S’mores Birthday Cake
Hi friends! How are you this fine Saturday? Ideally this post finds you taking it easy, coffee in hand, and with an upcoming birthday bake that needs planning. The first two are out of my control, but I can definitely help you with the latter! One of my goals here is to create reliable birthday cake situations for every type of birthday. So far: Vanilla Birthday Cake, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Triple Chocolate Birthday Cake, and Peanut Butter & Chocolate Birthday Cake. I’m here today to add to this humble selection with this not-so-humble, super extravagant S’mores Birthday Cake. Think: six layers of brown sugar buttermilk cake, sandwiched together with milk chocolate fudge frosting, and entirely enveloped with torched Italian meringue.
what is a s’mores birthday cake?
Below is a breakdown of this crazy s’mores birthday cake: what’s in it, why it works, and why you’ll love it. If your question is about s’mores in general, see my S’mores Tart post for more information! The breakdown:
• brown sugar buttermilk cake. I’ll admit it: I love buttermilk cakes! They’re tangy and moist and just so perfectly crumbly! Unlike other buttermilk cake recipes I’ve shared, this one is made with mostly brown sugar. The brown sugar gives the cake a deeper flavour, and makes it even more moist – yum! This cake also uses cake flour, which I made according to this guide. I normally wouldn’t go to the bother of making cake flour, but it actually does make lighter and fluffier cakes. The recipe below makes three perfectly flat 7-inch cakes, each of which we’ll cut in half, to end up with six layers. Our s’mores birthday cake is nothing if not extra AF.
• milk chocolate fudge frosting. Specifically: our favourite fudge frosting. This has long been our frosting of choice, and once you make it I’m sure you’ll understand why. It’s light, luscious, and downright dreamy. I opted for an all milk chocolate frosting because the s’mores of my childhood were made with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, but dark chocolate would work, too! We’re going to use the frosting to glue together our cake layers and also as a crumb coat before applying the meringue layer.
• optional digestive crumbs. I didn’t actually include digestive crumbs in my s’mores birthday cake – but some would argue it’s not a real s’more without a biscuit. If you’d like: blitz some digestives into fine crumbs and sprinkle a handful between each cake layer. Ta-dah!
• Italian meringue. I’ve talked about my love for Italian meringue before, but basically: it’s made with egg whites + hot sugar syrup and it’s super stable. I whisked up a batch and a half of my regular recipe and swooshed it around the cake until I was happy. I, of course, blowtorched the outside of my cake, but you don’t have to.
how to make s’mores birthday cake
The bad news: I didn’t get to take step-by-step photos of the cake making process. The good news: I made a video of the assembling process! Click the video above to watch the whole thing on Instagram, or catch the breakdown below:
• make the cake. Nothing unusual, just a regular ole cake batter, baked into three 7-inch layers. After cooling, we need to cut each layer through the centre, giving us six layers total.
• make the frosting. Chocolate, butter, sugar, milk, and a little vanilla is all it takes! Whip it up and use it to sandwich the cake layers together. I used a 2-tablespoon scoop between each layer, but you do you.
• give the cake a crumb coating. I used about 2-tablespoons of fudge frosting to smooth the outer edge of my cake and seal off any holes. When the cake is smoothed out and perfect, pop it into the fridge for 20-minutes to firm up.
• make the meringue. Lightly whisk egg whites, make a sugar syrup on the hob, and pour the hot syrup into the eggs. Whisk into submission, or until stiff peaks form. Pile this on top of the chilled cake and swoosh it around with an offset spatula. I used the back of a small spoon to create little swirling patterns across the surface of my cake.
• my favourite step: blowtorch it! Gently torch the edges of the Italian meringue for that gooey toasted marshmallow flavour.
And there we have it: S’mores Birthday Cake! A showstopper dessert that actually isn’t all that much work! I made this recently for Boyfriend’s brother’s birthday and it went down a treat – I’m positive it will for you too!
Happy baking! xo
S’mores Birthday Cake
brown sugar buttermilk cake
- 295 g cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 170 g salted butter, at room temp
- 190 g light brown sugar
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 210 ml buttermilk
- digestive biscuits, smashed up into crumbs
chocolate fudge frosting
- 85 g unsweetened chocolate
- 255 g icing sugar, sifted
- 170 g salted butter, at room temp
- 45 g full fat milk
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 135 g egg whites
- 270 g caster sugar
- 60 g water
for the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour 3 7-inch cake tins; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk together, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment – or in a large bowl with an electric whisk – beat the butter on medium until smooth. Add the sugars, turn to medium-high and beat until the mix is light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla, and scrape down again.
- Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the eggs + egg yolk one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- Turn the mixture to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. After the last batch of flour has been added, be sure not to overmix!
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 15-minutes before being turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
for the chocolate fudge frosting
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water (not touching) melt. Once melted, set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to combine the icing sugar, butter, milk, & vanilla. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl & beat until the frosting is smooth & light brown in color, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
for the italian meringue
- Place the egg whites in the base of your stand-mixer with the whisk attachment. Do not whip, but have ready.
- In a medium pot, combine the sugar and water, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed. Place over a medium heat, continue to stir gently, and monitor the temperature of the mix with a kitchen thermometer.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 110°C, turn the stand-mixer to a low-med speed & begin whipping the egg whites. When the sugar reaches 118-119°C, remove from the heat.
- Ensuring the egg white mixture is frothy & slightly voluminous, slowly begin to pour the hot sugar mixture down the side of the bowl and into the egg whites, all while the mixture is going at medium speed.
- Turn the mixer to med-high speed & whisk together until the mixture is cool, stiff & very shiny – about 7-minutes. It is finished when you remove the whisk & a stiff peak forms.
- Using a sharp knife or cake leveler, cut each cake layer in half through the middle, giving you six layers total. Place one layer onto your turntable/cake stand and cover evenly with 2-tablespoons of chocolate fudge frosting. Repeat with the remaining layers/frosting.
- Using another 2-tablespoons of frosting, cover the outside of the cake with frosting, smoothing out the edges and filling any gaps. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
- Dollop the Italian meringue onto the chilled cake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly around the whole thing. Use the back of a small spoon to create ridges in the meringue.
- Use a blowtorch to gently scorch the outside of the cake, being careful not to burn it. Done!
- brown sugar buttermilk cake adapted from Tessa Huff.
- this recipe makes slightly more chocolate fudge frosting than you’ll need, but it freezes wonderfully! Pop into a bag and store in the freezer for 3-months.
- you might also end up with extra meringue. I piped my leftover meringue into little kisses and baked in the oven at 150C for 20-mins – delicious!
- if you aren’t bothered making cake flour, you can sub in plain flour – BUT your cake will be more dense.
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!