Every year I make a “Back-to-School” cake on the first day of school. My kids had already requested their favorite frosting — homemade marshmallow frosting — so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to invent a new cake that incorporated the frosting into the entire flavor profile instead of just topping it off.
I decided to use coconut palm sugar in place of white sugar (we had noticed before that this cake tastes like graham crackers when using dark sugars) and transform the cake into a “S’mores Cake!” By adding a ribbon of chocolate in the middle of the cake, all the flavors of one bite combine to make a s’more.
You could certainly add more chocolate than I did in mine, but the neighborhood kids seemed to enjoy it plenty in these proportions; of the 12 kids who celebrated with us, only one was gluten-free and one was dairy-free, but they all loved it. In fact, one boy told me it was the best piece of cake he’d ever had! High compliment from a child without any food restrictions!
I hope you also enjoy this unconventional take on the traditional s’more!
- 3 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbs. gluten-free baking powder
- 1/4 cup powdered milk, dairy or non-dairy (I used Vance’s DariFree™ Powder) OR almond flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter or non-dairy alternative (I used Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
- 2 cups unrefined coconut palm sugar OR brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk or non-dairy alternative (like vanilla coconut, soy, hemp, rice, etc. “milk”)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup chocolate syrup (I used Ah!Laska® organic, non-dairy chocolate syrup)
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Foods® non-dairy chocolate chips)
*Note – you may instead simply use my Jules Gluten Free™ Cake Mix + butter, sugar, eggs and milk as directed
Pre-heat oven to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection). Spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and dust entire surface lightly with Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour.
Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, baking powder and salt and set aside (or pour cake mix into a large bowl).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat well with your mixer’s paddle attachment, until the mixture is very light and fluffy (approximately 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs next, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla with the last egg addition. Slowly add the milk, alternating with the flour mixture and beating in between the additions. Beat until smooth and pour into the prepared pans.
Pour half of the batter into the bundt pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and then squeeze chocolate syrup around in a ribbon design to cover much of the surface of the batter (see photo). Add more or less of these chocolate ingredients depending on how much of a chocolate ribbon you like in the middle of your cake. Pour remaining batter on top of chocolate and bake for 45 minutes.
To test the cakes for doneness, insert a cake tester or toothpick in the middle and be sure it comes out clean, with very few crumbs attached. The cake will also begin to pull away slightly from the side of the pan. Add time if necessary to fully bake the cake.
When done, turn off the oven and leave the oven door open to let the cake cool slowly there for 5 minutes or so, then remove to a wire rack. After 15-20 minutes of total cooling time, gently invert the cake to remove it from the pan, then flip gently back onto the cooling rack until fully cooled.
Frost with Marshmallow Frosting, below:
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Gluten-free graham crackers for garnish, if desired
Over medium heat, stir to combine sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small saucepan. Continue whisking together until the mixture bubbles and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat immediately (the mixture may start to brown, but do not allow it to cook to dark brown or to burn).
Combine egg whites and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Slowly stir in the hot, cooked sugar mixture with beaters on low. Increase mixer speed to high for 6 minutes, or until the frosting has whipped to stiff peaks when tested with a rubber spatula.
Frost cake with a thick layer of Marshmallow Frosting, swirling designs using an off-set spatula for added decoration.
Crush gluten-free graham crackers and sprinkle on top of frosted cake, if desired.