fit a 9 x 13 glass baking dish?
    3. Can you substitute semi sweet choc chips for bars?

    thanks!

    1. So happy to help!

      1) You can try freezing for a few hours instead, though refrigerating for 12 hours will sufficiently and evenly chill and set the cake.
      2) Doubling the recipe would be plenty, maybe even a little too much. Let me know what you try!
      3) You can, but the ganache tastes much better with pure chocolate. I love making ganache with Ghirardelli brand chocolate chips. They’re the best chips for ganache in my opinion!

  2. Amazing! Delicious! Ridiculous easy! And fire?!? Want more could you want! Everyone raved about the cake and said it was even better on day! (Surprisly there was some left!) Whenever I am in search for a new recipe to try, I always come back to you. Girl, you are a rockstar!

  3. Made this yesterday as well as with your espresso crème brûlée (with the abundance of egg yolks situation it’s a no-brainer) and my dinner party was a hit!!! What a fantastic to end…with an easy going childhood favourite AND a sophisticated “adult-y” Classic French! Of course everyone had both. Firing up the kitchen torch brought out so many oohs and ahhs that it may now be a requirement for the ending of any dinner! Your recipies are truly amazing Sally!! Tysm

  4. Sally,

    How do you ensure the Swiss meringue is safe to eat? What temperature should it be heated to and for how long?

    1. Pasteurized eggs are safe to consume raw, so I recommend starting with those. The egg whites and sugar are cooked, but use a cooking thermometer and cook until 140°F (60°C).

  5. This is in the fridge right now!! I tried to double it and put it in a 9×13 pan. Didn’t work. Very full!!! Wasn’t able to get all the chocolate on top. Will have to dollop the rest of the meringue on top and toast and drizzle the rest of the chocolate on top. I’m sure it will taste great! All of the components came out great. Just need to find out a way to make it for a 9×13 pan.

  6. Hi Sally! This cake looks so delicious and easy! I am wondering how long it can sit out on the counter before being served and before the meringue starts to wilt? I really want to make it for a school function but it could potentially be sitting out for a couple hours.

    1. Hi Martha, I wouldn’t let it it out for that long or it will wilt. Perhaps you can bring it in a cooler filled with ice packs and take it out right before serving?

1 2

Reviews

Questions

  1. Hi Sally,
    We love your recipes! This one looks so yummy. A few questions:
    1. If we don’t have 12 hours to refrigerate before serving, should we freeze for a period of time?
    2. How would you modify the amounts to fit a 9 x 13 glass baking dish?
    3. Can you substitute semi sweet choc chips for bars?

    thanks!

    1. So happy to help!

      1) You can try freezing for a few hours instead, though refrigerating for 12 hours will sufficiently and evenly chill and set the cake.
      2) Doubling the recipe would be plenty, maybe even a little too much. Let me know what you try!
      3) You can, but the ganache tastes much better with pure chocolate. I love making ganache with Ghirardelli brand chocolate chips. They’re the best chips for ganache in my opinion!

  2. Sally,

    How do you ensure the Swiss meringue is safe to eat? What temperature should it be heated to and for how long?

    1. Pasteurized eggs are safe to consume raw, so I recommend starting with those. The egg whites and sugar are cooked, but use a cooking thermometer and cook until 140°F (60°C).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×