Gimme Gimme S’mores

I had been wanting to make this cake for months, ever since I came up with the idea of a graham cracker pie crust for my Strawberry & Graham Cracker Layer Cake. This weekend, I finally felt like the moment was right. I’m not sure how I waited so long but I’m sorry I did because this cake is definitely up there with the best. In two words, it’s a s’mores cake. In better words, it’s a s’mores cake piled high with toasted marshmallows, oozing with chocolate ganache and marshmallow frosting between layers of graham cracker pie crust and fudgey chocolate cake. One of my cousins actually compared it to Mallomars – if you don’t know what those are, I’m so sorry. Click here to find out what you’re missing. I thought that was a pretty spot-on comparison and you could easily call this a Mallomar Cake instead of a S’mores Cake, if you’re so inclined. Thank god my (very big) family finished the whole thing, because I would not have been able to resist the leftovers, had there been any.

Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Cake - STARTED FROM THE BATTER

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My Cake Do Stuff That Your Cake Wish It Could

Summer is sadly still a few months away, but with a hint of warm weather last week in New York (I think it might actually have reached 60 degrees one day!), it really got me longing for warm, sunny days. Not just the beach and barbecues, but the real stars of summer: things like ice cream, s’mores, margarita popsicles, and Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices (the creme ones, duh).

Strawberry Graham Cracker Layer Cake - Started From The Batter

For those not blessed with Ralph’s in their lives, it’s an Italian ices and ice cream establishment with locations all over New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey, open seasonally. To me, Ralph’s is synonymous with summer, the beach, warm summer nights, and basically, my childhood. My all-time FAVORITE flavor of Ralph’s is Strawberry Shortcake (not to be confused with Strawberry Cheesecake!). It’s refreshing and sweet and so perfectly embodies summer, AND it has graham cracker pieces mixed in.

Strawberry Graham Cracker Layer Cake - Started From The Batter

Due to my love affair with graham crackers (see: s’mores cake with graham cracker frosting) Strawberry Shortcake has been able to clinch the title as my favorite Ralph’s flavor, beating out tough competition like Mint Chip, Mudslide, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup.

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Yeah I Like to Bake, I Got a Baking Problem

Rich chocolate cake, creamy graham cracker frosting, and perfectly toasted marshmallows… I had a dream about this cake the other night. It was a week after the last slice of cake was finished and the plate was licked clean, and I had a dream about it. It was like one of those commercials where someone raises the fork to their mouth and takes a bite in slow motion, with their eyes closed, savoring every crumb. I’m not even ashamed to tell you, because that’s how good this cake was.

S'mores Cake - Started From The Batter

In addition to the fact that this s’mores cake was INCREDIBLE, I’m proud to say that it’s the first time I’ve (partially) made up a recipe myself. The chocolate cake recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Triple Chocolate Cake Recipe but the graham cracker frosting is an invention of my own, based on the Food Network’s vanilla buttercream frosting recipe that I posted last week. I personally love anything s’mores, especially because of the graham cracker flavor. One day I had an epiphany – if I can make Oreo frosting with Oreo crumbs, why couldn’t I make graham cracker frosting with graham cracker crumbs? So that’s exactly what I did, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Combined with a layer of toasted marshmallows in the center and on top, this S’mores Cake is just heavenly. Continue reading

Pool Full of Frosting, Then You Dive In

For me, buttercream frosting is one of the little things that makes life worth living. Butter, sugar, cream, and vanilla extract combine to make something magical. It might sound ridiculous but this frosting is so tasty and so fun, and it really allows me to be creative in my baking endeavors. Although this recipe is for plain vanilla buttercream (incredible as is), there are infinite ways you can put your own special touch on this frosting. In the past I’ve flavored it with Oreos, Nutella, and peanut butter (photo below). You can also use flavored extracts to make it almost any other flavor you choose (some of my future plans include peppermint extract).

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting - Started from the Batter

Another thing I love about this frosting is that it holds its shape really nicely, making it perfect for adventurous piping and decorating. You don’t even need to be a skilled baker to master this recipe, and once you do, just imagine all of the possibilities!

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This Cake Ain’t Loyal

This cake, ohhhhh this cake. For me and this cake, it was love at first sight. Layers of rich chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow filling, and chocolate frosting. When I first came across the Brown Eyed Baker recipe on Pinterest, I actually day dreamed about it for a week. With the Jewish holidays coming up, I even had the perfect occasion to make it for. Then came the first bump in my relationship with this cake. Fellow bakers, maybe you have already learned this – never, ever tell people how much butter/cream/fattening deliciousness is in your desserts. I stupidly mentioned to my boyfriend that this cake involves six sticks of butter, and suddenly he was Mr. Healthy, telling me I absolutely could not bring this cake to his parents’ house for the holidays. So I set out on a mission to improvise/modify and cut down on the amount of butter.

Chocolate Marshmallow Layer Cake - STARTED FROM THE BATTER Continue reading

It’s Not Even My Birthday…

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This rainbow cake is something I saw on Pinterest that I knew I had to make RIGHT AWAY. My general rule is that I only bake when I have some place to bring/serve my creation, otherwise I end up with an entire cake/batch of cupcakes/cookies sitting on my kitchen counter and I resist the urge to eat it all myself. Luckily I had an occasion to bake this only a few days after I saw it, because I don’t think I could have held out much longer.

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While I usually choose to bake things based on how delicious they sound, I was drawn to this recipe because this cake just looks like so much FUN. The top of the cake is covered in pretty Golden Oreos and rainbow sprinkles, and then you cut it open and SURPRISE, TIE DYED CAKE! I’ve also been seeing recipes for poke cakes for a while now and I had been itching to try one. Poke cakes can be made with any combination of cake/liquid/frosting flavors. The general rule is that you bake a cake, poke holes in the top of it, and pour a liquid over it. The liquid seeps in and makes the cake extra moist and tastey. So obviously, this rainbow poke cake was calling my name. Continue reading