Enjoy campfire s’mores in this gluten free peanut butter s’mores icebox cake! The no-bake cake features a flavor surprise of peanut butter cream, along with layers of gluten free graham crackers, marshmallow cream, and rich chocolate ganache. Finish the summer icon with a toasty marshmallow topping for a tasty and pretty summer dessert!
Gluten Free Icebox Cake
First, what is an icebox cake? My layman’s definition is a dessert with layers of crackers or cookies and a creamy filling that chills in the refrigerator. As the dessert sets, the cracker/cookie layers slightly soften, which may be why it got the name ‘cake’.
The wonderful thing about an icebox cake is that is open for interpretation. Choose any cracker/cookie, any flavor of creamy filling, and any other tasty add-in’s you like! For example, try my lime cracker icebox cake or the pineapple mango icebox cake – so bright and delicious!
Which is what I did in my icebox cake version: I made it gluten free, with all the fixings for a summer s’more, and added a little peanut butter. Yum.
Everything To Love About This Peanut Butter S’mores Icebox Cake
- Iconic s’mores flavors – graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow. All the good things in my toasty s’mores truffles!
- No-bake summer dessert – because it may be too hot to turn on the oven!
- Variety of layers and flavor – rather than one s’more sandwich, you get 3 layers of s’mores deliciousness in this icebox cake. A layered dessert similar to my strawberry s’mores parfaits.
- Gluten free – but you would never know it.
- Peanut butter cream – that’s right, peanut butter mixed with coconut cream for a dessert worthy of its own post!
What You Need To Make The S’mores Icebox Cake
Ingredients and substitutions
- Gluten free graham crackers – I always use Pamela’s gluten free graham crackers because of the great taste. Use regular graham crackers if you don’t need a gluten free s’mores icebox cake.
- Coconut milk – The coconut milk is the unsweetened canned version. We use this in the peanut butter and marshmallow layers. Use dairy whipped cream if you prefer. Start with 1 cup of heavy cream and whip to soft peaks.
- Marshmallow cream – I recommend the larger 13 ounce tubs of marshmallow cream so you have enough for the filling, and to toast on top. Use my marshmallow meringue recipe and double it, if you want to make homemade marshmallow.
- Peanut butter – I use creamy peanut butter that doesn’t need to be stirred – such as Jif peanut butter. I don’t recommend natural peanut butter because of the layer of oil on top, it is difficult to emulsify, and may make the peanut butter layer oily. You can swap in creamy almond butter – again, no-stir kind.
- Powdered sugar – This is optional. I use it to slightly sweeten the peanut butter layer. Omit if you prefer.
- Chocolate chips – Use any type of chocolate you like. Semi-sweet is great to balance the sweetness of the marshmallow layer!
- Mixing bowls – You will need 3 small mixing bowls to create the filling layers.
- Hand held mixer – I love my Breville hand mixer because it has a digital timer on it!
- 9×5 inch loaf pan – You can make this in a 6-inch square cake pan. Or even a 6-inch springform pan.
- Small kitchen torch – If you want the toasty marshmallow top, a small, and handy, kitchen torch is a must!
How To Make An Icebox Cake
There are a few different steps to make all the layers in the gluten free s’mores icebox cake. However, each is incredibly simple! Refer to the recipe card for detailed instructions.
- Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap and parchment – This makes sure the cake doesn’t stick to the pan and we can lift it out intact.
- Make the peanut butter layer – Combine creamy peanut butter, coconut cream, and powdered sugar.
- Make the marshmallow cream layer – Whip the coconut cream to soft peaks, then add in the marshmallow cream.
- Make the ganache – Heat coconut cream in the microwave, then pour over chocolate chips to melt.
- Assemble the icebox cake – Alternate layers of graham crackers, peanut butter, marshmallow, and chocolate.
- Cover and chill – The icebox cake must be refrigerated for at least 8 hours for the layers to set.
- Quick freeze – An hour in the freezer before serving will make cutting the icebox cake much easier!
- Add more marshmallow cream to the top – Before serving, dollop on more marshmallow cream and toast with your handy kitchen torch.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Expert Tips For This s’mores Icebox Cake
- Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight – So the solids and liquids separate.
- Chill 2 cans of coconut milk – Just to be safe. I find the amount of coconut cream in a can may vary.
- Be prepared to use 3 mixing bowls – As much as I tried, there is no way getting around using less bowls. Only because we have 3 different delicious layers in the gluten free s’mores icebox cake!
- Use regular creamy peanut butter – It will mix smooth and you won’t be left with an oily peanut butter layer.
- Line the pan with plastic wrap and parchment – The plastic keeps the cake from sticking to the short sides of the pan, and the parchment helps to lift the cake out of the pan intact.
- Give the cake a quick freeze – An hour in the freezer will make slicing the cake easy.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator – The cake needs to stay chill to keep the layers intact. Plus, it taste better chilled!
Yes, this recipe is easily doubled. For a larger cake, you can use an 9-inch or 10-inch square cake pan.
I do because it isn’t the size of a standard-size cake. However, it will easily yield 6 generous slices!
You can. Just note the peanut butter cream layer won’t be as smooth!
It can be if you use dairy free chocolate chips.
Swap in 1 cup of heavy dairy cream and beat to soft peaks.
They are not. I’ve seen them on Amazon, in my grocery, at Target, and Walmart
I recommend a quick 1 hour freeze just before serving. For a longer freeze, the icebox cake can be frozen for up to 2 to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator.
Gluten Free Peanut Butter S’mores Icebox Cake
- For best results, refrigerate the can of coconut cream overnight. This causes the coconut solids and liquid to separate in the can. We are only using the coconut solids, and you will use the entire can for the layers of this recipe. Note: To ensure you have enough coconut cream for the recipe, I recommend refrigerating two cans in case one can does not have enough.
- Peanut Butter Layer – In a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup coconut cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Using a hand held mixer on medium-high speed, beat until combined, smooth, and fluffy – about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Marshmallow Cream Layer – In small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup coconut cream. Using a hand held mixer on medium-high speed, beat until soft peaks form. About 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of marshmallow cream and continue to beat until combined and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Chocolate Ganache – In a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup chocolate chips. In a liquid measuring cup, add 1/4 cup coconut cream. Microwave the coconut cream until it is just hot, but not boiling. About 1 minute. Pour the heated coconut milk over the chocolate chips and let steep for about 5 minutes – to allow the chocolate to melt. Then, whisk until combined and smooth.
- Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap – a piece large enough that it covers all sides of the pan. Then, line with a piece of parchment paper long enough to hang over the long sides of the pan. The double lining ensures we get the cake out of the pan intact.
- Assemble1. Arrange graham crackers so they cover the bottom of the pan. You can leave the sheets intact, or break them apart to fit. If using the recommended graham crackers in the recipe, you will likely use the whole box.2. Spoon 1/3 of chocolate ganache over the graham crackers and spread out carefully with the spoon to cover the crackers.3. Dollop 1/3 of the peanut butter mix over the ganache. Carefully spread out evenly to the sides of the pan.4. Dollop 1/3 of the marshmallow mix over the peanut butter. Carefully spread out evenly to the sides of the pan.5. Repeat for 2 more layers – a total of 3 layers.
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake overnight – for at least 8 hours. This allows the layers to set up. Tip: About 1 hour before serving, place the cake in the freezer. This will make cutting it into slices easier.
- When ready to serve, carefully lift the cake out of the pan – alternating pulling up on the plastic wrap and parchment paper, being careful not to crack the cake in half. Place on a serving platter.
- For a toasted marshmallow topping, dollop spoonfuls of marshmallow cream on top of the cake. Using a small kitchen torch, carefully toast the marshmallow. Slice and Enjoy!
- Prepare the Loaf Pan – I use the plastic wrap and parchment paper as an extra measure to easily lift the cake out of the pan intact.
- Graham Crackers – I find the gluten free graham cracker boxes have fewer crackers. Thus, you will use mostly the whole 7.6 ounce box.
- Coconut Cream – You will use the whole 13.5 ounce can. Be sure to refrigerate it overnight so the solids and liquid separate. For good measure, refrigerate 2 cans, in case one doesn’t have enough cream.
- Marshmallow Cream – I recommend the larger 13 ounce tub of marshmallow cream so you have extra to toast on top of the cake.
- Peanut Butter – I recommend creamy no-stir (not natural) peanut butter. The natural peanut butters will have a layer of oil on top and most likely will be too runny for the cake layer.
- Chocolate Chips – Use any chocolate chips you prefer. I like semi-sweet to balance the sweetness in the cake.
- Refrigerate the Cake – For at least 8 hours, or even a full 24 hours in advance. This sets the layers.
- Freeze the Cake – About 1 hour before serving and slicing. This will make slicing the cake so much easier. You can also freeze the cake up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator.
- Storing Leftovers – Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Beyond that, and the cake may start to get mushy.
- Substitutions – 2 cups dairy whipped cream for coconut cream. Regular graham crackers for gf graham crackers 1:1. Almond butter for peanut butter 1:1.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!