s’mores cupcakes

i’ve been wanting to make s’mores cupcakes for a while now.  but i kept putting it off because i didn’t have a kitchen torch.  i had been thinking of getting one – but every time i went to bed bath and beyond to get it, there was always something else i wanted more or just couldn’t justify spending the money on it at that time.

but then i did some research online and found that many people have been able to make these cupcakes sans kitchen torch.  they just used their oven broiler instead.  i was completely skeptical that it would work – i thought it would completely burn the marshmallow frosting or they wouldn’t get hot enough and the whole cupcake would start baking more (leading to over baking) before the frosting was toasted.

because of my concerns, i actually decided to use my toaster oven to toast the marshmallow frosting on these s’mores cupcakes.  i really liked using the toaster oven instead of the regular oven because it didn’t heat up the entire apartment (our apartment gets really really hot anytime we turn on the oven – and at the broiling setting it would have been super hot.  yuck!).  also, it was easier control the toasting of the marshmallow frosting – i can’t really see through my oven door and keeping the door open would have let out a lot of the heat and i could more easily adjust the temperature of the toaster oven when it was getting too hot/cool.  although many others have toasted their marshmallow frosting successfully in their regular ovens, if you have toaster oven i would strongly suggest using that instead.  and look what you get … all that toasted marshmallow goodness!

so these cupcakes have a graham cracker crust with chocolate cake, topped with toasted marshmallow frosting.

oh and the graham cracker crust didn’t work on all of the cupcakes though.  i’ve made a few different cupcakes before with graham cracker crusts but the white cake batter that was used in those recipes was much thicker than this thin chocolate batter.  so the batter ended up just soaking through the crust making a big mushy mess.  oh well – most of them ended up okay so that’s good.  but next time i think i’m going to try a different chocolate cake recipe to see if that works better.

the cupcakes start with a graham cracker crust sprinkled with chocolate chips.  the original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped.  but i didn’t have any so i just used these mini semi-sweet chocolate chips instead.  it seemed to work fine.

then make the chocolate cake batter.  it’s actually a very similar recipe to my favorite chocolate cake recipe, with just a couple tweaks – a little more sugar and cocoa powder.  sounds good to me!

bake them for 18-20 minutes and here’s how they turn out.

this was my favorite part – making the marshmallow frosting.  in the bowl of your kitchenaid or stand mixer add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.  set it on a simmering pot of water to create a double boiler.  attach a candy thermometer (or if you have an instant read thermometer just use that).

then whisk away until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F.  this took a bit of time so be patient.

now set the bowl into your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix the egg white mixture until it forms fairly stiff peaks.  beautiful marshmallow fluff!

then frost your cupcakes.  i used a 1M wilton start tip.  i will say this was quite a messy, sticky process.  it’s a bit harder to get marshmallow frosting into a piping bag than it is to get regular buttercream.

okay now you have a couple of option on how you want to toast the marshmallow frosting.  the easiest is to use a kitchen torch.  but if you don’t have one you can use your regular oven or a toaster oven set on broil – but be careful not to burn the frosting.  watch carefully – they will only need 1-2 minutes under the broiler.  i toasted 6 at a time in my toaster oven but if you used your regular oven, just line them up like this on a baking sheet.

and you’re done!  you have delicious cupcakes with all of the awesome flavors of a campfire s’more!

click here for the recipe on the always amazing annie’s eats 🙂

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