Spooky chocolate cupcakes

12 servings

Chocolate cupcakes with a Halloween twist! Gel food colouring gives you more control over the consistency of the icing and fake blood. Use a good quality cocoa powder.

Ingredients :

  • Cupcake batter:
  • 175 grams salted butter
  • 115 grams self-raising flour
  • 175 grams caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • Icing:
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 food colouring
  • 150 grams unsalted butter
  • 300 grams icing sugar
  • Decorations:
  • 100 grams chocolate
  • 1 maple syrup
  • 1 red food colouring

Method :


Set oven to 180C and place paper cases into trays.


Beat together the salted butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract. Add in the eggs one by one, beating as you go.


In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Fold these dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined.


Spoon the mixture into cases and bake for about twenty minutes or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Try not to overcook as the cakes won’t be as moist. Leave the cakes to cool before icing otherwise the icing will melt and slide off.


For the icing, use a 1:2 ratio of unsalted butter:icing sugar. If you tend to be heavy-handed with the icing you can adjust accordingly, but this amount should just ice 12 cakes.


Beat together the icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Add any colour you require. For the orange colour of my cakes I added about 5 parts yellow colour to 1 part red, but you can add whatever you need to get the shade you desire. If the icing is too thick, add a little cold water. Pipe onto your cakes.


For my decorations I went with chocolate spiderwebs. For this I melted 40% cocoa cooking chocolate in a bain marie (the fancy name for when you put the chocolate in a bowl on top of a pot of hot water and melt the chocolate that way). When the chocolate had cooled down enough, I piped it onto greaseproof paper in spiderweb shapes and put it in the fridge to set. My webs ended up being really melty and sort of melted onto the icing, which I think is down to the chocolate I used and the fact that I didn’t temper it. Keep this in mind if you want your webs to stand up straight.


For my other cakes I bought little knife decorations (which are made of petal paste so I don’t think they’d be too hard to make yourself) and added some edible fake blood around them. For the fake blood I just mixed about 1 tsp maple syrup with red food colouring – I used gel colouring to keep the consistency sticky. Any syrup will do, e.g. corn syrup or golden syrup.

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