While s'mores themselves are a rarity that I mainly consume in the summertime, I am still able to enjoy them all year round in cake form. When I was in elementary school I discovered the most amazing dessert ever at Kara's Cupcakes- their s'mores cupcake. It was my absolute favorite and still is to this day. Since I had leftover boiled icing from a lemon tart recipe I decided that it would be the perfect addition to the top of a cupcake. I don't have a recipe on hand for s'mores cupcakes so I pulled the components from various websites and ended up with this creation. I hand delivered these cupcakes to my brother, my aunt, cousins and some neighbors and they raved about how delicious they were. These cupcakes have the perfect balance of sweetness since the the boiled icing is very light unlike traditional buttercream frosting.
For the graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (~10 graham cracker sheets) 170g
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
7 Tablespoons butter melted (100g)
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder homemade or store-bought
1 cup milk buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil canola oil, or melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the 'marshmallow' topping (boiled icing)
1 1/2 cups (10.5 oz) sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1- Make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350º F and line 2 cupcake pans with tins.
Put graham crackers in food processor and blend until they are finely ground crumbs. Add both sugars and melted butter and blend again until combined.
Add 1 tbs of the crumb mixture to each cupcake tin and press the crumbs tightly into the pan.
Bake at 350º F for 8 minutes. Let cool slightly before adding the cake batter.
Step 2- Make the cake:
Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
Distribute cake batter evenly between the cupcake pans making sure to fill the in only 3/4 the way. Bake for 18-21 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely before icing.
note: (this cake recipe makes about 3 dozen cupcakes so if you only have one pan you'll have to wait to bake each batch)
Step 3- Make the boiled icing:
Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Stir the sugar to dissolve and begin to heat it over medium-low. Have a heatproof measuring cup sitting nearby.
Put the egg whites and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the sugar syrup reached 240 degrees F, immediately pour it into the measuring cup to prevent it from getting hotter. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, aiming for the side of the bowl rather than the whisk. When all the syrup is added, turn the mixer to medium-high and whisk until the icing becomes thick and holds a firm peak. Continue to risk until the icing is just slightly warm and very thick, about 10 minutes total. Do not continue to beat, or the icing will become too thick to spread and pipe.
Place the boiled icing into a piping bag and pipe an even layer on top of each cupcake. You can consume the cupcakes like this, but if you have a blow torch at home I would recommend torching the icing to get that s'mores flavor to really stand out.
Serve and enjoy!
graham cracker crust recipe from: Sugar Spun Run
chocolate cake recipe from: add a pinch
boiled icing recipe from: the Miette cookbook