Wistful, creative, playful and even (yes, I’ll admit it) cute – these are the words that come to my mind when I think of cupcakes. I recently did a step-by-step photo-tutorial of Halloween cupcakes on my blog. What fun!! Owl, Bat, Pumpkin and Creepy Crawly Cupcakes were adapted from that wonderful book 'Hello Cupcake!' But I got this Graveyard Cupcake idea while browsing through cupcake pictures on the net. The best part is you don't need any fancy equipment - just a zip-lock bag and a spoon! You can make the cupcakes and frosting from scratch or use store-bought - you're the boss. Happy Halloween! - Heena —Heena
Test Kitchen Notes
The poor souls buried in these shallow graves must have died before the economy tanked because these chocolate cupcakes are really, really rich. Two sticks of butter and a goodly amount of sour cream hold together the underworld, while ganache and crushed Oreos compose the moist, damp earth. The only thing left to do here is to defy all your deadly fears and dig in. - cheese1227 —The Editors
Chocolate Cupcakes and Frosting
Chocolate Cupcakes (Makes 15 large cupcakes):
unsweetened cocoa powder
(2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups
pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Frosting (Makes 2 cups):
(240 gm) dark (not unsweetened) chocolate
(240 ml) heavy cream
corn syrup or table syrup
Oreo cookies, cream removed
Piping or ziplock bag, scissors or round decorating tip, stapler/scotch tape
Preheat the oven to 350?F (175?C). Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Sift the cocoa in another bowl. Whisk together the cocoa and hot water until smooth.
Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until combined. Remove from heat and whisk for 4-5 mins with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until cool to touch.
Whisk in the eggs, one by one, beating until incorporated before adding another.
Add the vanilla, then the cocoa mixture, beating only till combined.
Switch the mixer to low speed and add half the flour followed by half the sour cream, beating only till combined. Fold in the remaining flour and sour cream.
Divide batter evenly among the lined cups filling each ¾ full, and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20-25 mins.
Cool the cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Make the chocolate frosting: Chop and place chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream with the syrup in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes. Stir the chocolate into the cream until smooth and shiny.
The ganache will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate it, stirring after every 10 mins until it has a soft spreading consistency.
Place a generous dollop of frosting in the center of the cupcake. Spread the frosting evenly around the cupcake with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.
Crush the Oreo cookies finely to get ‘dirt’.
Starting at the edge, roll the cupcake tops in the Oreo dirt to cover completely.
Fill a piping or ziplock bag with the remaining chocolate frosting pushing it all the way down. (Microwave the frosting for 10-15 seconds if too stiff.) Press out the excess air, fold the open end 2-3 times and staple or tape shut. Using scissors snip off a small slit at the end or fit it with a round decorating tip.
Using the piping bag, decorate the rectangular cookie to make the ‘tombstone’.
Insert the rectangular cookie into the cupcake.
Arrange the graveyard cupcakes on a platter layered with the remaining Oreo dirt