Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegan S'mores Cupcakes

My Sunday nights have been reserved from September through May for the past few years. It's when I get together with the Vaiana-Cavanaghs to watch Desperate Housewives, talk to each other about our week, and eat all sorts of junk food. My obsession with the show started one night when I went to the VC's house to catch up with Anna, one of my best friends since high school. Her sister Adriana got season 1 of Desperate Housewives on dvd for Christmas. We put on the pilot episode since Adriana kept raving about it, and our eyes were glued to the tv for the next five hours. We quickly caught up to the episodes that were airing on tv, and began our Sunday night ritual. By that time Anna's other sister Debrhea and her parents were just as obsessed with the show as we were.

Lately it's just been Adriana and I watching. Anna passed away in 2008, Deb moved out of state, and Mama and Papa VC's interest in the show waned. Adriana and I still honor Sunday nights with the show, Anna's memory, and our love for sweets. This Sunday I made s'mores cupcakes for the event. I've made the dessert once before in cake form for Logan's first birthday.

The recipe for the vegan batter came from allrecipes.com, a great site for browsing. The s'mores version is my own, proud creation though. It starts by packing a graham cracker crust into the cupcake tins, topping with batter, and toasting the marshmallows on top once the cupcakes have baked. Once the marshmallows are toasted on top they have to be eaten right away. The cupcakes can be made in advance, adding the marshmallows later right before serving. 

S'mores Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Graham cracker crust:
  • 4 whole graham crackers, crushed.
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 marshmallows*
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Crush crackers and mix with oil. Add more oil if still too dry. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add oil, vanilla, vinegar and water. Mix until smooth.
  5. Press cracker mixture into a greased cupcake tin.
  6. Spoon batter gently on top of the crumbs.

      7. Bake for 15 minutes.
      8. Using a knife, scrape around the sides of each cupcake and remove from the tin. Bake for 3 more                     minutes if they're not coming out easily.
      9. Place cupcakes on a baking sheet, and place a marshmallow on top of each, securing with a toothpick.

       10. Turn the oven up to 500º and place the cupcakes back in the oven, until they're golden brown and starting to melt.
       11. Serve immediately.

*To make these vegan in every sense of the word you would have to use gelatin free marshmallows, since gelatin is made from the collagen inside animal skins and bones. Eww. You would also need a substitute for white sugar that doesn't use bone char filters. I used regular marshmallows (while trying not to think about the origins of gelatin) and white sugar, so some people wouldn't consider them vegan.

As I mentioned before, this can also be made in cake form. Just double the recipe and bake for 30 minutes in two 9" round pans. Once baked, stack the two cakes together on a baking sheet and fill the middle with the cracker crumbs. Top with marshmallows and place in the oven until they're toasted. Logan couldn't get enough of this cake on his birthday. It was the first time he ever ate marshmallows, and it's no surprise that he loved them!

For Logan's Eric Carle themed birthday party I tripled the batter recipe to shape The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Even the frosting was vegan. My cake decorating skills aren't the greatest, but I really impressed myself with this one!

Vegan "Buttercream" Frosting
Makes about 3 cups
  • 1 cup of vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of confectioner's sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  1. Creme shortening and vanilla with an electric mixer.
  2. Add sugar one cup at a time, beating well between each cup.
  3. Thin the  mixture with water if necessary, and blend until smooth.



  1. just tried these. They were a big hit with everyone.I am going to make these at home and add some raspberry jam in the middle, .... not that they need improving, just can't resist experimenting.

    1. I'm glad you and your family enjoyed them! And the raspberry jam sounds like a great idea. I may try it myself next time!