The best part of a s’more is the gooey, toasted marshmallow. Just think — without it, you’d have a sad pile of graham crackers and unmelted chocolate. But add a roasted marshmallow — with its slight smokiness and a caramelized exterior that gives way to molten marshmallow goo — and suddenly this campfire dessert becomes more than the sum of its parts. Naturally, then, any s’mores-inspired dessert must include a toasted marshmallow, like our new S’mores Icebox Cake.

Senior Recipe Developer Molly Marzalek-Kelly knew this s'more-inspired icebox cake needed all three elements of a classic s’more: graham crackers, chocolate, and toasted marshmallow. After landing on the recipes for homemade graham crackers and hot fudge sauce, she turned her attention to the marshmallow.

S’mores Icebox Cake Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Just because icebox cake is a cool, no-bake dessert doesn't mean it can't include the flavor of marshmallows roasted over a campfire. 

The development journey

Molly’s first thought was to coat the layers of graham crackers and hot fudge in Homemade Marshmallow Spread, but the results were too sweet and tasters found themselves missing the whipped cream that typically envelops an icebox cake.

Molly next tried whipping that same marshmallow spread into whipped cream. As she explains, “The result was a gorgeous whipped cream that tasted… nothing like marshmallow.” Molly tried to amp up the marshmallow flavor by using Marshmallow Fluff (also known as marshmallow crème), but the mixture was too loose: It squished out from between the layers of the icebox cake once sliced. More importantly, it was still missing the caramelized toastiness of a roasted marshmallow.

The experiments continued: Why not toast Marshmallow Fluff under the broiler? (It was a hot, sticky mess.) How about toasting marshmallows with a baker’s torch and folding them in? (Too few people have this piece of specialty equipment on hand.)

Roasted mini marshmallows added to a stand mixer bowl of whipped cream Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Broiling mini marshmallows on a lightly greased baking sheet (skip the parchment paper!) is the easiest, most efficient way to impart lots of bittersweet, toasted flavor in whipped cream. 

The winning solution: Mini marshmallows broiled in an oven until golden brown and charred in spots, then beaten into cream. Why mini? Because small marshmallows have more surface area than full-sized ones, so they take on more toasty flavor and are easier to incorporate into whipped cream.

The marshmallow whipped cream has a gorgeously golden color, with flecks of charred marshmallow running through it. It also has a nostalgic yet complex depth of flavor. It’s sweet, but that sweetness is balanced by the slightly bitter caramelized bits. Just a dollop can instantly s’more-ify any dessert you’re serving.

A stand mixer bowl filled with golden toasted marshmallow whipped cream Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
This innovative version of whipped cream is gorgeously golden with flecks of charred marshmallow running through it. (Think vanilla bean ice cream.)

Temperature matters

One tip for success: You must let the broiled marshmallows cool to just the right temperature before adding them to whipped cream. If they get too cool, they begin to solidify and won’t disperse through the whipped cream. If they’re too hot, they’ll melt the cream and the mixture will become too soupy to whip. They should be just cool enough to handle before they’re folded into the whipped cream.

Roasted mini marshmallows added to a stand mixer bowl of whipped cream Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
The toasted marshmallows should cool briefly — just 2 to 4 minutes or until they're cool enough to handle — before adding them to the whipped cream.  

Beyond icebox cake

While this toasted marshmallow whipped cream shines as a key element in the S’mores Icebox Cake, it can (and should!) be used in other desserts. Swap it in for whipped cream whenever your desserts could use a hit of smoky campfire flavor. Start with a dollop on top of a classic hot fudge sundae and then branch out and try it in these recipes:

Bring the campfire inside with more s’more-inspired desserts like our S’more Granola Bars, S’more Cupcakes, and Mini S'more Cakes.

Cover photo (S’mores Icebox Cake) by Liz Neily.

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S’mores Icebox Cake
S’mores Icebox Cake
3.6 out of 5 stars 10 Reviews
1 day 20 mins
one loaf cake
Recipe in this post
Filed Under: Recipes
Kye Ameden
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About Kye Ameden

Kye Ameden grew up in Fairlee, Vermont and has always loved food, farms, and family. She spent her teenage years working by her chef/uncle’s side in an industrial kitchen, cracking hundreds of eggs, slicing cheesecakes into 13 perfect slices, and developing her passion for precision and baking.After...
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