Hocus Pocus Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes are fun and with Halloween happening in a few days, it makes sense to have some Halloween-inspired fun with the aforementioned cupcakes. We start with dark chocolate cups that are rich and moist. Then we add colorful frosting in bright orange and green. Then we sprinkle it all with custom purple glitter sugar that leaves you with simply magical cupcakes for your spooky dessert needs.

Of course, you can decorate these cupcakes however you'd like, but I found these to be simple enough to toss together in part of an afternoon and pretty enough to get some ooohs and aaahs from around the table. At another time of the year, I'd frost them with fudge frosting and plop a dark chocolate salted caramel atop each of them.

If you are like me, you might be hosting a snack and dessert gathering in the backyard on Halloween to keep things safer and maybe even a little spooky. These cupcakes should definitely be on the sweet side of your buffet table ... maybe with just the right decorations to give them company?

Hocus Pocus Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup full-fat buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Orange and green gel coloring
  • Turbinado sugar - ¼ cup or less
  • Violet gel coloring - Scant amounts
  • Edible glitter - Scant amounts

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk in one egg at a time.

In a measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk and then stir in the instant coffee or espresso powder.

Alternate mixing the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined but do not over mix.

Fill each cupcake liner ⅔ full with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Let the cupcakes cool in a pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, beat the softened butter using medium speed with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Continue to beat as you gradually add the powdered sugar. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed to fully incorporate all of the sugar.

Once butter and sugar have come together, add the vanilla. Beat in the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Separate the frosting into two evenly measured portions and color one portion with orange gel coloring and the other with green gel coloring. Frost half of the cooled cupcakes with orange frosting and half with green frosting.

To make the glazing sugar, place the turbinado sugar, violet gel coloring, and edible glitter into a mini processor and process until well combined. You can also do this by hand, but it takes much longer and is much messier. Sprinkle generous amounts of the purple glitter sugar over the top of the cupcakes.

  • Yields: 12 cupcakes
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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