So, confession: I’ve never been camping. Ever. Okay, well, technically I’ve done the whole cabin retreat in the woods thing, but actually fending for myself in a tent out in the wilderness without ready access to running water? Yeah, no.
Which is probably for the best, considering I have the survival instincts of a toy poodle.
That is, however, most definitely not to say that I have been deprived of the gooey deliciousness that are s’mores. All the fun of toasting a fluffy white marshmallow to golden perfection over an open flame that is somehow equal parts dangerous-in-a-good-way and cozy-cuddly, smooshed between cinnamony Graham crackers and chocolate. Yum.
(Although, since we’re all in the confession-y mood, I’ve gotta say that I’m just a tad bit more into the roasted golden-brown marshmallow than the inevitable disappointment of depressingly unmelted Hershey’s squares, especially considering I’m never really in the mood to hazard my fingers by actually melting said squares under open flame. There, I said it. Sacrilege, I know.)
But all stubbornly solid chocolates aside, what says summer potluck better than s’mores cupcakes? Best of all, these little guys neatly circumvent my chocolate qualms because they’re filled with a deliciously melty core of 1 part heavy cream to 2 parts chocolate (aka chocolate ganache). Coupled with a delightful cinnamon cupcake that actually doubles as a super moist vanilla recipe (just skip the cinnamon!), our chocolate and Graham cracker components are present, accounted for, and delicious.
Which brings me to the frosting. As I learned through a tragic series of misunderstandings and sticky trash bags, marshmallow frosting doesn’t actually involve any actual marshmallows. (Who knew?) Instead, it’s actually just a simple meringue fluffed up from a 2:1 ratio of sugar to egg whites that’s then toasted to golden-brown perfection. If you haven’t quite bitten the bullet and invested in a kitchen torch quite yet (same, actually), just transfer the whole tray of decorated cupcakes to a flat baking sheet (seriously – you do not want to be digging frosted cupcakes out of a cupcake tray) and broil on high under very careful watch.
So whether you’re practically a professional mountaineer or decidedly toy poodle-ish in your recreational proclivities, s’mores cupcakes are fun (and delicious) for everyone. As I’ve always said (since, oh about 3 seconds ago), why risk singed extremities and woefully unmelted chocolate when you can get your thrills from a blowtorch instead? All pyromaniac tendencies aside, hope you enjoy!
Happy cupcake day,
220 g (about 2 cups) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, preferably room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 egg whites (yolks are best repurposed into pasteis de nata!)
120 g (1/2 cup + 1 tbp) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Line a cupcake pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, then set aside.
- In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, and milk until fully incorporated.
- Dump in the flour mixture all at once and mix until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners and bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck through the center comes out clean and the bottom of the cupcake feels springy, not squishy when squeezed.
- Set aside to cool!
- Melt together the chocolate and cream in the microwave, stirring well at 15 seconds intervals, until fully incorporated and smooth. Set aside to cool!
- In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat together the egg whites and sugar until firm, glossy peaks form. At this point, when you lift the beaters out, the mixture should look something like this:
- Set aside for frosting!
Tip: With all of the sugar added as a stabilizer, it is virtually impossible to overbeat the meringue. In the past, I’ve literally frozen it, added an extra egg white and sugar for extra structure, then rebeaten the entire mixture back to firm peaks. That being said, when you abuse the meringue like that, it can collapse more quickly than it otherwise would, so work quickly once the meringue is fully beaten!
- Using a large piping tip and a spoon, scoop out the cores of the cupcakes.
- Fill the cupcakes with the chocolate ganache.
- Fit a piping bag with a large open star tip (I used the Wilton 6B!), fill with meringue, and pipe a swirl from the outside in on top of each cupcake. If desired, broil on high under careful watch until lightly browned, or brown with a kitchen torch. Enjoy!