S'More Please: Tracking the Sweets Trend

By Linnea Covington  |  August 9, 2013

S'mores have been a go-to campfire staple since the 1920s, but lately thanks to dessert savant Dominique Ansel (cronut inventor), sweets lovers have been pondering the question - are s'mores the new cronut? We'll leave that for you to decide, but what we can tell you is that fancy s'mores are showing up on restaurant menus around the U.S. as chefs are finding innovative ways of mixing up chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers. Check out some of these dishes in the slide show below. 

  • Credit: Alden Gewirtz

    S'mores Cake from Distilled in NYC
    At the recently-opened Distilled in TriBeCa, executive chef Shane Lyons has put together a crunchy graham cracker that sits on top of warm chocolate mousse made from a combination of Valrhona and Callebaut chocolate, which he spices with cayenne pepper and blackstrap bitters. Then, the dessert gets a scoop of graham cracker-flavored ice cream, a swipe of blow-torched marshmallow, and a sprinkling of golden graham crackers crumbled on top to give this deconstructed s’more a pleasing crunch. “We even made a graham cake that is smoked over hickory chips to give it that campfire flavor,” said Lyons, who added that this dish is an ode to his childhood.

  • S’more Brownie Sundae from Vermilion in Alexandria, VA
    Using the classic s’mores ingredients - graham cracker, chocolate  and marshmallow, pastry chef Tiffany Macissac twists this traditional dessert into a sweet masterpiece. “Vermilion is a very sophisticated restaurant, so it deserved a sophisticated version of a s'more brownie sundae,” said the chef. First, for the chocolate portion, she makes fresh, gluten-free, fudgy walnut brownies. Then, Macissac whips up a homemade graham cracker ice cream, and finishes off the treat with brûléed cherry lambic marshmallow. “I loved s'mores but I'm not a huge fan of straight melted chocolate,” Macissac said. “I am, however, totally addicted to brownies and wanted to get them all onto a plate together."

  • S’mores Kit from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle, WA
    In case of a s’mores emergency, we recommend you break into this brand new kit by Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle. Debuting this Saturday in honor of National S’mores Day, this package includes homemade graham crackers, a scrumptious bar of smoked chocolate, and house-crafted marshmallows. In honor of the mini-holiday, Martin will offer these unique kits for $25, normally $32, and is donating 10% of Saturday’s sales to The Girl Scouts. Now, all you need to make this dessert set perfect is a roaring campfire and a couple of friends.

  • Credit: Michael Tulipan

    S’mores Remix from Louro in NYC
    Because he grew up in a Portuguese household, the first time chef David Santos had s’mores he was well out of childhood and in college. Upon first bite the chef instantly fell in love with the flavor combination. So when summer started this year at his West Village restaurant Louro, Santos wanted to evoke the youthful memory so many people shared. “I want the fond memory of your childhood to run over you,” he said. “And at the end of your meal, that's one of the last feelings you have of Louro, something that makes you truly happy.” Hence, he created the S’mores Remix, a combination of graham cracker ice cream, roasted marshmallow pudding and a chocolate butter cooking crumble. To finish, he drizzles a little Valrhona chocolate syrup on top.

  • Campfire S’mores Milkshake at Holstein's in Las Vegas, NV
    Located in the swank Cosmopolitan Hotel in Sin City, you can find one deviant milkshake being served at Holstein's. Made with chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers, this decadent dessert gets its wild side from the addition of Smirnoff marshmallow vodka, a liquor that plays nicely with all the other classic s’mores ingredients. “Everyone loves s’mores,” said chef Anthony Meidenbauer. “Growing up, my family camped a lot and I have great memories of making s’mores as a kid. So, this is a take on the nostalgic dish.” Okay, maybe Meidenbauer’s reason for creating the item isn’t errant, but after you finish one, two or three of these rich, alcohol-infused treats, you might feel a little wicked.

  • S’mores Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes, Nationwide
    This special-edition cupcake doesn’t just pay homage to National S’mores Day, it also has star-studded backing by actress Blake Lively, better known as Serena Van der Woodsen from the show Gossip Girl. “Blake got creative and challenged me to make a multi-faceted cupcake for charity,” said Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson. “Together we created this graham-cracker layered, Belgian dark chocolate cake filled with bittersweet chocolate ganache and topped with a fluffy cloud of marshmallow.” Before they come out, the marshmallow on top gets torched to give it a smoky and toasty flavor, the perfect touch to mimic the campfire classic. When they first debuted the cupcake last year, the team raised $35,000 for Oxfam, an international organization working for social change. The bakery continues to serve the flavor due to its rampant popularity.

  • S’mores with Smoked Ice Cream at Talula’s Garden in Philadelphia, PA
    “The idea behind our s’mores dessert is that we really wanted to evoke those memories of summertime fun, like campfires at the beach or lake, or backyard barbecues,” said owner Aimee Olexy. And, she added, what better place to enjoy these warm-weather memories than in a lovely backyard, like the one they have at the adeptly named Talula’s Garden in Philadelphia. Take a seat and order your dessert al fresco, it’s the best way to enjoy the molten dark chocolate cake topped with freshly crafted marshmallow and crumbles of homemade graham crackers. The dish gets a twist with the addition of “smoked” ice cream, which gets its campfire flavor from the smoked cream they use to make the frosty treat.

  • The S’more Trifle from the Four Seasons Hotel in NYC
    Luckily, you don’t have to stay at this grand hotel to indulge in pastry chef Jasmina Bojic’s decedent dessert. In fact, pop in any time for a glass jar layered with graham cracker cake, homemade marshmallow, more cake, then a dark chocolate mousse, and finally, a layer of flame-torched marshmallow to give it that smoky flavor. Bojic came up with the dessert after executive chef John Johnson begged her to create something that reminded him of this classic and his childhood camping trips across the East Coast, Maine and Florida. “Campfires were a must each night, and on the last night of every trip we were privileged enough to make our own s'mores,” said Johnson. “What Bojic came up with is an amazingly layered light and deliciously rich ‘Midtown’ version of the classic.”

  • S’mores in a Jar from Renaissance Boston Waterfront in Boston, MA
    If anything deserved to be layered in a jar, s’mores would be it, and chef Richard Garcia of the Renaissance Boston Waterfront couldn’t agree more. Hence, the chef offers s’mores in a jar, a dish featuring layers of organic chocolate ganache and housemade marshmallow cream, both smoked, then served with fresh-baked graham cracker sticks on the side for dipping. "This dish is basically everyone's favorite summer treat, taken up a notch,” said Garcia. “It's a fun, interactive dessert, that even smells like your summer campfire." Actually, given the dessert’s easy-to-eat nature and no-mess sensibility, it would be a great idea to take on your next camping trip, after trying Garcia’s expertly executed version first, naturally.