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Halloween Cupcakes

Are you ready for Halloween?

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I am nowhere close to being prepared. It's probably because -- brace yourselves -- I'm kind of indifferent about Halloween. I hate it because it's just an obstacle in the way of Christmas, but I love it because it's the catalyst for Half Price Candy Day (my all time fave holiday celebrated on November 1st).
But I love an excuse to bake cupcakes, and Halloween offers up some pretty cool decorating options, like these chocolate spider webs and pumpkins.
So how do you make them? Simply melt chocolate and pipe it onto a sheet of parchment or tin foil, then pop the designs into the freezer for a few minutes. If your kitchen is as warm as mine, the webs will soften over the top of the cupcakes and create a cool effect.

More pictures and cupcakes over at Leanne Bakes!

Chocolate Cupcakes
Ingredients:
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F and grease or line your muffin tin.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add the eggs, water, buttermilk, and vanilla, and mix until the lumps are gone, scraping the bowl as you go along.
Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick pulls out clean.
Let cool. To fill with pudding, slice off a circle in the top of the cupcake, much like you would when removing the top of a pumpkin for carving. Plop some pudding into the hole, and press the cupcake lid back down. Easy!

Halloween Buttercream
Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
3-4 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
a few drops of orange food colouring

Directions:
Whip butter in bowl of a stand mixer.
Gradually add icing sugar and vanilla until desired consistency is reached. Beat in food colouring until evenly orange.
If icing is too thick, add a tsp of milk or cream at a time until it softens.



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