s'mores mini cakes + instaglamp registration!

in the alternate reality where we never grow up and i am eternally a 12-year-old with crimped hair and a body glittered face, you will find me at summer camp near the canteen with a frozen charleston chew going into my mouth. and i might also be writing a letter home on hello kitty stationary or on my way to pick up a care package full of tampon boxes that are actually secretly full of red vines and cow tales. this is my heaven. 

idk, maybe it’s obvious from the fact that i sleep in this sweatshirt every night and watch wet hot american summer and camp nowhere as often as possible and devoted a whole chapter in molly on the range to camp and just about fell off the treadmill when unorthodox announced their summer camp episode but i am the most summer camp obsessed lady in all of the red river valley. 

which is why i am excited af x 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 to announce that registration for a **new** grownup summer camp is officially open!!!!!!!!

instaglamp is what happens when summer camp grows up, leaves home, gives away its juicy velour sweatsuits, and now instead of playing gaga and eating spray can cheese, it is into things like styling cute picnic lunches, cooking shakshuka by campfire, foraging, and posting all about it on instagram. all of the great campy things like s’mores and care packages are still there but these s’mores will have ~fancy~ marshmallows and the care packages just might be boozy. and the spray can cheese will get swapped out for cheese tasting at a goat farm!!! 

it will be held at firelight camps (just look at the tents that you get to stay in!!) and the counselors will be johnna foxmeetsbear, emma frisch, and me! emma and johnna are the best and we’ve been chatting and scheming for months now and have cooked up a schedule that is geared toward anybody who is looking to work on their photo taking, food styling, editing in both lightroom and mobile apps, and all of the fun things that go into building an instagram feed that you love. we’ll also venture out around the finger lakes to explore breweries, farms, and the ithaca farmers market. it’s going to be bonkers and i hope you will join us!

spots are limited, so head over here for more details and book as soon as you can!

to celebrate instaglamp registration opening, i made cakes! duh. they are s’mores inspired mini cakes that are made up of graham cake, chocolate buttercream, and a marshmallow topping that i torched with eggboy’s tiniest farm torch. i was inspired by deb’s s'mores cupcakes to put actual ground up graham crackers into the cake rather than hunting down graham flour, and it is such a tasty addition. if you don’t have a little torch, you can totally skip that step (but do add a kitchen torch to your next birthday list because torching marshmallow frosting is sooo satisfying). 

s'mores mini cakes

makes 10 mini cakes


for the cake:

1 c sugar

1/2 c brown sugar

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

9 large graham crackers (1 package), finely ground in a food processor

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 c buttermilk

1/2 c flavorless oil, like canola

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c water


for the chocolate frosting:

3 oz chocolate chips

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1 c powdered sugar

1/4 c cocoa powder

a pinch of kosher salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tb heavy cream


for the marshmallow topping:

4 egg whites

3/4 c sugar

a pinch of kosher salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


sprinkles, optional


for the cake:

preheat the oven to 350ºf. line a half sheet pan with parchment and set aside.

in a large bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. in a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and water. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes. let cool in the pan fully.

when the cake is cool, use a 2 1/2" circle biscuit cutter to cut out your mini layers. (to get the cleanest edges, i typically wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and then freeze for an hour or so (or even up to a couple of weeks) before cutting out my circles.)

for the frosting:

melt chocolate chips in a double boiler, set aside to cool to room temperature.

in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla until combined. add the cream and then with the mixer on low, stir in the melted chocolate.

to assemble:

stack up three layers of cake circles with a layer of chocolate frosting between them, leaving the top unfrosted and ready for the marshmallow topping. it's important to do this step before making the marshmallow topping since once you make it you'll want to pipe it on immediately. 

for the marshmallow topping:

in a double boiler fitted with a candy thermometer, combine the egg whites and sugar and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until it reaches 160ºf.

transfer the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high with the whisk attachment until the mixture forms glossy stiff peaks. stir in the salt and vanilla and then immediately transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a large circle tip. pipe large blobs onto the tops of the cakes and then torch with a kitchen torch to lightly toast it. top with sprinkles if desired.



firelight photos by: andy noyes, kathryn leighton, and allison usavage!