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There's no denying that s'mores are a classic. Real s’mores, in all their sticky campfire-fresh glory, are obviously a special treat. But with these s'mores cupcakes, we get to enjoy those same exact flavors - buttery graham crackers, chocolate, and toasted marshmallows - in convenient travel-friendly cupcake form! It's the best of both worlds!!
S'mores Cupcakes Components
While they may look a little intimidating, today’s s’mores cupcakes combine 3 simple recipes into one delicious result. Let’s review each component:
- Graham Cracker Crust: You only need 3 ingredients to make the graham cracker crust– graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Combine these and press the mixture into cupcake liners.
- Chocolate Cupcake: Nothing fancy or complicated, just moist and chocolatey decadence (thanks to the buttermilk and oil).
- Marshmallow Meringue: The marshmallow meringue frosting is like making Swiss meringue buttercream only without the butter. Gently cook egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together then whip with vanilla until stiff peaks form. It basically tastes like marshmallow fluff (without all the artificial ingredients/flavorings).
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: You'll need these for the crust of the cupcake. I like to use cinnamon graham crackers because I find they have a tad more flavor than the original/honey versions, but choose your favorite! Don’t have graham crackers where you live? (I’m looking at you, UK readers!) Use crushed digestive biscuits instead.
- Butter: Just 3 melted tablespoons to help the graham cracker crust hold together. You can use vegan butter here if desired!
- Granulated Sugar: You'll need it for the crust, the cupcake, and the marshmallow meringue topping!
- Dark Brown Sugar: I like to use some dark brown sugar in the cupcake base due to its additional moisture content, which helps keep the cupcakes moist. You can replace it with an equal amount of light brown sugar or even granulated sugar in a pinch though!
- Eggs: You'll need two large eggs for the cupcakes and three large egg whites for the marshmallow meringue topping. I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton eggs/whites for the best success.
- Oil: Oil instead of butter helps the cocoa flavor shine through. It also has the added benefit of yielding a super moist chocolate cupcake.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: Adds a wonderful flavor, not to mention those beautiful vanilla bean specks.
- Milk & Buttermilk: Buttermilk is tangy, and creamy, and makes these cupcakes extremely moist. The milk also contributes some moisture and makes for a tender cupcake.
- All-Purpose Flour: Only ¾ cup of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Cocoa Powder: I recommend using Dutch-processed cocoa for that deep, chocolatey flavor, but an unsweetened natural cocoa powder will work just fine too!
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: To help our cupcakes bake up nicely.
- Salt: Baked goods made without salt can taste a little plain, so don't forget it!
- Cream of Tartar: You'll need some of this for the marshmallow meringue frosting. Cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites and helps the mixture hold its stiff peaks. Don't skip it!
How to Make S'mores Cupcakes
While they may look a little intimidating, these s'mores cupcakes have three main components:
1. The Graham Cracker Crust
To make the buttery graham cracker crust, start by grinding up your graham crackers using either a food processor or blender (or throw them in a plastic bag and beat them on the counter). You need 6 full sheets of graham crackers; 6 full sheets = about ⅔ cups graham cracker crumbs.
Mix the crushed graham crackers with the granulated sugar and melted butter. Once you mix it all up, the mixture will be thick, sandy, and coarse and you’re ready to press it into your lined cupcake pan! Once firmly pressed in, you’ll par-bake at 350°F (180°C) for 5-6 minutes; this ensures a stable bottom rather than a crust that is too crumbly and falls apart.
Tip: Make sure you really press the crust down firmly into the cupcake liners so it's nice and tight. Otherwise, it'll crumble and fall off of the cupcakes when trying to eat them!
2. The Chocolate Cupcake
The chocolate cupcake base is so good! The best part? It's super easy to make and comes together quickly in one-bowl. Like seriously, if you can hold a whisk and a spatula, you can make these cupcakes!
To make them, you'll start by whisking together the eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla, buttermilk, and milk until well combined. Then you'll whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (Note: It's a thin cupcake batter!) From there, you'll just scoop the batter into your cupcake liners on top of the baked graham cracker crusts and then you're ready to send it off to the oven!
3. The Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
Marshmallow meringue is everything you love about marshmallows, but in a semi-liquified form; think of it as homemade marshmallow fluff without all the artificial ingredients and flavorings. It’s also the same meringue used in my s'mores brownies and hot chocolate cupcakes.
To make it, you’ll start by whisking the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together in a double boiler. Once the egg whites and sugar are combined and reach 160°F (70°C) on an instant-read thermometer, it’s time to let your stand mixer do all of the work. You’ll add the vanilla bean paste and whip the mixture on high for 4 to 5 minutes. Before you know it… you’ll have a glorious, marshmallow meringue frosting. Try not to eat it all before topping the cupcakes!
Serving & Storage
Serving: You can serve these s'mores cupcakes either chilled or at room temperature; I prefer them at room temperature! To get them to room temperature after chilling, just remove them from the fridge about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Storage: Cover and store leftover frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. You can then thaw the cupcakes at room temperature, add the frosting, and serve.
Remember to tag me @mikebakesnyc on Instagram and leave a rating + review below if you make these Moist S'mores Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting! Happy baking!
Moist S'mores Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 87 g graham cracker crumbs (approx. 6 full-sheet crackers)
- 36 g granulated sugar
- 42 g unsalted butter melted
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 2 large eggs (≈ 100g)
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 110 g dark brown sugar
- 80 g canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 g buttermilk room temperature
- 60 g milk room temperature
- 94 g all-purpose flour
- 43 g unsweetened natural or Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 batch marshmallow meringue frosting
To Make the Graham Cracker Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners, then set it aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Spoon about 1 tablespoon into each of the 12 cupcake liners and press the crust firmly into an even layer. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes and then remove from the oven.
To Make the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla, buttermilk, and milk until well combined. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until just combined. The batter will be thin.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup almost full; you’ll use 3 tablespoons of batter per cup. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Transfer the marshmallow meringue frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes using a large open star tip. If desired, use a kitchen torch to toast and top with a small graham cracker.
- Cover and store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.