pâtisserie natalie

October 31, 2009

Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween Cupcakes [close]

These halloween cupcakes were very last minute. I made the the chocolate vanilla "ghosts" on Thursday night and the pumpkin spice ones on Halloween itself. I think that with Halloween, there has to be a little chocolate, and pumpkins are basically the symbol of Halloween, so you've got to have that. I've found that people tend to enjoy the mini cupcakes the most. First, they're irresistibly cute and they just pop into your mouth so easily.

When a regular size cupcake is presented to someone they will most likely eat it, but feel rather sick afterward. To avoid that bad feeling being associated with cupcakes, I usually make these little guys. The frosting/cake ratio also seems to work a little better with the minis.

Chocolate Cake

4.25 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter; softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove from water and let cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.

In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. On low speed, add the melted chocolate until incorporated. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture has changed to a slightly lighter color. Mix in the yogurt until completely blended. Dissolve espresso powder into water and pour into batter. Mix on low speed just until smooth. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and spray the whole pan with vegetable oil [to prevent sticking]. Fill each cup almost to the top. Bake minis for about 10 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream

1-1-½ stick unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1-1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Sanding sugar or sprinkles

In a stand mixer, beat softened butter and powdered sugar, then salt, and mix thoroughly. Add in vanilla extract and mix. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle with orange sprinkles or any other decorations of choice.

Pumpkin Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin puree in mixer until thoroughly combined.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix together well. Add to the wet mixture. Do not overmix.

Butter and flour mini muffin tins. Fill each cup 1/2 way with batter. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cakes are firm to the touch.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix ingredients together in mixer until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


Paula said...

no guilt here. :) happy hallowe'en!

Chloe (Naturally Frugal) said...

Yum! Those pumpkin ones would also be great for Thanksgiving, or any fall party.
I love your blog and am amazed that you are a highschool student and continue to keep this blog at such a high level. Bravo! or Brava? Whatever it is, you are awesome.

Natalie said...

Chloe, thank you so much for your sweet comments. Yes, either of those flavors could be used for a fall party, or a pumpkin pie alternative for Thanksgiving. :)

Leslie said...

I absolutely have to agree with you about the mini cupcake thing. I find that people really appreciate a smaller dessert. So the challenge for me is to find the most interesting flavours and different decorating styles. The little ghosts are fabulous! How did you put the tiny faces on????? I think you could probably do little Christmas trees too. Beautiful blog!

Natalie said...

Leslie- thank you! I did the ghost faces by taking some of the vanilla buttercream and adding some black (gel) food coloring to it. I also put the "unfaced" frosted cupcake in the fridge for about 15 minutes before putting the faces on as to avoid smooshing the ghost entirely. :)

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