Sunday, October 17, 2010

Even More Fun with Fire (S'mores Cupcakes)

S'mores Cupcakes
S'mores are one of my all-time top desserts, as I've mentioned before, and all variations of them I find immediately go on my to-bake list. Most of my camping trips have been during the fall. So with the gorgeous autumn weather and colors surrounding us, these childhood favorites have been on my mind. Thus when Beantown Baker posted these mouth-watering photos of s'mores cupcakes, I was sure they wouldn't remain unmade for long.

Naked S'mores Cupcakes
Turns out I was right. These were just the thing to celebrate the recent birthday of my friend, Richard, who shares my love of s'mores. If you've ever stopped by this blog before, you know that I've baked my share of cupcakes. So you'll also know I mean serious business when I tell you these are some of the most scrumptious cupcakes I've ever baked or even tasted.

Just imagine: moist chocolate cake sandwiched between flavorful graham cracker crust layers and even more chocolate chunks. The best part, though, is the toasted marshmallow frosting that becomes delightfully gooey at first bite. So what are you waiting for? I hope I've convinced you to break out your torch and have some fun already!

S'mores Cupcake
S'mores Cupcakes [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Trophy Cupcakes via Lovin in the Oven and Beantown Baker
Makes 18 cupcakes

XIAOLU’S NOTES: You can use the food processor to make graham cracker crumbs or just throw the cookies into a plastic bag and bash away with a rolling pin or heavy bottle as I did here.

1 cup MINUS 2 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs (from 15 to 17 squares)
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
5 to 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

3/4 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp flour
7 Tbsp cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

Marshmallow Frosting (Recipe below)
Extra chocolate or graham cracker pieces, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners; set aside. Place the graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Place scant (just under 1 tablespoon each) tablespoons of the graham cracker mixture prepared earlier 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. Place 2 teaspoons of chocolate in each muffin cup. Set pan aside.

Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl. Mix these together until evenly combined. In a separate large bowl, mix together the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.

Transfer the muffin pans prepared earlier to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with the remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin pans to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.

Transfer marshmallow frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round, star, or French tip. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet or other heatproof surface. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion onto each cupcake. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Top each cupcake with a piece of chocolate or graham cracker, if desired. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Marshmallow Frosting
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water, making sure the water is not high enough to touch the bowl. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 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.


  1. I have to agree. These are some of the best cupcakes I've made as well!

  2. Xiaolu, I have been waiting for your post..:) And this is a treat! But you know what, we don't Graham crackers in Singapore..hard to believe,right?

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Jen!

    Shirley, sorry to hear that but if you ever wanna try graham crackers plain or use it to make other treats, here is a fairly simple homemade recipe:

  4. Pretty styling, I really like it !

    Your marshmallow frosting is simply irresistible.

  5. I was wondering where have you been and you come back with a BANG :-)
    Love the recipe and as usual gorgeous photographs!

  6. Fantastic photos. I love what you did with them. Amazing and gorgeous!

  7. AH i made these before! definitely one of the best i've made mmmm good memories :)

  8. It looks so dense and moist! I mean seriously - this is one of the best looking cupcakes I've seen and your photography is gorgeous. Question - why can't you use dutch processed cocoa?

  9. elra - thx! glad you like it :).

    Prerna - aw I appreciate your compliments and your noticing my absence. My health has been down but is getting better bit by bit.

    El - :).

    Michelle - Ah I looked back through your blog and found it. I didn't realize the recipe was on Martha's site too. Guess you can't share a good thing enough :).

    Trissa - I'm blushing! That's such a great compliment from you. Thanks!! As for the cocoa, Dutch-process cocoa is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids. So I'm guessing that you want to use the more acidic natural cocoa in order to react with the baking soda in the recipe. Natural cocoa is also supposed to have a more bitter, intense flavor than Dutch-process which I assume the original recipe wanted.

  10. This is PRECISELY why I need a kitchen torch. Firstly to burn all my textbooks with. Secondly to make oodles and oodles of these cupcakes.

    Beautiful pictures!

  11. An awesome idea! Those cupcakes look divine and have lovely fall colors!



  12. Holy crap! I think I died and went to cupcake hEaven!

  13. wow, your styling skill is getting better and better! looks so good!

  14. Beautiful shots! Just love the autumn theme and the inverted cake tin is brilliant...

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  15. Your cupcakes are toooo much. I cannot handle how good they ALWAYS look! Amazing amazing amazing. On top of that....I loooove s'mores, too!

  16. I like the second view from the top even more! The cake is quite easy to veganize, though I will have to do without the marshmallow frosting. Very nice and doable recipe!

  17. Pretty shots ^____^ the chocolate on top is a great idea!

  18. this is yummilicious! great flavour and great photos! who can say no to S'mores, just need a campfire to sit by as you chomp down on this with a glass of milk.

  19. Soooooooooo gorgeous!!

    I wanna give this a try. Given how much i love meringue on my cake, this is a MUST!

  20. Welcome back. Those cupcakes look amazing!! I reallly wish I had a kitchen torch :(

  21. Oh, your photos are absolutely stunning! What a great photographer you are.

    Love this recipe and will bookmark it. I think I need to start a file of recipes that I can use my new torch with. : )

  22. I am sooo making these! Maybe for my birthday, next month. They are mouthwatering, sweetie - but all of your posts are! :D

  23. Oh, are those beautiful or what?! Both in photo styling and in decoration, of course. I just made a s'mores inspired dessert as well, so there must be something in the air that calls for it! Happy to see someone else shares my enthusiasm for this killer combo. :)

  24. Hey!! These look absolutely delicious!!!

    Greets from BFC!!!

  25. These look so professional and beautiful! Really well done.

  26. These look phenomenal!!!! Great job!!! Saving this!

  27. Great photo. I will still have yet to make this cupcake and can't wait to now.

  28. Oooh, would love to sit around a campfire eating a few of these cupcakes. ;)

  29. I love Trophy cupcakes recipes. Have you tried their Wild Blueberry Cupcakes, they are also to die for. They really need to come out with a cookbook. Your S'more cupcakes really do look beautiful.

  30. Your smores cupcakes are so so so so AWESOME! And they look gorgeous! I wish I can have one right NOW!

  31. Mmmmm these cupcakes look so delicious. I have to admit I've never had smores before (not something that's popular in Australia) but I will have to rectify that with these cupcakes. Delicious!!!

  32. Those look and sound incredible!!! I will HAVE to make these one day...great use for the torch too.

  33. Joanne - hahah. you never fail to crack me up, girl :).
    Rosa - thx!
    Chanel11 - aw glad you like 'em.
    Yue Edwards - you're too sweet! i have been making an effort with styling though sometimes I just wanna click once and get on with the eating 8).
    Kris Ngoei - thank ya!
    Koko - glad others share my love :).
    Harini - good to hear you can easily modify these. I bet you could make a vegan version with rice fluff or toasting some store-bought vegan marshmallows.
    Mei - :)
    diva - mm yes a tall glass of milk is a must!
    maameemoomoo - yes please do try it. the frosting is divine.
    Avanika - thanks. the smaller torches aren't really that pricey. I'd love to see what you make with it :).
    Michelle - Aw thanks, girl!
    Patricia - Happy early birthday. These were a big hit so I'd definitely recommend them for any special occasion.
    Hannah - hehe great minds...
    bigFATcook - thanks!
    Brittany - I appreciate it :).
    Jennifer - thank you.
    bakersroyale - it's definitely worth the effort. wish I had kept some for myself hehe.
    Carolyn Jung - that would me nice, wouldn't it?
    Nicole - thanks for the suggestion! just hopped over to your blog and saw the berry cupcakes. they look awesome.
    briarrose - :).
    Just Cake girl - thx!
    tigerfish - I'd make you some if you were closer 8).
    delicieux - woah that's a shame. I bet you guys can't get graham crackers either. Hope you get to try them one day :).
    Indie.Tea - hope you do. you'll love 'em I promise.

  34. It's time to buy a torch. These look too good to not make!

  35. The food styling is stunning. These look amazing

  36. I think I've said this before about a millon times Xiaolu, but you are so talented! Not only these cupcakes, but the composition of these shots are just awesome.


  37. wow You are a food stylist! These cupcakes look second to none!

  38. These look amazing, even though I basically have no idea what a S'more is! One of my colleagues tried one recently when he was at Cold Spring Harbour for a workshop recently and he said they were pretty good, but wow, these cupcakes look good enough for me to want to try making them even if I have no idea what the finished product is supposed to be like! Going to have to figure out an equivalent to Graham crackers, though. I ended up looking them up on Wikipedia at one stage because they seem to be used so much in recipes I see on Foodgawker or Tastespotting, so I think I've got a rough idea of what I could use as a substitute.

  39. Your cupcakes look gorgeous!! Perfect for the Fall! Love love love your photography. Always stunning!

  40. How did you get the marshmallow to look so amazing?!?!? Wow. This is a dream :)
    Heidi xo

  41. *sigh* gorgeous cupcake flavours and just absolutely gorgeous styling! You really bring it to every post! :D

  42. Oh my! What amazingly decadent cupcakes, yum! And your photos are so very beautiful, love the colours and styling, so pretty!!

  43. smalltownoven - you totally should! trust me, it's so fun to wield it XD.

    WizzyTheStick - thx, girl!

    Laura - you're too kind :).

    Angie - I think I just lucked out finding some good branches and leaves near my apartment. Thanks!

    Jess - Oops! I totally forgot to explain what s'mores are for my non-American readers. My bad. Well as I said above, there're good recipes for making your own graham crackers online. Knowing you, I'd love to see what amazing rendition you'd come up with. S'more velvet cupcakes? ;)

    Ellie - :).

    Heidi - I just piped the frosting on with a large open star tip then toasted with the torch. Glad you like 'em!

    Lorraine - Thanks, girl! I do try to give things my all.

    edith - Glad you stopped by!

    Trudy - Thank ya.

  44. marshmallow frosting? masterful. really, the whole concept is ingenious--well done!

  45. Xiaolu, the cupcakes are the marshmallow on top. The photos are great!

  46. What beautiful cupcakes! these sound amazing!

  47. I came across this last night and knew that I'd be making them today. They looked too good to NOT make them immediately. Mine turned out fantastic. Couldn't get my torch to work though, so I stuck them in the oven under the broiler to toast the marshmallow. Worked beautifully! And I must say, these cupcakes are sooooooo good!! Definitely have a glass of milk close by! :)

  48. YUM! Who doesn't love smores?!

  49. This has everything my gals would love. And only you can make the cupcakes look so elegant!

  50. Gotta love playin with fire. Especially when the result is amazing cupcakes like these. They seriously look awesome!!!

  51. Oh smores, how I love them and I didn't have a single one this year. I believe you that you "mean business" because these look wonderful! xo

  52. This is my absolute favorite chocolate cupcake recipe! Last time I baked these, I got 9 cupcakes and ate ... EIGHT of them! I'm still walking around with the shame.

  53. grace - yep! and it's soooo good :).

    Juliana - thx, girl!

    Dimah - glad you like them :).

    Cathy - thanks so much for reporting back. I'm so happy they turned out as well for you as they did for me. the tip about having milk nearby is a great one. i shoulda mentioned it 8).

    Miss. Tarrah Dame - Mmm I remember those bars. They're awesome and delicious.

    Soma - aw you're too sweet!

    Eliana - thanks. I sure had a blast making them (pun intended tehehe).

    Robin - aww it's too bad you haven't had any this year. I haven't had any real campfire ones either but I put my toaster oven to good use :).

    Danielle - Haha sounds like a familiar story. Don't worry, I did that a lot before I learned to start sharing my goods with my (or my bf's) coworkers.

  54. Very nice cupcakes and love the colours and composition!

  55. Torched to tempting perfection...oh boy! These look so good! Beautiful pictures too!

  56. Brilliant. I love smores. I had thought about making a smores pie, but cupcakes seems like a great idea.

  57. You always have such beautiful pics! and just noticed the ferrero rocher ones! omg!! genious!

  58. oh wow, these look insanely delicious! amazing recipe.:)

  59. OMG! This looks so yummy! I can't wait to try to bake this over the weekend. Thanks for the receipe. Have a yummy day!

  60. Not only are the photos and cupcakes gorgeous but your description of the marshmallow frosting makes me want to have one asap!!

  61. Lovely-congratulations on your DMBLGiT win!

  62. Thanks a lot, Lynne! I'm really excited :).

  63. Hello there dear Xiaolu,
    Sharnee here from Tassiw, Australia just popped on over from The Red Deer blog! WOW these cup-cakes sure have a rating and congrat's too on the AMAZING pic you took of them!!! OUTSTANDING!! REALLY!!! So you've probably had Aussie's ask about these but I'll again.... can I make these?? What other biscuits can i use instead of the graham crackers???? Love to hear from you!
    Have a super day and thanks for a fabbo blog! LOVE IT!
    SMiles Sharnee :)

  64. Hi Sharnee! Welcome and thanks for your kind words :). In terms of replacing the graham crackers in this recipe, digestive biscuits are probably the closest storebought replacement although the flavor will be somewhat different. If you're willing to go so far, here is a fairly simple recipe for making graham crackers at home: Hope that helps and please let me know if you end up making these and how you like them!

  65. I can`t stop looking at this! It`s absolutely divine and I want to try this…

    Have a great time,

  66. Oh wow...your photography is amazing... :) I'm so hungry right now!

  67. I looooveee these cupcakes!
    I should begin with saying that I do not cook and I've made cakes maybe two or three times till now. These however came out perfectly. Really easy to make if you follow all the steps.
    I used Petit Beurre cookies instead of Graham crackers since I am from Europe and we do not have those here. Also I've never heard of cream of tartar so I used something called Kremfix. It worked perfectly. I also do not have the kitchen torch so I heated the owen to max temperature and turned on just the high heater. After three minutes in the owen the cakes looked exactly like these on the photos!
    I made almost 50 cupcakes and they lasted one afternoon! great great recepie!
    Big hug from Croatia!

  68. Thanks so much for your feedback, Ivana! I'm so happy to hear that the recipe turned out so well for you and was so resilient to necessary substitutions. =D

  69. These were absolutely delicious! And torching them was super fun!

  70. I came over because I wanted to see how to make the passion fruit bars, but I got lost and now here I am lovin' these cupcakes....and all of the rest of your posts. Will you be my foodbuzz friend? ;)

  71. Thanks! I'm so glad you're liking what you see. I'd love to be your FB friend -- just add me and I'll accept :).

  72. These cupcakes are fantastic! Has anyone tried freezing these cupcakes? I am wondering how the graham cracker and chocolate would hold up in the freezer after several days. I would like to make them in advance for a party next weekend.

  73. I haven't tried freezing them nor have I heard from anyone who has, but as long as you put them in an airtight container I don't see why it wouldn't still be good. Freezing is definitely preferable to refrigerating as it holds the moisture in the cake better. Would love to hear how it goes if you try it!

  74. That topping looks heavenly! Would it be wrong to make it to gobble up as is? :-)

    PS: beautiful photography - love how you've captured the brown tones so masterfully.

  75. Is there a way to get the marshmallows so perfectly toasted without using a torch? Like in an oven or with a lighter? Unfortunately I do not own a torch

  76. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by and asking your question. It seems like one of my readers Cathy above had success putting these under the oven broiler briefly to get the frosting toasted. I doubt the toasting will be as even as in my photos since I moved the torch around the frosting at an even distance, but I'm sure it will still look and taste great! I do NOT recommend a lighter. Please come back to let me know how it works if you try this. And I'd love it even more if you emailed a photo thazt I could include in my round-ups of people who try my recipes =D. Have a lovely day!

  77. Yup! I can see how great these must have been!

  78. Dear Xiaolu,
    thank you your visit..... Your cupcake sounds so greedy and delicious.
    I apologize about comments on my blog. I always leave a reply when readers write me, but comments do not appear and you canno't read them..... I am working to arrange things...... I hope it is going to work the right way,asap.

    Ciao from Italy


  79. xiaolu - reading your 7 links now. i imagine you must have had a hard time with "most beautiful" because all of yours are.

  80. The first pic is absolutely enticing.. Just makes me pull my hand forward to grab the cupcake.. I loved you idea of using the dry leaf as a prop

  81. I have been wanting to make these since a while;Hopefully soon.
    Now I better leave this page so that my mouth stops watering!;)

  82. Awesome! i had these pinned and finally decided to give it a whirl!
    i was short on time, so i did a boxed brownie with the graham cracker crust, adding choc chips and a hefty scoop of sour cream to the brownie mix. then did the marshmallow topping, which we browned with a blowtorch.
    yay! for fun in the kitchen!!!
    this looks super awesome--and was insanely easy!


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu