S’mores Cupcakes: A Tribute to Summer

Between the ages of eight and 15, I went to a sleep away camp each summer. Whether it was for four weeks or eight weeks, I always spent part of my summers in rural Wisconsin. I sailed around the lake, made too many friendship bracelets to count and went on my fair share of camping trips (canoeing through Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada; hiking Isle Royale and the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan; sea kayaking on Lake Superior….just to name a few!).

My favorite part of camp, though, was sitting around a bonfire under the stars, making s’mores and singing camps songs. I know it sounds so cheesy, but camp is one of the things I miss most about being a kid. And now that this summer is coming to a close, I’ve been reminiscing more often about my camper days. So what better way to celebrate the good old days of summer than with s’mores cupcakes?

My mom and I have made various s’mores-themed goodies over the years, but these cupcakes (and cake!) might be my favorite. They use real Hershey’s chocolate and homemade marshmallow frosting, toasted to a perfect golden brown (anyone who burns their marshmallows is wrong!). Read on for the recipe – and fair warning, this is what I call a project. It’s pretty involved, but each step is super easy and the results are so worth it. I highly recommend them for your Labor Day celebrations this weekend if you want to impress your guests!s'mores cupcakes s'mores cupcakess'mores cupcakes


S’mores Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes + 1 small layer cake

Ingredients

Chocolate Buttercream

2 Hershey’s Bars
8 tablespoons (4oz) unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar

Graham Cracker Layer

1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

Cupcakes

4 tablespoons (2oz) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1.5oz) milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk + 1/2 tsp lemon juice (or 1/4 buttermilk)
1/4 cup espresso

Chocolate Ganache

1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Marshmallow Frosting

4 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Buttercream

  1. In a small saucepan, melt together butter and chocolate until completely melted. Stir together and then remove from heat.
  2. Cool on the counter for 10 minutes before placing in the refrigerator until solid, about 1 hour. Set aside.

Graham Cracker Layer

  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Drizzle butter into mixture. Mix until well combined.
  3. Press just under 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each

Cupcakes

  1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter until almost completely melted. Add chocolate and oil and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until combined. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a different bowl, combine sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Add in cooled chocolate mixture.
  4. Whisk in half of the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Add all of the milk + lemon juice (or buttermilk) and mix.
  6. Whisk in the last of the flour, mixing until just combined.
  7. Add in the espresso (The batter is supposed to be super runny)
  8. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  10. Once cool, scoop out the center of each cupcake (I used a small spoon, but you can also use a knife). Set aside cored cupcakes to cool.

Cake

  1. Pour the remaining batter into small layer cake pans.
  2. Bake 15-18 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Buttercream pt. 2

  1. Take chocolate buttercream mixture out of the refrigerator and let soften, about 10 minutes
  2. Beat mixture and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Scoop or pipe the buttercream into the center of the cupcakes.
  4. Spread a medium-thick layer of buttercream onto each layer of cake. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.

Ganache

  1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine sweetened condensed milk with chocolate chips and vanilla. Do not let it bubble – it will melt very quickly.
  2. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Drizzle ganache over cupcakes and top with graham cracker crumbs. Allow to cool.
  4. Pour ganache over assembled cake and top with graham cracker crumbs. Allow to cool.

Marshmallow Frosting

  1. Fill a medium to pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer.
  2. In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt.
  3. Place bowl over the simmering water on the stove. Heat, whisking constantly until eggs reach 120°F.
  4. Remove bowl from heat and beat the egg whites on high until light and fluffy with peaks that mostly hold their shape.
  5. Immediately transfer to piping bag and pipe big swirls in your desired pattern.
  6. Very carefully, brown the marshmallow frosting under your broiler for 2 to 4 minutes, until the frosting is golden brown. You can also just use a blow torch (but I totally caught a cupcake on fire with this method so be careful!).

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Recipe Notes

Refrigerate these if they won’t be eaten immediately – I recommend letting them soften before eating, since the buttercream will firm up in the fridge. They’ll keep for about one week.

If you just want to make a cake from this recipe, the batter will fill two 9″-rounds or 5 mini rounds.

Recipe adapted from Baking Mischief


How will you celebrate Labor Day?

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