*post contains affiliate links. All products mentioned are products that I own and use myself. I would not recommend a product otherwise!
I've taken my fair share of cake decorating courses. I have the cupboards full of cake decorating tools to prove it. I've spent hours making cakes, torte-ing them, crumb coating them, and making them look beautiful. And that's all well and good. The ooh's and aah's are fantastic music to my ears.
But here is the thing I've learned over the years, a fancy dessert you spent hours working on in the kitchen doesn't equate to the number of ooh's and aah's. I've whipped up desserts that took me no time at all to watch them disappear faster then the ones I spent hours on. It's been a long, hard lesson to learn that a longer time spent in the kitchen, and dirtying every single bowl is not any more appreciated then a simple dessert you make.
Like this cake. This s'mores chocolate poke cake.
I should re-name this cake to "so darn easy it's scary" chocolate cake. Because you actually made in the pan you plan to bake it in. Yup, you heard right. This cake is from a cookbook, One Bowl Baking. The cookbook author, Yvonne Ruperti, truly believes that baking from scratch shouldn't be fussy or time consuming. She might just be my spirit animal. She completely simplifies any recipe you have ever thought of making by mixing it all in one bowl. Or in this case, right in the pan you're baking it in. I have to admit it's completely revolutionizing the way I look at all of my recipes.
You want to start by simply spraying your 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray. No parchment paper needed here. Just a quick spray and you're done.
In your pan, add your flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Be sure to measure your flour correctly. Too much flour and you can end up with a dry, dense cake in the end. We want fluffy and light, friends. Then just whisk those together. I used a spoon, as well during this step to make sure no dry ingredients were hiding in the corners of my pan.
Then just make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, and add your vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. And last but not least, to make this cake super moist water gets poured over the whole thing. You then just have to stir to combine it all.
She recommends you take a paper towel to wipe down the edges before popping it into a 350oF pre-heated oven. This cake is done in 30 minutes or less. I mean seriously how easy is this cake? In less than 10 minutes you have a chocolate cake you made from scratch already to be popped into the oven.
Ok now you could keep it simple and just sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top. The chocolate cake is so good on its own. I wanted to take it one step further. I didn't want to go to all that fuss of making a frosting. I mean at this point I haven't even dirtied one bowl, so why not start now right?
Instead I poked holes in the cake immediately after I took it out of the oven. If you are unfamiliar with poke cakes, they are going to change your life. A poke cake is exactly as it sounds. Once its baked, poke holes in the top and pour over it whatever you like. I've used caramel sauce, ganache, condensed milk, and in this case I spread some marshmallow fluff over the top. You can make our own marshmallow fluff if you're feeling super ambitious too.
I warmed up in the microwave for 15 seconds half of a small jar of marshmallow fluff. Be careful during this step, because the fluff will expand in the microwave. You want to just warm it up enough to easily spread it on top of the cake. Then the fluff will kind of seep down into the cake through the holes you poked into it, since it's still warm.
Once it's completely cooled, spread the rest of the marshmallow fluff over the top. Again, I just warmed up the fluff for about 10-15 seconds just to make it spreadable. Top it with crushed graham crackers and milk chocolate chips. You could use semi-sweet if that's what you have on hand. I just like the true taste of milk chocolate when it comes to s'mores anything in my life.
And boom. S'mores Chocolate Poke Cake is happening in your life. Way better than a boxed cake mix any day. So the next time someone says they don't have time to make a cake from scratch, point them in this direction. Let's prove them all wrong.
To make this cake I used this 9-inch square baking pan.
If you like this cake let me know and leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you. And if you make it, snap a photo and share it with the #bostongirlbakes so I can follow along!
Until next time, happy baking!
- 2 cups (10 ounces or 285 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces or 150 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 teaspoons vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 7 ounce jar of marshmallow fluff, divided
- crushed graham crackers
- milk chocolate chips
- 1. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Spray a 9-inch square nonstick pan with baking spray.
- 2. Place the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt in the pan, and stir until completely combined. Make a large well in the middle of the dry mixture. Pour the oil, vinegar, and vanilla into the well.
- 3. Drizzle the water over the whole mixture then stir until completely combined. Wipe the inside edge of the pan to clean up any residual dry mixture.
- 4. Bake until just firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven, poke holes all over the top. You can use a fork, toothpick, chopstick, or cake tester to do this. Microwave half of the marshmallow fluff for 15 seconds. Then spread over the top of the cake. Place the cake to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- 5. Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the remaining fluff on top of the cake. Top with crushed graham crackers and chocolate chips.