Last weekend, I went away for a quick spa trip with some friends, and consequently, someone was very mad at me for several days. Things turned around yesterday when I offered to make cupcakes with her. This kid loves chocolate.
(Ellie now says, “Cheese” when you take her picture. From now on, I suspect all photos of her will look something like this.)
I had been wanting to create a Halloween inspired treat for the blog and was struggling a little. I’m not the best crafter or cake decorator, but I wanted something that fit the season and was kid-friendly. Finally, I landed on the idea of Trick-or-Treat cupcakes. Basically, each of these little goodies has a candy treat inside – except for two that are just plain cake. That’s the trick part. Sneaky, huh?
Here I am with a “treat” cupcake. You’ll be pleased to know Ellie’s was also a treat, but she thought the peanuts from the Snickers were “bees,” and I was promptly tasked with removing them from the cupcake.
I should warn you. These cupcakes can be dangerous. Ellie got her finger stuck in one and was sure she couldn’t get it out. Luckily, help arrived quickly, and it was removed. No fingers were harmed.
These cupcakes have the texture of a brownie, as opposed to a traditional cupcake. The chocolate flavor is intense, and they are really dense. The flavor is great, but don’t expect a light crumb, like you’d find in a cupcake.
That being said, if you have a favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, you could easily swap it here (or use a box mix). (I will never tell a soul.)
The cream cheese icing is lightly sweet and tangy. I could have eaten a gallon of it, but quickly put it in the sink and filled it with water after frosting the cupcakes to avoid disaster.
Trick-or-Treat Halloween Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart (I mean, who else would you trust?)
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. white flour
1/4 c. wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c, unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. sour cream
Chocolate candy of your choosing, I used one Snickers and one Reese’s
M&M’s or sprinkles for decoration (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Line a 12 c. muffin tin with liners or spray it with cooking spray. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside in a separate bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar on low speed using a mixer until light and fluffy. Now, add in the eggs, one at a time. Using the mixer to incorporate each one on low. Then, stir in the vanilla.
Next, add the flour mixture in two batches. Alternate with sour cream. You should start and end with the flour.
Fill each section of the muffin tin a quarter of the way up. You may need to use a spatula to spread the batter out within each cup. It should cover the bottom of each. Then, cut the candy into small pieces. We quartered the Reese’s cups and sliced up the Snickers into 1/2 inch. thick logs. Add candy pieces to each one, except for a couple. (You are so tricky.)
Now, cover each piece of candy, with more batter filling the tin until each section is three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, than remove them from the pan and let them finish cooling on a wire baking rack.
Now, make the frosting
Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Red and yellow food coloring
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese using a mixer. Add in the powdered sugar, slowly on low. (If you add in too quickly or on a high speed, you’ll have a big mess. Trust me.)
Once incorporated, add the vanilla and stir to combine. If you’d like orange icing, add equal parts red and yellow food coloring. I did three drops of each.
Bringing it all together:
To finish the cupcakes, just frost each one after they have cooled.
Then, use M&M’s or sprinkles to decorate the tops. Then, eat, but watch out for your fingers.