Want a fun cake for scouts or a summer party? This s’mores camping cake from Fun with Frosting; A beginner’s guide to decorating creative, fondant-free cakes is easy to make and looks great.
I love the outdoors. When were were kids our mom took us camping every summer. We’d spend several weeks exploring Texas and the Southwest and we always spent several weeks at Padre Island National Seashore.
Twice a year we’d haul our tent and supplies down to the beach and set up next to one of the shelters on the sand. The air mattress took up most of the tent, and with luggage taking up the extra space it was like one small bouncy house in there. At night it was great because my brothers and I would line up on the mattress for bedtime stories. While my mother read to us, we would all argue over who got to play tetris on her phone (until it died).
I never minded the sand. Mom had a bunch of methods for minimizing it. There was always a mat at the front of the tent with a milk jug of water to rinse our feet off. The sheets were easy to shake out too so we really didn’t get that much sand in the tent counter to what my brothers complained. At night we’d chase ghost crabs around in the sand and see if we could find bioluminescent seaweed along the shore. (Did I mention that my mom taught marine science?).
Meals were always simple affairs. We all liked different foods. Mom would make hot water and use some of it to warm up chicken noodle soup for one brother. She’d sit an open can of Spaghettios in the hot water for me and an open can of mac and cheese for my other brother. We’d all have hot meals of things we wanted.
Since I love camping, I was pretty excited when our friend, Kaye, asked me to make the s’mores campfire cake from her new cookbook Fun with Frosting; A beginner’s guide to decorating creative, fondant-free cakes. The great thing about the book is that it is designed for bakers of all levels. The book has basic recipes for cakes and icing, and ideas for decorations that range from Outer Space to a sculptured caterpillar! While I have decorated a lot of cupcakes and cakes, this was my first layered cake! The instructions and tips made the process incredibly simple.
The fire on the s’mores camping cake reminds me of the time when these guys in a camper decided the kids on the beach where my family was needed a campfire. It had been raining for days but they somehow managed to find dry wood and build this huge fire right next to our campsite. I had no idea how they got it to light since everything was wet. My brothers told me the men soaked the logs in oil – ugh! The fire burned for several days even though it was raining. It was fun to have a fire but it wasn’t worth polluting the beach. The fire on this cake however is completely safe and so easy to make!!
The thought put into the design of the s’mores camping cake is amazing! The same cookies used for the fence are broken up and used for logs in the fireplace. I also used crushed up graham crackers as a “gravel” on top of the frosting in in the pit for a more detailed base.
After looking through Kaye’s book, there are so many designs I want to try! Be on the lookout for later posts covering more work from her book! I can’t seem to get enough of it.
- I round chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting (8 inches in diameter)
- 1 can chocolate hazelnut pirouettes
- ½ batch of butter cream frosting
- green food coloring
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 2 graham crackers
- 1 large marshmallow
- 1 roll fruit by the foot - green
- candy rocks
- Red and yellow hard candies (life savers)
- Arrange the pirouettes around the outside of the cake, pressing them into the frosting. Loop the twine around the cake and tie a bow. Remember to remove the twine before serving the cake.
- Set aside 1/4 cup of the butter cream and tint the rest green. Place the green frosting into a pastry bag with a small round tip (#233) or place in a plastic bag and cut a small hole in one corner. Pipe grass over the top of the cake but leave a small circle of exposed chocolate frosting for the fire pit.
- Cut the fruit roll to be as long as the graham cracker is wide. This will be a sleeping bag inside the tent. Lay the fruit roll piece on the grass where you want the tent to go. Cut the large marshmallow in half and put one half on the end of the fruit roll up as a pillow.
- Add cocoa powder to the remaining buttercream. Carefully tent the graham crackers over the sleeping bag and pipe a thin line of chocolate frosting at the top to hold them together.
- Arrange candy rocks around the fire pit and use broken pirouette cookies as logs in the fire pit.
- To make the fire. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break red and yellow hard candies into small pieces. (put in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin). Arrange the candy pieces on the parchment paper to look like flames. Put in a 275°F oven for 10 minutes until the candies melt together. Allow the candy to harden and then peel away the parchment paper. Arrange the candy fire in the fire pit just before serving. If you place the fire in the fire pit too early, the moisture from the cake will melt the fire.