I hope you said yes, because that’s the recipe you’re getting today. Now that the solstice has happened and it’s officially summer, it’s time to get down to business and chow down on some summery food. And what’s more summery than a gooey mess of caramelized marshmallow resting on top of a slowly melting chocolate bar and a crunchy graham cracker square? Not much, that’s for sure.
I don’t remember if I’ve told you about my love for s’mores before, but s’mores and I are pretty much attached at the hip. Okay, maybe not the hip…I think the more accurate statement would be to say that s’mores and I are attached at the cheek. Or the nose. Or the eyelid. Or the hair. Because that’s where s’mores end up whenever I try to eat them like a normal person.
I know s’mores are great while eating around a fire with friends, but I usually only eat s’mores around people I know really, really well. That way, when I’ve got a huge streak of chocolate on one cheek, a smudge of charcoal on my forehead, and marshmallow bits stuck around my mouth, the people I’m with can either 1) tell me to wash my face, 2) walk away from the situation before it becomes too messy and embarrassing, 3) laugh, or if they’re my very, very best friend they can 4) tell me to grab a jar of peanut butter to smear on the s’mores and laugh as both of us get peanut butter all over our hands and faces. My best friend Michelle has visited me at the lake for the past few summers and we always do s’mores together. She’s the genius behind adding peanut butter to a food I didn’t think could get any more delicious, and sticks around while I devour an entire bag of marshmallows by myself. We have a tradition where after we do s’mores we roll around for awhile on my deck until we feel like we’re at least a liiiiitttllee less full and can walk again. S’mores with Michelle are the best.
Sadly, Michelle can’t come see me this summer because she’s working at an amazing camp helping kids. They are so lucky to have her! Even though she’s not here with me, I still crave s’mores. After all, it is summer! The other day, Erik and I went down by the shoreline of the lake with a new friend and roasted marshmallows as the sun set. That s’more session got me wanting, well, s’more! I decided to make a cake version of the popular summer treat to share with the family after dinner. It’s super-duper healthy and tastes like one giant s’more all mixed up and cake-ified (and yes, cake-ified is totally a word). I used bananas as a base so that this cake doesn’t have any butter, oil, eggs, or milk. The bananas give the cake a natural sweetness, and although not too noticeable, the subtle flavor of banana exists under the layers of gooey marshmallows, drizzles of chocolate, and crunchy graham crackers.
We’re going to need s’more of this cake in our house pronto because we ate the whole thing in one night. Served by itself, or with a scoop of ice cream on top, this cake is sure to be a hit in any home. A perk? I walked away from eating this s’more without a single smudge on my face. Take that, s’mores!
Note: the cake is completely vegan if vegan chocolate is used. The topping is as well if vegan marshmallows are used. Eat up, veg friends!
For the Cake:
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 bar of chocolate, crushed into chunks
For the Topping:
1 rectangle graham cracker
1/2 bar chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a bread pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mash the three bananas until they reach a very smooth consistency. (Or, if you’re fancy and don’t have to resort to smashing down bananas with a puny fork, put the bananas in a food processor or blender and puree.)
3. Add the rest of the cake ingredients (with the exception of the chocolate chunks) to the banana mash. *Note on the crushed graham crackers: make sure you crush them so they almost have the consistency of flour.* Mix very well.
4. When the batter is mixed, fold in the chocolate chunks. Gently stir a few times and then pour the batter into the bread pan. You’re ready to put the cake in the oven; you’ll put the topping on during the last 2-5 minutes of baking.
5. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or longer if needed. You’ll need to check the cake at least every 15 minutes to see how it’s progressing. Or, if you’re like me and anxious to sink your teeth into a slice of rich chocolate cake with toppings that even frosting would be jealous of, check the cake every thirty seconds by turning the oven light on. That’s totally normal, right?
6. Anyway, while your cake is baking, you’ll need to do some prep work to get the topping ready. To do this, slice the marshmallows into thin rounds (I sliced each marshmallow into 4 rounds). Set them flat out on a plate to make them easily accessible for topping the cake.
7. Crush up graham crackers until they’re just slightly chunky. Put them in a bowl. Next, crush up the chocolate bar into small chunks and mix them into the bowl with the graham crackers. Have these toppings convenient and ready for when the cake comes out.
8. When the cake is done baking (again, around 25-30 minutes, or a little longer) go ahead and take it out of the oven and get ready to work fast (leave your oven on). Put all of the marshmallows into rows on top of the cake so that they cover the surface of the cake. Next, evenly pour your graham cracker and chocolate mixture on top of the marshmallows. Put the cake back into the oven and WATCH IT CLOSELY during the next step.
9. Set your oven to broil and glue your eyes to the oven window. Okay, I’m not being serious about gluing your eyes to an oven, but you need to watch it at all times. Don’t walk away for thirty seconds, or even for five seconds. Stay by the oven for the 2-5 minutes it takes for the marshmallows to puff up a little bit and for the topping to brown. Too long on this step and you’ll have all the fire alarms going off in the house and a s’more cake that looks like you set it in the middle of a campfire. Not what you’re going for.
10. Drizzle some extra melted chocolate on top if you’re a choco-holic like me. Then grab the biggest spoon in your kitchen and scoop out a portion for anyone and everyone around you. Trust me, they’ll all want s’more.