S’mores Cupcakes

The first time I made s’mores was on a Girl Scout camping trip – so cliche, I know. There were even campfire songs and ghost stories, told around the crackling logs that sent us shrieking every time a shower of sparks flew into the air. Not long after, we all grew up and decided we were too cool to go camping (ew, bugs!) and I distinctly remember the first time my Girl Scout leader made s’mores for us…. in her microwave! I was astonished. You mean you can enjoy these treats without having to brave the woods, start a fire, and find a stick to skewer your marshmallow with?!

Now, there are so many ways to enjoy s’mores floating around the blogosphere – s’mores brownies, s’mores cheesecake, s’mores cookies, s’mores ice cream, you name it… The graham cracker-marshmallow-chocolate combination is so quintessential to American culture, it’s like apple pie. Except I think these are more fun to make than apple pie, and they’re individual portions, and you don’t have to roll out pie dough, and I don’t even really like apple pie that much. Whew.

When I was deciding how to build my cupcake, I couldn’t decide how to layer it. I finally settled on this combination – you can’t really tell from the picture, but there’s a graham cracker base at the bottom of this cupcake, and then a chocolate cupcake recipe that uses melted bittersweet chocolate in addition to cocoa powder, which gives it a really different texture. They tasted heavenly right out of the oven. I filled the cupcakes with marshmallow fluff, and topped each one with a tiny graham cracker and piece of Hershey’s chocolate.

They totally taste better right after they are made, which I’ve noted in the recipe. Enjoy!

Recipe: S’mores Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the crust –

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 TB unsalted butter, melted

For the cupcakes –

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Ghirardelli)

For the topping –

  • 1 can marshmallow fluff
  • 6 mini Hershey’s dark chocolate bars
  • 3-4 graham crackers, cut into small pieces (you might need more in case some crack)

Instructions

  1. Center a rack in the oven preheated to 350 F. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the melted butter until the crumbs are moistened. Scoop 2 TBS of the mixture into each muffin cup, and press down with the bottom of a 1/4 cup measure. Bake for 5 minutes in the oven, and the crusts should turn golden brown.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy.
  3. Add the sugar and beat for two minutes, until it is blended into the butter. Add the egg, then the yolk, beating for 1 minute between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low.
  4. Add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
  5. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate, and mix it in by hand with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared molds. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are springy and a tester inserted in the centers comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pan to a cooling rack and allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them.
  6. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a paring knife to cut a cone shape out of the center of each cupcake. Discard (or eat) the cones. Spoon a generous amount of marshmallow filling into the holes, and give it some time to settle. Put another small spoonfull on top of the marshmallow fluff filling, and squish it down with a small graham cracker piece. Take a square from the mini chocolate bars and using a dab of marshmallow fluff as glue, place it on top of the graham cracker.

Quick notes

You should serve these the day they are made.

Variations

I didn’t have a chance to try this, but next time instead of filling and topping with marshmallow fluff, I’m going to roast marshmallows on my stovetop (we have gas burners) and place it right on top of the cupcakes when they’re still warm, then squish it down with half a graham cracker piece and chocolate bar. It would probably be less messy and would have that toasted marshmallow flavor.

Number of servings (yield): 24 cupcakes

Chocolate cupcake base adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan


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