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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween treat #4: Spooky graveyard chocolate cupcakes

These were my original idea for a Halloween treat.  The idea that prompted the once-a-week Halloween treats that have graced the blog (some a little belated...oops!) this month.

Chocolate cupcakes...chocolate buttercream....covered in crushed Oreo "dirt" -- with the addition of ghoulish, spooky, totally Halloween-y bright green chocolate bones!  This was my vision.  I just had to make it happen!

I started with the chocolate bones.  A year or two ago I had purchased a Wilton candy mold with skeleton shapes.  It had been in my baking/craft closet since then just dying (haha...bad pun) to be used...and this was the moment.  I thought I had the original idea to make bright green chocolate bones when, on a recent trip to Michaels, I had come across some vibrant green candy melts.  When I fished the mold out of the closet, to my surprise, the packaging had those same bright green bones on it. So either great minds think alike, or my subconscious had stored that idea of green chocolate bones for over two years...

But I digress.  I started with the chocolate bones.  I made them two days before and let them set up in the fridge.  Since most of the cavities in the mold are long and skinny, I actually used a disposable piping bag with just the tip of the corner cut off to fill them.  Genius move, I tell you!  It was so easy and wasn't the least bit messy!  I just melted the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted and then transferred it to the piping bag.

Next up were the cupcakes.  I wanted chocolate cupcakes since I was going for a dirt/ground/graveyard feel.  Same reason I chose chocolate icing, although any color or flavor would work since they're coated in finely ground Oreos to really make it look like diet.  Then, I strategically put the chocolate bones into the icing at different angles and viola, graveyard cupcakes!!

Spooky Graveyard Cupcakes

First, start with the chocolate bones....make them...

Then, make the cupcakes...

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
From Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 12 cupcakes


8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet since the store didn't have bittersweet.  They're basically the same thing anyway).
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350F (325F if using a nonstick pan).
Line standard-sized muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a medium heat proof bowl.
Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water, and heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted.
Whisk until smooth and combined.
(...or you could microwave the mixture at 50% powder, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted.  Which is exactly what I did.)
Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.

Whisk eggs in another bowl to combine.
Add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated.
Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Sift about 1/3 of the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk in sour cream until combined.
Sift the remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is thick and fully incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on a wire rack until they are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
Place cupcakes on a wire rack.
Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes

Then, make the icing.....I used chocolate buttercream:

Chocolate Buttercream
Originally from here


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioner's (pwodered) sugar
1/2 cocoa powder (I used about 1/6 cup dark cocoa powder and 1/3 cup regular cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp table salt
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp almond extract (I use vanilla)
4 Tbsp milk or heavy cream


Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
Turn off the mixer,
Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl.
Turn mixer onto low speed until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed into the butter.
Increase the speed to medium and add vanilla, salt, and milk/cream.
Beat for 3 minutes.
If frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar/if it needs to be thinned out, add additional milk/cream by 1 Tbsp at a time.

Then, make the Oreo "dirt"...

20+ Oreos
Pulverize the Oreos in a food processor until they look like dirt.
Put Oreo "dirt" crumbs in a bowl.

Assemble the Cupcakes 

Pipe the icing onto the cooled cupcakes.
Put them in the fridge for a few minutes, so that the icing isn't too mushy.

Coat the icing in Oreo crumbs.
I usually roll the cupcake at an angle to get the edges covered in the crumbs, and then use my hand to pat some of the crumbs on top.
Put them back in the fridge for a few minutes (not more than 5).

Strategically -- and artistically, and spookily -- place the bones into the icing.
I liked mine coming out at an angle.  You could also rest them on top of the icing, if you'd like, but they won't stick well since there will already be Oreo crumbs on it.

Keep in fridge until about 30-45 minutes before serving.


  1. This was my second time attending an event at this place, and was my first business event here (the other event was a charity show). Their party planner is awesome.

    1. Hi Jagger -- I'm sorry but I think you have me confused with someone else. We don't have an event hall nor do we have a party planner (other than me ;-)). I hope you find the right place to leave your message, I just don't think it's here.