Unbelievably Vegan S’mores Cake (Gluten Free)
Unbelievably vegan s’mores cake that you won’t even know if secretly eggless, dairy free, and easily gluten free! Super rich molten chocolate cake with homemade graham cracker filling, decadent chocolate buttercream, and toasted vegan marshmallow fluff! Like having actual s’mores but in cake form for the perfect summer vegan dessert!
Key components to a perfect unbelievably vegan s’mores cake
But you haven’t seen ANYTHING until you’ve tried the ultimate s’mores cake. Honestly, this is the best cake recipe I’ve ever made, so get ready to be amazed. We have ultra molten chocolatey cake filled with a creamy vanilla and graham cracker crumb filling, coated in a decadent chocolate buttercream, and toped with chocolate ganache, more graham crackers and the ultimate homemade toasted marshmallow meringue.
And guess what? This s’mores cake is naturally vegan, eggless, dairy free, gluten free, and nut free. I mean, I was absolutely speechless, as was my family. They didn’t believe me first, especially with the eggless marshmallow frosting.
Here are the key components to the ultimate s’mores cake and why this one stands out:
- Molten chocolate cake: some s’mores cakes choose to do a “graham cracker” style cake, but I really wanted chocolate to be the star of the show. So we went with a chocolate cake. However, chocolate cakes, weirdly enough, are really hard to get right. It’s a delicate balance of being moist and fluffy yet soft and tender, rich with chocolate and sweetness. This vegan chocolate cake does just that and more, which is why I’m repeatedly asked to make this vegan chocolate cake for birthdays, whether or not the requestor themselves is vegan. We also added in chocolate chips to the cake, which helps to create that molten texture that, when paired with marshmallow, makes you think you’re eating a real s’more!
- Decadent chocolate buttercream: we’re actually using a vanilla buttercream for the filling with the graham crackers, and then coating the entire cake in chocolate frosting. It’s absolutely decadent, and super delicious.
- Homemade cinnamon graham crackers: you can purchase store bought graham crackers, but honestly, this cake really deserves an award-winning title when using homemade graham crackers. Don’t worry, they’re super easy and SO worth it. You can even make them gluten-free as needed.
- Eggless marshmallow fluff: this is really what made my taste testers speechless when they tried this cake. The marshmallow fluff tastes JUST LIKE marshmallows, yet we’re using just aquafaba, powdered sugar, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Not even a single marshmallow!
- Homemade chocolate ganache: because we’re extra, we’re decorating this s’mores cake as a drip cake. Which just honestly adds to the decadence and deliciousness of this chocolate marshmallow cake!
Helpful tools you’ll need for this cake recipe
Most of my vegan cake recipes are super simple and straight forward, and while this s’mores cake is definitely easy once you’ve read through the instructions, it definitely requires some equipment for the ultimate s’mores cake.
The below kitchen tools are highly recommended and will make your cake baking life so much easier. But of course, you can get away with not using most of them! It’s just they really will help. For this s’mores cake, I recommend having on hand:
- Three 6″ cake pans: you can use 8″ cake pans if you’d like. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for how long you’ll need to bake the cakes.
- Cake turn table: this helps with frosting the cake, and creating the perfect drip!
- Piping bags: these can be purchased in the cake section of any grocery store or online.
- Food processor: this is just to blitz the graham crackers. You can also use a blender or a plastic bag and a tenderizer to crush the graham cracker crumbs.
- Offset spatula: For applying the frosting!
- Culinary torch: Also known as a kitchen torch. unfortunately, there’s really no way to get the toasted look of this marshmallow fluff without one. BUT you don’t need to spend a lot of money. I bought this $10 culinary torch off Amazon, along with a small bottle of butane for $5, so my total was $15. Some retailers will sell these torches for up to $50, and it’s just unnecessary.
Overview: How to make a homemade s’mores cake from scratch
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics, let’s start discussing how we can make a s’mores cake from scratch that’s undetectably vegan, eggless, dairy free, and gluten free!
The full written recipe & instructions are found down below in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. However, we’re going to go over an overview of the process, along with giving visuals, to help you achieve the ultimate s’mores cake.
Super rich chocolate cake & chocolate buttercream
We’re start by making the undetectably vegan chocolate cake. This cake recipe is very similar to other cake recipes on the blog. If you’ve never made a vegan cake, don’t worry. It’s super easy, and honestly, my family now prefers my vegan chocolate cake over any store bought chocolate cake, vegan or not!
What makes this slightly different than other vegan chocolate cakes is that we’re adding chocolate chips to the batter. This will help create that molten chocolate texture that we want when eating regular s’mores. I made this s’mores cake as a three layer 8″ cake, but you can also make it as a two layer 8″ cake or a three layer 6″ cake.
Then the chocolate buttercream is actually two recipes in one. I started with my regular vegan buttercream and used that as the filling, along with graham crackers, and the base crumb coat. Once the crumb coat was set, I used the remaining frosting as the chocolate buttercream. To do this, you’ll simply add in cocoa powder and vegan butter to the frosting and cream together until fluffy. Then I applied the final frosting coat (more on that in the assembly section!).
Homemade vegan graham crackers
If you’re making this cake entirely vegan, like I did, then you’ll find that it’s pretty hard to find vegan graham crackers in stores. They’re definitely out there, but it’s few and far between. That’s why I decided to make my own homemade graham crackers.
But instead of making another recipe to go along with this s’mores cake, I decided to use the recipe of my good friend, Camila, from Pies & Tacos. Her vegan graham crackers are just amazing. The recipe is super simple and quick to make, and honestly, they taste just like store bought graham crackers….but better.
For this recipe, I slightly altered it because I wanted to ensure that this could be an entirely gluten free s’mores cake as well. So instead of regular flour, as Camila suggested, I used gluten free 1:1 baking flour. I cannot recommend this recipe enough, and have instructed how I used it in this chocolate marshmallow cake found in the recipe card below.
I made the graham cracker portion of the recipe while the cakes were cooling. This will give you time for the cakes to cool and the graham crackers to harden once baked. Once you’ve made the graham crackers, you can use half of the batch for the filling, and the remaining graham crackers for decorating (and even real vegan s’mores too!). I blitzed half of the batch in a food process to create a graham cracker crumb that works perfectly for the s’mores cake filling.
The eggless marshmallow fluff
If you’ve never made a marshmallow fluff without eggs , you’re in for a treat. My 80 year old grandmother, who has made regular meringue for years, is now fully using the aquafaba version. I’m 100% serious. This is essentially a vegan meringue. It toasts so perfectly too, and tastes like melted gooey marshmallow. Trust me, you’re just going to LOVE how not only easy this vegan marshmallow fluff is, but also how delicious.
The aquafaba whips up to be stiff peaks, just like egg whites, and creates the glossiest and sweetest marshmallow fluff.
You could honestly eat this vegan marshmallow fluff with a spoon, it’s so good. Or you can pipe it onto the cake, or spoon globs of it on top, as I did (I wanted that kinda rustic and home-y look for this s’mores cake!).
Please note: It’s easiest to make vegan meringue with a stand mixer rather than a hand electric mixer. This is because it takes a lot to whip the aquafaba to be fluffy like regular meringue. Simply use the whisk attachment and add the aquafaba to the bowl of a stand mixer to make this vegan meringue.
How to decorate a s’mores cake
Once you have all the components of the s’mores cake ready, now it’s time to assemble! This is my absolute favorite part of any cake baking process.
A s’mores cake can come together so easily, but it requires some patience. You’ll first start with the cake filling and crumb coat, then the final layer of frosting, the chocolate drip, and finally the marshmallow meringue frosting and decorations.
I recommend using the cake turn table here for starting to assemble the cake. You’ll start by filling the cake with the vegan buttercream and graham crackers. Check out this really helpful article on how to create a frosting dam for the filling. You’ll do this for the first two layers, then use a small amount of vegan vanilla buttercream to create the crumb coat.
Place the cake into the fridge to set, then make the chocolate buttercream and the vegan ganache. The ganache is not necessary for this s’mores cake, but it certainly adds a really beautiful decoration to the cake!
Once the crumb coat is set, apply the remaining chocolate frosting to the cake, smoothing out any bumps and gaps with the bench scraper. If you’re new to frosting cakes, check out this awesome video tutorial on how to create smooth edges of frosting for cakes.
Top the cake with the vegan chocolate drip using a piping bag. I also sprinkled more crushed graham cracker on top before the ganache set for the ultimate s’mores cake effect. Then place the cake back into the fridge to set while you make the vegan marshmallow fluff.
Once you’ve made the vegan meringue, you can either pipe the marshmallow fluff onto the cake or spoon it on. You’ll then take the culinary torch and lightly toast the marshmallow. Please be careful and read all instructions for how to use a culinary torch.
Then you can decorate the cake with final touches, like adding graham crackers to the top of the s’mores cake! Slice, serve, and ENJOY!
Pro tips for this cake recipe:
- Read through the instructions and the ingredients before beginning. This is a really good practice to do for all recipes and will help ensure that you achieve major recipe success!
- Weigh out all ingredients. I’ve included gram measurements and cup measurements for this recipe. As always, the gram measurements will always yield a more accurate bake. If you are using the cup measurements, be sure to use the spoon & level method when measuring flour and sugar.
- For the aquafaba: chickpea brine is a bit different from egg whites, in that it takes a bit longer to achieve stiff peaks. It takes even longer if you’re using a hand mixer. I would really recommend using a stand mixer here, as the machine is just so much more efficient at achieving stiff peaks with aquafaba. Another note is that if you’re concerned about using chickpea water from a can, or can’t find unsalted chickpeas, you can make your own aquafaba from dried chickpeas. Ania’s recipe works so well here. It is a bit more work, but can be worth it if you’re concerned about using canned aquafaba!
- Make sure your cake layers are completely cool before beginning to assemble the cake. This is so crucial, as you don’t want any cakes falling onto the floor from melted frosting!
You are just going to absolutely love this ultimate s’mores cake! It honestly tastes like a s’mores but in cake form…and maybe even better!
If you make this vegan cake recipe, be sure to please leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ down below. This helps other readers find this recipe!
Happy cake baking!
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Unbelievably gooey and decadent s’mores cake that you won’t even know if secretly eggless, dairy free, and easily gluten free! Super rich molten chocolate cake with homemade graham cracker filling, decadent chocolate buttercream, and toasted eggless marshmallow fluff! Like having actual s’mores but better!
- 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
- 1 cup (95 g) all natural cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (110 g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted vegan butter*, room temperature
- 1 cup (220 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder (or 1 cup (240 mL) brewed coffee, decaf if desired)
- 1 cup (130 grams) vegan chocolate chips
Vegan Graham Crackers:
- 1 batch Pies & Tacos Vegan Graham Crackers *
Vegan Vanilla & Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 batch vegan vanilla buttercream
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
- 1 batch vegan chocolate ganache
Eggless Marshmallow Meringue
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) unsalted aquafaba*
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- Vegan marshmallows
- Extra vegan GF graham crackers
- Be sure to read all instructions before beginning. Measure out all ingredients for the cake.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and prepare three 8″ cake pans. You can use 6″ cake pans if you’d like. Grease the bottoms and sides of the pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by mixing together the dairy-free milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for 5-7 minutes to curdle. You can prepare the batter while the buttermilk is forming.
- Make the batter: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl and a hand mixer, cream the vegan butter until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the sugars, and cream together again until the sugar begins to slightly dissolve into the vegan butter, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl as needed. Then add in the applesauce, and mix again on medium speed until combined. To the mixture, add in about half of the flour mixture, along with half of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until the flour starts to combine with the wet. Add in the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, and mix again just until there are no more dry streaks. Slowly pour in the hot espresso, and mix on medium speed until the coffee has just mixed into the batter. If using a stand mixer, remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add in the chocolate chips and fold until they are just distributed throughout the batter.
- Bake the cakes: pour the batter into the three cake pans evenly. Place the cakes into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using three 8″ cake pans, the cakes will bake a bit quicker. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.
- While the cakes are cooling: make the graham crackers according to the instructions. For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1:1 baking flour in the blue bag, and coconut oil. You can follow the recipe as is with Camila’s recommendations or make them gluten-free. Either works! Once the graham crackers are baked, set them aside to fully cool for 10 minutes. Then take half of the graham crackers and blitz them in a food processor to create graham cracker crumbs. This will be for the filling of the cake. Your cakes should be ready to frost at this point. If not, you can safely place the cakes into the freezer to chill for 10 minutes, helping them cool faster.
- Make the frosting: when you’re ready to make the frosting, prepare the vegan buttercream frosting according to instructions (you’ll save the extra cocoa powder and butter for after you’ve created the first crumb coat). It’s also a good idea to prepare the vegan chocolate ganache if you’d like to use that for this recipe. Follow the instructions for making the ganache, then allow the ganache to cool as you frost the cake.
- Assemble the s’mores cake: to assemble the cake, frost the top of the bottom layer of the cake using about 1/3 cup frosting, then create a wall of frosting (see photos in the blog post). Add about 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs in the middle, and place the next layer of cake on top. Repeat for the second layer, placing the third layer on top. Use about 1/2 cup-3/4 cup frosting to create a very light crumb coat around the cake, scraping and smoothing the sides as needed. Place the cake in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
- Make the chocolate buttercream: You should have about 2-3 cups of frosting leftover. Add in the room temperature butter and cocoa powder to the mixing bowl, and cream together until smooth. You can add more powdered sugar as well to make a slightly sweeter chocolate buttercream. When your cake is ready for the final layer of frosting, remove the cake from the fridge. Frost the entire cake with the chocolate buttercream, smoothing the sides with a bench scraper as needed.
- Create the chocolate drip: the chocolate ganache should be cool now. Pour the chocolate ganache into a piping bag, and when ready to pipe the ganache around the edges of the cake, cut a small whole at the bottom of the bag. Carefully pipe the drip around the top of the cake, covering the top of the cake. Cupcake Jemma has a great video tutorial. Top the ganache with leftover crumbled graham cracker, and place the cake back into the fridge to set.
- Make the vegan marshmallow meringue: the final step is making the marshmallow meringue! In a large stand mixer with whisk attachment, add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to the bowl. Beat the mixture on the highest setting for 7-8 minutes, until stiff peaks form. If it’s already 8 minutes and stiff peaks haven’t formed, continue beating the aquafaba mixture. It’s very hard to over mix aquafaba, so don’t worry about ruining the mixture. Once you have stiff peaks, or near stiff peaks, add in the vanilla extract. Then add in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Top the s’mores cake: remove the cake from the fridge and top or pipe the marshmallow meringue on top. You can pipe the meringue or top it as I did. Top with any remaining graham crackers and vegan marshmallows. Use a culinary blow torch to lightly toast the marshmallow. Serve and enjoy!
- Storage: if you have any remaining slices, store them wrapped and in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Gluten free: to make this vegan s’mores cake entirely gluten-free, you can use gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag, for both the cake and the graham cracker recipe. Everything else in the recipe is entirely gluten-free. Be sure to use the cup measurements for the flour if using gluten free.
Graham cracker recipe: I used the recipe from my friend from Pies & Tacos, Camila. Her recipe is truly amazing. I did alter it to use the gluten-free flour, which does work, along with coconut oil instead of vegan butter, as I was running out of vegan butter. If you’re going to use coconut oil, make sure to use triple refined coconut oil if you don’t want a coconut taste.
Aquafaba: this is an entirely eggless s’mores cake, down to the marshmallow meringue. Aquafaba is the water from a chickpea can. It’s perfectly fine to consume, but if you’re concerned about the can lining, choose a BPA-free can of chickpeas, use chickpeas that are stored in a glass, or you can even make your own aquafaba.
Please be careful and read all instructions for how to use a culinary torch.
Please read the full post for all tips & tricks!
Keywords: s’mores cake, smores cake, eggless meringue frosting, gluten free s’mores cake, chocolate marshmallow cake, vegan marshmallow