Halloween Chocolate Spider Cupcakes
Remember the excitement of being out past dark, with a group of your friends, roaming the neighborhood with masks donned and pillowcases in tow? The night always seemed darker and the neighborhood eerier on Halloween. Must be the tales of ghouls and goblins and witches and ghosts that lend a haunted feel to the air. I always felt a little extra rebellious.
I can remember the lead up to Halloween well. The smell of the house warm with roasting pumpkin seeds and aglow with pumpkin diffused candlelight. I remember carving out triangles for eyes. Our house would be covered in cobwebs and plastic spiders, and skeletons hung from the walls.
A few decades may have passed but not much has changed. I've bought a bag of fake cobwebs and black plastic spiders that, if all goes as planned, will be hanging from my walls by tomorrow afternoon. I've carved my first pumpkin (not with triangle eyes, for the first time) and plan to carve yet another at a party tonight. And then there's the big night. While I've given up Trick or Treating long ago, I still love getting dressed up and going out amongst a crowd of costumes. I still feel a little extra rebellious on Halloween night.
Every Halloween needs a spooky Halloween treat. These cupcakes are tasteful enough to serve as an adult affair and playful enough for the kids. They are chocolaty and moist with a crispy top and big chunks of chocolate chips. The pumpkin gets a little lost amongst all the chocolate; I would add more of the spices to help bring out the pumpkin next time. The buttery frosting is rich without being overly sweet.
You can make the frosting orange by adding a large amount of yellow and red food coloring. A disturbingly large amount. I had to push aside the thoughts of all the articles I've read about the dangers of food coloring while I was squeezing in whole bottles of red and yellow dye. It shouldn't hurt too much if it's just once a year, right? If you have orange food coloring you won't have to play artist and mix the right color; it will make your life a little easier.
If you're looking for a super cute Halloween treat these Halloween Chocolate Spider Cupcakes will fit the bill perfectly. Plus, they're super tasty!
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Orange, or red and yellow food dye to the desired colour
- 24 plastic spiders (I used plastic spider rings)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place cupcake cups in muffin tin and grease the top of the tin (so the cupcakes don’t stick if they rise to the top of their papers.)
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat in the dry mixture, alternating with the sour cream and pumpkin. Beat until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, filling till near the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool in tins for 10 minutes. Remove from cupcake tins and cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
- Cream butter with egg yolks. Add icing sugar, ½ cup at a time. Beat in vanilla.
- Set aside a small amount of the icing to make the spider webs.
- To the remaining icing, add food colour a few drops at a time until you have the colour you would like. Blend well between each addition of food colouring.
- Make sure cupcakes are completely cool before you begin decorating them.
- Start by covering the top of each cupcake with orange icing and smoothing out the surface.
- Mix a few drops of water with the reserved (uncoloured) icing. You want the mixture to be like a thick paste. Place the uncoloured icing in an icing bag fitted with a small round tip. Alternatively, you can put the icing in a resealable plastic bag and cut off a tiny tip of the edge of the bag.
- Draw three circles with white icing. Start at the centre with a small circle, and then draw a circle around the outer edge of the cupcake and finally draw the third circle between the two.
- Then gently run a toothpick through the circles, starting in the middle and pulling the toothpick towards the edge of the cupcake to create the look of the spider web. Place a plastic spider on top.
• Make sure you tell people not to eat the spiders on top!
• The icing contains raw eggs. If you have concerns about eating raw eggs, substitute a different icing.
• If you are blending your own colour by using red and yellow food colouring, test a small batch first in a separate bowl. This will help ensure you achieve the colour you desire.
Adapted from a recipe from About.com