S’mores are one food that evokes so many memories of summer for me.  The combination of graham cracker, chocolate and cooked marshmallow take me flying back to summer days of my childhood at the big cookouts we would have with a group of family friends.  There were grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, pasta salad (yum), baked beans (yuck) and there were always, always bonfire s’mores.  It’s funny looking back now because I really didn’t like s’mores all that much then, but it didn’t stop me from eating them…anything for the chocolate, you know.  I think I’m just too particular about the way I like my marshmallows cooked.  Just light golden, not too browned and definitely not charred.  Since then I have found lots and lots of s’mores desserts I love (not to mention many more to try) that allow me to enjoy the classic flavor combo without dealing with the unpredictable cooking properties of bonfires.  These s’mores puddings are another to add to the ever-growing list.

This is a fun riff on traditional chocolate pudding, layered with graham cracker crumbs and topped with torched marshmallow.  The torched marshmallow on top is easiest to achieve with a kitchen torch, though I know some people like to use a regular torch from the hardware store.  If you don’t have a torch, you can achieve the same effect by using the broiler but this requires very careful monitoring and broiler-safe dishes (ramekins should work).  I think this would be equally well received by kids and adults.  I can see it being a really fun dessert for summertime sleepovers and would also be a great ending for a summer dinner party.  A few quick notes regarding the recipe – the original amount of cinnamon in the graham cracker layer was way overpowering, so I have reduced it here.  To be honest, I think the baking of the graham cracker layer is not entirely necessary.  Mixing the graham cracker crumbs with butter and sugar certainly enhances the flavor but if you wanted to skip that step and just use plain ol’ crumbled up graham crackers, I still think this would be a great dessert.

  • Yield 6 puddings


For the graham cracker layer:
4½ whole graham crackers (5 x 2½ inch rectangles), coarsely crumbled
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. sugar
Dash of ground cinnamon

For the chocolate pudding:
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp. whiskey (optional)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the marshmallow topping:
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1¼ tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 300˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  To make the graham cracker layer, combine the crumbled graham crackers, butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Toss with a fork to blend.  Spread the mixture in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until crisp, stirring once during baking, about 10 minutes.

  • 02

    To make the pudding, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt in a medium saucepan.  Add the egg yolks and whisk to blend.  Gradually whisk in the milk and the cream.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.  Allow to boil for 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, whiskey, butter and vanilla; whisk until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let the pudding cool slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

  • 03

    Spoon 1/3 cup of the pudding into each of 6 serving dishes.  Sprinkle each with some of the graham cracker mixture, dividing evenly between the dishes.  Top each with 1/3 cup more of the pudding mixture.  Cover each with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding.  Chill for at least two hours.

  • 04

    To make the marshmallow mixture, combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat, whisking frequently, until an instant-read thermometer registers 160˚ F.  Return the bowl to the mixer fitting with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until the marshmallow mixture forms stiff peaks.  Spoon or pipe the marshmallow mixture over the top of the chilled puddings.  Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the marshmallow topping.  Garnish with additional crumbled graham crackers, if desired.