These s’mores cupcakes starts with a dark rich chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker bottom and homemade toasted marshmallow frosting! These will not last long!
When it comes to a summer dessert there is nothing better than a S’mores sitting by the campfire. But then a regular s’mores has got nothing on these S’mores cupcakes. I mean chocolate cupcake, graham cracker bottom, and a marshmallow frosting? Hello summer!
This S’mores cupcake recipe starts with an easy chocolate cupcake, but before we scoop the batter into the pan we press a graham cracker crust into the bottom of each cupcake liner. The chocolate cupcake gets then topped with a marshmallow icing that gets swirled and toasted for that perfect S’mores effect.
Why You Will Love This S’mores cupcake recipe
- Tastes Just Like A S’more!!! – Without the hassle of a campfire! Toasting the marshmallow frosting is KEY to achieving that true S’more flavor.
- Make Ahead – I recommend making the cupcakes 1-2 days ahead of time, then frost the day of to simplify the process.
For the cupcakes: Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oil, milk, vanilla, eggs, and water.
For the graham cracker bottom: graham crackers, butter, and sugar.
For the frosting: egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla
- Cocoa Powder – Make sure to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder NOT Dutch process. These cocoa powders have different acidities and not react the same in your recipe.
- Milk – I used whole milk, but low-fat or plant-based milk would work fine.
- Oil – I used vegetable oil, but another neutral-tasting oil such as canola, corn or grapeseed would also work.
- Egg Whites- Room temperature egg whites will whip up better than cold ones. And make sure there is no egg yolk present which can inhibit the whites from whipping.
- Cream of Tartar – This helps stabilize the egg whites when whipping, but lemon juice or vinegar would also work.
How To Make These S’mores Cupcakes
Make the graham cracker bottom
- First you want to make the graham cracker bottom. I used my food processor to make this come together easy. But you could also put the graham crackers into a plastic bag and smash them into crumbs with a mallet or rolling pin.
- Then and add the butter and sugar. You can stir them in if in a mixing bowl, or pulse until it comes together.
- Reserve some crumbs for the top of the cupcakes before baking. Then press about a tablespoon into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven to cool.
Make the chocolate cupcakes
Then you want to go ahead and make the chocolate cupcakes. This is an easy one bowl chocolate cupcake recipe that I have used countless times on the blog.
- Combine your dry ingredients with a whisk in a mixing bowl.
- In a second mixing bowl combine your wet ingredients.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
- Add the boiling water (batter will be very thin!).
Bake the cupcakes
- Then go ahead and fill up your cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
- Sprinkle with a few more graham cracker crumbs and bake.
Make the frosting
Once your cupcakes are in the oven, it’s time to make the frosting. This is essentially what’s a called a 7-minute icing. where you heat egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar over a double boiler. Once the sugar has dissolved, you whip the egg whites in your stand mixer.
- Heat egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar over a double boiler. Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved about 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed gradually increasing to high.
- Continue whipping until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add vanilla and combine.
HEATHER’S BAKING Tip: Be sure your bowl is super CLEAN. Any grease or yolks can inhibit the egg whites from whipping up properly. Wipe your bowl with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to ensure it’s super clean.
Finish and garnish
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost the cupcakes.
- You can use a kitchen torch to lightly torch the frosting (I’ve also placed these cupcakes into my oven (set on a sheet pan) and broiled the topping but you have to be careful that they aren’t too close to the broiler or left in for very long. Keep a close eye! I finish mine with a Hershey square and enjoy.
More Recipe Tips
- When making the icing, make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before whipping. These will whip up better and faster.
- When making the cupcakes, make sure your eggs and milk have come to room temperature before incorporating.
- Use a kitchen torch to give the marshmallow meringue frosting that beautiful golden brown look. If you don’t have a a kitchen torch you can place the cupcakes on a cookie sheet, and place in your oven under the broiler. Just keep a very close eye on them!
Yes! Dutch Process and Natural cocoa powder are NOT the same and will result in a cupcake flop if you switch them out.
Cream of tartar is an acid that helps to stabilize the egg whites and prevent them overbeating. So it’s a pretty essential ingredient. Because it’s an acid, lemon juice or vinegar can be used instead.
Don’t worry. Neither did I the first time I made these cupcakes. You can just the broiler in your oven.
Put the cupcakes on a cookie sheet and place them a safe distance. They will only need to be under the broiler for a minute or two so keep a close eye
These cupcakes will keep for up to 2 days covered at room temperature.
Because of the frosting I don’t recommend freezing. But you could make the cupcakes ahead of time, and freeze for up to 3 months and thaw at room temperature and frost.
More Recipes To Try
For the graham cracker bottom
- 3 cups (426 g) graham crackers (crushed) (about 2 packages)
- 2/3 cup (10 2/3 Tbs. or 150 g) unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
For the cupcakes
- 2 cups (394 g) granulated white sugar
- 1 3/4 cups (210 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (63 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup (240 mL) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 mL) boiling water
For the frosting
- 8 large egg whites room temperature
- 2 cups (394 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 36 Hershey chocolate squares
Make the graham cracker bottom
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
- Place graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
- Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
- Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
Make the cupcakes
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- In a second mixing bowl bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.
- Add to flour mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add boiling water and stir to combine. Mixture will be thin.
- Fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle each with remaining graham cracker mixture.
- Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
Make the frosting
- Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, or 160F, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.
- Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip (such as Ateco #867 or Ateco #809). Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners.
- Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners.
- Garnish with a Hershey's square (optional but delicious!)
- Cocoa powder: Natural and Dutch process cocoa are not the same and should not be used interchangeably.
- Cream of tartar: This helps to stabilize the egg whites but lemon juice or vinegar could also be used.
- Clean bowl: Make sure your bowl for the frosting is very clean! Wipe it down with lemon juice or vinegar before you begin.
- Torching the cupcakes: I used a kitchen torch but you could also place these on a sheet pan and place in your oven and broil until toasted. Keep an eye on them and do not place them too close to the broiler!
- Make ahead/storage: Store these for up to 2 days covered at room temperature
- Freezing: I do not recommend freezing with the frosting. Make the cupcakes and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature then frost.