On Monday we celebrated 7 years of marriage. That’s something to celebrate. We’ve grown A LOT in these 7 years! See, when we went through pre-marriage counseling our counselors told us something we will NEVER forget:

“You two are the 2 most opposite people we have EVER seen in our 25 years of marriage counseling experience. Good luck”

I was a whopping 20 years old at the time and thought ‘whatever, I laugh in the face of a challenge.’ Stupid, stupid stupid. Those first couple years were rough. Rough in the sense that we learned very quickly that marriage takes work. Give me a topic, ANY topic, I can promise, with about 99% certainty we are different.

He’s a night owl, I like to get up at 4 am.
I’m a runner, he’s a biker.
I like vegetables, he likes steak.
He uses discernment when he speaks, I well, I don’t.
I fart, A LOT. He farts about once a day.

Just to give you a few examples…

But 7 years later I can say, with confidence, every ounce of effort has been worth it. I married the perfect man for me. He challenges me, encourages me, and just loves me for who I am, with all my flaws.

My Bae, you mean the world to me, I love you with all my heart. Happy 7 year Anniversary! Here’s to another 57…

And to celebrate, I made cake. I combined a few our favorite things: s’mores, cookies, cake, frosting and cheesecake. Because of course, we don’t have the same favorite dessert. I like cake and he likes frosting. But between the 2 of us, the plate will be licked clean.

7 years means I need to make a 7 layer cake? At least that was my logic behind NEEDING all the layer.

Here’s what you’ll need for this cake:
2 brownie layers
2 cheesecake layers
2 chocolate chip cookie layers
5 graham crackers (this is one of the ‘cake’ layers)
1 recipe for marshmallow frosting
1 recipe for chocolate Frosting

A few notes about this Ultimate Anniversary Cake:

1. These are the best brownies I’ve ever made. I’ve made Ina’s Outrageous brownies. And those are delicious, but they are VERY fudgy, and are not a brownie EVERYONE likes because of the oober fudgeyness. These King Arthur brownies, these are the perfect combination between fudgy and cakey. And they have that shiny, thin crunchy top, like a good brownie should. Make the brownies alone, and bake them in a 9×13 inch pan, or divide the batter in half, like I did for this cake, slice it into wedges and serve with berries, ice cream and chocolate fudge. Whatever you do, BAKE THESE BROWNIES!

2. The chocolate frosting, it’s like the kind you scoop from a jar, you know the stuff. Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines??? Come on, you know you probably have a jar in your cupboard right now. But this is 100 million times better. It’s a similar texture and consistency: smooth, creamy, rich. But no fake chemicals in it, yea! It spreads wonderfully too. As I was making it I told my husband “I found the only chocolate frosting recipe I may ever use again. It’s so perfect, why try anything else?” I mean, I know I’ll try others, but dang, this stuff is truly to-die-for and easy also.

3. I have 3 cake pans that are the same size (9 inch springform to be exact). So I used those 3 to bake the brownies, cookie and cheesecake, to make sure they were all the same size round. I lined the bottom of each pan with parchment paper to make it easy to remove each layer. And then I sprayed the parchment with non stick spray.

4. Everything on this cake is homemade, nothing from a box (ok, the graham crackers, but shoot, I’ve made those from scratch before…) But to make this easier, you can make the brownies form a box, or buy jar frosting. But let me tell you, this won’t be NEARLY as good.

5. In case your brownies or cookie get slightly crispy, it’s ok. The frosting and around the cake will help soften them back up as it refrigerates and sits. Let this cake refrigerate for at leats 1 day before serving for maximum flavor results.

I brought this to work, like I do a lot of desserts, and this is the only dessert EVERYONE has complimented, people are even posting pics on their face book pages. PEOPLE, this cake will blow your mind!

Brownie
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownie recipe

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (I used instant coffee)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 round cake pans (or a 9×13 inch pan for a standard batch of brownies).
*Grease the pan AFTER you add a piece of parchment, like the note above says.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.

Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.

Spoon the batter into the cake pans.

Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool COMPLETELY on a rack before frosting or cutting (if your making normal brownies)

Cheesecake
1 1/4 pounds cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Put a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a springform pan, spray with non stick spray. Pour half of the filling in each pan Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temp down to 325 and bake for an additional 45 minutes.

Remove pan from oven, let cool 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of the pans to loosen from the sides; let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

***UPDATE***

I’ve received some e-mails that the baking time for the cheesecake layered has resulted in over baked cheesecake.  While I haven’t experienced this, try baking your cheesecakes for about 1/2 the time and check and see if they’re done… then continue baking if they need it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe , spread half of the batch in each cake pan and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until it’s slightly golden. Not TOO golden or the cookie will be crispy, and you want a soft cookie in the cake.

Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita
Ingredients
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled (I let it cool about 1 hour, stirring occasionally)
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (no need to sift)
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Process until the frosting is smooth.

Marshmallow Filling
Recipe from My S’more Refrigerator Cake

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

To make the butter cream, beat together the marshmallow fluff and butter, on medium speed, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low, add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat for another minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.

Assembly
Place one layer of brownie on a cake stand. Frost brownie with with marshmallow frosting. Place a cookie layer on the marshmallow filling. Spread cookie layer with marshmallow frosting.

Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom of the pan from each piece, then peel off parchment paper.

Place cheesecake layer on top of the marshmallow frosting.

Spread a layer of chocolate frosting on cheesecake. Layer graham crackers on the cheesecake. You’ll have to break up the crackers to make them fit. Spread chocolate frosting on grahams, then place the second layer of cheesecake on the chocolate frosting. Spread cheesecake with marshmallow frosting

Then place the remaining cookie on the frosting. Spread the cookie with marshmallow frosting and put the remaining brownie on the marshmallow frosting. Spread the remaining chocolate fudge frosting on top of the cake and on the side.

So it looks like this:

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to help it come to room temperature slightly. Because this cake is SO dense, when it chills, it gets even denser and takes a little muscle to cut.

Yes, I came up with cake all on my own. Of course I found inspiration from other sites (and I credited sites I used recipes from), but in the end, this is MY creation based on my husbands deep love for S’Mores. He loves them, with all his heart! I made another s’more cake, last year for his b-day. Not NEARLY as intense as this one though :)