S’mores brownies: Deeply chocolate-y, fudgy brownies baked over crunchy graham crackers, with a fluffy, toasty marshmallow swirl topping.
It’s s’mores season!
And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with this incredible s’mores brownies recipe!
There’s nothing better than a fudgy brownie. Am I right? It satisfies a chocolate craving like nothing else.
Right about now, my heart desires s’mores.
So these are baked over a layer of crunchy graham crackers and topped with gooey toasted marshmallow, swirled with milk chocolate. Heaven!
Table of Contents
- What are s’mores brownies?
- Special equipment
- How to make these s’more brownies
- Expert tips
- How to store
- A few more of my favorite dessert bar recipes
What are s’mores brownies?
S’mores are a classic American treat made popular by the Girl Scouts.
They’re usually made around a campfire.
S’mores consist of graham crackers, sandwiched around a toasted marshmallow and a square of milk chocolate, and they’re seriously delish!
This s’mores brownie recipe takes that and transforms it into brownie form. All the components are there, along with the addition of moist, fudgy, and deeply chocolate-y brownies!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these s mores brownies.
Graham crackers are traditional in s’mores!
Sugar adds sweetness (obvs!) but it also aids in browning and keeps things moist, since it’s hydrophilic (this means it loves water, in other words, it draws moisture in).
Regular white sugar is fine, or sub for another type of sweetener if you like. As long as it swaps 1:1 for granulated sugar it should work.
I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.
For a dairy free brownie recipe, use a plant-based butter that can substitute for dairy butter 1:1.
I like to use regular unsweetened cocoa here. It’s got the strongest chocolate flavor because it’s basically just cocoa solids, nothing else.
If you like the taste of Dutched cocoa powder, you could use that here instead. It will yield a much darker color.
Eggs are used in the brownie base, and egg whites are used in the marshmallow topping.
The proteins in the eggs provide structure to the s’mores brownies.
All-purpose flour is my go-to, but you can swap it out for any kind of whole-grain option if you like. You may need slightly less if you go that route.
A gluten-free flour blend that can sub 1:1 for regular flour should also work just fine, if you’d like to make this gluten-free.
This recipe utilizes baking powder to leaven (or “lift”) the brownies. It helps them to rise a little bit and not be too dense.
Baking powder is a double-acting leavener, so it starts the brownies rising both when liquid is added to it, as well as when it hits the hot oven.
Baking soda will not work in this recipe because there isn’t enough acid to activate it.
Baking powder has a little bit of that acid built in.
Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful!
I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine and that can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.
Vanilla extract adds a subtly sweet flavor without being at all sugary. The flavor of vanilla is very prominent in marshmallows.
Cream of tartar
The cream of tartar is there just to make the frosting more stable. You can buy it at the regular grocery store, in the spice aisle.
Or you can order it online here: Cream of Tartar.
And if all else fails, a few drops of lemon juice or white vinegar can be substituted.
You’ll use water to dissolve some of the sugar needed for the marshmallow topping.
Melt a little milk chocolate and swirl it into the topping, to make things extra-pretty and even more indulgent.
Here are the tools you’ll need to make this recipe.
- 9×13 pan: To bake the bars in.
- Parchment paper sheet: Helps make it easy to lift the bars out of the pan before slicing.
- Non-stick spray: So nothing sticks to the pan.
- Large mixing bowls: You’ll need one for the brownies and one for the marshmallow.
- Silicone spatula: Helps get every last bit out of the bowl!
- Electric mixer: A stand mixer or an electric handheld mixer, for whipping the egg whites.
- Small pot: In which to cook the sugar syrup.
- Digital thermometer: So you can know when the sugar syrup is ready.
- Brulee torch: Or you can run everything under the broiler to toast.
How to make these s’more brownies
This incredibly delicious recipe can be made in 6 steps.
Step 1: Line the pan with Graham crackers
Place whole graham crackers in a single, even layer in the bottom of your lightly greased baking pan.
Pro tip: Place a sheet of parchment paper underneath, allowing some excess to drape over the sides. This makes it way easy to remove your s’mores brownies from the pan after they’re baked and assembled.
Step 2: Make the brownies
For the brownie layer, start by heating the sugar, cocoa, and butter in a large bowl.
You can do this in the microwave or over a double boiler. Either way will work!
Get it nice and hot. The butter should be melted but the mixture should also feel hot to the touch.
Next, add in the eggs. One at a time, whisking vigorously to completely incorporate each one before adding the next.
Then come the dry ingredients. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
And lastly, the vanilla extract.
Pour the brownie batter over the graham crackers, and slide the whole thing into the oven.
Bake the brownies until they’re set around the edges but still very fudgy and even perhaps a little wet towards the center.
You don’t want to overbake these, or they might become dry as they cool.
Step 3: Make the marshmallow topping
There is tons of info on how to make the marshmallow topping here: Marshmallow Frosting.
Or, for an alternative, you could make this homemade marshmallow recipe. It will be a little more springy and not quite as gooey.
But for this marshmallow frosting, you’re just going to whip egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt together until foamy.
Then very, very slowly, add sugar until you have a stiff, glossy meringue, and fold in the vanilla extract.
Meanwhile, boil up the sugar syrup until it hits the 235-degree mark.
Drizzle it into the meringue while continuing to whip. This hot syrup is going to cook the egg whites and create a really stable topping.
Spread it all over the baked brownies. YUM!
Step 4: Swirl in melted chocolate and Graham crackers
Now here comes the fun part! Drizzle melted chocolate all over the top.
And swirl it around into a pretty pattern.
Then crumble a few more graham crackers on top for extra crunch.
Step 5: Toast
You can do this step under the broiler but keep a close watch! It could go from toasty to burnt in a heartbeat!
I like to use a brulee torch. It gives a bit more control and it’s really fun to use!
Step 6: Cut into bars
Use that extra parchment to pull the entire thing out of the pan, then transfer it to a cutting board to slice it into bars.
Get the butter nice and hot
This will help to dissolve the sugar into your brownie batter.
Really beat in the eggs
You want to aerate the batter a bit.
Once the flour goes in, you don’t want to overwork the glutens. This can result in a tough brownie.
Fold in the dry ingredients until just barely combined. It’s ok if there are a few white streaks. They’ll likely work themselves out when you mix in the vanilla extract.
Time the marshmallow right
Add the sugar in too early, and your whites might never get fluffy enough.
Put it in too late, and your meringue might weep because the crystals didn’t have time to dissolve.
Add it in too fast, and it could deflate all the air out of the meringue.
It’s a really delicate balance! But if you start adding the sugar when the whites are starting to look foamy and a little white and keep it going in S-L-O-W-L-Y (I’m talking like 1/4 teaspoon at a time!) you should be ok.
Aim for the sweet spot
When making the marshmallow, you’re going to slowly and steadily pour the hot syrup into the whites with the mixer still going at low speed.
Be careful it doesn’t hit the whisk, or it could throw hot sugar out of the bowl and burn you. Just aim for that sweet spot right between the whisk and the side of the bowl.
How to store
These s’mores brownies are best served fresh, but they will keep for a few days at room temperature.
After that, you may notice that the topping deflates a bit and may even start to have a grainy texture.
If you’d like to make the recipe ahead of time, I’d suggest baking the brownies up to a couple of weeks ahead, wrapping tightly, and refrigerating. Or they can be frozen for a couple of months.
Top them with the marshmallow, milk chocolate, and graham crackers on the day you plan to serve them, and toast up the top.
A few more of my favorite dessert bar recipes
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For the brownie base
- 9 1/2 (133 g) Graham crackers, (approx.), plus extra for garnish
- 2 1/2 cups (500 g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (129 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups (283.75 g) unsalted butter, (2 1/2 sticks)
- 4 (176 g) eggs, large
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla extract
- 1 batch marshmallow frosting
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, melted
To make the brownie base
- Arrange the Graham crackers in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.
- Place the sugar, cocoa, and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl,** and microwave in one-minute increments, stirring, until the butter is completely melted and the mixture feels quite hot to the touch (approximately 3 to 4 minutes).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt until just a few streaks remain.
- Stir in the vanilla, and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
- Bake until set around the edges but still soft towards the middle (approximately 25 to 35 minutes).
- Cool completely, then spread an even layer of marshmallow frosting on top.
- Swirl with melted chocolate and sprinkle with crumbled Graham crackers.
- Toast with a brulee torch or under the broiler, then slice into squares.
To make the toasted marshmallow swirl topping
- Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whip on medium speed until foamy.
- While continuing to whip, add 1 cup of the sugar in a very slow and steady stream (about 1 teaspoon at a time).
- Once the entire cup of sugar has been added, continue to whip until the meringue can hold stiff peaks.
- Whip in the vanilla extract, and continue to stir the meringue on low speed while you prepare the hot sugar syrup.
- Place the remaining 1 cup of sugar in a small pot, along with the water.
- Place the pot over medium heat and cook until the syrup boils and reaches 235 degrees F.
- In a very slow and steady stream, add the hot sugar syrup to the meringue, while continuing to whip on low speed.
- When all the syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed and whip until very stiff and glossy.