Cupcake Wars 2012!: Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Filling, Dark Chocolate Glaze and Nutella Frosting

This really was a cupcake war. I have the pictures to prove it. This idea came to me during Christmas when my sister brought home some S’mores Brownies and mini cupcakes from her assorted Christmas parties. Which got me thinking, why not combine the two? So I delved straight into research on complementary recipes that would coordinate with each other to make this delightful and overachieving dessert. So let’s get started. I know you are dying to know what recipes I used. I found three recipes wandering the internet last Thursday that suited my needs, each referenced by the websites that I found them on.

 My Experience

Watching the Food Network is great for inspiration. Don’t get me wrong. I loved watching Cupcake Wars (TM), but in reality I probably shouldn’t have tried. At the same token I’m glad I did because it gave me some idea what REAL bakers have to deal with. Not only with trying recipes out, but having to gather all the nifty “gadgets” that help us. I learned this during this trial of my cupcake making.

Things that went wrong:

There were alot of things that could have gotten better. As you can see in the picture above. When I was putting the flour mixture and the milk into the butter mixture and turned on the machine, it basically exploded at me causing me grief and more cleaning time. (ARG) Then there was the case of the “I need a Spatula.” Things go missing at my home for various reasons. It doesn’t get put back where it should, there are 3-5 different locations where it should be,  etc. etc. Anyways I finally find a spatula. I think I was at the stage where I’m folding the batter with the peaked egg whites and this happens. Yes, I somehow managed to break a spatula from “folding”. I definitely have some talent in the kitchen.

When I was making the Dark Chocolate Glaze, I didn’t have cream or remembered to make a glaze you should use cream/milk so that it doesn’t seize. Well my first batch definitely seized and that had to be thrown away. I tried to put some espresso/instant coffee into it but it just wouldn’t have it. The second batch of chocolate worked but I didn’t taste it until glazing about 7 or so cupcakes, which was about 1/4 of the batch. That was unfortunate. I was using dark chocolate but this wasn’t just dark, it was bakers bitter chocolate, and that is exactly what the doctor ordered… it was incredibly bitter. Instead of throwing it away like I should have, I just frosted it and gave it a spin. That didn’t go off too well with my co-workers.  I got a very dramatic scolding. I learned a bunch. I also was using the mixer to do the mixing for me. This resulted in a cake-like texture of the cupcakes, very dry, very dense. I now know to beat it by hand instead. Which causes me some more grief because I might break another spatula or whisk. I also on a whim bought $1 pastry bags. That was a bad life decision. Both pastry bags exploded when I was filling the cupcakes with the marshmallow filling. First one broke so I inserted it into the second one, and even that broke as well. SIGH Oh well. Here are the recipes that I used. I hope you have better luck than I. The combination worked great but I just needed better execution. I’m trying it again this upcoming weekend, hopefully with better success. Enjoy!

– Willis

Cinnamon Sugar Graham Cupcakes

Total Time: 2 hr 10 min
Prep: 45 min
Inactive: 1 hr 0 min
Cook: 25 min

Yield: 72 (6 do
Level: Intermediatezen) mini cupcakes or 24 (2 dozen) regular


  • 3 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg, separated into 5 yolks and reserving only 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • Cinnamon Sugar Graham Cream Cheese Icing, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line mini cupcake pans with 72 mini cupcake liners or line a regular-size cupcake or muffin pan with 24 cupcake liners.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, and set aside.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar in a small bowl and pour in the melted butter. Stir until combined, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat about 3 minutes more, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract and cinnamon. On low speed, mix in 1/3 flour mixture and 1/2 the milk, repeat alternating between the flour and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until the flour is incorporate

Do not over beat once the flour mixture is added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form and fold into the batter. Fold in the graham cracker
-brown sugar mixture. Scoop the batter into the lined mini cupcake pan or regular-size cupcake pan. Bake 22 minutes for mini cupcakes or 27 minutes for regular-size cupcakes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

Marshmallow Cream Filling

Enough to fill and decorate 24 cupcakes

2 tsp very hot water
1/4 tsp salt
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whip the marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla until it begins to get fluffy.  Add the water and whip well.Dissolve the salt in the hot water and allow to cool.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup – 1 1/2 cup Nutella (start with 1 cup, if you want a richer taste, you can always add more)
  • 1 cup of powdered confectioner sugar

Cream together softened cream cheese and Nutella until blended. Add the powdered sugar gradually until ingredients are combined. Mix on a high speed until frosting is smooth and creamy. (be sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides to keep the Nutella in the mix)

This entry was published on January 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm. It’s filed under Dessert and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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