Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Is it seriously almost September? How did that happen? The month of August has completely passed me by. The kids haven’t gone back to school yet here and the weather is still plenty warm enough so it doesn’t feel like fall, but I know it’s not far off. As much as I love pretty much everything about fall (the leaves! football! comfort food! apple and pumpkin baking!), I am still very much in summer mode, and intend to savor every last minute of it. Heck, I haven’t even picked a single ripe tomato from my plants yet. Surely summer can’t end before I get to see at least one of those green tomatoes turn red, right?

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

S’mores are one of my very favorite things about summer, and while Shane and I were making them at every turn back in June, they’ve been noticeably absent from our lives in the past month and a half. Coincidentally, I’ve also been slacking on cupcake baking over that same time period. I’m not even sure how that happened given how much I adore cupcakes. When I found this recipe on Martha Stewart’s site, it presented a chance to remedy both deficiencies perfectly.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

These cupcakes are out of this world good! Let me break them down for you. At the base is a graham cracker crust. It’s topped with a layer of bittersweet chocolate and then a fluffy chocolate cupcake. Atop it all is a sweet, billowy marshmallow frosting that’s toasted to golden brown perfection. It’s definitely more heavy on the chocolate component than a typical s’more, but it’s no less delicious. I loved the way the crust maintained a little of its texture and the chocolate layer remained distinct from the cupcake on top of it. I’ve made a few s’mores inspired cupcakes over the years but these are far and away my favorite!

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
from Martha Stewart

{Note: I halved the recipe without any problems to make 12 cupcakes rather than 24.}

Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Marshmallow Frosting
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cupcake tins with paper liners.

Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat briefly on low just to combine. Whisk the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla together in a large measuring cup. Add to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds then scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue beating on medium for another 2 minutes. Mix in the boiling water until well combined (the batter will be very thin). Set aside.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Use a fork to stir together until evenly moistened.

Add 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture to each well of the cupcake pans. Use a shot glass to press the crumbs into an even layer in the bottom of each well. You won’t use all of the mixture – reserve the remainder. Add 2 teaspoons of chocolate to each well of the pans so it’s sitting on top of the graham cracker crust (you’ll have leftover chocolate – save it). Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the crusts are golden.

Transfer the pans to wire racks, and fill each well 3/4-full with the cupcake batter. Sprinkle each cupcake with some of the remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return the pans to the oven and bake the cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to wire racks, and allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans to the racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Attach the bowl to the mixer. Starting on low and increasing the speed to heat, beat the mixture for 5-7 minutes, or until you achieve stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the vanilla.

Transfer the frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake. Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the frosting (be careful not to set the liners on fire!). Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Makes 24 cupcakes