Gust Blogger and S’mores Cupcakes

 I love Guest Blogger Saturday because it gives me the opportunity to me so many bloggers from all over the place and see all the nifty things that they create. A warm welcome to Lori from Sort of Creative!! Make sure you swing by and say hello :)
Hi Swanksters! I’m Lori and I blog over at Sort of Creative. I love to create but usually bite off more than I can chew with my projects, and combine that with the fact that am a little accident prone, means I have a lot of hilarious disasters in my life. I’m always happy to share tips, tricks and “what NOT to dos” with my readers. 
I’d like to thank Ashton for the opportunity to share with all of you! More often than I care to admit, I find myself browsing Something Swanky and drooling over all the gorgeous creations, so I am beyond excited to be able to share a recipe with you today and maybe inspire a little drooling of my own!

My sister got married this summer and I was absolutely delighted to be her maid of honor. I made it my responsibility to give her a unique and unforgettable bridal shower. (I’m pretty sure she will never forget the bachelorette party either, since I took a tumble while walking and two broken legs later, we wound up in the ER at 3 AM.)
My sister had a “camping theme” to her wedding and really wanted to have s’mores cupcakes at the reception. After considering it for a while, she realized that logistically it wouldn’t work out and she had to nix the idea – she was bummed to the max. So, I decided to surprise her with s’mores cupcakes at the bridal shower! These cupcakes turned out SO WELL. They were moist and delicious and super easy. Everyone raved about them at the shower and I received multiple emails afterwards asking for the recipe. (Plus, they were super fun to make – kitchen torch, FTW! And I didn’t even burn my house down!!) :o) 

Símores Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

(Crust adapted from Annie’s Eats)
(Cake adapted from Cake Central)
(Frosting adapted from Martha)

Yield: 24-ish cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For the graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2 Hershey’s bars, broken into small pieces or roughly chopped

For the cake:
1 chocolate or devil’s food cake mix
4 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 small package of instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup full-fat sour cream

For the frosting:
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces along the scored lines

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350∞ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom – try to avoid going up the sides of the cupcake liner too much. Place a bit of the chopped chocolate bar into each cup and then put the pans into the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. When you remove the pans, if the chocolate hasn’t melted enough to form an uniform layer, spread the soft chocolate out with a spoon. The candy bar will re-harden after the cupcakes are baked and give the cupcakes and awesome texture, but you don’t want to have thick, random chunks of chocolate in your delicious treat.

To make the cake batter, combine all ingredients and mix until moistened and you don’t see any lumps. Be careful not to overmix – your cupcakes will be dry. I have found that I have the best luck with this recipe with a Duncan Hines cake mix – which is bizarre because I’m definitely a Pillsbury girl. I have used Jell-O pudding and store brand and haven’t seen a difference in that. This batter will be thick, as it makes a dense cupcake. I found this recipe to use when I make cakes to decorate, but the cake is SO good, I use almost all the time. (This mix also makes great flavored cakes – I have done a pineapple cake mix and coconut pudding, a yellow cake mix and butterscotch pudding… there are so many possibilities!)

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the 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.

I then put the frosting into a piping bag with a large star tip and piped the icing unto the cupcakes into a swirly tower. I borrowed a kitchen torch from a friend and toasted the tops of all of the cupcakes. I found that if I held the torch steady and rotated the cupcake, I got better results. Then place one square of the Hershey’s bar into the frosting on each cupcake and devour. 

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Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.