I was recently looking for a knock’em dead cupcake recipe for my coworker’s birthday. Originally I was thinking of a chocolate cupcake because “mmmmm chocolate”. Then I recalled the s’mores obsession. You see, there’s this adorable little bakery near work that we pop in occasionally for lunch. We never can just walk out of there without a little sweet treat. Especially since they just stare at us while we patiently wait for our lunches. The biggest culprit for my coworker, it’s the homemade s’mores. Gets us every time.
Wait a minute… S’mores cupcakes! That’s perfect!
As I clicked through the results I found that there were only two kinds out there. The jar of fluff kind and then the small handful of recipes that made the meringue from scratch. The homemade meringue recipes were all identical, so I’m not sure who’s recipe it was first. The recipe was also on Martha Stewart, but this one was just the prettiest pictures. I’ve made my adjustments to the recipe below.
- 9 graham crackers
- ¼ cup sugar
- 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 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, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 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 food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom. Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts. 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 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 160° 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 (making a huge mess). Attempt to brown with a crappy butane lighter, give up and use the broiler on high for around 30 seconds turning frequently (don’t close the oven door). Garnish with chocolate and graham cracker segments.
I found that I had a ton of chocolate cake batter leftover, so I made three crust-less cupcakes in ramekins as well as a mini three tier cake using a mold I have. The frosting process became a huge mess because I wasn’t paying attention to the top of my bag, which exploded out the top. Ooops! It was messy, but still delicious.
All that work and I quickly realized I had to figure out the best way to transport these without making more of a mess. We pulled out the half trays and a whole lot of foil to make a grid for each cupcake to sit snugly into. Pretty innovative if I do say so myself. When I got them into work, I realized how many I actually made and brought for one person. It was a bit overwhelming when we opened them all up for presentation. Well, at least there was plenty to share. Except, there wasn’t much sharing, more like hoarding. But hey, that’s probably what I would have done with these. Mmmmm s’mores.