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Friends invited us for a late summer backyard barbecue, and while the kids swam, the adults caught up over icy cold beers and fresh made salsa. I offered to bring a dessert and spent a leisurely afternoon baking cupcakes.


smores cupcakes

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

4 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup warm water

1 recipe Marshmallow Buttercream (recipe follows)

milk chocolate to garnish

Heat oven to 350F. Line 18 wells of a muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter, stirring until blended. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture into each prepared well of muffin pan. Bake until light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Increase oven temperature to 375F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, whisking well. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating to combine.

Combine buttermilk and water, stirring to blend. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter among prepared muffin pans.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 15 to 16 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely.

Pipe Marshmallow Buttercream onto cupcakes in a swirl, garnish with milk chocolate.



1 cup butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon whole milk

2 cups marshmallow creme

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, and milk. Beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until creamy. Add marshmallow creme, beating at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed until thoroughly incorporated.

Recipe adapted from TeaTime July/August 2015



buttermilk chocolate cupcake

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup water


1/2 cup butter, softened

3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 ounces chocolate, melted

2 tablespoons cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

chocolate sprinkles

Heat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Combine buttermilk and water. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and water, beating well after each addition.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate, milk, vanilla and salt. Frost cupcakes, garnish with chocolate sprinkles.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home