Make Ahead

S’Mores Custard Cake

June  6, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by Stacy Newgent for Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand
  • Serves 8 or more
Author Notes

Who doesn’t like S’Mores? I’d like to meet that person. Well, actually, for a long time I didn’t like S’Mores. Then I realized that the thing I objected to was the texture; a poorly made S’More is hard to eat, with a crispy graham cracker, hard chocolate, and rubbery marshmallow, falling apart and getting your hands all sticky.

But then I discovered that the key to a great S’Mores dessert is to meld those layers together and give soft chocolate-graham-marshmallow goodness in every bite. That’s what this pudding cake does: Graham crackers, layered with rich chocolate custard smoky marshmallows. It’s easy and so totally over the top – it’s a picnic dessert extraordinaire! (This recipe is from Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand.) —Faith Durand

What You'll Need
  • S’Mores Pudding Cake
  • 4 cups (1 batch) Rich Chocolate Custard (recipe below)
  • 4 sleeves graham crackers
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 (13-ounce) jar marshmallow crème
  • Rich Chocolate Custard
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Smear a thin layer of chocolate custard in the center of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover the bottom with a layer of graham crackers and spread 1/3 (about 1 1/4 cups) of the chocolate custard on top of the crackers. Sprinkle 1 cup of mini marshmallows over the custard, and torch them lightly with a kitchen torch, until soft and browned. (You can also put them under an oven broiler for 45 seconds.) Repeat two more times and top with a final layer of graham crackers. (There will be four full layers of crackers, and three of pudding).
  2. Warm the marshmallow crème in the microwave or in a saucepan. Spread over the top of the icebox cake and spread while still warm. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the crackers have softened to a cakelike texture (test by inserting a thin knife along the side and bringing up a few crumbs). (This can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time, but it is best consumed with a day or two as it will get soggy if it sits too long.)
  3. When ready to serve, brown the top of the cake until tan and toasty with a kitchen torch or under the broiler.
  4. FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUSTARD Prepare the chocolate: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
  5. Make a cornstarch and egg slurry: Put the cornstarch and salt together in a medium bowl and whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Slowly whisk in the cream, making sure there are no lumps. (To be really sure, reach into the bowl and gently rub out any lumps between your fingers.) Whisk in the egg yolks.
  6. Warm the milk: In a 3-quart (2.8-L) saucepan over medium heat, whisk the sugar into the milk. Warm for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves, bubbles form around the edges, and the entire surface of the milk begins to quiver. Turn off the heat.
  7. Temper the slurry: Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of the hot milk into the bowl with the slurry, whisking constantly. The mixture should come together smoothly, with no lumps. If you see any, add a little more liquid and whisk them out. Pour it back into the pan, counting to 10 and whisking constantly as you pour.
  8. Thicken the pudding: Turn the heat back on to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently and vigorously, working all the angles of the pot and scraping the bottom. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the custard becomes very thick and starts to boil, with large bubbles that slowly pop up to the surface. Boil for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  9. Flavor the pudding: Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Stir the chocolate into the pudding and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk gently until the pudding is smooth and glossy and has fully absorbed the chocolate.
  10. Chill the pudding: Immediately pour the hot pudding into a shallow container. Place plastic wrap or buttered wax paper directly on the surface of the pudding (if you don't like pudding skin). Cover and refrigerate.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mcs3000
  • Patty Khuly
    Patty Khuly
  • Assonta Wagner
    Assonta Wagner
  • MQAvatar
By day, you'll find me at The Kitchn (, where I am executive editor and have a lot of fun writing about home cooking and kitchen design with our crackerjack team. I've also written several cookbooks, including the latest labor of love, Bakeless Sweets, all about pudding, panna cotta, icebox cake, no-bake cookies, and other no-bake desserts. I live in Columbus, Ohio, with my husband Mike, and a yard poised on the edge of becoming a garden!

10 Reviews

mcs3000 July 12, 2016
Love s'mores + pudding since I was little. Must make.
Patty K. July 5, 2014
Made this for a 4th of July party. Came together easier than expected. I used more mini marshmallows, though. (Maybe a cup or two?) Didn't need as many crackers. (Only about 3 1/2 "sleeves.") And loved it easily five times as much as I expected to. The best part is that it cuts really easily. Served with a chocolate fudge sauce this is an awesome not-so-picnic-y dessert!!
Patty K. July 5, 2014
Clarification: That's 1-2 cups more mini marshmallows than the recipe called for.
Assonta W. May 29, 2014
I am going to try this with homemade marshmallows!
kellee May 25, 2014
This is awesome! My family enjoyed this a lot. I'm enjoying my second piece as I write this. I did substitute coconut cream and coconut milk for the dairy and it worked perfectly. I will definitely be making this again and again.
Ceege June 30, 2013
@ Demington

A box of graham crackers comes with 3 sleeves to a box. You would need to buy 2 boxes to get the 4 needed for this recipe. Save the remaining 2 sleeves for another use. (or just to nibble on).
Mae F. June 17, 2013
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made this for a family party and everyone just loved it (they had seconds and thirds and asked that I make two batches next time)!
Demington June 16, 2013
Sleeves graham crackers? Please explain; I am perplexed.
MQAvatar June 15, 2013
This has jumped to the top of my list of things I want to make when I get back from deployment. Thanks for sharing this inventive recipe with us, Faith.
anne May 30, 2014
Get home safely Michael!