The cutest Halloween ghost cupcakes that you ever did see! With a rich chocolate cupcake base and creamy vanilla frosting these are as delicious as they are festive. A big hit with kids and grown-ups alike!
Let me start off by saying that I am the opposite of a Pinterest mom.
Any and all art projects / home deco things I’ve tried to DIY in my life have failed – we still have an unfinished gallery wall up in our apartment from when we moved in four years ago (complete with frames that still have the stock photos in them), if that gives you an idea.
So when I tell you that these adorable Halloween ghost cupcakes are doable for even the most cutesy holiday project inept human – I MEAN IT!
Also, they are freaking delicious and that is a major win in the holiday cupcake world.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bitten into an ornate cupcake or gorgeous cake only to be sorely disappointed (almost every wedding cake I’ve ever eaten – I’m looking at you). But these are so good!
A rich chocolate cupcake topped with a velvety smooth vanilla buttercream – you just can’t go wrong with this classic combo.
The cupcakes themselves are made with a combination of melted unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder, as well as your standard cupcake ingredients (ie flour, sugar, eggs, etc.) No mixer is required to make these, just a little bit of elbow grease. After mixing the batter is left to rest for an hour ensuring that all of the flour is completely hydrated, making for an incredibly moist and delicious cupcake.
The frosting is a cross between American and Swiss meringue buttercream. It starts out most similarly to a Swiss meringue buttercream, in which you cook egg whites and sugar together over a double boiler until hot and then whip them up in a stand mixer into a room temperature meringue. Then butter is added bit by bit to transform it into this classic buttercream. This diverges from your typical Swiss meringue buttercream in that after all of the butter is added, we are also going to mix in powdered sugar. This helps to make the final buttercream a bit more sturdy and durable. I colored it with orange food coloring to make it a bit more festive but you could always leave it white to give it more of a classic “ghost” color.
To decorate, you simple place some candy eyes onto the frosting wherever you want the ghost’s “face” to be and then add a bat cupcake topper for good measure.
I brought these to the outdoor Halloween gathering we had with Remy and two of her friends last year and they were a big hit among the kids and the grown-ups alike! A true sign of a really good cupcake.
- 2 oz (56 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup (30 g) Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup (80 g) water
- ½ cup (120 g) milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (140 g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ⅔ cup (140 g) sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1½ cups (342 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⅔ cups (230 g) powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- orange food coloring, if desired
- 24 candy eyes
- black bat cupcake toppers
- Heat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Combine the chocolate and cocoa powder and a small heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and water over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes, whisking occasionally. Pour the hot butter-sugar mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture comes together.
- Add the milk, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture and whisk until completely combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour over the chocolate mixture and whisk until completely combined. Let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling each one to the rim. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are set and spring back when pressed. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg white. Place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water (ie a double boiler) and heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot to the touch and the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Decrease the speed to medium and add in the butter, a tablespoon or two at a time. Beat until the butter is completely incorporated, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla. Continue to mix on medium speed until completely smooth. Add in the orange food coloring, if using, and mix to combine.
- Remove the cooled cupcakes from the muffin tin. Fit a pastry bag with a 1M tip (or other star tip) and fill the bag with the frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Top each cupcake with two candy eyes and insert a bat cupcake topper on top.