Friday, September 26, 2014

Halloween Cupcakes with Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

It's hard to believe that Halloween is just right around the corner. Same time last year, I remember making my first ever cupcake especially for this occasion and although they came out OK, I vowed to do better this year. Besides, one year is more than enough time for me to improve my culinary skills. 

Now I'm not going to lie to you. These cupcakes were sort of an accident. You see, I had originally planned on making them look tres chic and elegant by piping the frosting into a beautiful and perfect rose. Although I've never attempted anything like this before, I thought to myself, "How hard could it be?" Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy as I thought!

So I got all my ingredients together, baked them in cute Halloween cupcake liners( which came out perfectly moist and yummy ) and made the two colors of frosting, making sure they were the exact hue I wanted. After carefully shoving the two colors of frosting into my piping bag, I was ready. 

As soon as I started to squeeze, I knew I was in trouble. The frosting didn't seem to come out as smooth as it usually does and knew it was the wrong consistency. Damn! Still I thought it'd be fine. 

Unfortunately I was wrong. After just mere seconds, my piping bag ripped apart, shooting the piping tip outside the kitchen window with a huge amount of weird-colored frosting all over my counter top! I wanted to scream! At this point, I was ready to throw in the towel.

But as those who know me well, I'm not one to give up without a good fight. I also refused to waste good frosting and cake. Butter doesn't come cheap and I hate throwing out good food. Frosting isn't food you say? In this case, we must simply agree to disagree.

So I gathered up whatever frosting I could salvage off my counter top and shoved it all back into a brand new piping bag. But this time, I simply piped the frosting on with a simple swirl design. Nothing fancy, except making sure it's two-toned. 

To compensate for the lack of a wow factor, I stuck on some Halloween toppers I had lying around ( you wouldn't believe what I have lying around all over my tiny apartment!). This added just the right amount of whimsy and what do you know? They didn't turn out as bad as I thought they would!

So without further ado, here's the recipe for some awesome Halloween cupcakes that not only look good, but taste good as well.

Vanilla Cupcakes


2 1/3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place cupcake liners in individual muffin cups or a muffin tray. Grease muffin cups or spray with baking spray.
2. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, beat the butter with electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, beating well and occasionally scraping the bowl. Beat until well incorporated.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add vanilla and mix well.
6. 1/3 at a time, alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter/sugar mixture, beating just until blended.
7. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Two-Toned Frosting


4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk
orange food coloring
black food coloring


1. Mix half the powdered sugar and half the butter with electric mixer on low speed. Stir in half the vanilla and just a little milk.
2. If it's too thick, add tiny amounts of milk and beat again until the frosting smooth and spreadable.
3. Add orange food coloring and set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining butter and chocolate. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.
5. Add in a little milk and beat until the frosting is smooth and spreadable, adding more milk to control consistency.
6. To frost the cupcakes, prepare a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip. I used the simplest one with a tube opening.
7. With your spatula, scoop out the black frosting onto just one side of the piping bag, making sure to push it all the way down. Try to keep it just on one side.
8. Next scoop out the orange frosting onto the other side of the piping bag and push it down all the way.
9. Push the frosting to the bottom of the bag. Once you are ready, apply pressure to the piping bag and decorate the cupcakes.
10. Finish the cupcakes off with a decorative cupcake topper if desired.

Helpful Tips

  • I find that piping the cupcakes from the center outwards results in a nicer finish. 
  • Add milk sparingly to adjust the consistency of the frosting. 
  • Use good quality chocolate for the best-tasting cupcakes.
Don't forget to take advantage of all the Halloween-themed accessories you can buy online these days, such as cupcake liners, toppers or even a complete decorating kit. You can also purchase piping bags with tips online, without the hassle of looking for it in stores.

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Thanks for reading and I hope you're all having a great week!

Halloween Baking Cup Decorating Kit with Sprinkles

What I like about this decorating kit is that it's an all-in-one package. It comes with everything you need to make awesome Halloween cupcakes. It's a quick and easy way to add a wow factor to ho-hum cupcakes. The kit includes:

  • Halloween paper cups
  • Halloween picks for the spider legs
  • Eyeball sprinkles

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