Since it’s right around the corner, I’m popping in quickly today with these incredibly easy, (100% suitable for last minute baking) chocolate monster cupcakes.
Despite the fact that these fun chocolate treats are totally outside my usual wheelhouse – the decorating part anyway – I’m caught up in the spooky, trick-or-treating spirit.
The hubby’s been out of town for work the past couple of weeks, so I’ve had more time to myself at night recently to scroll through Pinterest inspiration and play around with holiday-themed cupcake decorations while binge-watching childhood Halloween movies on Netflix (here’s looking at you, Hocus Pocus!).
The chocolate cupcakes themselves are so, so simple – only one bowl required. They bake up to an even dozen, and they’re gently domed, with a moist crumb, and packed of course, with flavorful chocolate-y goodness.
The buttercream frosting on top is about as easy as cupcake decorating gets. It’s endlessly customizable, and no particularly fancy or advanced frosting or piping skills are necessary.
You’ll just need a star tip and a bit of patience to pipe on the monstrously neon fuzz. Imperfection only adds to the wild factor, here, and I found myself quickly getting into a rhythm, starting in the center of each cupcake, and slowly making my way outwards in a loose spiral until the tops were covered.
Of course use any color frosting you’d like, but be sure to grab some of the little candy eyes to add on top. I found mine at Target and Michael’s in the baking sections. They come in a few sizes, and whether two-eyed, three-eyed, or eighteen-eyed… it’s those googly eyes that make these monster cupcakes really come to life.
Have a safe and delicious Happy Halloween!!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room-temperature¹
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, at room-temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room-temperature
- 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- food coloring, any color
- candy eyes, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, until combined.
- Add the buttermilk, water, and oil. Whisk until well-combined. Stir in the egg and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Use a cookie scoop to divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out with only a few crumbs.
- Remove from the oven, and let cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan, before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely. Be sure the cupcakes are at room-temperature before decorating.
- Using an standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, a full 2 minutes.
- Turn the mixer down to low, add 2 cups sugar, the milk, and vanilla, and beat together until smooth and fluffy. Add more confectioners sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency, preferably that it’s stiff enough to easily hold its shape once piped onto the cupcakes.
- Add food coloring, as desired, and mix until the frosting reaches your preferred color(s).
- Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and starting in the center of each (cooled) cupcake, and working in a loose spiral, pipe on the monster “fur.” Top with candy eyes. Best enjoyed the day of.