Dead of Night Cupcakes


 Prep Time : 15  + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

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Halloween baking is essentially regular baking with lots of make up on. There’s lots of food colouring and fine motor skill involved. How about something simple, seasonally appropriate, requires no piping, no food colouring and tastes like Oreos? There’s no argument really. This recipe uses one of my favourite ingredients, black cocoa. It’s cocoa that has been dutch processed an extra couple of times giving a it a distinctive flavour and black colour when baked. It’s why Oreos taste and look like they do, and it’s a lifesaver when you don’t want to load up on odd tasting artificial colouring to get things black. I get mine from one of my favourite places here in NZ, Equagold. King Arthur in the US have one, and there are other brands available on Amazon.

While this recipe is designed to save the fiddly decorating, the cakes themselves are also a great base for other decorations if you are more talented than the rest of us. The cakes are not overly sweet so stand up well to more frosting. Be careful not to over-bake these cakes or they will get dry – and let’s be honest if they dip slightly in the top it’s just more room for frosting….

Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a 12 well regular muffin pan with paper cases. Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly until light and fluffy. I really mean it. Really.

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Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated and fluffy after each. The mixture should be airy and mousse-y. Having all the ingredients at room temperature and the butter soft will help keep the mixture from splitting. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together and whisk together. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.

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Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin wells. A large OXO cookie scoop is the perfect size.

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Bake for 15-17 minutes until the cakes are set when pressed gently with a fingertip. transfer to a wire rack to cool. They will sink back to flat as they cool so don’t worry.

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While the cakes are cooling, make the black buttercream. Pop all the ingredients in together and beat until the frosting is soft and fluffy.

Top each cupcake with buttercream. Add a few black sprinkles. If black is classy, then black on black on black is unbeatable.

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Because it’s halloween, we’re adding a couple of sinister red eyes peering out of the night.

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And dig in before any kids arrive….

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Dead of Night Cupcakes


Prep Time : 15 + 15 mins | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy | Makes : 12 cupcakes

Black on black on black cupcakes – perfect for halloween.

Ingredients:

For the cakes:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 grams) softened butter
  • if using unsalted butter add 1/4 teaspoon salt, otherwise 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 grams) caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup less 2 tablespoons (125 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) black cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups (300 grams) icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter
  • scant 1/2 cup (40 grams) black cooca
  • black jimmies and red sugar pearls

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Standing or hand-held electric mixer
  • 12 well regular muffin pan lined with paper cases

Directions:

Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a 12 well regular muffin pan with paper cases. Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly until light and fluffy. I really mean it. Really.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated and fluffy after each. The mixture should be airy and mousse-y. Having all the ingredients at room temperature and the butter soft will help keep the mixture from splitting. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together and whisk together. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin wells. A large OXO cookie scoop is the perfect size.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until the cakes are set when pressed gently with a fingertip. transfer to a wire rack to cool.

While the cakes are cooling, make the black buttercream. Pop all the ingredients in together and beat until the frosting is soft and fluffy.

Top each cupcake with buttercream. Add a few black sprinkles. If black is classy, then black on black on black is unbeatable.

Because it’s halloween, we’re adding a couple of sinister red eyes peering out of the night.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Use this cake as a base for other decorating – it’s not too sweet so can stand up to more frosting
  • Do be careful not to over-bake as these cakes will become dry
  • The frosting will get blacker as it sets up on the cakes

 – These cakes are best on the day they are made but will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container – 

© 2016 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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