When I think of summer I can’t help but feel nostalgic for a trip I took when I was in high school. A friend and I went up North in Wisconsin to her parent’s cabin for a week one summer. The trip was full of all the memorable things a summer vacation should have: Fishing, Swimming in the Lake, Card games, Bonfires and of course S’mores. That trip was amazing and sometimes I’d like to go back to the days when nothing made me more excited than waking up at dawn to go watch the sun rise and jump in the lake.
Anyway- these cupcakes are perfect. Graham cracker crust layered with a rich chocolate cake, topped with a fluffy toasted marshmallow frosting. Though I’d give anything for a verse of “Kumbayah” around the campfire, these did the trick in a pinch! They really tasted just as I’d imagined and I can’t wait to make more S’mores-themed desserts. I also got to use my Kitchen Torch again which was actually so fun! (If you don’t have one you can try toasting the tops under a well-monitored broiler.)
- 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 or chocolate chips
- 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:?
- 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 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 a medium sized bowl, whisk together to combine.
- In a large 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 a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove bowl and mix using 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. (Be patient- this may take 7 minutes or so.) Mix in the vanilla until combined. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with graham cracker segments (optional).