Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Graham Cracker Cake


When I was a kid, it was always a fun night when Dad was making supper.  My Dad only had a couple of recipes in his cooking arsenal.  He would either make S.O.S. or breakfast for dinner. If you had a parent in the military, you are probably very familiar with S.O.S. as a meal.  It seems to have been a standard-issued military meal back in the day.  I won't say what the first "S" stands for (because this is a family blog) but we'll just call it "Stuff On Shingles".  It was browned hamburger with milk gravy and it was then served on toast (the shingles). That was my Dad's signature dish. And we loved it.  For dessert, he would usually make a simple, thick icing of powdered sugar, margarine and milk and he would spread it in between some graham cracker squares. Then pop them in the fridge to get cold. Holy Cow, we loved those little goodies! Dad knew the way to a kid's heart. And he had a huge sweet tooth like us!
When I first made this cake (found on the back of a Kroger-brand graham cracker box!), I couldn't believe how much it tasted like my Dad's graham cracker treats.  I had no idea you could make a cake out of graham crackers and it still be moist and tender. But you sure can, thanks to all those egg yolks in there.  This cake was a huge hit in my house.  It tastes like no other cake I make and I think it would be a super fun cake to make for your next potluck!
Ingredients:
32 squares (2 3/4 cups) Cinnamon Graham Crackers, crushed
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
5 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Icing:
1/3 cup cream cheese (3 oz.) softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F degrees
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

For a little clarification on the number of crackers. 
You are going to be using two sleeves of cinnamon graham crackers.
 It will be 32 of these little squares which comes to about 2 3/4 cups of crushed graham crackers.
 Place graham cracker squares into a large plastic bag, and using a rolling pin (or in this case, I used a flat and heavy meat tenderizer), crush crackers into crumbs.
 Mix graham crackers with flour and baking powder. Set aside.
 Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
 Add egg yolks, vanilla and cinnamon.
 Stir until smooth.
 Add about 1/3 of graham cracker mixture.
 Then add about 1/3 of the milk.  
Keep alternating graham cracker mixture and milk until it is all incorporated.
 Then stir in walnuts.
 Spread into baking dish. Batter will be thick.
 Bake for about 20-25 minutes (until toothpick inserted comes out clean).
It took a little longer than this in my oven, about 28 minutes.
 Allow cake to cool completely. Then begin making frosting.
Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth.
 Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
 Spread evenly over cooled cake.
 If you wanted to skip the icing altogether, you could just dust a bit of powdered sugar on the cake but the icing really tops this cake off nicely!
 Then sprinkle some crushed graham crackers on top of the icing (optional).
Slice and serve!
If not serving right away, this cake needs to be kept refrigerated (because of the icing). 
Enjoy!