January 03, 2013

The Cake Slice Bakers December 2012 - Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

This month the Cake Slice Baker's are making Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting from Vintage Cakes: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon, and Icebox Cakes for Today's Sweet Tooth by Julie Richardson. When I first saw that these cupcakes had won the vote for December I was thrilled.  Just the name alone sounds delicious and brings to mind a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on top.  I know what you are thinking, why would I need to have hot chocolate where I live? Well, when those trade winds start blowing at 30 miles an hour from the Alaskan direction, and the temperature drops in the low 60's and it is raining, I need something to warm me up.  Don't laugh - yes, I can see you laughing - when you are used to high 80's or above every day I get cold when the temperature drops.

I had very high hopes for these cupcakes since I wasn't a big fan of last month's cake. Also, I have never made homemade marshmallow so I was excited to try out my candy thermometer.  I have been told that once you try homemade marshmallow you will never want to eat the commercially-made ones again, so we will see.

I started grabbing ingredients and chose to use some of my black cocoa from King Arthur Flour because it has a really deep flavor and would make the color of the cupcakes almost black and more "mud-like".  I decided on using 1/2 cup of black cocoa and 1/4 cup of dutch-processed cocoa to get the desired result.  Dutch processed cocoa has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Being neutral, it does not react with baking soda, and it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder (unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used). It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and dissolves easily in liquids.  After mixing some of my morning Ka'u coffee with the cocoa I felt like I had struck oil.  The combination was just like liquid gold.  I had a feeling that I was going to like these cupcakes.

Next I went searching for my chocolate chips.  I know I have semi-sweet, white, and bittersweet in my pantry.  After I quick look I could only find the bittersweet.  Everything else was ready, and I could have spent the next 15+ minutes searching for them in the pantry, but I made an executive decision to just use the bittersweet chips.  I was going for a dark cupcake anyway so these could only help the cause.  I also made the executive decision not to use the pecans in the recipe this time - well I had a little help from the peanut gallery stating they did not like nuts and showing me their sad faces - so out they went.

After they came out of the oven I could not resist trying one.  OMG, so good!  They are exactly want I want in a chocolate cupcake - deep, dark, and delicious.  I almost decided to forgo making the marshmallow because they were so good on their own, but I was determined to christen my candy thermometer, so on I pressed. And I am glad I did because it was good.  I added vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla essence so the frosting had some really nice flecks in it.  At first I thought that I may have burned the sugar mixture - watch it because mine came up to temperature really quickly and turned a little dark - but it worked out just fine.  A drizzle of chocolate on top completed the cupcakes.

These were definitely a winner for me.  I can imagine so many variations that I could make using the base recipe.  I loved the flavor and the fact that they were so easy to put together.  They will definitely we making an appearance again very soon.

Click here to check out the blogs of my fellow Cake Slice Baker's and see all of their cupcakes.

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Marshmallow Frosting
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Center oven rack and preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Line a standard-size muffin tin with 24 paper cups.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the hot coffee into the cocoa. Set aside to cool
  4. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk the mixure together by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed then stir pecan and chocolate chips.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and cooled cocoa mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir batter together with a rubber spatula until just combined (too much mixing will cause the tops of the cupcakes to be unevenly domed).
  6. Pour batter evenly among prepared cupcake tins, filling each well about 3/4 full. Place cupcake tins in middle rack of the preheated oven. 
  7. Bake until cupcakes have domed nicely and bounce back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.
  8. Cool the cupcakes in their tin on a wire rack. 
  9. Once they have cooled, remove them from the pan and pipe a mound of marshmallow frosting on each.
  10. These cupcakes will keep for 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Marshmallow Frosting
  1. Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a small saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Place the pan, uncovered, over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, the cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover the saucepan and continue to boil until the sugar syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 242 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  2. While the syrup is heating to the desired temperature, combine the egg whites with the salt in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat beginning at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed. Beat the whites just until soft peaks form. Timing is crucial at this point in the game; if the syrup is close to reaching 242 degrees, continue whipping the whites to firm peaks. If the syrup is not this warm yet, let the whites wait at the soft-peak stage before whipping them into firm peaks as the syrup approaches the desired temperature.
  3. Once the sugar syrup has reached 242 degrees and the egg whites are whipped to firm peaks, run the mixer at medium-high speed and begin slowly pouring the syrup down inside the bowl. Continue whipping until the frosting becomes thick and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and whip to combine.
  4. This frosting should be used immediately.
From Vintage Cakes


  1. Oooh these looks so inviting! I liked this bake too! Envy you that topping!

    Thanks for catching up with our baking assignments!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Felice, these are just beautiful! I love that you used your King Arthur black cocoa- that stuff is incredible! And I LOVE the little flecks of vanilla bean in the frosting- the perfect touch!
    ~Joy from Yesterfood

  3. Oh my goodness Felice! Those look amazing! Make sure you submit the link in our "linky tool" at The Cake Slice so other Cake Slice Bakers can stop by too! :)

  4. Looks heavenly! This post challenged me to make my own homemade marshmallow. :D Got my eye on your next posts.

  5. Oh these are just beautiful! You made some great choices in developing that deep, dark, chocolate flavor. And that drizzle on the marshmallow....well it's the icing on the cupcake! Perfect!

  6. Oh I love the idea of using the black cocoa for these - great idea! They look delicious!!

  7. Divine cupcakes! I also love marshmallows! Do visit my blog at-http://rita-bose-cooking.com/

  8. Oh, wow. These look seriously amazing! I love a great cupcake!

  9. Now THAT is how I want my coffee! :D Looks awesome!


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