December 8, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

S’mores Icebox Cake – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This S’mores Icebox Cake features layers of rich chocolate ganache, fluffy marshmallow cream, and honey graham crackers. No baking required!

Icebox cakes are the best! Try our chocolate Oreo Icebox Cake next.

Image of the S'mores Icebox Cake on a plate

S’mores Icebox Cake

These bars aren’t the hot, gooey, just-pulled-the-marshmallow-out-of-the-fire kind of treat. Instead, we’re channeling all the great flavors of S’mores into the tastiest cake ever. But without the use of a campfire — or even an oven.

That’s right, this cake does not require any baking and is enjoyed straight out of the fridge! 

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An icebox cake (American) or chocolate ripple cake/log (Australian) is a dessert that doesn’t require any baking. It’s usually made with whipped cream, pudding, chocolate or vanilla wafers, cookies, or graham crackers. Everything is layered into a baking dish and left overnight in the fridge (or “icebox,” hence the name). The cookies, wafers, or graham crackers absorb moisture from the whipped cream or pudding and become thin cake layers. It’s actually kind of magical!

Process shots of the S'mores Icebox Cake-- images of the chocolate chips and hot heavy cream being mixed together until everything is smooth

S’mores Icebox Cake Components

There are four main elements to this cake:

  1. Graham crackers
  2. Chocolate ganache filling
  3. Marshmallow whipped cream
  4. Optional: Meringue topping

We’ll break down each of these elements below!

Process shots of the S'mores Icebox Cake-- images of the cream, sugar, vanilla, and marshmallow creme being added to a stand mixer and it all being whipped together

Graham Crackers

The graham crackers are what become thin, cake-like layers in this dessert after absorbing moisture from the marshmallow cream.

For this S’mores Icebox Cake, we use an entire box (14.4 oz.) of graham crackers. Since the crackers are the main flavor, be sure to use a flavorful box of graham crackers you enjoy. We love Honeymaid® honey-flavored graham crackers best (not sponsored). 

Process shots of S'mores Icebox Cake-- images of the graham cracker layer going on, then the marshmallow cream layer, and finally the ganache layer

Chocolate Ganache Filling

The chocolate ganache filling has only two ingredients: chocolate and heavy cream.

  • Use high-quality chocolate chips for the best results. You’ll get both a better melt and a better flavor. My favorite for this S’mores Icebox Cake is Ghirardelli® or Guittard®. Cheaper brands can have a waxier content that is far less flavorful and won’t melt into a smooth ganache as nicely.
  • Use heavy whipping cream. Unfortunately, milk won’t cut it here; we need all the fat from the cream for thickness!
  • Let the mixture stand. Once the heated whipping cream has been poured over the chocolate chips, make sure to cover the bowl (I like to use a lid from a cooking pot), and don’t rush the process. The mixture needs a good 5 minutes to fully melt and be ready to stir into a thick, delicious ganache.
  • Allow time for the ganache to slightly cool. I like to start by preparing the ganache so it has time to cool down a bit before it gets added to the marshmallow whipped cream. If the ganache is still warm it will affect the texture of the cream.

Process shots-- images of the remaining layers being added until it's completed

Marshmallow Whipped Cream

  • This marshmallow whipped cream whips together so quickly if you’ve got a stand mixer. Hand mixers will work, but will just require some patience and extra beating time.
  • This cream requires four ingredients: heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and marshmallow fluff. Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme® (not sponsored) is our favorite to use. To easily remove the marshmallow creme (which is very sticky!) from the jar, run a spoon under hot water for about 20 seconds. Dry it off and scoop out all of the creme from the container to the bowl of the stand mixer. 
  • We beat the cream to stiff peaks. Here’s a great visual guide for how the cream should look when it’s ready to be added to the S’mores Icebox Cake.

Process shots of the S'mores Icebox Cake-- images of the meringue topping being made and whisked together

Optional S’mores Icebox Cake Topping: Meringue

Once the cake is fully chilled through, you can enjoy it as is or add a meringue topping.

I personally love what the meringue topping adds to this cake — it’s a great contrasting flavor and texture. Plus, we singe the top of the meringue with a kitchen torch to create that classic look and feel as if it had been roasted over a fire pit. That said, the meringue topping does require some extra steps and work, so it’s up to you if you’d like to add it to your S’mores Icebox Cake!

If you choose to add on the meringue, you’ll want to have a kitchen torch to brown the peaks of the meringue. Hold the torch about 6 centimeters away and don’t stay in any spot too long, to avoid melting the meringue — it gets toasted very quickly!

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Once you add a kitchen torch to your arsenal, you might be surprised how often you reach for it! We love using our kitchen torch for Crème Brûlée, to torch the top of these Cheesecake Bars (to get crème brûlée-style cheesecake!), to torch the marshmallows on this S’mores Pizookie. It’s also great when you need quick melting, crisping, or hardening of a topping or even a main dish! You can melt cheese, roast peppers, and so many other applications.

Process shots of S'mores Icebox Cake-- images of the meringue topping being added to the cake and it all being toasted with a kitchen torch

S’mores Icebox Cake Tips

  • Use a 9×9-inch pan for this recipe. While it may not seem like a big deal to use a slightly smaller pan, this cake doesn’t work well or fit nicely in an 8×8-inch or smaller pan. The 9×9-inch pan is filled to the very brim and allows for the graham crackers to be placed in a nice even layer with minimal breakage.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper. This S’mores Icebox Cake is very hard to remove in nice pieces without first lining the pan. Leave an overhang of parchment paper to easily remove the bars and cut into them on a cutting board.
  • Use a sharp chef’s knife and make decisive cuts. Run the knife under warm water, dry it on a kitchen towel, and repeat for each cut.
  • Garnish the top! Totally optional, but if you’d like to add some extra pizzazz to this icebox cake, sprinkle on some miniature chocolate chips or add some edible chocolate curls (see “quick tip” box below.)

QUICK TIP

Chocolate curls are so easy to make! Here’s how:

  • Use a chocolate bar — we like to use a Lindt® Dark Chocolate Bar with Sea Salt (not sponsored).
  • Unwrap the bar and, using a vegetable peeler, peel down the side of the bar right on top of the cake pieces.

Image of a square of the S'mores Icebox Cake on a plate with a bite being taken out of it

STORAGE

S’mores Icebox Cake Storage

This S’mores Icebox Cake is a great make-ahead dessert! In fact, it relies on being made ahead so the graham cracker layer can sufficiently soften! This cake is best eaten on days 2,3, or 4 and after that, it does begin to become a bit watery. Keep the cake in the fridge and serve it directly from the fridge. Return any leftovers promptly to the fridge.

This cake isn’t a great candidate for freezing and thawing — there is so much dairy (heavy whipping cream) in it that it can become grainy and watery.

More Delicious Dessert Recipes

S’mores Icebox Cake

This S’mores Icebox Cake features layers of rich chocolate ganache, fluffy marshmallow cream, and honey graham crackers. No baking required!

S’mores Icebox Cake

This S’mores Icebox Cake features layers of rich chocolate ganache, fluffy marshmallow cream, and honey graham crackers. No baking required!

Ingredients

Optional Meringue Topping

Instructions

  • CHOCOLATE: Pour the chocolate chips in a large heat-safe bowl. Scald 1 cup (240g) of the heavy cream (I add it to a glass measuring cup and microwave for 45-90 seconds). Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips and cover the bowl with a clean lid to a pan (so no heat can escape). Let stand for 5 minutes and then stir until smooth. This may take a few minutes. If needed, heat the mixture in the microwave in bursts of 10 seconds, stirring in between for 10 seconds until the chocolate mixture is completely smooth. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use. (Ganache needs to be completely cooled to room temperature before adding to the cake or it will affect the texture of the marshmallow cream!)
  • MARSHMALLOW CREAM: Pour the remaining 2 cups (480g) heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the base of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on low for 30 seconds to combine and then gradually increase the speed until at full speed. Beat at full speed, watching carefully until soft peaks form (about 2-4 minutes). Soft peaks = when you turn your whisk upside down, the peaks are just starting to hold but falling to a side slightly. Add in all of the marshmallow fluff and slowly beat to combine. Increase the speed to medium high until ingredients are combined and peaks are firm (about 30 seconds up to 1 minute). Set aside.
  • ASSEMBLE: Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (Don’t skip this step, or bars won’t come out as nicely.) Spread just a tiny bit of the marshmallow cream on the bottom (just enough to hold graham crackers in place). Spread an even layer of graham crackers. Now spread 1/4th of the marshmallow cream on top. Smooth with the back of a spoon until it is in one even layer. Now add 1/3 of the room temperature chocolate ganache on top. Smooth with a table knife until smooth and in one even layer. (This takes some patience!) Now another layer of graham crackers, and then another 1/4th of the marshmallow mixture. Next, another 1/3 of the chocolate mixture and one more layer of graham crackers, one more 1/4th of marshmallow mixture, remaining 1/3 of chocolate. Add one last layer of graham crackers and the last 1/4th of the marshmallow mixture and you should be at the top of the pan. Cover the pan tightly and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours and preferably 12 hours.

  • OPTIONAL MERINGUE: Place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water over medium heat. Don’t let the bowl touch that water. Whisk constantly with a whisk until sugar is dissolved completely and the mixture has become bright white. (You can tell the sugar has dissolved by pinching off some of the mixture and rubbing it between your fingers, if you can feel a lot of sugar granules, keep mixing!) Now transfer to a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes at high speed. Using a spatula add dollops of the meringue all over the top of the cake. Gently coax the meringue to top the cake with the back of a spoon — This takes some patience to not lift up the top layer! Use a fork to run over the top, creating small rough ridges and peaks. If you have a kitchen torch, singe the peaks until lightly browned (move the kitchen torch along the meringue quickly– it will toast it very fast). Use the overhang of parchment to carefully remove bars from pan onto a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife, run the knife under warm water, dry on a kitchen towel, and make decisive cuts. Repeat this process for each cut made.

  • STORAGE: This cake is best eaten on days 2,3, or 4 and after that it does begin to become a bit watery. Keep the cake in the fridge and serve it directly from the fridge. Return any leftovers promptly to the fridge. This cake isn’t a great candidate for freezing and thawing — there is so much dairy (heavy whipping cream) in it that it can become grainy and watery.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: 9×9-inch pan: While it may not seem like a big deal to use a slightly smaller pan, this cake doesn’t work well or fit nicely in an 8×8-inch or smaller pan. The 9×9-inch pan is filled to the very brim and allows for the graham crackers to be placed in a nice even layer with minimal breaking.
Note 2: Chocolate chips: 12 ounces is about 2 full cups (345g). Use high-quality chocolate chips for the best results. You’ll get both a better melt and a better flavor. My favorite is Ghirardelli® or Guittard®. Cheaper brands can have a waxier content that is far less flavorful and won’t melt into a smooth ganache as nicely.
Note 3: Marshmallow creme: Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme® (not sponsored) is our favorite to use. To easily remove the marshmallow creme (which is very sticky!) from the jar, run a spoon under hot water for about 20 seconds. Dry it off and scoop out all of the creme from the container and into the bowl of the stand mixer.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 15.7g | Cholesterol: 25.4mg | Sodium: 176.4mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25.5g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

Image of the S'mores Icebox Cake on a plate with a fork going into it