While I know Halloween is today and most everyone already has their holiday baking out of the way, I’m sure that there are still some parties coming up this weekend. So, those of you who are still looking for some last minute inspiration, I hope this post will help you out.
The great thing about cupcakes is really how versatile they are. They can be elegant, fun and kid-friendly, boozy and adult-friendly, celebratory or just plain simple. By dressing up a simple chocolate cupcake with some fun Halloween rings, these treats are ready for the party.
My favorite chocolate cupcakes have made several appearances on the blog. They’re easy, soft, very chocolaty and have a nice, tender crumb. Chocolate butercream is one of my favorite-tasting frostings’ out there, but I don’t always use it because I don’t like the color as much as my favorite fudge frosting because it’s too light. I like the deep, dark color of the fudge frosting better.
I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween. And for those of you on the East Coast recovering from Hurricane Sandy, I hope that you’re all safe and can get things back to normal very soon. We’ve all been keeping you in our thoughts and prayers this week.
- ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ½ cup hot water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon. baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 and ½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted)
- 3 and ½ cups confectioners sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
- Prepare cupcake pans with with paper liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat.
- Heat, stirring occasionally to combine until the butter is melted.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.
- Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition.
- Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.
- With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full.
- Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
- Turn off the mixer.
- Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl.
- Turn your mixer on the lowest speed and beat until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter.
- Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and cream and beat for 3 minutes.
- If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional cream 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Frost as desired.