Graham Cracker Torte

by jenna on November 9, 2011

I’ll admit, I had my doubts.

Buuuuuut, this must have been one of great grandma’s favorite desserts because there were about four different index cards dedicated to it in the stack. Some had the notes in fading cursive trailing off the card and one forgot to give a cooking time and temperature. Then, after digging a little further, I found a small piece of yellowed paper folded up with a complete recipe that definitely piqued my interest.

Monday through Friday I pretty much cook, bake and take photos all day long. I start early in the morning when the light is the best coming through the sliding glass door in my studio garage cottage and end when the light goes away…these days, around 4:30. Knock on my door any time from noon to two and you will get fed. And then probably pleaded with to go pick me up an iced soy latte from the coffee shop down the street. Fact.

After I’m done cooking, washing dishes, sweeping floors, wiping down my oven and picking dough out of my hair, I’ll finally sit down on my couch and pick something that I made to blog about the next day. That being said, I have a couple recipes made that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about yet. This, for example, was supposed to be Saturday’s post. I had a few things in front of it in line. But after I took one bite, I just couldn’t wait until Saturday to share it!

That happens a lot…as in every day. It pretty much defeats the entire system.

I mean, how genius is this torte?! It reminds me of this, only denser and nuttier. It’s hard to describe what it tastes like exactly, but think of what a graham cracker would taste like if it was fluffy and two inches thick.

Yeah, it totally sounds weird (why I initially had my doubts) but apparently graham cracker cakes were, like, THE THING back in the ’30s. The graham cracker cake layers are sandwiched together with fluffy whipped cream and then topped with an unusual, but delicious (!) caramel sauce.

Let me know if you try this!! I’m officially on team #bringinggrahamcrackercakeback

Graham Cracker Torte

serves 6

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

for torte:

6 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (a little less than two sleeves of graham crackers)

for caramel sauce:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup orange juice

1 well beaten egg

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp vanilla

1 cup brown sugar

for assembly:

1 pint heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325.

Beat egg yolks until light and frothy. Add sugar, baking powder and vanilla and continue to beat until very thick and pale in color. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gently fold egg whites into egg yolks and then fold in the nuts and graham cracker crumbs.

Divide batter into two WELL GREASED 9-inch cake pans and bake for 35 minutes. Let cool before turning cakes out of pans onto plates or a counter top.

To make the caramel sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepot and bring to a boil whisking the whole time. Don’t stop whisking or the egg will cook and curdle, which isn’t the end of the world (you won’t really be able to notice after you assemble the torte) but it can be prevented by whisking constantly until the sauce is very thick and boiling. Remove sauce from heat and let cool completely.

To assemble the torte, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Spread whipped cream between graham cracker layers and over the top of the torte. Pour on the cooled caramel sauce and it let drip down the sides.

**Great grandma says to keep the torte in the refrigerator overnight before serving but I didn’t see a need to do that and served it to friends the same night I made it.

Time:

2 hours (includes cooling time)

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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

RJ November 9, 2011 at 3:57 am

That looks delicious! I’m envisioning some sort of s’mores variation using the graham cracker cake…

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Lys November 9, 2011 at 3:58 am

I can’t believe you start your day at 4:30. That’s when dairy farmers get up to milk the cows. I only know that because I once spent a summer worker for a dairy farmer to get “cow experience” for veterinary school. Nerd.

Anyways, I’ve never seen anything like this! And how strange that graham crackers were “the thing” in the 30s.

I seriously can’t help but giggle (I’m immature, but I think we’re past not knowing this) a little whenever I see a box of graham crackers at the supermarket, knowing the inventor was trying to hinder a societal “my bad” with these things. Oh Reverend Graham, don’t you know people are going to do what they do?

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Jen November 9, 2011 at 5:34 am

Um…I’m pretty sure she said when the light goes away at 4:30 – as in 4:30 in the evening (not morning).

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Lys November 9, 2011 at 8:01 am

Oh, whoops! Well, that’s what you get for commenting pre-coffee. Nobody’s perfect, you know?

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Erika - The Teenage Taste November 9, 2011 at 4:15 am

HOLY YUMMMMMM! Now I now why you were tweeting about this cake last night. It looks so good! :-D

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day November 9, 2011 at 4:29 am

Wow.. that looks great!

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Katrina November 9, 2011 at 4:33 am

Holy freaking moley! This sounds so yummy!

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Janna November 9, 2011 at 4:34 am

I’m very drawn to anything called “torte” and I’m not sure why lol

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Molly @ RDexposed November 9, 2011 at 4:50 am

No shortening? Your great grandmother must have been out when baking this for the first time. ;)
I’m going to keep this recipe on hold for when I really need a “wow” dessert!

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alyssa - fashion fitness foodie November 9, 2011 at 4:52 am

I am all for graham crackers! I eat 2 everyday!!

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Sally November 9, 2011 at 5:01 am

Wow, this looks so delightfully retro, homey, gooey and perfect!

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Amanda November 9, 2011 at 5:06 am

I’ve been having a love fest with graham crackers recently. I randomly grabbed a box of the old fashioned cinnamon ones in TJs the other week and pretty much couldn’t stop eating “just a bite more” all day until they were gone. And they were gone fast!

I love the addition of the orange juice in the caramel sauce. I think your grandma was on to something! :)

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Molly November 9, 2011 at 5:13 am

That looks REALLY good. So sweet of you to cook your grandmothers recipes. I’m sure your parents are touched. By the way, I think it’s piqued not peaked.

Have a great day!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 9, 2011 at 5:19 am

This is such a coincidence, because just yesterday I was trying to think of a way to somehow make my own graham crackers, but graham cracker torte sounds like so much more fun! Caramel sauce too… my goodness, your great grandmother was one clever lady!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) November 9, 2011 at 5:21 am

i can’t imagine how this couldn’t be a favorite! i love the first shot too…as soon as i saw that i completely started drooling.

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katie @KatieDid November 9, 2011 at 5:23 am

My initial thought was that it looked like it might be a dry cake, until I saw the shot of it drowning in whipped cream and caramel sauce. Dry is probably the last thing this cake is! mmmm!!!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 9, 2011 at 5:31 am

I am buying graham crackers now!! Haha this looks great :)

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Nicole @ Giraffelegs November 9, 2011 at 5:41 am

uhmmm that looks amazinggg

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Crystal November 9, 2011 at 5:45 am

I think I need to move and become your next-door neighbor so I can help you taste test all of your wonderful creations. This looks fantastic! Keep the great recipes coming.

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape November 9, 2011 at 5:58 am

This sounds delicious–and so unique!! Btw–I made the chocolate peanut butter mound bars last night. Very happy I am bringing them to work, otherwise I would eat the entire pan!

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Jodi @ Southern Flavored Life November 9, 2011 at 5:59 am

Gosh; this looks absolutely amazing. So glad I discovered your blog!

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Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy November 9, 2011 at 6:01 am

This looks absolutly delicious!

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock November 9, 2011 at 6:03 am

Jenna, I would totally come to Northern CA to become your lil’ intern…I love washing dishes…ean eating! I’m serious – it’s something to think about! ;)
Now, let’s talk about this recipe. Woooaaa. This looks pretty much spectacular. I have a soft spot for graham crackers and this just took that love to a whole ‘nother level!

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Danielle November 9, 2011 at 6:12 am

I have to admit… usually I look at your recipes and have to stop myself from biting my computer screen but this… looks a little weird! However, it sounds like great-grandma hasnt been wrong yet!

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Cait's Plate November 9, 2011 at 6:18 am

I could DEFINITELY get on board with graham cracker cakes! Especially slathered with marshmallow and caramel!

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DessertForTwo November 9, 2011 at 6:31 am

My grandmother has graham cracker cake in her recipe box too! It’s about time I tried it out. Maybe I’ll scale it down to serve two ;)

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Hannah November 9, 2011 at 6:49 am

I think you meant “piqued” my interest :)

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jenna November 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

thanks! it was a pre-coffee moment.

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) November 9, 2011 at 7:00 am

Looks so good!

Glad to know I’m not the only one who pushes recipes in front of other ones. I think that’s just how it works! Some are amazing and others are good. :) This one looks amazing.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 9, 2011 at 7:00 am

Now that I think of it, my grandma always had graham crackers in her pantry when we were little. They are totally a thing of the past. I almost never have them on hand unless it’s for s’mores. Maybe I should change that…

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Maria November 9, 2011 at 7:19 am

Love this one Jenna!

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Amanda November 9, 2011 at 7:24 am

Ahhh that looks so. good. I have to admit that any recipe that calls for beating egg whites into peaks scares me away, but I might need to get over that so I can make this…

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com November 9, 2011 at 7:42 am

Wow!! Love the layers of flavors! And that caramel sauce?!? OMG!!

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Chels November 9, 2011 at 7:43 am

Oh my Lordy that looks delicious!

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Khushboo November 9, 2011 at 7:48 am

Graham cracker anything taste good…add in some butter and sugar and you know you’ve got a winner on your hands!

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Jen November 9, 2011 at 7:48 am

“Monday through Friday I pretty much cook, bake and take photos all day long.”

Best job ever.

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Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen November 9, 2011 at 7:53 am

If you feed me a giant slice of that cake I will show up with soy lattes and some vino in tow.

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jenna November 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

double fisting coffee AND wine? yes!

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Sweet and Savvy November 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

This is like heaven in a pan..

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Terri A. November 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

My mom always said her favorite cake was a graham cracker torte, but she never made one, so we never had any idea what it was. Since she grew up in the 30s, this is probably the cake she was talking about. It makes me sad that she’s not around anymore, so I could make it for her, but I will make it in memory of her.

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jenna November 9, 2011 at 8:35 am

such a lovely way to honor your mother!

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Caroline @ Between Your Ears November 9, 2011 at 8:04 am

OH.MY.GOODNESS. This looks amazing. I’ve never heard of a graham cracker torte, but I already know I’ll like it! YUMMMM!

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Tammy @ Palm Trees and Manatees November 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

I always wondered how you had time to do all that cooking and blogging. Wow, that is an early start to the day! Sounds like such a fun way to spend the day, though, and you do it so well. Your blog always makes me smile. :) Hope all is well, Jenna! Next time you’re in FL, we should get together if you have time.

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Annalise November 9, 2011 at 8:10 am

This looks so intriguing. Never heard of a graham cracker torte!

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Liz @ Southern Charm November 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

Oh yum!!! This looks amazing!!

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Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray November 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

This looks so good! That sauce? Ohhhhh my.

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles November 9, 2011 at 8:38 am

No. Way.

You blow my mind. Seriously. That should be in Architecture Digest.

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) November 9, 2011 at 8:54 am

For some reason I have graham crackers in the house at any given moment. Seriously. I don’t know why I buy graham crackers (other than for smores) but they have been used to making peanut butter chocolate sandwhiches, cheesecake base, crumbled on top of oatmeal and into a jaw of pb. Yeah. PB makes a big appearance with graham crackers. mmmmm now you got the wheels turning.

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kathleen @ the daily crumb November 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

i love anything and everything with graham crackers, especially a graham cracker crust. needless to say, this looks right up my alley! thanks for bumping it up in the queue :)

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Carissa @ ChoiceSustenance November 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

Mmmmm! I love graham crackers in anything. I bought graham flour awhile ago, thinking it’d taste like the crackers, but it really doesn’t. They were just fooling me! It’s actually a coarse whole wheat flour that just happens to share the name.

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Emmy (Wine and Butter) November 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

I love graham crackers but you cant get them here in the UK. Maybe we could make the cake but using ‘cinnamon toast crunch’ (which you can get) instead. It would be sort of like a weird mega-90′s twist on the cake!?

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Ashley November 9, 2011 at 10:16 am

Looks delicious. Does the whipped cream not need sugar?

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jenna November 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

nope! Well, at least the recipe didn’t call for sugar in the whipped cream…it actually went really well with the super sweet caramel sauce.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 9, 2011 at 10:16 am

Jenna this looks…spectacular!

I love graham crackers and caramel sauce and you have outdid yourself. I am glad you found the whole recipe and glad it bumped up to the front of the line. Thanks for sharing it, pronto.

I also like the details of your day and what you do and how you get it all in…because with the shorter days, photography is definitely trickier!

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic November 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

I love graham crackers – and with whipped cream and caramel? Heaven.

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cassidy gibson November 9, 2011 at 10:55 am

Yeeee-ummm!!! That looks SO, so good Jenna!

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Moni'sMeals November 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

Say what girlfriend! This is awesome.

So unique. I think it needs some shaved chocolate over the top and then viola!

:)

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count November 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

Oh, my gosh! That looks so good! Yum!

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Vanessa November 9, 2011 at 11:34 am

My oh my, I am excited to see what else your Great Grandma was baking back in the 30′s. This looks delicious!

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Joelle (on a pink typewriter) November 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

This looks incredible!! I love old school desserts.. and it’s made even better by the fact that it sort of slopes to one side haha.

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Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather November 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Your grandma has good taste! Graham crackers are my faaaaavvorite. This sound amazing!

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Gillian G. @ When Bread Is Broken November 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I would happily deliver an iced soy latte in exchange for a slice of this. Holy [orange juice?!] caramel, that looks good.

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Jessica Grady November 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

This looks delish! And I am going to try the book as well. Did you read Little Bee? Think you would like it. We read a lot of the same books. Also, Same Kind of Different As Me, if you haven’t read it is wonderful!

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Emily M November 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Oh, snap.
Consider me intrigued.

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Laura @mypurposefullife November 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

This look amazing! I love graham crackers, so in cake form, it sounds absolutely fabulous. I love the way you are going through your grandmother’s recipes. It’s such a cool thing to do!

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Lisa O November 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Apart from a gorgeous recipe, loved the insight into the daily life of a food blogger! Would love to hear more about how it all works, keep the little tid bits comin’ :-)

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Lynna @wholeytreats November 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I love graham crackers! I can’t believe CAKES made with them used to be a popular thing. See, this is why I love that you’re sharing your great grandmother’s recipes. I imagine this cake could be taken in a wonderful s’mores-like direction also!

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Charise November 10, 2011 at 6:40 am

Gaaahh. I LOVE graham crackers. And caramel. This sounds amazing.

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Jen November 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

My dad’s favorite dessert is similar to this, but a quick version. It layers whole graham crackers with prepared “dream whip”. You let it soften overnight. :)

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Tessa November 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I have never even heard of anything like this, but it looks amazing. Your great grandmother seems like quite the cook!

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Jen November 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Jenna, what would you sub for the nuts? My fiance LOVES graham crackers but hates nuts, and he can detect them in *anything*. I used to pout about it but now I just try to find substitutions.

Any ideas?

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jenna November 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Hmm…I would just leave them out all together! It will still be good with just the grahams :)

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Debbi November 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

We had the graham cracker torte for dessert tonight and everyone raved about it. There were four adults and three toddlers and everyone practically licked their plates.

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jenna November 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Awesome!

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Jamie November 14, 2011 at 7:03 am

Ok, so maybe I’ll get laughed at for this.. but is there ANY way to make this vegan? 6 eggs is an awful lot, and I googled vegan graham torte and could not find any similar recipes on the web. I’ve been on a graham kick since making the mounds bars last week (the crust was the best part!) This just looks so good, but I don’t want to lose my vegan powers! ;)

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jenna November 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

unfortunately not…I just don’t see how you can sub 6 eggs and a pint of whipped cream and come up with something even remotely similar. I’m sorry!! If you figure it out, let me know!

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Kelley November 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Hi Jenna!

This cake is in the oven right now and smells DIVINE. Thanks for sharing recipe.

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JennG November 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

Jenna – OMG! I am in the process of making this today for Thanksgiving to bring to my fella’s family’s dinner. (yikes!) Everything is cooling right now & then it is whipping the cream & putting it all together. So excited :)

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R November 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

Finally got round to making this. We don’t have graham crackers in the UK so I substituted them with digestive biscuits which I believe are similar. Anyway, the recipe came out great and the caramel sauce was a real revelation. Yours is becoming one of my go to places on the web for recipes. Keep up the good work or I may starve!

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Claire L December 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

My little brother and I made this for a gather with a bunch of our family friends. It was DELICIOUS! A few minutes after I set it out there was nothing left, and then my other brother quite literally cleaned the serving plate of all the rest of the crumbs, cream, and caramel sauce. I think if we hadn’t had company over, he would have licked the plate for good measure. Needless to say, we are in love with this cake! Thanks for sharing!

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Allyson Mcbreen December 25, 2011 at 3:44 am

I made this for our Christmas eve dessert. It was a total hit! It was just perfect balance of sweet and interesting textures – I’m looking forward to a slice with my coffee this morning. Now if only the kids would wake up! ;)

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Brianna January 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I’m a little late posting about it, but I made this for Christmas Eve dessert, too! It was a huge hit! The recipe is really well-written and I followed its directions closely – and even though I was intimidated by the egg whites –> soft peaks step – my cake came out looking just like Jenna’s picture! I was so proud.

Also, I agree with comment earlier – the caramel sauce was fabulous. The OJ gave it a citrusy flavor that was just a little different, but it still tasted like yummy caramel. I would definitely recommend this recipe!

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Jen November 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I made this and it was FABULOUS!!! Planning on making for Thanksgiving! YUM!

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