Super S'mores-ey S'mores Cupcakes
For the life of me, I cannot justify putting my potato cakes up on my food blog. As such, I found these cupcakes saved under unpublished. And voila, something I am not ashamed to publish. When Giada said my dish had some good flavor and texture to it, she was being very generous. But s'mores scream camping and we did cook some variation of s'mores on last night's Food Network Star, so we are going with this. Listen, I want to give you something you will actually want to eat. And I want to associate my bog posts with Food Network Star as long as possible to draw out my temporary D list "fame".
Never anything but compliments with these babies. S'mores on the inside, s'mores on the outside. Chocolaty. Check. Marshmallowy. Check. Gramcrackery. Check. (I'm pretty sure only one of those is an actual word, oh well.) I am going to be honest. These are a labor of love, but oh so worth it. This all started 2 years ago when my daughter was turning 3 and all she wanted was this "special edition" watermelon cupcakes on the shelf at the grocery store. Purchasing them actually made me cringe a bit. So, I had to come up with a plan B; something people might actually want to eat. Sure, I am not the first person to make s'mores cupcakes. But I did a damn good job elevating them. I did you a solid and upgraded some cake mix. You don't have to make it entirely from scratch. See, I care about you and how you spend your time. Isn't that nice of me? Okay, it really had more to do with how I want to delegate my time. But you get to benefit as well. A few days ago Emelia turned 5 (crazy). I wanted to bring cupcakes to her class. I decided to throw it back to her 3rd birthday when I made these the first time. (When oddly enough, we had one adult obsessed with the watermelon cupcakes. It was difficult to accept that one. Haha.) Moving on. These really are delicious. I have incorporated your traditional s'mores ingredients across the board here. A gram cracker crust at the bottom with crumbled gram cracker on top. There is a Hershey's bar on the inside (makes for an extra gooey and chocolaty center) and on the top. Marshmallows have their place in the frosting as well as the center of the cupcake. This isn't just your run of the mill cupcake. It is elevated in every way, and extra decadent.
So if you're not by a camp fire and are craving this summer treat then I am your gal. Sure it takes longer than roasting a s'more, but it is totally worth it. Seriously. People love these things. I had a classroom full of pre-k students tell me it is the best thing they ever had, neighbors coming back for seconds and then my husband who literally ate like 4 in a row. (Curse him and his metabolism she said from a place of complete and total jealousy.)
The typical box of cake mix yields 24 cupcakes. But since we have a gram cracker foundation and are filling this cup cake with all kinds of goodness, it probably comes out to more like 32 cupcakes. I didn't count. I actually make 2 batches. So I had a crap ton. And... they were STILL all gone with in a day.
For the Cupcake Mix:
1 box chocolate cake mix (I used devils food cake)
Whole milk (whatever you box says for water, use the same quantity of whole milk. This varies for each brand.)
Butter (whatever you box says for oil, substitute butter. This varies by brand.)
Eggs (typically 3, but varies by box)
Gram Cracker Crust:
1 packet of gram crackers (about 9 crackers)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the Marshmallow Frosting:
10 oz marshmallow creme
2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12-16 regular sized marshmallows, halved (or 3 or 4 mini ones per cupcake)
1 6-pack of full sized Hershey's bars
1/2 packed gram crackers, crushed.
1. Add gram crackers to a food processor and chop until they are in small crumbles.
2. Add them to a bowl with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Using a fork, mix everything together well.
3. Lightly grease your cupcake pan and add cupcake liners.
4. Add roughly 1/2 tbsp to each cupcake liner and press down firmly.
5. In a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, combine the cake mix, the milk, room temperature butter and eggs. As I mentioned above, follow the quantities as designated on the box. But substitute butter for oil and milk for water. It just makes it taste better without having to add additional time or efforts.
6. Blend until smooth with the paddle attachment.
7. Cut marshmallows in half and add them to the top of your gram cracker crust.
8. Top each marshmallow with a piece of Hershey's chocolate.
9. Add roughly 1/4 cup of cupcake mix gently, covering everything else. I went almost to the top of my cupcake liner. They will sink a bit because the marshmallow will melt. So you shouldn't worry about it rising so much it overflows.
10. Bake at 350 for roughly 14-16 minutes. Check with a toothpick or a knife. Keep in mind if you insert it where the chocolate is, it will obviously bring that up. So try to find an area off to the side to test done-ness.
They will look like this when they are done.
11. While your cupcakes are cooling, begin to make your marshmallow frosting.
12. In a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, add marshmallow creme, heavy whipping cream, room temperature butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix slowly at first until the powdered sugar has blended with everything. Increase the speed to 4 or 5 so that it will whip up the butter and the heavy whipping cream, making it light and fluffy. (Mix for 2 minutes or so.)
13. Add frosting to a piping bag till it is to the fill line. If you do not have a piping bag, you can use a knife. I don't bake that much, but I use mine a surprising amount, and they are only like $10.
14. Add frosting to the top of each (cooled) cupcake.
15. Using a food processor, crumble the remaining gram crackers for garnish and sprinkle them evenly on top of all of the frosted cupcakes.
16. Add a Hershey's bar piece to the center top of each cupcake.