Baking is one of my favourite hobbies, in fact my dream career for many years was to own a cupcake shop. I love decorating cakes (and of course eating them too). Buttercream is always my favourite part of a cake, it tastes sooo good and most of the time with cupcakes all you can see is the buttercream so it’s got to look good too. A couple of years ago I found a recipe for chocolate and orange cupcakes, which is one of my all-time favourite recipes (which I have baked many times because they taste so yummy!), and this Halloween I decided to put my own spin on this and create spooky Halloween pumpkin themed cupcakes.
For the cupcakes
120g/4oz plain flour
140g/5oz caster sugar
1 tsp baking power
40g/1½oz unsalted butter
50g/2oz dark chocolate
1 free-range egg
125ml/4fl oz milk
1 orange, juice only
3 tbsp granulated sugar
For the buttercream
125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
250g/9oz icing sugar
2-3 tbsp milk
50g/1¾oz white chocolate
1 tsp orange food colouring
Brown/black writing icing
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases. I found these green spot cases in a set at Tesco, I felt the green fitted with the Halloween theme and contrasted well with the orange buttercream.
2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl, and then set aside.
3. Break the dark chocolate into chunks (I used Tesco Finest Plain Cooking Chocolate) and place into a jug; this will make it easier to pour into the flour mixture later.
4. Place the jug of chocolate chunks into a pan of freshly boiled water from the kettle. Continue melting the chocolate until it becomes liquid; if the chocolate doesn’t appear to be melting the water may be too cold so you can place the pan onto the hob at a low heat until the chocolate melts.
5. Once the chocolate is melted, carefully remove the jug and place on the counter; if the jug handle has become hot take care and use an oven glove.
6. Wait about a minute until the chocolate has slightly cooled, then whisk in the egg and milk until a chocolate mixture is formed.
7. Bit by bit, pour and stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until fully combined into cake batter.
8. Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
9. Remember to insert a skewer into the middle of one of the cupcakes to make sure it comes out clean and the cakes a properly baked. Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
10. Meanwhile, mix the orange juice and granulated sugar together in a bowl; this time I used about 50ml of Tropicana orange juice as I didn’t have an orange in my house, it still tasted pretty good but I prefer it with a real fresh orange.
11. Carefully pour the orange juice mixture over the warm cupcakes and set aside until completely cool. Not only does this make the cupcakes taste amazing but it also makes them so lovely and moist.
12. For the buttercream, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Carefully stir in the icing sugar and continue to beat until combined.
13. Melt the white chocolate the same way as the dark chocolate. Then stir the milk and melted white chocolate into the buttercream until fully combined and fluffy. Add extra icing sugar if you want a thicker texture or if the mixture is too stiff add a little more milk.
14. Add a drop of orange food colouring into the buttercream and stir. Continue to add food colouring until the buttercream reaches your desired shade.
15. Decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream, using a spatula to swirl and create a flat top.
16. Finally following the instructions on your writing icing, I used a Cake Decor Choco Writer Milk Chocolate which I purchased at Tesco, create faces on the cupcakes to resemble Halloween pumpkins.
~ and finally eat ~
With only a few days left to Halloween, it’s a perfect time for these cupcakes. I hope you enjoyed reading my post and happy baking!
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Emily M x