Smores Cupcakes

6:00 AM Elephant & Chick 0 Comments

This past weekend, I went to Yosemite National Park for the first time. Nestled in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is known for its granite cliffs, clear waterfalls, and expansive views. As we were walking around Yosemite Valley, we saw many people camping and roasting mallows over a campfire. That's probably one of my favorite things about camping - you usually have a fire every night, which means you get to make s'mores every night. I immediately thought of a recipe I made a couple weeks ago - the answer to having s'mores all year round (and not just when you're camping in Yosemite for a couple nights): S'mores Chocolate Cupcakes.

The concept is pretty straight forward: graham cracker crust, chocolate cake, topped with marshmallow frosting. I think my favorite part about these cupcakes is the frosting. It's a beautiful shiny white frosting that tastes EXACTLY like melted marshmallows! 

I'm not going to lie - these cupcakes are a little intensive. There are a lot of steps to the process, but I think it's totally worth it. They are the perfect dessert for summer parties because they are pretty AND taste delicious. Double win! Oh, and did I mention that they're MINI cupcakes?? Everyone knows desserts are so much better when they're in mini form (or maybe that's just me...).

S'mores Cupcakes
makes about 30 mini cupcakes

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 T. butter, melted
3 T. sugar

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 + 1/8 cup dark cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk (make your own with this how-to)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 t. vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water

Marshmallow Frosting
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar (maybe a bit more if you like it sweeter)
1/2 t. cream of tarter
1/2 t. vanilla
graham cracker crumbs

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine crust ingredients and mix well.
3. Press about 1 tbsp of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
4. Bake crusts for 7 minutes then remove and set aside.
5. To make the cupcakes, add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
6. Add egg, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
7. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
8. Pour batter into cupcake pan, filling about 3/4 of the way, and bake at 300 degrees for about 17-20 minutes.
9. When done, remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Then remove from cupcake tin and allow to cool.
10. While cupcakes cool, make the icing. Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a metal, heatproof mixer bowl.
11. Place over a saucepan with simmering water.
12. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
13. Using the whisk attachment, beat on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla.
14. Ice cupcakes and top with graham cracker crumbs, if desired.