I feel like I need an excuse for splurging on cupcakes all week, so I have one ready – Halloween recipe testing!
Truth? Halloween hasn’t really been a big deal to me in a loooong time. It’s like a holiday that isn’t really a holiday. Also, I hate scary things – not silly “scary” things like Eyeball Cupcakes, but seriously scary things like horror movies and haunted houses. But I definitely can get on board with Halloween-themed desserts. I can especially get on board when they taste like these cupcakes…. oh my yumm.
Honestly, I haven’t always been all that crazy about cupcakes, and even though that’s definitely changed since I discovered how amazing a good one can be, I’m still not a huge cupcake-baker. I really just decided to make these cupcakes because I had an idea that I thought would be really cute and I figured out a way to make it involve chocolate. See? These are the things that matter in my world. :) But, it turns out that my super-cute idea was actually a super-genius idea (IMO), because these cupcakes are seriously in-cre-di-ble. Incredible.
First thing? Every cupcake should either have a filling in the center or chocolate chips mixed in. Chocolate chips make life better and these chocolate cupcakes have plenty of chocolate chips, thankyouverymuch.
Also, cupcakes need to be moist, and chocolate cupcakes need to be moist AND chocolate-y. This recipe? Check and check.
And the last thing – frosting can make or break a cupcake – for reals. And you guys? I LOVE this frosting. LOVE IT.
These are definitley chocolate cupcakes, but there’s some sneaky pumpkin mixed in there and a touch of spices that makes them taste like a light, sweet pumpkin bread that’s been choco-fied. It’s like Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (or muffins), but more on the cake-like, chocolate side. The spiced cream cheese frosting makes it even better because it has this creamy, cinnamon-y, sugar-and-spice type flavor. The frosting is bright orange, the chocolate spiderwebs on top are the cutest, anddd I can’t get enough of these cupcakes. Plus, the spiderwebs are super easy to make which means that you can whip up a batch of Halloween cupcakes as easily as you could make regular cupcakes. ← Good Deal
If you like pumpkin even a little, and you love chocolate, and cream cheese frosting, and fall spices, and chocolate, these cupcakes are calling your name. ;)
P.S. These cupcakes are obviously perfect for Halloween, but you could easily turn them into fall-themed cupcakes by making chocolate leaves (or some other shape) instead of the spiderwebs. The frosting could be tinted any fall color or just left uncolored.
P.P.S. Have you entered to win a ThermoWorks ChefAlarm yet?? The giveaway is open until midnight October 28th!
These festive Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat for Halloween. The combination of moist and chocolate-y cupcakes and an irresistable Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting is so good, you might not want to share!
- 3 1/8 ounces (3/4 cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/8 ounces (1/3 cup) cocoa powder (I used dutch-processed)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground ginger
- pinch of ground all spice
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) canned pumpkin
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 3 ounces (1/2 cup) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, chopped (or use mini chips)
- 2 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (chocolate baking chips would probably work too)
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 lb 8 ounces (6 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- heavy pinch of ground nutmeg
- heavy pinch of ground all spice
- heavy pinch of ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- orange gel icing color
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, espresso powder, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and salt and whisk to evenly combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, greek yogurt, white vinegar, and vanilla extract and stir together until smooth.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well-combined. Add the whole egg and egg yolk one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Wipe down the bowl and beater as needed.
- With the mixer on its lowest speed, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in thirds, alternating between each and mixing each addition in just until partially incorporated. Once everything has been added, stop the mixer and add the chocolate chips. Use a flexible spatula to fold all of the ingredients together JUST until evenly combined.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing evenly between each muffin cup; each should be about 3/4 full - don’t overfill!* Smooth out the tops gently if needed. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean or the tops gently spring back to the touch. Cool cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.** If not frosting immediately, store in an airtight container until ready to frost. Meanwhile, make chocolate spiderwebs.
- Fit a piping bag with a small round tip (I used Wilton #2). Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper, on a tray for easy moving if desired. If you’d like to draw out your spider webs on the parchment first as a guide, do so with a pen or pencil and then flip the parchment over so you can pipe on the clean side. You can also download and print a guide online if you’re not comfortable with drawing your own webs.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until smoothly melted. Alternatively, temper chocolate.
- Transfer chocolate to the prepared piping bag and pipe spider webs on the parchment paper.*** Allow to sit at room temperature until fully set, or transfer to the refrigerator to set faster. Once set, carefully peel back parchment to release chocolate webs.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until light, creamy, and smooth. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, ginger, salt, and about 1/3 of the confectioner's sugar. Mix in, starting on low speed and increasing speed as the confectioner's sugar starts incorporating and the frosting begins to look creamy. Continue adding the remaining confectioner's sugar in the same manner until it has all been added, wiping down the bowl and beater as needed.
- Once all sugar has been incorporated, increase mixer speed and beat frosting until smooth. Taste and add more salt or spices if desired. Add icing color and beat in until desired color is achieved. Transfer frosting to a piping bat fitted with your tip of choice (I used Ateco #827) and frost cooled cupcakes.
- Top each frosted cupcake with a chocolate spiderweb.
- Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will keep well for at least a few days, and up to about a week.
*You may have a very small amount of extra batter after filling the 12 muffin cups. If you overfill them, you’ll end up with slightly misshapen cupcake tops. Instead, you can bake any extra batter in a free-standing cupcake liner or a second muffin pan (a mini one would be fine). Alternatively, just count it as batter reserved for eating. ;)
**Since the cupcakes bake up with fairly flat tops, it may be helpful to use an icing spatula or the handle of a spoon to get between the liner and the pan and lift them out.
***I piped my spiders by doing the straight lines first - almost as if you were drawing a snowflake or an asterisk sign - and then piping the curved web lines to connect the straight ones.
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