This s’mores cheesecake is the best of both the beloved campfire s’mores and a creamy cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust. There’s chocolate and marshmallows in the cheesecake batter AND on top. I know, pretty freakin’ amazing, right?
I know for a lot of you, you probably associate s’mores with the summer. I do too, but for me, I mainly think of it as a fun fall campfire treat! One good memory I have growing up is when family or friends would have campfire parties during the fall season. Man, I love that fall crisp air with a campfire going! And you know that anytime there’s a campfire, there’s s’mores. I think they just magically appear.
what’s in a s’mores cheesecake?
This s’mores cheesecake has is rich and creamy with bits of chocolate and mini marshmallows. On top you add even more chocolate bits and mini marshmallows as well as bits of graham crackers.
The crust is made from Giant’s brand of honey graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. To cover the entire bottom of the springform pan, I used the full sleeve of 9 graham crackers. You’ll need 2 more for the top of the cheesecake. I have a small Ninja that I use to grind up the crackers into very fine pieces which I then used to mix up the crackers and butter (removing the blade, of course). If you don’t own anything like this, you can place the crackers in a ziplock bag and hit them with a large serving spoon to turn them into fine crumbs.
For the cheesecake, I used Giant’s brand of mini marshmallows and graham crackers and a full 5.3 oz bag of Ghirardelli’s Dark Chocolate 60% Cacao Squares. And speaking of Ghirardelli, they along with thefeedfeed, are currently holding a Summer S’mores Contest (ends September 4, 2018) where you’re to show your best s’mores and s’mores inspired creations made with Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares. And typical me, I’ve waited until the last possible minute to enter this s’mores cheesecake!
best tips for making a cheesecake
You can also find these tips, that have been helpful to me, over on the Reese’s peanut butter cheesecake recipe page.
- Paddle Attachments are Key-Use the paddle attachment with your stand mixer for making the cheesecake which will avoid beating any extra air into the batter. Having that extra air can cause your cheesecake to crack. Another key point with this—don’t over beat your batter!
- Buy Yourself a Springform Pan– Cheesecakes are best baked in a springform pan because the sides can be removed easily after it’s cooled (note the cooled part – don’t try to remove it before then). Trying to get a cheesecake out of a non-springform pan is just way too complicated and you end up cursing a whole lot. I speak from experience here friends.
- Wrap it Up– You’ll want to make sure your springform pan’s bottom and sides are wrapped in heavy aluminum foil—or at least double wrapped with the regular aluminum if you don’t have the heavy stuff. Having this extra later of protection will help your cheesecake from leaking. I haven’t had any leak yet, but this tip is always a good one for those “just in case” moments.
- Water Baths– A water bath is an important and helpful tip that can save your cheesecake from drying out, sinking, or cracking. Having one creates a nice steam bath inside your oven, like a little sauna, and all that moisture will help keep your cheesecake nice and well, moist. Out of all the tips listed here, this is probably the one you don’t want to skip.
- Keep it Closed– don’t be tempted to keep peaking in on your cheesecake while it’s baking in the oven. I’m notorious for doing this when I bake and it’s just not a good idea—especially with cheesecakes because you’ll let out all that nice steam your oven created with the water bath.
This s’mores cheesecake is an elevated version of the classic s’mores we all know and love blended together with a creamy cheesecake and a buttery graham cracker crust. Great for your next campfire party or book club night.
graham cracker crust
- 11 graham crackers, divided (9 for the crust, 2 for the top of the cheesecake)
- 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted
- 3 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
- 3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 3 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups Mini Marshmallows (1 cup for the cheesecake batter, 1 cup for the top)
- 1 pkg. (5.3 oz total) Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate 60% Cacao Squares, chopped and divided (reserve 3–4 squares for the top of the cheesecake)
- Adjust your oven rack to the center position and pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
- Using a flour-based baking spray or melted butter, grease a 9″ springform pan, then wrap the bottom and the sides with heavy aluminum foil (this is to prevent leaking when baking the cheesecake later). Set aside.
- Using a food processor, pulverize the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
- Transfer the graham cracker crumbs to a large mixing bowl (or leave them in the food processor and remove the blade) and add in the sugar and melted butter. Mix together using a fork or spatula until completely blended.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the well-greased 9″ springform pan, then place it in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes at 325ºF.
- When done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla extract on medium speed until blended.
- Switching the mixer speed to low, add in the eggs one at a time until each one is blended. Be careful not to over beat the cheesecake mixture too much though, which can cause cracks in your cheesecake.
- Fold in 1 cup of the mini marshmallows and 1 cup of the chopped chocolate.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into the cooled crust and top with the remaining mini marshmallows, chopped chocolate, and graham crackers.
- To prevent the cheesecake from drying out and cracking, place it into a roasting pan and fill with boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Carefully place the roasting pan with the cheesecake in the oven (middle rack) and bake for approximately 55-60 minutes at 325ºF or until the center is only a little jiggly. *See notes for alternate way to bake this cheesecake).
- When done, open the oven door a little and allow the cheesecake to cool in the water bath for approximately 45 minutes.
- After you remove the roasting pan from the oven, carefully remove the aluminum foil from around the springform pan. Run a butter knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake from the edges. Allow the cheesecake to continue cooling at room temperature on the cooling rack.
- Once cooled, you can loosely cover the top of the cheesecake with aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator to firm up overnight. If serving the cheesecake on the same day as when you baked it, allow for at least 4 hours of refrigeration time to firm up.
- Carefully remove the cheesecake from the springform pan (leave the bottom of the springform pan underneath the cheesecake), serve, and enjoy!
- You can choose to place the cheesecake on the middle rack of the oven and the roasting pan with the boiling water directly underneath on the rack below. Depending on where your oven is in relation to where you’re making your cheesecake, you may wish to place the cheesecake and roasting pan on the oven rack first before pouring the boiling water into the pan.
- Recipe adapted from Kraft Recipes.
Keywords: s’mores cheesecake, cheesecake, s’mores, fall recipes, fall desserts, marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers, cheesecake desserts
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