This Smore Ice Cream Cake may not be the prettiest dessert I’ve ever made, but it is certainly one of the tastiest. I made it for the Tykette’s 2nd Birthday, and judging from the smiles on her faces while she was eating it, she liked it too. In fact, a couple of days after her Birthday, she asked for “more ice cream pie”.
I asked her for weeks before her birthday if she wanted me to make a birthday cake. The response I got was “no, ice cream”. So I decided to make an ice cream cake. The idea to make a Smores cake came to me in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. I absolutely love smores. Like LOVE them. In fact when I get a hankering for something sweet, I will often make myself a microwave/toaster oven smore at home. But I actually never had a smore until after I graduated from high school. Even though my family went camping every summer when I was growing up, and we roasted marshmallows on a regular basis, smores were never on the campfire menu. I think it was because they are one of the things that “just don’t look appealing” to my Mom. Or maybe because of how messy they are. Anyhow, I’m making up for my lack of childhood smores now.
I made all the components of this cake, except the ice cream, from scratch. Of course, if you want to save time, you can buy the fudge and marshmallow creme. I found homemade marshmallow creme to be worlds better than storebought. I’ve only even bought marshmallow creme once, and I was turned off by a slightly chemical aftertaste. The homemade one I made had tasted great, with a strong vanilla flavor. I recommend making the graham crust from scratch, because you can make it in the pan of your choice and you’re not stuck with a flimsy foil pie pan.
The fudge is quick and easy to make, with a short ingredient list. The result is a thick, super chocolately fudge that can be warmed up to use as an ice cream topping.
Assembly of the cake takes some time because you have to freeze each layer before you add the next. Make sure you use enough ice cream (at least 2 pints or 1L for each layer) or you’ll end up with a very short cake. Use whatever flavor of ice cream you want, either vanilla or chocolate based. I used a couple of different Culver’s flavor of the days – one layer vanilla based and one layer chocolate based.
The hardest part about making the cake was getting the marshmallow creme to look good. It ended up sliding off a bit, to form a small pool of marshmallow creme around the bottom of the cake. You will want to make sure the cake is frozen solid before you add the marshmallow creme to prevent this from happening. I toasted the marshmallow creme with a blowtorch (yes, you can use a regular blowtorch that you might have in your garage or basement) to give it even more of a smores feel. If you don’t have a blowtorch, it will be fine without toasting. If you don’t want to use marshmallow creme, 7-minute frosting would work great too, and it’s a bit easier to work with.
This cake is the perfect summer special occasion cake, especially if you’re having an outdoor party or barbecue. Every one of your guests, no matter their age, will love it.
- 16 graham crackers, broken into pieces
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 L ice cream, vanilla and/or chocolate base flavor of your choice
- Move oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325°F. Add graham crackers, butter and sugar to food processor and process until mixture resembles wet sand.
- Transfer half of the graham crumb mixture to a 9" springform pan. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Pour the rest of the crumbs onto a small baking sheet and press flat. Bake until crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 13-18 minutes. Allow crusts to cool. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
- Heat evaporated milk, chocolate chips and sugar to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Off of heat, stir in butter and vanilla until smooth. Cool until sauce begins to thicken. Transfer to a container and cover. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Stir sugar, corn syrup, water and salt together in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches 240°F.
- In the meantime, put egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Start whipping to a soft peak on medium high speed.
- Drizzle sugar mixture slowly into whipped egg whites, starting with only 2 Tbsp of the sugar mixture. Increase mixture to high and whip until mixture is smooth and glossy, 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla and whip for 2 more minutes. Use immediately or store covered in the fridge until ready to use.
- Spread 1L (2 pints) ice cream evenly over graham cracker crust in springform pan. Move to freezer to freeze solid.
- Spread fudge evenly over ice cream, as thick as you prefer (you want it thick enough to know it's there, but not so thick it overpowers the other ingredients). Break the remaining graham cracker crust into small pieces and sprinkle evenly over fudge. Move to freezer to freeze solid.
- Spread 2 pints (1L) more ice cream over fudge/graham cracker. Freeze solid.
- Warm edges of springform pan slightly with a warm, wet cloth. Remove side of springform pan. Spread marshmallow creme evenly over the whole cake. Store in freezer until ready to use.
- If desired, toast marshmallow creme with a blowtorch or kitchen torch. Cut and serve.
- Storebought fudge and marshmallow creme can be made in lieu of making from scratch.