To me, the sweetest thing about camping is making s’mores around the campfire. It’s one of those nostalgic treats that can transport you to a different time and place long after the sleeping bags and tents have been packed away, bringing back fond memories of family togetherness and good times. I love incorporating the flavors of s’mores in all kinds of desserts, especially cake.
This cake is camp-themed inside and out! It’s a perfect birthday treat for an outdoors enthusiast with its mini graham cracker “tent” and jellybean “campfire.” And with a marshmallow and graham filling, it will soothe even the fiercest cravings for s’mores. Instead of plain graham crackers, I used a chocolate variety which can be found at most grocery stores right next to the original version. This gives the cake extra richness and is a nice, crunchy-sweet compliment to the tender layers of cake.
To get started, you’ll need to bake your chocolate cake according to the directions on the box. When the layers are cool, you can begin assembling the cake. I used a wooden cake stand to add to the camp theme, but any 9-inch serving platter or cake board will do.
Coat the first layer of cake with the marshmallow filling and graham crackers. Break the crackers into pieces so they fit inside the circumference of the cake.
Use the frosting mixed with cocoa powder to cover the top of the cake. Spread it on with an offset spatula.
Coat the sides of the cake with the green tinted frosting. Don’t worry about making this coat perfect as most of the icing will be covered with graham crackers.
Place twelve graham cracker halves around the bottom edge of the cake. Press them into the frosting firmly to secure.
Next, sprinkle green decorating sugar around the top edge of the cake until it is coated. You’ll want to leave a visible clearing of chocolate frosting on top of the cake—this will become the “campsite!”
Use the leftover green frosting to cover three ice cream cones with pointed ends. Place the remaining green sugar in a shallow dish and coat the cones in the sugar.
Allow the cones to stand for several minutes to set before transferring them to the top of the cake.
Place the cones on top of the cake. Press them into the frosting with an index finger at the top points of the cones so the sugar coating doesn’t smudge.
Break a graham cracker half in two at the perforation. Prop the pieces against each other to create a “tent.”
Slice a red gum drop in half, then trim the edges of one half with a sharp knife to create a triangle. Skewer the gumdrop piece onto a long toothpick.
Press the toothpick into the cake at the front center of the graham cracker tent.
Slice a red, orange and yellow jellybean into quarters lengthwise.
Place the jellybean pieces upright into the cake a few inches away from the graham cracker tent.
Crumble a small piece of graham cracker and sprinkle it over the jellybean pieces, giving the appearance of ash.
Break a pretzel stick in two even pieces and place them, crossed, in front of the jellybean pieces.
Last but not least, place a fun-size milk chocolate bar in front of the tent for the sleeping bag (or cot) and flatten a mini marshmallow between your thumb and forefinger for the pillow. Place it at the end closest to the graham cracker tent.