The Rogue King Cupcakes

Nailed It – Author Home Addition…

After making cupcakes for The Blood King, I am now retroactively going through my other dragon books! This weekend, I made up my own cupcakes to represent the hero and heroine from my book, The Rogue King!

These cupcakes are s’mores cupcakes with red velvet cake, toasted marshmallow topping, and a Hershey’s Kiss center.

Why those combinations, you ask?

Brand Astarot is a rogue gold dragon shifter and a mercenary. His job is to hunt down a phoenix and bring her to the Blood King. But after he meets Kasia and drags her half way across the world, maybe he doesn’t want to! Meanwhile, Kasia Amon is a rare phoenix who can’t stop herself from going up in flames.

The red velvet cake is because Kasia has deep red hair. The toasted marshmallow frosting and Hershey’s kiss center are for her campfire and s’mores scent as well as Brand’s own smokey scent. And the gold wrapper and gold decoration on the frosting are for Brand being a gold dragon!

Just so you know, I am not a regular baker and so this was a continuation of last weeks “Nailed It” style experiment. The marshmallow got all over everything and we gave up on piping it pretty darn quick. And the chocolate kisses just sank to the bottom of the cupcake like a rock and come off with the cupcake paper. LOL. But they still taste amazing!

Like last time, a huge thank you to my Awesome Nerds group on Facebook, and to my daughter and her friend Clara, who all helped come up with the flavor ideas.

This is my recipe. After looking through a gazillion different recipes out there, as well as my mom’s (she’s an awesome baker), I came up with up with my own ingredients and measurements combos. Share as you like!



  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1  cups  granulated sugar
  • 1/4  tsp  baking soda
  • 1  tsp  baking powder
  • 1/4  tsp  salt
  • 3/4  cup butter, room temperature
  • 3  eggs room temperature
  • 2  tsp  vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs (up to 1oz) red food coloring
  • 1 bag of Hershey’s Kisses


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Set cupcake wrappers into a cupcake baking pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In separate bowl, wisk together the wet ingredients: butter eggs, vanilla, buttermilk.
  5. Beat in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth.
  6. Combine the vinegar & food coloring, then mix into batter until you reach your desired color.
  7. Scoop batter into cupcake wrappers (about 3/4 full).
  8. Take 1 Hershey’s Kiss (or other chocolate), and press into the center of the batter
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


The recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes, so double if you need 24.

You really do need a lot of food coloring. Our cupcakes came out more rose colored. LOL.

Our chocolate centers just sank to the bottom of the cooked cupcake like a rock and come out when you take off the wrapper (because it sticks to it). Not sure of this fix for this yet, but will keep trying. LOL.



  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Fill a medium to large pot with water and bring to a simmer.
  2. In a large heat-proof bowl (I use a pyrex glass bowl that is oven safe), whisk together egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt.
  3. Place bowl over the simmering water on the stove, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
  4. Heat, whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes (until egg whites are warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved).
  5. Remove bowl from heat.
  6. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high for 5-6 minutes or until light and fluffy with peaks that mostly hold their shape.
  7. Add vanilla in the last 30 seconds of this process.
  8. Either pipe or scoop onto your cupcakes.
  9. To get the toasted look EITHER toast as desired with a kitchen torch or carefully brown under the broiler in your oven (1-2 minutes max, watch closely).
  10. For the gold sheen, lightly brush on gold cake paint!


I’ll be honest, this seemed like it was going to be tricky, but it ended up being very easy!

The piping situation, however, a big PIA. Next time I’ll double the frosting recipe so that piping is easier (if still a mess).

The step of toasting the topping is optional, however, it does get the very sticky icing to hold its shape and turn a bit more solid, so recommended!

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