S’mores Brownie Cupcakes
We’re 1 day early for National S’mores Day. Yes! Tomorrow, August 10th, is National S’mores Day and you better believe I’m celebrating this epic event.
Side note! Join me in the kitchen today at 1pm ET on Facebook and Insta LIVE. I’ll be making striped fudge cookies and chatting about Sally’s Cookie Addiction, yayyyyy!!! Bring your cookie questions and excitement. Oh! And the winner of the giveaway was notified and announced; thank you for participating!
Also today? Kevin’s birthday! Taking off after the LIVE video for some surprise birthday festivities and dinner. ♥
But let’s get back to business here. Things are getting pretty serious on the s’mores day celebration front. As they should. National S’mores Day is not a holiday to take lightly, as evidenced by the calorie bombs in today’s photos. Light? Not a chance. I’m bringing you sweatpants-necessary s’mores brownie cupcakes complete with a toasty marshmallow topping because it’s not a s’more unless it’s toasty.
Good Things Come in 3s!
So there are 3 parts to this recipe, but don’t fret! They are all recipes we’ve reviewed before; we’re just combining them in a new way.
- Graham cracker crust
- Homemade brownies
- Marshmallow meringue
The graham cracker crust is only 3 ingredients: graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Combine the three and press into cupcake liners. No need to pre-bake this crust as the time in the oven with the brownie on top is plenty. My #1 tip: make sure you really press that crust down. Make it nice and tight.
The brownie is definitely the easiest component here. It’s a super basic from-scratch brownie batter using all familiar and convenient ingredients like cocoa powder, flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Nothing fancy or complicated, just the chewy fudgy brownies we all know and love. I very slightly simplified the recipe (using all white sugar and a little extra cocoa powder/less flour) and I love the results.
The marshmallow meringue is the same meringue we made together in the March baking challenge recipe. Remember the sky high chocolate mousse pie? We also used it in both the peanut butter hi-hat cupcakes as well as the ultimate birthday cupcakes recipes. It may look and sound intimidating, but it’s completely approachable and simple. Whisk egg whites + sugar + cream of tartar together over simmering water, then beat until fluffy peaks form. It tastes like marshmallow fluff. Without all the gunk and artificial ingredients/flavorings.
Photos to guide you along:
If you have a double boiler, you can use that instead of this bowl + pot contraption. This is a photo of the egg whites + sugar + cream of tartar whisked together over simmering water on the stovetop.
Beaten together to form stiff peaks, just like marshmallow creme!
I used Ateco #808 piping tip for the frosting. I really wanted it piled high on top of each! You can use any piping tip you like, or just swirl it on nice and thick with a knife. I wouldn’t use a piping tip that displays intricate designs though; the marshmallow may not hold its shape.
Now there IS one more step. This is completely optional but I feel brings the whole dessert together and screams SUMMATIME! Toast that marshmallow topping for the ultimate blast (literally!) of s’mores flavor. I used my kitchen torch. Normally I’d say you could stick the frosting under the broiler to get a toasty top but do NOT do that here… the frosting can easily lose its shape. But a quick flash from the torch does the toasting trick!
I don’t know about you, but I love a nice burnt marsh in my s’more. The more burnt ‘n’ toasty, the better. Just me??? The cheese stands alone???
These s’mores brownie cupcakes lasted for a day or 2 at room temperature on my counter, but I wouldn’t suggest storing for longer than that– even in the fridge. You can make the brownie cupcakes themselves a few days ahead of time, but I suggest frosting the day before at the earliest.
Take that first bite and experience the CRUNCH (!!!) of the toasty outer layer, the soft and sweet meringue underneath, the undeniably fudgy brownie cupcake, and the buttery + thick graham cracker crust. This entire s’mores brownie cupcake is an experience to savor.
Happy National S’mores Day tomorrow!
SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
S'mores Brownie Cupcakes
- 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full-sheet graham crackers)
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (87g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter
- 2 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (228g or 8 ounces), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (do not skip!)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a 2nd 12-count muffin pan with 6 liners. (This recipe yields about 18).
- Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs-- if they aren't crumbs already. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined. (You can also pulse it all together in the food processor.) Spoon 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of crust into each cupcake liner. Press down tightly to create a tight and firm crust. Set aside. (No need to pre-bake.)
- Make the brownie cups: Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heat-proof bowl. I microwave in 30 second increments, stopping and stirring after each until melted and smooth. Whisk in the granulated sugar. Allow to slightly cool for 5 minutes before adding the eggs. (So as not to cook the eggs!) Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Batter will be thick. Spoon evenly into each cupcake liner on top of the graham cracker crusts, filling almost to the top of the liners.
- Bake brownie cups for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs (no wet batter). Keep your eye on them and check after 22 minutes or so. Mine take around 26 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in pans.
- Make the meringue: Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water. Do not let it touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.) Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixing bowl to an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes until soft, glossy peaks form. See photo above for a visual.
- Pipe onto cooled brownie cupcakes. I used Ateco 808 piping tip. If desired, use a kitchen torch to toast.
- Cover and store leftover cupcakes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Make ahead tip: You can make the cupcakes through step 5. Cover and store the brownie cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 days, then continue with the meringue topping. Or freeze brownie cupcakes (prepared through step 5) for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight completely, then top with marshmallow meringue frosting.
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More s’mores inspo for your s’mores day festivities:
Super soft and chewy toasted s’more chocolate chip cookies
And easy easy easy s’mores cookie bars!