S'mores Cupcake

We are very pleased to introduce to you one of our favorite blogs: This Celebrated Life, by Kristen Bell. She is sharing with us her recipe for S'mores Cupcakes. Check out her blog... but first, make these delicious cupcakes to keep summer alive before it becomes a distant memory. 
By Kristen Bell

These cupcakes have been on my mind practically all summer! When I was a kid we used to go on at least a few camping trips every year, and of course s'mores are an absolute must. Eventually we plan to get a fire pit for our backyard so we can have s'mores all the time, but for now these s'mores cupcakes will do the trick!

The best part of a s'more is all the pieces coming together just right - it has to be the perfect ratio of marshmallow to graham cracker to chocolate. So for these cupcakes I made a graham cracker crust on the bottom of each. On top I opted for a heavy cream based frosting instead of a traditional buttercream. My first time making these I wanted the frosting to taste like a marshmallow, which it did! The problem was that for my taste the cupcakes were way too sweet. So instead I experimented with heavy cream and sugar to get a light and airy frosting.

In my opinion, a s'more needs just a hint of smokiness (even though I'm a golden brown vs burnt marhmallow gal myself). I brought that into the cupcake with smoked chocolate ganache. I bought these smoked chocolate chips online, but you can also cold smoke chocolate pretty easily at home. Or of course you can use regular chocolate chips too, but trust me on this - the smoked chocolate might sound a little odd, but it is out of this world amazing.

Cupcake Ingredients:

3/4 cup crushed graham crackers, plus more for garnish
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee (you can also use hot water if you don't have coffee)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), plus 2 Tbsp
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate bar for garnish

Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients: 

1 pint heavy cream
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Smoked Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:  

1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup 
smoked chocolate chips
Cupcake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with liners.

In a small pan, heat the butter and water until the mixture is steaming and the butter is melted. Take off the burner and let cool.

Melt 2 Tbs of butter, and mix with crushed graham cracker in a small bowl until combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake liners, and press the crust into the bottom of each. Bake the graham cracker crust until golden brown, about 5 minutes, and then set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through baking soda.

Mix together the eggs, buttermilk and mint extract. Add to the butter mixture once cooled. If the butter mixture is still too hot when you mix these together, the egg will cook.

Add the dry ingredients into the now combined wet ingredients in two batches. Fold together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tin and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes - until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Smoked Chocolate Ganache Directions:

Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until it almost comes to a boil. Make sure to stir regularly so it doesn't scald. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips in heat safe bowl, and let sit for a few minutes. Stir, and voila! You have ganache! If the chocolate doesn't completely melt, you can pop it into the microwave for 10 second increments until the chocolate is smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cupcakes and ganache have both cooled, fill the cupcakes. I like to let my cupcakes cool, and then I put them in the refrigerator for about an hour to let them get totally cold. It makes this step a whole lot easier! You can buy fancy cupcake corers, but I just use a 1/4 teaspoon to scoop out a bit of the cupcake in the middle (about 1/3 down into the cupcake), then fill with ganache. It doesn't have to look perfect, because you'll cover it with frosting. But it will be delicious!

Frosting Directions: 

Whip the heavy cream until it is thickened and frothy - about 3-5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and continue beating until it holds a stiff peak. Then frost away to your heart's content! Add chocolate and graham cracker as garnish if desired.

Note: Make sure your heavy cream is well chilled before starting this frosting. I 
actually put my hand mixer beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes before getting started too, and might even put my bowl in the freezer with them next time. It definitely helps for everything to be very cold for the cream to stiffen up enough.

Before you go, make sure you check out Kirsten’s blog This Celebrated Lifefor more recipe, fashion and lifestyle inspiration. You can also connect with her on Instagram!

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From our partner: LO+JUNE
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