Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

I had every intention of making a cutesy cake for my friend Amy’s baby shower. You’ve seen them. Cakes that look like baby blocks. That are covered in little fondant zoo animals and baby booties. That are pink and blue and scream “THIS CAKE IS FOR A BABY SHOWER!”

I was mentally prepared to roll fondant and shape animals and dye massive quantities of buttercream every shade of blue under the sun.

And then I remembered that I’ve never eaten a fondant-covered cake that I liked. And that I’ve never worked with modeling chocolate before, much less tried to shape it into zoo animals (a project for another day, perhaps). And that Amy’s nursery colors are green, teal, blue, and brown…not every shade of blue under the sun.

Several reality checks later, I decided to stick with my strengths and make cupcakes. I’ve been dying for a special occasion to make these since I first saw the recipe featured in Martha Stewart Living. And I knew that Amy, of all people, would appreciate a gourmet cupcake.

An alphabet-block cake may have been more appropriate for the occasion, but I’m pretty sure there weren’t any complaints at the end of the party. And my husband complained that he only got four cupcakes, so I’d say they were a success!

I like to think that baby Oliver approved. After all, happy mommy makes for happy baby, right?

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Shea, owner of Trophy Cupcakes

Active time: 2 hours
Start to finish: 4 hours
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

For the cupcakes
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
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)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the marshmallow frosting
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.

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.

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.

Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.

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.

Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.

For the marshmallow frosting
Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric 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.

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.

Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. If desired, 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.

2 Comments on Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

  1. Blommie O'Weeks
    June 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm (7 years ago)

    I’ll take two dozen, please!

  2. Amanda
    June 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm (7 years ago)

    You caved!!!! Oh well… Cutesy Baby Shower Cakes are in your future no doubt! But those cupcakes look devine 🙂


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