It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a real dessert on here, which goes a bit against the bakery theme behind the Bunsen Burner Bakery. What can I say… all the fresh produce from my CSA has me spending more time at my grill enjoying fresh vegetables, and less time measuring out sugar at my oven. Friends of ours recently purchased a house way out in the suburbs on nearly two acres of land (my inner-city vertical rowhome sits on a sprawling 0.02 acre plot, so two acres seems like an entire forest) and their home came with an outdoor fire pit, perfect for roasting s’mores. While it’s been too warm to break out the marshmallows on our previous visits, thinking about s’mores reminded me of cupcakes I made a few years ago and never shared on here.
When I lived in DC, I was very involved in the long-lived DC tradition of kickball on the mall. When my fellow co-captain’s birthday fell on the night of a kickball game, I offered to make him any flavor of cupcakes he so desired, and he requested s’mores cupcakes. As delicious as these were, I have yet to make them again, because I keep holding out for a kitchen torch so I can toast the marshmallow meringue frosting. Alas, no torch has made its way into my kitchen yet, but don’t let this stop you – these were just as good with the plain,boring, visually unappealing, white frosting.
Makes 24 Cupcakes
- For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- For the cupcakes:
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- For the marshmallow meringue frosting:
- 8 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter and stir until well blended.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker crumb mixture into each cupcake liner. Use the back of a spoon to press the crumbs into a flat layer.
- Bake the crusts for 5 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and increase the temperature to 350F.
- Allow the crusts to cook for at least 5 minutes before adding the cupcake batter. While waiting, combine the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and mix until combined. Then slowly add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Beat at low speed until combine and smooth. Add in the coffee and gently stir with a spoon until smooth. The batter will be quite thin. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes, and then stir again gently before use.
- Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the frosting, fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Place the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in a clean glass bowl and whisk by hand to combine. Rest the bowl over the saucepan, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 120F (hot to the touch), about 6 minutes.
- Pour the heated egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to medium and whisk for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes more. Add the vanilla and whisk until just incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Pipe the frosting in tall peaks onto the completely cooled cupcakes. Toast the marshmallow icing using a kitchen blowtorch, or if you’re feeling adventurous and have an oven that doesn’t routinely catch fire, toast them under the broiler of your oven. If you want to take the safe, easy way out, decorate the cupcakes with a square of chocolate or a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs.