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To the outdoor enthusiasts, summer sensationalists, and culinary adventurists that can’t wait to sink their teeth into another ooey-gooey mass of s’mores during the next bonfire, get ready to gobble up this article!
The classic trio of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker is a cherished combination amongst many summer-lovin’ folks.
It will forever remain a top choice, and we will worship its impeccable simplicity until the chill of autumn stifles the final embers of the bonfire flames!
While the classic version holds the No. 1 place in our hearts, we can have some fun elsewhere! We can’t help but think outside the graham cracker square with some unexpected new ways to serve this sweet treat.
Yes, we’re talking about fun and flavorful versions of s’mores here, that are all just as easy to assemble as the original.
So, all you fearless foodies out there, grab your campfire fork and gather ‘round!
Here’s a quick look at 10 s’mores makeovers that are sure to leave your adventurous family and friends lining up for more.
Top 10 Easy S’mores Makeovers for the Summer
1. Birthday Cake
Bang Candy Company Rainbow Chocolate Bark, available from Mouth
Start by replacing the typical milk chocolate bar with a white chocolate bar, or choose a swirly-twirly rainbow version, like Bang Candy Company’s Rainbow Chocolate Bark, available from Mouth.
And there are some really fun options for marshmallows, other than plain! To start, you can tint your homemade marshmallow with a bright food coloring and mix in some sprinkles.
Wondermade Birthday Cake Marshmallows, available from Mouth
If you’d rather stick with a store-bought option, you’ll feel so festive adorning your graham crackers with these Wondermade Birthday Cake Marshmallows, also available from Mouth.
For a fun spread, literally the icing on the cake, slather one of the crackers with a generous dollop of our homemade vanilla buttercream frosting.
No need to light any birthday candles here – the bonfire has all of the flames you could ever wish for!
Next up, let’s not forget sinfully sweet caramel in our s’mores makeover madness!
A touch of caramel flavor will add some depth and excitement that’s not found in the original, and there are a couple of unexpected ways to incorporate this ingredient in your favorite campfire dessert.
A generous tablespoon of a thick homemade sauce spread on the graham base is enough to transport the classic to a caramelized paradise.
Just be warned that you’ll create an even messier and stickier dessert with this delish addition – have wet napkins or towels at the ready!
But let’s not only think of what we can update in the filling… we’re eyeing up the cookie, as well.
Rip Van Wafels Dutch Caramel and Vanilla Stroopwafels, set of 12, available on Amazon
This small Dutch treat is a round cookie sandwich made with two layers of incredibly thin, crisp waffles and a caramel filling. The ideal size for a handheld s’more, these provide a playful replacement for the graham crackers.
3. Chocolate-Covered Strawberry
Lucky for us, the summer season provides a near-constant supply of ripe, juicy strawberries.
If you adore chocolate-covered strawberries, you’ll have an easy time making this version of s’mores when the strawberry bushes are basking in the bright sunlight.
If you aren’t growing your own – and you can find instructions to do just that on our sister site, Gardener’s Path – go to one of your local farmers markets to find the best produce. You might also live near a farm where you can pick your own strawberries!
When you have your fresh stash at the ready, all you need to do is thinly slice one or two strawberries and place them on top of your chocolate square before finishing it off with a toasty marshmallow. Or replace the chocolate square with a generous spoonful of warm ganache!
4. Cinnamon Sugar
Do you long for the taste of cinnamon and sugar toast, but with an even sweeter twist?
You’ll be obsessed with making our recipe for cinnamon s’mores all summer long!
Cinnamon S’mores – Get the Recipe Now
A few simple updates to the classic recipe are all you need – buy store-bought cinnamon graham crackers from the store, and just sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on top of the chocolate.
Everyone will be comforted by the warming spice of cinnamon combined with melted chocolate and marshmallow.
Our recipe is intentionally designed to be made indoors with your oven’s broiler, to be enjoyed throughout the chilly winter months or on a rainy day.
But don’t let us stop you from staying outside when the weather is nice! You can easily make this version as you would with any bonfire s’mores.
Want a jolt of java with your s’mores for the adults? Love that deep, bitter edge of coffee flavor?
Make way for chocolate-covered espresso beans!
We like to mash a few into small pieces and sprinkle them on our graham crackers instead of the typical square of milk chocolate.
The flavor is so well-balanced combined with the sugary marshmallow, and they also provide an extra layer of crunchy texture.
Dewey’s Bakery Brownie Crisp Cookies, available on Amazon
While they’re not too common in stores anymore, try to hunt down chocolate-flavored graham crackers for this pairing for the ultimate chocolate and coffee combo. And send some to us!
In the meantime, these Brownie Crisp Cookies from Dewey’s Bakery will do just the trick! They’re available now on Amazon.
6. Jelly, Jam, Preserves
Are you passionate about jarring your own jellies, jams, or preserves? Or maybe you have some half-used jellies sitting in your fridge, nearly forgotten?
Bring them all out during your next bonfire!
Spiced Blueberry Jam – Get the Recipe Now
A little goes a long way – just a small spoonful of your favorite variety provides concentrated fruity flavors to this summertime chocolatey dessert.
If you’re currently searching for recipe inspiration, we have so many homemade options for you to try.
At your leisure, peruse our collection of sauces and spreads to find something sweet.
If you’re interested in our current obsessions among those on this list, we can’t get enough of our spiced blueberry jam recipe, and we think our fresh fig jam would also be the perfect seasonal accompaniment to a classic summertime treat.
Looking for a batch of s’mores with some pucker power?
A smear of homemade coconut sugar lemon curd on one of the crackers would be delightful, and so sunny and summery!
Markham and Fitz Lemon and Poppyseed Chocolate Bar, available from Mouth
You can buy a plain white chocolate bar, or choose something more unique with extra lemony flavor, like this Markham and Fitz Lemon and Poppyseed Chocolate Bar, available from Mouth.
8. Mint Chocolate
Prefer the fresh taste of mint?
Why not whip up a batch of homemade candy cane marshmallows?
We melt down peppermint candies to make the base for the marshmallows for a refreshing minty flavor. And the kids will love seeing the swirls and twirls of red food coloring throughout the marshmallows!
You can assemble them with chocolate graham crackers or wafer cookies and dark chocolate.
Bang Candy Company Sparkle Peppermint Bark, available from Mouth
It will taste like Christmas in July… just without the cold and chilly blizzards.
What a relief that is!
9. Nut Butter
Do you love the taste of peanut butter and chocolate? What about hazelnuts and chocolate?
This idea is for all you crazy nuts out there!
Use your favorite variety of nut butter as a spreadable component on the graham cracker.
What’s nice about this type of condiment is that the consistency is usually thick enough to not make a huge and sticky mess – unlike caramel sauce or jam. (Sorry!)
We have an amazing recipe for a homemade Nutella spread, made with a delicate balance of toasted hazelnuts, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Big Spoon Roasters Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Butter, available from Mouth
But there are so many delicious store-bought options if you don’t have the time or the means to make your own from scratch, such as this chocolate sea salt almond butter from Big Spoon Roasters. You can buy it now on Mouth.
Following a vegan diet need not exclude you or your guests from enjoying this summertime treat.
There are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives to make and buy that don’t include any ingredients derived from animals.
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, pack of 2, available on Amazon
While traditional marshmallow recipes utilize gelatin as one of the main components, you can readily purchase vegan marshmallows. Dandies makes fluffy and delicious vegan vanilla marshmallows, which are available to buy in different package quantities on Amazon.
And there are many brands of chocolate that are vegan – look closely at the label on the packaging to ensure there are no animal-based ingredients.
Endangered Species Chocolate, set of 6, available on Amazon
Endangered Species Chocolate has an entire line of vegan and gluten-free options. Have fun with their assorted variety pack, available now on Amazon.
As for the graham crackers, you’ll also have an equal level of success finding a vegan option! Kinnikinnick S’moreables makes classic graham crackers that are vegan, and they are also free of gluten. Purchase a few boxes now on Amazon.
Kinnikinnick S’moreables, available on Amazon
You can also forgo the typical graham cracker and make our vegan shortbread cookies! They will make a crisp and beautiful base for your preferred fillings.
Tasty Twists on a Classic
Try something new on camping trips and at holiday barbecues this season, and make your own unique flavor combinations based on the above suggestions.
Let your favorite flavors be your guide, or be inspired by a unique ingredient you came across at the grocery store.
There are so many delicious things that you can create beyond the standard version that you learned to make at camp when you were a kid. So go forth, enjoy the summer, and feast on delicious treats!
Which flavorful riff on this tasty campfire classic will you choose? Don’t forget to share your favorites with us in the comments below.
If you’ve eaten the very last s’more, and are craving other kinds of fun chocolate recipes, we know you’ll enjoy making the following finger food delights for your next crowd-pleasing dessert:
- Chocolate Crunchies with Cranberries and Pecans
- Homemade Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Healthier Banana Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Buckwheat Cookies
Photos by Meghan Yager and Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Mouth and Amazon. Uncredited photos via Shutterstock. Originally published on November 14, 2014. Last updated on June 7, 2023.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.