Monday, August 16, 2010

S'mores cupcakes

This past weekend we visited some friends and I brought these for dessert. Boy oh boy...were they good and received rave reviews from everyone!

These cupcakes really have it all. They start with a graham cracker crust on the bottom. Then a wonderful chocolate cake (Hershey's "perfectly chocolate" recipe) and are topped off with a homemade marshmallow meringue frosting. They taste rich, chocolaty...just like a s'mores, only no campfire required :)

I used my creme brulee torch to toast the tops. This part was a lot of fun. Then topped off each with a piece of chocolate and graham cracker. These really made an impressive presentation and looked like they came from a fancy cupcakery not my kitchen.

Look at that graham cracker crust....everyone loved it! I didn't add the bittersweet chocolate to the top of the graham cracker but the recipe was still fantastic with out it. The only change I will make next time is to only make half of the frosting recipe. The full recipe is listed below but it makes a TON of marshmallow meringue!

Click HERE to see the owner of Trophy bakery make these cupcakes on the Martha Stewart show.


For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I didn't have any, so omitted)

For the cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting: (I will half this recipe next time)
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down with the back of a small cup to line the bottom. Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts (if using, I skipped this). Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.

To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be very thin).

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full. Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 155° F with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with chocolate and graham cracker pieces.

Source: Martha Stewart


  1. Oh boy these look wonderful. The kids all agreed this will be our weeks-end treat.

  2. Anna and I are hoping to make these for our neighborhood bbq this weekend! Was it you, Maria, I was talking to about the kitchen torch ... finding fuel for it? If so, how/where did you find it?

  3. I decided to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond (where I had gotten my torch) and they had it. It cost about $7 and they showed me how to fill the torch.

  4. Ok - here are a few things from my experience with these amazing cupcakes:

    1. I followed the recipe exactly, including putting the layer of choc between the graham cracker crumbs and the cake. Because of that, I think, I ended up with a good amount of leftover batter ... enough for 6 more choc cupcakes (!) Because I liked this choc cake recipe so much (couldn't believe how moist it turned out to be!), and because I had some leftover cream cheese buttercream icing in the fridge, having 6 bare cupcakes was NOT a tragedy!

    2. After putting the layer of bittersweet choc in there, I've decided I don't think you were missing much by leaving it out, Maria. I think I might leave it out myself next time. With the choc cupcake and the Hershey bar garnish, I don't think you need it. However, if you DO decide to try the choc layer, leave it in the oven NO MORE than 5 min., or the choc will start to burn (whoops!)

    3. I want to thank you for suggesting making only 1/2 of the frosting recipe. It came out perfectly. I tend to prefer my cupcakes withOUT a mountain of frosting on them, and I found that halving the recipe was just right. We got the proper effect without a lot of waste.

    4. Because I didn't pile on the frosting, using a little half a graham cracker and half a mini-bar of choc worked better than a whole.

    5. The butane you lent me was precisely what I needed and using that torch was A BLAST! And it toasted them all so quickly and perfectly!

    6. The bottom-line is that these were a show-stopper at the party (people raved!); Anna and I had a good time making them together; and although the recipe involves a few steps, I would definitely make them again for the right occasion :)

    Many thanks!

    ps I can return your fuel to you on the 15th

  5. Vanessa-
    Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm so glad they were a hit!!

  6. How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

  7. I forgot to add boiling water at the end, and the cake came out like brownie. By the way, it tasted good, moist and a bit chewy.

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