Halloween Cupcake {Recipes}

This is a digression from my usual posts but since Liv asked in my last post about Halloween, I thought I would share the cupcake recipes I used and how I decorated them.
table is set for treats
I am not sweet tooth person in the traditional sense. I love sweets, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like over sugary frosting (and gross if it’s made with crisco!), or milk chocolate candy bars like Hershey’s (also gross), or anything that’s so sweet your brains want to chop off your tongue.

I do love delicious and flavorful treats. These vanilla and chocolate cupcake recipes are the basic for awesomeness.

To note
Salted Swedish butter – Is delicious; take advantage of it. Margarine or any substitute is not acceptable. Your grocery store better not be out of stock.

Fulkorn finaste mjöl, whole wheat fine grained flour – Works too. Just remember to NOT over stir the batter or your cupcakes will become gluttonous.

Vanilla extract – Use the good stuff, not the shit sold in most Coops or ICA. Go to one of the gourmet store and buy real vanilla essence. Your cupcakes will thank you.

Sour cream, gräddfil – Is a must. It’s what helps make the cupcakes light and fluffy.

Parts in this post
Vanilla cupcake recipe
Dark chocolate cupcake recipe
Decorating the cupcakes
Chocolate gloss frosting
Special Hootie Owls
Buttercream frosting
Coloring buttercream frosting
Piping bags

Vanilla cupcake recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 stick (115 grams) salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
3 medium eggs (or 2 large), room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Food coloring if you want color your cupcakes… say orange for halloween :)

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes. Preheat oven to 180C.

1. Mix dry ingredients (salt, flour, baking powder) in a bowl with a hand whisk.

2. In another bowl, mix butter and sugar with an electric whisk (elvisp) until soft and creamy.

3. Add eggs and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture and blend for 2-3 minutes on low setting. No need to overbeat to death!

3b. Add food coloring if you want to make your batter look pretty. I made orange batter by mixing several drops of yellow and red with a few dashes of pink.

4. Time to marry the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry bowl and with the hand whisk, slowly whisk until totally incorporated. I usually do 15-20 stirs before done. It’s okay to have a few lumps.


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
1 stick (115 grams) salted butter, room temperature. Chopped into 3-4 pieces.
2 (60 grams) ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (darker the better!)
½ cup (65 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Fazer but I don’t recommend it. Does not have the full flavor and richness of good chocolate)
¾ cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour or fine whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 medium eggs (you can get away with 2 large eggs as well)
¾ cup (160 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (125 ml or 4-5 large spoonfuls) sour cream

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes. Preheat to 180C.

1. Put the butter in a small glass/microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high, not the highest setting, for 10 seconds.
Check butter, if not all melted, put in microwave for another 10 seconds. I like to do this in 10 second intervals to prevent burning.
If the butter is mostly melted and you can use a spoon to mush the remaining butter into liquid, and it’s done.

2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and throw in the butter bowl. Stir with a spoon until the butter and chocolate have mixed together and formed a glossy sauce.

Note – Whatever you do, don’t let the mixture before, during, or after, touch water. This can cause the fat to coagulate and causing seizing. If you are mixing and you notice after several minutes the chocolate dissolved but there’s a watery/oily residue that won’t mix in, most likely water got in. It’s a mess to fix so you might want to start over.

3. Put the butter-chocolate sauce aside.

4. In a bowl mix all dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, salt).

butter- chocolate sauce, dry ingredients, and wet ingredients before combining

5. In another bowl, use a electric whisk to whip the eggs, vanilla, and sugar until creamy. 3-5minutes on low.

6. Last add the butter-chocolate sauce to the wet ingredients and mix on low for 2-3 minutes.

7. Combine wet and dry into one bowl. Again, I do this part of the mixing with a hand whisk. Again no need to over whisk. A couple minutes will do the trick.

Chocolate cupcake and vanilla cupcake batters

If you want to be creative, you can make chocolate – vanilla cupcakes by mixing together the batters. The key is to NOT mix the batters. Just dump one batter on top of the other in the bowl. When you scoop out to fill for each cupcake, the batters will mix automatically.

Cupcake batters mixed together – in the tray

Bake for 13-17 minutes at 180C. You should be able to stick a toothpick in and not have anything stick. You should feel that the cakes are spongey but are cooked through.

Cooled down and ready to decorate!

Decorating the Cupcakes
What you need
Sprinkes – chocolate flavored (for black) and orange colored sprinkles. I found Dr. Oetker’s sprinkles in the store pretty easily.
Butter (saltat smör) – 250 grams, room temperature … will be good for the 24 cupcakes
NEVER ever use margarine, shortening, or Crisco. Thank you.
Powdered sugar (florsocker) – 500-600 grams
Vanilla essence
Dark chocolate – 100 grams … if you want to have chocolate gloss frosting
Food coloring
Piping bags
Dr. Oetker’s (or Wiltons) piped icing colors … Works great for small quantities you may need

My decorating table
decorating cupcakes!

{Chocolate Gloss Frosting}
100 grams chocolate – broken into small pieces
2 spoons butter – about 20 grams

1. Melt the butter for 10 seconds on medium high in the microwave.

2. Add the broken pieces of chocolate and begin stirring.

This chocolate mix should be liquidly but dense. Small peaks can be formed. This chocolate will harden and look glossy. It’s perfect for covering cupcakes and then decorating them.

{Special Hootie Owls}
Reese’s pieces (surprisingly found at many ICA’s) – that tiny bag will do to make 10-15 hooties.
Chocolate sprinkles
Chocolate frosting

1. Use the chocolate gloss frosting to frost the cupcakes.

2. Separate the Oreos by twisting them apart; just like the tv commercial! You’ll have a half Oreo that has the white cream and a half without cream (or a tad). The white sides will make the eyes for Hootie.

2. While the frosting is still wet, add Hooties eyes to the center area of the cupcake. Press to make the Oreos stick but be careful not to break them! (If your cupcakes have a peak from the baking, saw off the peak to make it flat. A bonus munch for you!!)

3. Above Hooties eyes, add chocolate sprinkles.

4. For his nose, use an orange or yellow Reese’s pieces. For his eyeballs, use a fine tipped piping bag, put a little on each black Reese’s and glue it to Hootie’s eye. You can also use the ready made Dr. Oetker’s piped icing.

Let Hootie set for 15 minutes and then EAT him!
{Buttercream Frosting}
1. Chop butter into a few pieces and place in a medium sized bowl.

2. Using and electric whisk, start whipping the butter on medium. After 5-7 minutes it should be creamy and whipped up. If you still have pieces of butter, it means the butter was too hard (cold) when you started mixing. It’s okay, just keep whipping.

3. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract to give the frosting an extra oomph in flavor.

4. Now, with the whipper on low, begin adding the powdered sugar, 100 dl at a time. The powder sugar will add sweetness and structure.

5. The buttercream should be stiff but still softish, if that makes sense. You should be able to take a spoonful and put it in the piping bag without trouble.

{Coloring Buttercream Frosting}
Food coloring is where the magic is at. While I normally use plain buttercream or whipped cream frosting and then lots of sprinkles, on occasion, the color buttercream makes for fun and happy cupcakes.

For the halloween cupcakes, I made three frosting colors: orange, purple, and bright green.

I used McCormicks Neon colors, Natural Vegetable Dyes, and Dr. Oetker’s yellow. Dr. Oetker’s food coloring is a creamy liquid and not as strong as the other colorings.

Orange – 7-10 drops of yellow, 3-4 drops neon pink and 1-2 drops natural red.
Purple – 4-5 drops neon blue and 5-7 drops neon pink.
Bright Green – 5-6 drops neon green and 1 drop natural blue.

Of course, you should experiment and make lots of pretty colors!


{Piping Bags & Filling}
Plastic piping bags – from Wilton’s … Don’t have them? Buy them online from kakburken.se (Sweden’s it store for baking)
Tips – Wilton 3B, 2C for star piping; 2 and 1B for lines and designs

You first want to get the coupler in the bag and cut the tip. Not too much though, otherwise the coupler could push out when piping. On the outside of the bag, you twist the outer coupler and the tip.

When you fill your bags, fold over the plastic by at least half. This makes it easier to fill the bag with buttercream and prevents spilling. Fill with a couple spoons of frosting so the bag is not hard to use.

Piping bags used – missing the green one though
Piping bags

The black frosting works for making eyes, hair, and overall spookiness.

I used the black for Dracula’s face and the pumpkin face.
Black frosting – you can see fine lines which created the curly hair for Dracula

When piping, the bags should be at room temperature (but not out for hours!), otherwise the butter could be too hard. I let my bag sit out for around 30 minutes if it was in the fridge for several hours.

If the frosting starts to be glossy or mushy, throw the bag in the fridge for 30 min to one hour. The warmth from your hands can warm the bag enough to break down the buttercream…and if it’s melty, it’s nearly dead.

This was my second longest post but this should cover decorating cupcakes for every holiday and birthday. Cupcakes not a Swedish fika treat but I think they are fabulous with a cup of tea or a cappuccino.

And the best part is that the whole cupcake is for you!

14 thoughts on “Halloween Cupcake {Recipes}”

  1. Oooh, they look very good! I agree with never ever using margarine for baking (or in anything) but just cringe of the thought of crisco in frosting.

  2. Ditto Tinna. I have used Crisco to try it out on frosting and while it gives a better texture and consistency…it’s gross to use!

    Ravi – You’ll have to come here and enjoy the x-mas cupcakes!

    Thank you Nickole. :) If you make any, do share a photo!

  3. Thank you so much!!! I’m going to try this any day now!! And it will be interesting to find out what Reese’s pieces are – I have no idea but I’m sure they’re good! :)

    By the way – mixing lemon and chocolate batter like that is usually called tigermuffins (no frosting) or tigerkaka in swedish. Really good! And I prefer real butter too!

    Thank you again for putting such effort into this post, I really appreciate it!

  4. Liv – Tigerkaka! That is so cute for these cupcakes since they come out orange and black.

    Reese’s pieces are peanut butter candies (alert – to peanut allergy folks!). Have you seen the movie ET? That’s how Reese’s became famous.

    Just one thing to note, you may use a spoon or so more or less regarding the sour cream. Really depends on dry it is in the home (and Sweden is DRY).

    You are welcome! :)

  5. I’ve seen ET many times, but never noticed Reese’s. I guess I just didn’t pay any attention to them since we didn’t have them here and I didn’t know what it was. But I like peanut butter, the crunchy kind, so I’m sure I’ll like them!

    Thanks for the tip about the sour cream. It will only get dryer as winter comes…

  6. Thank you for this!. Im gonna try it, but since my cooking skills are basically zero (as in whatever I will cook, it will taste worse than ready made microwave food lol) I wont keep my hopes up. But I will try non the less, ill keep you posted on how it goes.Not because people might be interessted in my cooking skills, but for shit and giggles=D.

  7. Björn, I think you should take my Indian cooking class while you’re at. :D

    And if you make the cupcakes, PLEASE take photos!

    Liv – Reese’s pieces are delicious. If you are going to the UK or US, I advise buying the candies there. They won’t be crazy freaking expensive.

  8. wow, it looks very yumyum:P

    does salted butter really work in sweet cakes? I hate margarin, but I was not sure that I could bake with this butter…

    btw, greetings from norrland ;)

  9. Why does it say to add powdered sugar, 100 dl at a time for the buttercream frosting. That’s a lot of sugar

  10. Zenobia – Most salted butter are light on the salt but give it a try before you throw it in a batter. I would then cut down the amount of salt called for in the recipe.

    Marian – That’s how you make buttercream frosting! It’s sugar and butter and a touch of vanilla extract.

  11. i love these cupcakes!!!!! I’m making these for my school project and i cant wait!!!!!!! Thanks for posting this recipe.

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