S’mores Cupcakes

After making the ooey gooey, super yummy s’mores cake a few months ago, I’ve been very excited to try s’mores cupcakes.  Lucky for me, the month of October brought eight coworkers’ birthdays, and therefore eight cupcake flavors.  These were the last flavor of the month, but certainly not the least.  Many people deemed these their favorite cupcake so far this year!  While I’m not sure I could pick a favorite cupcake if I tried (my head would explode), these truly are fantastic.

These are incredibly fun to make.  They start out with a graham cracker crust and chopped chocolate in the bottom of the cupcake liner, then a chocolate cake batter, topped with a marshmallow frosting and toasted using a kitchen torch!  This was my first time every using a kitchen torch, being that I’m not a crème brûlée fan (gasp!)  The torch is really fun to use and produces such cool results that I’m now searching for other treats that need to be burned 🙂    As for the chocolate cake, once I started making it, I realized was just the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake though this recipe supposedly came from a bakery – a bit strange, but whatever.  Though I usually find the Hershey’s recipe just mediocre, it becomes something far better when sandwiched between the graham cracker crust and marshmallow frosting.  Bring that campfire feel indoors and make these today!

And, if you like marshmallow frosting, stay tuned for another treat that uses it later this week!

S’mores Cupcakes
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Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork.  Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom. (Note: I found the bottom of my squeeze bottle to be the perfect size to do this job neatly and quickly.) Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.

To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine.  In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be thin).

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. (Note: I just set my clean, dry mixer bowl over simmering water, to avoid dirtying two bowls.) Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Mix in the vanilla until combined.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.  Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with chocolate and graham cracker segments (optional).

Source: adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven, originally attributed to Trophy Cupcakes, cake clearly from Hershey’s

75 Responses

  1. Gorgeous cupcakes! The charred frosting is the perfect finishing touch, and I’m sure they taste amazing.

  2. Your co-workers are SO lucky!!! These are darling little cupcakes!

  3. This cupcake looks fantastic, especially the burnt part!! I love that you used the Hershey’s recipe; that’s my favorite chocolate cake recipe!! YUM! I’m not a fan of crème brûlées either.

  4. I made these a year or so ago but stuffed them with a miny marshmallow as soon as they came out of the oven. They’re very fun!

  5. Annie, the s’mores cupcakes look awesome. Can you tell me how to frost them the way you did? Thanks. Love your blog.

    • Hi Margaret,
      So sorry for the incredibly delayed response. Some comments seem to fall through the cracks and go unanswered. I use a large star tip for most of my cupcakes. You can find that info here.

  6. These are beautiful, I have wanted to make your smores cake for a while but these are so darn cute they might skip over the cake!

  7. those babies are melting my heart! WOW!

  8. Oh my goodness! These look sooo good! I love s’mores (even if I haven’t had them for too long!), but it results pretty difficult to find Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers in France… Nevermind, I’ll try adapting your recipe to what I find here 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  9. These are so beautiful! I love all that marshmallow on top….yum!

  10. oh this looks wonderful and must taste so good! looks very very moist too

  11. The “burnt” part looks so pretty! Love it. I’m a huge fan of cupcakes and just love how “in style” they are now. All the creativity that people put into it.

  12. these look amazing! you need to make a cupcake cookbook!

  13. I’m absolutely going to be trying these out in the next few days; it looks like they’ll be great for consolation purposes as we didn’t get a chance to go camping this year. 😥

    In any case, I just wanted to thank you for sharing these recipes. I made a batch of your pumpkin-cream cheese muffins last week and they killed. (Well, not literally.) I’m excited to be bringing them to all the Thanksgiving get-togethers on both sides of our families. So thank you. 🙂

  14. question of opinion: MY birthday is coming up Thursday and I’m trying to decide what new cake to try (I might get my husband to help!). Any favorites???

  15. wow! amazingly beautiful cupcakes!! =)

  16. Wow! those cupcakes are incredible! Not only pretty to look at but, they also have the best flavor combination!

  17. mmmm I made some really similar to these over the summer – the blow torch step is so much fun!!

  18. Oh gah. These look sinful. Really. They do.

  19. Did you use a certain tip to frost the cupcakes? They look so good.

  20. Those are the cutest things ever! Can I work with you?!!

  21. Looks delicious and way better than the version I tried this summer. I noticed that someone mentioned they stuffed mini marshmallows in them after they came out of the oven. When I did it, I actually put a regular sized marshmallow on the graham cracker crust (or you could do a few minis) and then poured the batter over it. It made for some nice gooey middles.

  22. These look sooo fun! I just might have to add a kitchen torch to my Christmas wish list this year. 😉

  23. I’ve tried these smores cupcakes before and they are definitely delicious; they’re one of my favorites at Trophy cupcakes here in Seattle. It sounds very time consuming, but worth the effort. You should also try making a chai-cardamon cupcake. That’s my other favorite. Nice blog. 🙂

  24. What adorable cupcakes!

  25. OMG these may just be the cutest things ever! Fantastic photos!!

  26. Amazing! You are an artist and I love all your blog updates :). Do you think there is any way to get that burnt topping without a kitchen torch? I don’t have one and I would love to make them for company tomorrow!

    • Michi,
      There is a way but I was hesitant to mention it in my post because it can go very wrong 🙂 You can stick the frosted cupcakes underneath your broiler for a minute or two, but you have to keep a very, very close eye on them. Believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way. For me, it is worth the $30 kitchen torch (minus 20% from BB&B).
      🙂 Annie

  27. Thanks so much! I know what you mean, that could be a disaster. I think I’ll invest in one as well, or at least experiment on another day when I don’t have company over :).

  28. These look absolutely fantastic! The recipe makes 2 dozen, yes? I’m planning to bring these to our multiple Thanksgiving dinners and need to plot how many batches to make. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Hi Kirsten,
      Yes, it makes at least 24 and I think I actually had some extra batter, etc. leftover but I only have two cupcake pans (and didn’t want to wait for a second cycle in the oven).
      🙂 Annie

  29. Annie: I made these cupcakes for a bake-off this past weekend and I took first prize! Thanks for posting such an amazing recipe. They were a challenge but they were also perfection! It was my first real “from scratch” baking attempt and it was SO satisfying. I can’t wait to flex my newly acquired baking muscles with more of your goodies. 🙂 Thanks again! ~Kendall

  30. […] You can use them as favors like the S’more Love or the S’mores Kits.  Try a different take on S’mores by making s’mores pops, Bakerella’s cupcakes or Annie’s Eats cupcakes. […]

  31. I made these last night for my daughter’s birthday. I went out and bought a torch specifically for this recipe. My daughter and I were so excited to make these and they did not disappoint! They weren’t hard to do at all, and they sure did impressyour guests. The cupcakes taste great with a cup of coffee the next day, too. My daughter just made a peanut butter and “fluff” bagel out of the leftover frosting. Thanks for another great recipe, Annie!

  32. I made these cupcakes for my friends brunch. They were AMAZING! Just a few snags. The graham cracker bottom burned, but I took them out after 5 minutes. And when I made the frosting, I couldn’t get the consistency firm enough. Also, I don’t have a stand mixer. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Lexi,
      If the graham cracker bottom burned, you may have made that layer too thin. Try adding more of the mixture next time, and maybe putting your pans on a lower oven rack. I am not sure what the problem was with the frosting. If you beat it long enough, you can achieve stiff peaks. You probably just need to keep beating it. The stand mixer doesn’t matter – I’ve beaten egg whites to stiff peaks many times with a hand mixer. It just takes a long time.

  33. These cupcakes are beautiful! Just wondering, is the texture of the frosting like marshmallow fluff or more like meringue? Is it creamy and gooey like the fluff? I’m not a huge fan of meringue and am hoping it is more marshmallwoey than meringuey!! Thanks.

  34. Hey, I made these a couple of days ago, and while the graham cracker crust and marshmallow frosting turned out amazing…the actual cupcake part was…well, pretty bland. You could barely taste any chocolate. I’m wondering if it had anything to do with adding the boiling water to the chocolate mix. I didn’t understand why that step was necessary (granted, I’m a novice baker.) On the plus side, they looked adorable and would taste great if I can figure out why the cake turned out so bland.

    • Marissa,
      I’ve made this cake many times and never thought it bland. It’s actually just the very popular Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake, and many people seem to love it. It’s not the best chocolate cake ever but I don’t think it’s bad. The boiling water is a technique I have seen in several chocolate cake recipes. It helps provide moisture.

  35. i made these using a brownie mix and they came out amazing…i was going to try making by using a brownie dish with the cracker crumb base and then the brownie layer with whip cream on top for easter this year with the family i let you know how it turns out if your interested?

  36. Hi Annie! I know the recipe calls for the frosting to be used immediately, but I was hoping to make this for a gathering at my place after dinner. Will the cupcakes hold up after I frost the cupcakes and torch them if left at room temperature? Should I refrigerate? I won’t have time to make the frosting and go thru all the steps once everyone is back at my place.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Oh, definitely. I always make cupcakes about a day in advance, frosted and everything, and serve them later. They keep fine. These probably don’t need to be refrigerated, though they certainly could be.

  37. I tried these last night with a box cake mix and they turned out great, but I’m wondering do you really use all 8oz of chocolate for 24 cupcakes? I only chopped up 2 oz and did 18. Maybe my “small amount of chocolate” is much smaller than yours. Are they that much better if I pile that chocolate on the crust? I just recently found your site and I love all your recipes! Thanks!

    • Lanae,
      You can use however much you want. I don’t remember if I used all 8 oz. either. It really doesn’t matter.

  38. I have been looking for another use for my kitchen torch. One can only eat so many creme brulee’s in justification of the purchase. My friend and I are going to make these this weekend. We are “cuppycake” addicts, and use them to bribe ourselves to do our chores. Thanks for the fun idea.

  39. These cupcakes look so delicious and absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to try out this recipe. But, I was wondering how long would you bake these cupcakes if you were to use a mini cupcake pan instead of a regular sized one?

    • Sarah,
      Every cake batter is a little different and I haven’t tried these as mini cupcakes so I can’t say for sure. I’d probably start around 8 minutes and go from there, using the toothpick test to know when they are done.

  40. Hi Annie, I made these cupcakes two days ago and the cake was very dry and not sweet! Was there something I did wrong? I used the right amount of ingredients in the recipe! I was told that there are two different types of measurement cups, a dry and a wet? Thanks.

    • Chloe,
      I’m not sure what to tell you, sounds like something went wrong though. Yes, there are two different types of measuring cups for liquid and solid ingredients.

  41. Hi Annie,
    I’m already plotting a trip to BB&B for a torch so I can make these! I was reading through the comments and saw the exchange about whether or not the cake is bland, and you said that it’s not the best chocolate cake ever, but that you don’t think it’s bad. Do you have a recommendation for a better chocolate cake recipe that could be substituted? Thanks!

  42. Hey Annie, it’s me again!! I’m planning on making these for tomorrow night. I live in Alabama and the humidity is awful. Do you think my frosting will work in here?

  43. I found your website just by chance on google and I couldnt be happier!!! I love your smores cupcakes, they are beauitful and I cannot wait to eat them, I am making them right now. I love the pictures, recipes and the detail you go into on your website. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  44. annie, those cupcakes look great! I saw on tv Tht DC cupcakes made these too but they did them differently! I am just bt to turn 14 and my friends and I are mking these for my 40 guests tht r coming to my bday party!

  45. I am planning on making these cupcakes but would like to know how many it makes?


  46. Oh my…..I made these cupcakes over the weekend for a family get together and they were amazing! They were loved by all. The cupcake was so chocolaty and moist and the ‘marshmallow’ icing was a perfect compliment. And I couldn’t pass up a chance to use the kitchen torch a friend just gave me. Thank you for this recipe! It’s got me hooked on cupcakes!

  47. I would love to make these, but am afraid I will ruin the frosting since I’m no Annie! Could I use **gasp** jar ‘o’ fluff instead?

    • Amy, that won’t really work the same. Fluff doesn’t have the appropriate texture. Believe me, a lot of readers have made these successfully, I’m sure you can handle it. Have no fear in baking, it’s how you get better!

  48. I made these for my husband’s birthday and we loved them! I was so proud of myself that mine looked exactly like your photos!

    Thanks 🙂

  49. I made these last night for a luncheon at work today and they had great reviews!! Perfect fall cupcake! Although they tasted delicious I wasn’t happy with they way the frosting turned out. It was not stiff enough so it looked more like a blob instead of the shape of the pretty tip I used. Any ideas what I could have done wrong? Two things I thought of – one I did not have a thermometer so I just heated the mixture until the sugar was dissolved, two I did not have a whisk paddle so I just used my normal paddles. Do you have to use a whisk paddle to get it stiff? I mixed it for a good 20 minutes so it thickened but not as much as I would have liked.

    • The thermometer is important more for making sure the frosting is safe to serve (heated enough to kill bacteria). That’s very important for me. The whisk attachment isn’t a necessity for this, but you do have to have stiff peaks before piping onto the cupcakes or you won’t get a stiff design. But, I have used a regular hand mixer to make stiff peaks many times with meringue, whipped cream, etc. and it has always worked fine…just takes a little longer than with a stand mixer.

  50. What would you recommend if you don’t have a kitchen torch? Is there still a way to toast the marshamallow frosting?

    • Honestly, I would recommend getting a torch. You can use a broiler, but every time I’ve attempted that, I end up with ruined cupcakes. The torch gives you control you can’t get with a broiler.

  51. hello,

    how stable is this frosting? do you need to use it right away or can it sit for a little while? i’m trying to find a good recipe for a frosting that can be toasted but can also sit due to timing for a competition. thanks for sharing! these are gorgeous!

  52. I loved these cupcakes! I thought the Pumpkin Cupcakes I made last week were my favorite but these are taking their place. I did not have a kitchen torch so I put them under the broiler.. you definitely need to watch it very closely as I have a gas oven and one of them caught fire but the rest turned out great. After I toasted the marshmallow I wanted to put a piece of chocolate into the top but I could not easily penetrate the frosting using the piece of chocolate. Was your “crust” thin enough or did you use something to poke through without creating too big a hole?

    • Yes, I’ve made them several times and the chocolate or graham cracker pieces go into the torched frosting easily. Glad you enjoy them!

  53. I made these cupcakes and they were a hit! You can check them out on my blog if you’d like. Everyone loved them!

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