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Buttery, textured graham cracker cupcakes topped with a duo of velvety smooth chocolate buttercream and fluffy marshmallow buttercream.
Summer is all about the s’more. Ooey, gooey, melty, crunchy, sweet, chocolatey, grahamy, LOVELY. Aside from super fresh fruits and vegetables, not much yells “summer” more than the most delightful campfire combination that ever did live.
These s’mores cupcakes have lived on my blog since 2015. The idea for them was born when I reached out to my Instagram followers about which part of the s’more they thought was the most important.
I had many folks say that the marshmallow was the best part, but then I had a handful say that the graham cracker was the key, with its coarse and crunchy texture being the perfect complement to melted chocolate and toasty marshmallow.
Personally, when it comes to a s’more, I am ALL IN on the graham cracker. It is the foundation for all of the other ingredients that get jammed into that toasty little treat– anywhere from peanut butter to Reese’s cups to big marshmallows, little ones, jumbo ones, dark chocolate, white chocolate– the combinations are truly endless.
But one thing stays constant: the tried and true graham cracker.
It was decided right then and there– I needed to make a graham cracker cupcake, and I’ll tell you what: BEST DECISION EVER.
START WITH A GRAHAM CRACKER CUPCAKE
These graham cracker cupcakes start with very finely crushed graham cracker crumbs that get tossed together with a little whole wheat flour.
I speak in this homemade cinnamon graham crackers post about how whole wheat flour helps give homemade graham crackers their signature taste. Whole wheat flour also helps add more texture to the overall crumb of the graham cracker cupcake, with its inclusion of the entire grain.
If all you have is all-purpose flour, that will work just as well. There is plenty of whole wheat flour that already exists in graham crackers and graham cracker crumbs to fit the texture bill.
The cupcake batter is pretty standard as far as ingredients, but the texture is unlike any you probably work with on a regular basis.
This graham cracker cupcake batter is coarse and sticky, and it isn’t very viscous. I always use an ice cream scoop with a trigger to scoop my cupcake batter, and this batter holds its shape pretty firmly even when it’s in the cupcake pan.
The end result is a coarse, textured crumb that is also soft and buttery. It sounds impossible, but trust me, it is very possible and very real for those qualities to coexist. Especially if you are a texture lover, you will really enjoy the base of these s’mores cupcakes. Craggy
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
Over the years, these cupcakes have gotten many positive reviews, but I personally was never totally in love with them. They were originally filled with mini chocolate bars, which didn’t quite add enough chocolate for me.
I went back and forth with exactly what to do with revamping this s’mores cupcake recipe, but ultimately, I decided not to fill the graham cracker cupcakes with anything in order to keep the chocolate to marshmallow ratio solidly in the “equal” camp.
It’s creamy, it’s chocolatey, and it makes the perfect foundation for a fluffy marshmallow buttercream swirl.
MAKE THE MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM
This marshmallow butterdream, I mean buttercream, is what dreams are made of. It consists of butter, marshmallow creme/fluff, powdered sugar, unicorns, rainbows, butterflies, err… What I’m trying to say is… This stuff is dangerously good.
It’s fluffy and it’s dreamy and you will think about it long after it’s gone, I assure you. A nice puffy cloud of the good stuff goes right on top of that chocolate buttercream base.
HOW TO MAKE S’MORES CUPCAKES
When your graham cracker cupcakes are cooled, your chocolate buttercream and marshmallow buttercream are ready, it’s time to assemble.
This is simple: pipe some chocolate buttercream on top of the cupcakes, either keeping it flat with your piping method or, doing what I did and flatten each mound slightly with a small spatula. You just want to make sure it’s flat so that the marshmallow buttercream can go on top.
Swirl that marshmallow buttercream into a gorgeous little mound right on top of the chocolate foundation, and you’re all set!
My original taste testers loved these cupcakes, and they made a great suggestion: tossing some more crushed graham cracker on top of the marshmallow frosting for the added crunch factor. I hadn’t done that the first time around (why?!), but decided to this time. YES. Do that. Extra crunch on top is chef’s kiss awesome.
The texture of the graham cracker cupcake itself is right up my alley as a texture lover– it’s crumbly and craggy without being dry and gives you all the graham cracker flavor some s’mores desserts tend to lack.
The chocolate and marshmallow on the top grace each bite with equal parts of that triple threat that makes s’mores so irresistible. We aren’t missing out on any parts in this completely revamped s’mores cupakes recipe, and I am much happier with this end result than I had been previously.
I hope that if you’ve been here before and tried (and loved!) the old recipe, you’ll consider trying this new and improved recipe. To me, these are s’mores perfection, and they’re exactly what I wanted them to be this time around.
JOIN MY ONLINE COURSE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CUPCAKE DECORATING TECHNIQUES
If you love making cupcakes, but aren’t quite sure where to start when it comes to decorating them, join my e-course so you can learn right alongside me. I’ll be instructing you the entire journey from start to finish!
If you’re looking for a summer time cupcake and maybe you’re heading to a cookout or BBQ where there won’t be a fire to have authentic s’mores, whip up a batch of these and you and your fellow party-goers will have s’mores at your fingertips.
That is… If you don’t eat them all before you even get there!
GRAHAM CRACKER CUPCAKES
- 1 and ½ cups (180g) graham cracker crumbs approximately 10 full sheets
- ½ cup (60g) whole wheat flour be sure to measure properly
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup (120mL) milk any, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (18g) Dutch processed cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons (15-30mL) milk or cream
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup (171g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 6 ounces (174g) marshmallow creme about 1 cup
- ¾ cup (90g) powdered sugar
GRAHAM CRACKER CUPCAKES
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line the wells of a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, toss together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes).
- Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, add the milk and vanilla, and beat again until combined.
- Decrease the mixer speed to low and slowly add the graham cracker mixture. Beat on low until completely combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners ¾ of the way full (I like to use an ice cream scoop with a thumb trigger). Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until edges just start to brown or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
- In a small bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth (about 1 minute).
- Decrease mixer speed to low. Add powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract, and milk/cream. Increase mixer speed to to high and beat until completely combined (approximately 1-2 minutes).
- In a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the marshmallow creme and beat on high until smooth (approximately 2 minutes).
- With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely combined (approximately 1 minute). Marshmallow buttercream will be loose, so test the sturdiness before piping. Add additional powdered sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time to desired consistency.
- For more buttercream troubleshooting tips, see my book, The Home Baker's Guide to Basic Buttercream.
ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES
- Using a piping bag or a large zip top bag with the corner snipped off, pipe a layer of chocolate buttercream onto each cupcake. Flatten slightly with a small spatula.
- Using another piping bag or large zip top bag with the corner snipped off, pipe a swirl or mound of marshmallow buttercream on top of the chocolate buttercream. Dust with additional graham cracker crumbs, if desired. Cupcakes will stay fresh covered at room temperature up to 3 days.