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Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and an Owl Tutorial

Fun for the family, these Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and Owl Tutorial make a sweet treat for your Fall party!

Dark Chocolate Spiced Pumpkin Owl Cupcakes by JavaCupcake

The winds are blowing, the leaves are rustling around the streets and the rain is falling from the grey skies.  Fall is upon us here in Bavaria!

And what is better for Fall than another pumpkin recipe! This cupcake is a one bowl batter that tastes just like pumpkin pie! Because I wanted to decorate these with owls, I had to top them with a chocolate frosting.  Instead of my favorite chocolate fudge frosting that calls for melted butter and baking chocolate, I used a basic chocolate buttercream which used cocoa powder.  I needed something that I could easily pipe and spread and my chocolate fudge recipe can get a bit thick.  This buttercream worked perfectly!

Dark Chocolate Spiced Pumpkin Owl Cupcakes by JavaCupcake

I know these cute owls on top have been floating around the internet, but I just had to give them a try!  Especially since I kind of have this fascination with owls.  (Our son Matthew, now 7 months old, well his baby theme is owls!) Below the recipe, you’ll find a full tutorial on how I made them!

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Yield: 12-16 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Cupcakes that taste like pumpkin pie topped with a spicy chocolate buttercream! Nothing better!

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Hershey's Dark Chocolate cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1lb powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, melt the butter in your microwave.
  3. Whisk in the sugars, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin puree.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients onto the pumpkin mixture and whisk until just combined. It will still be lumpy at this point.
  5. Add the milk and whisk until smooth.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. NOTE: Don't be afraid to fill these liners full! These cupcakes do better with more batter in the cups and puff up nicely!
  7. Bake 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Frosting

  1. Cream together the butter, cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla.
  2. One cup at a time, add the sugar and beat on high until smooth.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. NOTE: If you're just going to basically frost your cupcakes, you'll want the frosting stiff enough to pipe onto your cupcakes. If you're making the owls, make it a little looser so that you can easily decorate your owls.
  4. Mix on high for 4-5 minutes or until fluffy.

Owl Cupcake Tutorial

Supplies:

  • 1 package OREO cookies
  • 1 box Junior Mints candy
  • 1 box Reese’s Pieces candy
  • Frosting (recipe above)
  • Spatula or knife

Directions:

  1. Prepare the OREO cookies by separating one cookie layer from the cream center, leaving the center in tact.
  2. Pipe a drop of frosting onto each cream center and place a Junior Mint candy on top.  This will create the eyes for the owl.
  3. Separate out the orange Reese’s Pieces candies and set aside.
  4. Using the spatula or knife, frost cupcake creating a flat surface.  At the top of the cupcake, make two little points with the frosting for the owl ears.
  5. Place two eyes on the cupcake, making sure to leave room for the beak and not to cover the ears.
  6. Place an orange candy under and between the eyes for the beak.

 

Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes

Inspired by the candy with the same name, these Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes would make a delicious Halloween treat!

Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

You may have read about the Graveyard cupcakes I made for the Fall Festival at my husband’s work.  Well, I also wanted to make candy corn cupcakes.  The first batch I made I knew I screwed up.  I told myself… hey, there’s citrus in these cupcakes, CHANGE THE RATIO OF BAKING POWDER.  Did I listen to myself?  No.  I also didn’t listen to myself when I KNEW I had over mixed the cupcakes when adding the food coloring.  BAD BAKER!

Are you wondering how my errors screwed up my cupcakes?  Well, to begin with they sunk in the middle.  They also overflowed the edges AND their texture was too light and crumbly for my taste.  Not a good combo for a cupcake.

Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

So this morning I decided to have a second try at them and fixed my errors.  I omitted the baking soda and added more baking powder (this helps combat the acidity of the citrus) and I also added the coloring BEFORE I mixed in the flour.  This allowed me to fold in the flour just until combined, making the perfect cupcake consistency!

These cupcakes are “Blood Orange” Candy Corn cupcakes because I’m using flavored candy corns.  My best friend sent them to me…. Blood Orange Candy Corns.  Unfortunately, my store didnt’ have any blood oranges, so I used a naval orange.  :)   I’d suggest using an actual blood orange if you can!

Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes

Yield: 18 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Ingredients

Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes

  • zest of 1/2 a large Blood orange (I used a Naval orange - read above)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • juice of 1/2 a large Blood orange (I used a Naval orange - read above)
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • (to make cake flour, measure AP flour, remove 4 tbsp and add 4tbsp corn starch. sift together 2-3 times)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Yellow Gel food coloring

Orange Buttercream

  • Orange Buttercream
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 lbs (about 6-7 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh sqeezed orange juice, strained
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Orange Food Gel food coloring
  • Blood Orange Candy Corns - for garnish

Instructions

Blood Orange Candy Corn Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line your cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the orange zest and sugar. Press the back of a spatula into the sugar and zest, releasing the oils from the zest into the sugar. Keep doing this until sugar becomes fluffy and fragrant.
  3. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and orange sugar.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes.
  6. Mix in the sour cream, orange extract and orange juice.
  7. Add the food coloring and mix until there are no streaks of white batter left.
  8. Fold in the flour in three parts, alternating with the milk. Mix ONLY UNTIL JUST COMBINED. Do not over mix!
  9. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Orange Buttercream

  1. Cream the butter.
  2. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Between each of addition, add the orange juice and extract.
  3. Once all the sugar has been added, add the heavy cream until you get your desired consistency.
  4. Add the salt and mix until combined. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. Remove 1/3 of the white frosting.
  6. Add orange gel food coloring to remaining 2/3 of the frosting and mix until no more white streaks are left.

Assembly

  1. Pipe a large swirl of orange frosting on top of the cupcake.
  2. Place a small dollop of white frosting in the center of the orange frosting.
  3. Garnish with a Blood Orange Candy Corn.
Graveyard Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

Graveyard Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes dressed up for Halloween with cookie crumble dirt and Milano cookie headstones… these Graveyard Cupcakes are perfect for your next Halloween party!

Graveyard Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

Today is the Fall Festival for my husband’s Battalion here in Germany.  I am also an FRG Leader for one of the companies in the BN so I had a huge part in planning the festivities for today!  One of the events is a Bake Off (my idea, of course!  hehe)!  I wanted to make something that was not only delicious, but spooky and on theme for Halloween!

I decided to make an Oreo cupcake and decorate it like a graveyard as well as an orange flavored candy corn cupcake! I know that candy corn typically isn’t orange in flavor, but my friend Sarah sent me a package of blood orange candy corns… so this works out perfectly!

Graveyard Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

For the Graveyard cupcakes I made this oreo cupcake… it’s a favorite recipe of mine that works out perfectly every time I make it!   Instead of a cream cheese frosting like the recipe calls for… I used a standard buttercream and added oreos.  I made 1.5x the amount I’d normally make for a dozen cupcakes, just to make sure I had enough frosting.

Enjoy!

Graveyard Cupcakes

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Ingredients

Oreo Cupcakes

  • Get the RECIPE HERE

Oreo Buttercream

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 10 Oreos, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Assembly

  • 6 Milano chocolate cookies, halved
  • Wilton Foodwriters pen
  • 10 Crushed Oreo cookies (just the cookie, not the cream)

Instructions

Oreo Cupcakes

  1. Make the cupcakes according to the directions in the link above.

Oreo Buttercream

  1. Beat the butter until smooth.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, alternating with a small amount of cream at a time, and beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Add the chopped Oreos and mix on high for 2 minutes or until all the big chunks of Oreo are gone.
  5. Add more cream until you get your desired consistency. You may not need all the cream.
  6. Mix in the salt until well combined.

Assembly

  1. Top the cupcakes with a generous mound of frosting.
  2. In a medium bowl, dump the cookie crumbs. Turn your frosted cupcake upside down and dip it into the cookie crumbs. You'll want to put some pressure into the crumbs so that the cookies coat the entire top of the cupcake and frosting. Roll the sides too if needed.
  3. Using the palm of your hand, pat the cookie crumbs until they form a nice round mound, like a grave.
  4. Using the food pen, write any spooky phrase you want on the cookie halves. I wrote RIP. Place each cookie into the frosting.
  5. You could also put hands or bones, maybe gummy worms or other spooky creatures in your grave... really, the possibilities are endless!

 

Guest Blogger: Jennifer shares her Halloween cupcakes

One of my oldest friends, Jennifer, made cupcakes for her Halloween party this year!  I asked her to take lots of pictures and to put togehter a recipe for my readers!  Thanks Jennie!

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese frosting, red dye for the bite marks.  I used a boxed cake, but left out one egg and it was incredibly moist and delish!

Pumpkin spice cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting.  Added fresh pumpkin to a spice cake mix, and made the frostings both from scratch…  I used JavaCupcake’s cream cheese frosting recipe with cinnamon in the pumpkin spice one.

 

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