S'mores Custard Cake

Hello, hello! Lauren here, from your favorite thoughtful living & entertaining site, & if you are looking for something to spice things up we threw a super fun potluck pie party that was an absolute hit! But if you came for the ultimate summertime dessert recipe then you are in for a surprise, my friends — we’re whipping up a S’MORES CUSTARD CAKE!

I mean, just look at it – it’s adorable. Pair this stunning dessert with a glass (or two, let’s get real, it’s a long weekend) of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s basically all the best parts about camping, but from the comfort of your own home, and totally elevated. Alrighty, friends, it’s S’mores time!


Okay, before we jump right in to the recipe I wanted to go over a few things first. This recipe is maybe not the best to try if you are new to baking. If you want something quick and easy, this, this, or this would be perfect!

However, if you are a self-proclaimed baking buff then saddle on up because while there is a little bit of work involved, this recipe is so, absolutely worth it. Next pro tip: totally feel free to play around with the layers. If you are a graham cracker gal, make that layer a little taller. Maybe custard is more of your jam; by all means, stack that layer higher! Play around with it and have some fun! Okay, now it’s time to bake! I am serious, this recipe pairs perfectly with some Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon & that means you should probably have some while you are baking as well. SMORES0008

S'mores Cake
Serves: 3-6
  • Devils Food Cake
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ounces of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 3 oz. of water, at room temperature
  • Graham Streusel
  • 1/3 cup of almond flour
  • 1/3 cup of graham crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla powder
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Chocolate Crème Brûlée
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of egg yolks
  • 125 g dark chocolate, melted
  • Meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F & line three 3 inch wide tall ring molds (we used 1.75 inches tall) & place on a baking sheet. Additionally, spray a half sheet pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment, spraying the parchment and setting aside.
  2. For the cake, grab a medium bowl & start combining your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-low for about a minute. Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then whip on medium-high speed for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Add the mayonnaise and whip to combine. Once ready, start folding in the dry ingredients and water in 2 batches.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan making sure the batter is even and spreads to the corners. Bake for 10 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean) Set on a cooling rack and cool completely. Once cooled, lay a piece of parchment on the back of a sheet pan. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it and invert it onto the parchment. Remove the parchment from the top of the cake. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once ready, cut out three 3-inch diameter rounds from the cake while it is still frozen and place in the ring molds. Wrap the remainder of the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks (this is extra).
  4. For the streusel, preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the almond flour, graham crumbs, sugar, vanilla extract and flour in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the butter and quickly break it up with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Spread the streusel on the baking sheet in an even layer and freeze for 10 minutes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring the streusel every 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Spoon ½ inch of streusel into each ring hold and gently press into the holds. Do whatever you would like the extra ☺
  5. For the custard, combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cocoa powder. When the milk mixture has come to a boil, slowly pour a small amount into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Continue tempering the yolks with the milk mixture & transfer all of back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set over an ice bath. While the mixture is still warm, add the melted chocolate and custard to a food processor and combine until emulsified. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Fill a piping bag with the chocolate custard and pipe into the molds until it reaches the top of the molds. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and freeze for 4 hours, or overnight. Remove the rings from the cakes, but keep the acetate on. Add a second layer of acetate 0.5 inches higher than the original acetate over top the original acetate. Place the rings back on.
  6. For the meringue, combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to 60 C, then transfer to the stand mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla paste and whip for 1 minute to combine. Pipe the meringue into the rings until it reaches the top of the second layer of acetate. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and freeze for 30 minutes. Place into the fridge 4 hours before serving but remove the rings and both layers of acetate while frozen. When ready to serve, use a handheld torch to toast the meringue while being careful not to scorch the custard.
 SMORES0005 So, what do you think? A few extra steps, but totally worth it – right?! This is a great make ahead recipe or one to make with friends, so grab the ingredients and get started. Bring these babies out at any party & you’ve just mastered life (well, to me anyway ;) ) Happy baking! SMORES0001

Photography by Constance Higley | Recipe adapted from Hint of Vanilla