Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Recipe Review - Trophy Cupcake's Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting (aka S'mores Cupcakes)

Such a long recipe title... don't know why they don't just call them S'mores Cupcakes. Anyway, this recipe is from Jennifer Shea of Seattle's Trophy Cupcakes, and they are fabulous!!! I got the recipe from the Martha Stewart Website here.

Let's start by preheating the oven to 350F. Now, combine all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Separately combine the wet ingredients together. Set aside and prepare the crumb mixture that will line the bottom of these cupcakes.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Place approximately 1 tbsp. of the crumb mixture into each muffin cup. I used a #50 ice cream scoop to keep things nice and neat.

The recipe says to pack down the crumbs with the bottom of a glass, but all of my glasses were too wide so I used my Pampered Chef wooden-mini-muffin-crust-press-thingy (I've had this thing for years, but I think this is the very first time I've ever used it... it worked great btw).

On the left, the neat little mounds of pre-measured crumbs. On the right, the crumbs are gently tamped into place to form a bottom crust.

Next they get a nice healthy dose of chocolate. The recipe calls for chopped bittersweet chocolate, but I was in too much of a hurry to chop 9 ounces of chocolate so mini semi-sweet chips fit the bill. Add 2 tsp. to each cup. Then into a 350F oven for 5 minutes (the chocolate will be soft after 5 minutes, but will still hold it's shape).

Now it's time to combine the wet and dry ingredient. Mix together on low for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl and increase speed to high and mix 2 minutes. Add boiling water and combine. Batter is very, very liquid-y. Looks like chocolate milk.

The recipe said to fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full.

The cupcakes domed nicely in the oven, but cooled with these weird kind of humps. I filled the second batch about 4/5 full....

They looked much better, but there was still a little hump action... don't know what that's all about, but I wasn't too worried because I knew the marshmallow frosting would hide all flaws!

Speaking of the marshmallow frosting... place your stand mixer bowl over a barely simmering pot of water. Whisk egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together until sugar crystals are completely dissolved and the egg whites are warm (3-4 min).

Then transfer the mixer bowl to the stand mixer and whip the warm whites until stiff peaks form (5-7 minutes) - add vanilla and beat just a minute to combine.

I piped frosting swirls using a size 1M tip, then got out one of my favorite kitchen toys...

My torch :). It's so much fun to use. Great for browning Creme Brulee and Meringue.

Voila! The look yummy, don't they?

These cupcakes were for a school party. Check out this neat cupcake carrier I found at my favorite store Costco. It actually came with 3 tiers, but I'm only using 2 of them here - each one holds 12 cupcakes. I'll post more about this nifty carrier later.

I had extra cupcakes to play around with - here's what happens when you use the same piping tip, but vary the application slightly. The cupcakes in the back were piped in a swirl motion, starting from the outside and swirling in, resulting in an ice cream cone-like dollop. The cupcakes in the front were piped in a swirl motion starting from the inside and swirling out, resulting in a flatter top that resembles a rosette.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder (*substitution listed below)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or mini chocolate chips)

Marshmallow Frosting (recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
  4. Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture 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. (note - I didn't have any crumbs leftover from making the bottom crusts so I skipped this step)
  6. Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Bake for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup 3/4 to 4/5 full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with 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. Cool on a wire rack in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
  7. Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large start tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.
*Substitution for 3 tablespoons natural cocoa (18 grams): use 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder (18 grams), plus 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar

Substitution for 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa (18 grams): use 3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (18 grams), plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Marshmallow Frosting
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. 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.
My Notes: the marshmallow frosting is very sweet and you might want to have a wet paper towel handy when you eat one of these cupcakes... despite how careful I tried to be, I ended up with little spots of sticky white marshmallow all over my hands and face (not a graceful cupcake - don't want to see what will happen when a little one eats one of these). Aside from that, these are really moist and delicious! I had quite a bit of leftover cake batter... enough for 6 additional cupcakes (no graham cracker crumbs leftover for crusts though). And I think I have enough leftover meringue frosting to frost another batch of cupcakes. :)


  1. They look delicious! I'll add to my list of things to try this week... I see you've got the Pourfect products - do they work well? I checked out the website the other day...

    Also, I'd love to know about the Costco cupcake carrier. Did you buy it recently? I'd love to know if I can still get one there!

  2. Hi Anne - I love the PourFect bowls and pitchers. There's no easier or neater way to add wet or dry ingredients into the stand mixer!!! I don't have the measuring spoons, so I can't speak to those.

    As for the cupcake carrier - I got it at Costco just yesterday for $16. I only showed 2 of the 3 tiers in the post. The same carrier is available on QVC for $25 after shipping, and their's only comes with 2 tiers. So far it seems to be pretty sturdy - the handle is quite sturdy too. I'm sure it would crack if it were dropped though. It's freezer, dishwasher (top rack), and microwave safe, and the packaging states that you can stack as many tiers together that you'd like (withing reason I'm sure). The inserts in each tier have a flat side, and the other side has 12 "cups" to keep cupcakes from sliding. The inserts can also be used to divide each tier into 2 layers for cookies or whatever. The tiers are large enough to hold a 9x13 dish.

    That's probably more info that you expected, but there you go!

  3. Yummy looking cupcakes. I really like your cupcake carrier. So convenient.

    Anne, I have the POURfect spoons. They are so accurate. It was only $12. I don't have the bowls but after I got the spoons I'm definitely going to get the bowls too.

  4. I love any excuse to use the creme brulee torch. I'm pretty sure this is an excuse : )

  5. Oh YUMM, I made these too, absolutely delish!

  6. Great step-by-step photos! I love the layer of chocolate chips! Yum! And the torching! That has to be the most fun of all! Just lovely!

  7. oh wow. i just have to have those cupcake carriers. do you by chance know if they ship internationally or do you mind sharing the website?

  8. Hi chocolatecup - the company website is:

  9. Mmmm...Those look scrumptious!

  10. Terrific looking cupcakes! LOVE anything S'mores!

  11. Oh my gosh! Those cupcakes look so yummy! I will try and make this weekend! YUM

  12. Those cupcakes lookd divine. I like that carrier that you featured I hope our local Costco have it.

    About the hump in your cupcake, it might be due to the baking powder. I remembered once I made muffins, in place of baking soda, I used baking powder instead and it had that same look as your cupcakes.

  13. Thanks fabelicious (great name). This recipe contains equal amounts of both baking powder and baking soda... so I might try tweaking the amounts to see what happens.

  14. These look fantastic! They look so pretty...and I just love that cupcake holder! Too cute!

  15. Love this cupcake! I have been enjoying the photo tours of your work too.

  16. Thank you, thank you. I've been enjoying this whole blogging thing, and the family has been enjoying eating all traces of evidence afterwards!

  17. I was comparing the recipes and noticed that you did not top them with the crackers & chocolate before baking. Is it possible this is the reason the cupcakes domed funny on you?I adore all the step by step photos, very cool!

  18. I suppose it is possible, but really, with all the marshmallow frosting on top, it didn't make any difference at all. I noticed a few others who reviewed the recipe had also run out of chocolate and cracker crumbs to top the cupcakes with, so it might be a good idea to have some extra on hand if you make these.

  19. No! Way! Last night I was lying in bed thinking of the perfect S'mores cupcakes I could devise for an upcoming picnic. Now, I know I'm not the first to think of this concept, but I am amzed that the details of mine are just like yours: graham cracker crust, then chocolate chips (for melty chocolate!), then chocolate batter and 7-minute frosting hit with my creme brulee torch!! The only other thing I considered doing is swirling graham cracker and chocolate batters together and/or filling them with the marshmallow frosting.

  20. Small world Anne - guess what else... I used to live in State College. No joke... graduated from high school there, married my hubby there, started a family there. Amazing!

  21. wow your passion is really inspiring. i also face the dilemma of not being able to go to culinary school, its too expensive. well i guess we can still do what we want to right? bake all the way. :)

  22. These are gorgeous! And look delicious, too. Yum . . .

    And I love that cupcake carrier. Wow, wish I'd had that when my kids were in elementary school and every holiday involved toting cupcakes in to the school.


  23. These really look so good. I want one right now!...Christine

  24. Hello... girls are killing me! This is the 3rd Sunday Favorites post that I've visited with mmmm...yummy desserts and I'm on a low-fat diet! Hehe! I'm so hungry for chocolate now...I can hardly stand it!

    This is a great recipe though...they not only sound yummy but they look soooo pretty! Love how that marshmellow frosting looks!!! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us today for Sunday Favorites!!!

    Have a super Sunday, my friend!

  25. I have a question since mine turned out with tunnels.. is the batter supposd to be beatean that long (2 minutes and 30 sec total) would it not develop gluten?

  26. Yum! Those look amazing! Thanks so much for linking up to Cupcake Tuesday!

  27. Here from Judy's Kitchen. These look lovely. And I want a cupcake carrier like that: I'm off to Costco!

  28. Someone is using your pictures to sell a product. Please be aware if this person has not asked permision to use your photos.
    Shop URL:
    Listin URL:

  29. Thank you so much Anonymous!!!

  30. Do you have to use the torch with the frosting? Or will it stay set as is?

  31. Hi Jackie - you don't have to torch the marshmallow frosting, but it adds a lot of flavor. If you don't have a kitchen torch, I'm sure you could brown the frosting under the broiler - just watch the cupcakes carefully because the toasting happens very fast. By the way, this frosting is very sticky!


  32. hi, wonder if you ever tasted the lemon lava cake dessert for the restaurante SWEET TOMATOE
    a search on the web made me wonder what is so good about it because so many people are trying to find a recipe from scratch but so far no luck. you seem to be nifty in the kitchen . wonder if you can come up with a good comparable recipe. please respond here how i can send you an email. i dont see your email address. thanks fayee

  33. Hi Fayee - I don't publish my email address, so that's why you can't find it.

    I've never heard of the Lemon Lava Cake. Does it have liquid interior like a chocolate lava cake?

  34. Here you go - I found a couple links for a Lemon Lava Cake.

  35. SO many treasures on your blog! Love these~

  36. I think this is really perfect! I like cupcakes a lot!

  37. Did the chocolate graham cracker cupcakes keep for a couple days as indicated in the recipe or did they diappear to quickly to find out?

  38. Hey A - To answer your question - the leftover cupcakes kept pretty well until the next day (all were eaten by then). Be sure to keep them in an airtight container, and be cautious if it's very humid as meringue and humidity don't coexist well together.

  39. That looks phenomenal! Does the marshmallow frosting taste like real marshmallows?

  40. Great treat for those who really like smores.

  41. Yes, the frosting tastes just like toasted marshmallows.

  42. My word how nice do these look. My wife would go mad for these she loves marshmallows.The trouble is they are one of those things you just can't stop eating. lovely recipe.
    Kind Regards
    David Head


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