recipe image

Graham Cracker Layer Cake

Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Prep time
    25 minutes
  • Cook time
    25 minutes
  • Makes
    two 8-inch round layers
Author Notes

This past weekend I baked a very deceptive little cake. The recipe read like a standard layer cake (eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, etc.) and the final product smelled like a cake and looked like one, too. It was airy, delicately-crumbed, and slightly moist; it sprung back at my touch, just like a cake.

But then I took a bite, eyes closed, and tasted graham cracker. Was it magic?

I uncovered this brilliant bit of baking alchemy in some old Nabisco archives. The recipe promised a delicate graham cracker cake and I was intrigued. Full disclosure: I think graham crackers dipped in milk are the eighth wonder of the world.

Upon further inspection, the recipe is nearly identical to a yellow layer cake. The difference is that almost all the flour is swapped out for finely crushed graham cracker crumbs. I worried that this would make the cake leaden, dense, and overly sweet. When I considered experimenting with graham flour, I thought “Ye of little faith!” and gave the original recipe a shot.

The result is incredible—as in, you literally won’t believe how good it is. You get the exact flavor of a graham cracker in a light, tender mouthful of cake.

I paired the cake with sdebrango’s Whipped Chocolate Caramel Ganache because one, it makes me want to weep with pleasure, and two, I get to save some and eat it with a spoon.

Next time I make this cake, I’ll try a marshmallow frosting with a dark chocolate filling for a very fancy take on s’mores. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

  • Test Kitchen-Approved


  • 1/2 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups

    graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 cup

    unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup


  • 2


  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
  5. Mix in the vanilla.
  6. Add the flour mixture and the milk a little bit at a time, alternating between each. Mix thoroughly but be careful not to overbeat.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between your two prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes (or until golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides of the pans).
  8. Cool in the pans for at least 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely before frosting and assembling.

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