Halloween Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Who among us didn’t have a favorite processed snack cake growing up? I’ll be the first to admit that as a kid, mine was these Entenmann’s Halloween Cupcakes. If you aren’t familiar with them, they’re a yellow cupcake covered in chocolaty fudge icing, bright orange vanilla buttercream, and candy corn kernels. They’re sickly sweet, but oh so delicious, if you ask me.

Halloween cupcake with fudge frosting overheadI might be biased, though.

I loved when my parents would buy these from the deli or grocery store, which wasn’t all that often because they were pretty expensive for store-bought cupcakes. It’s about ten-times cheaper to just make cupcakes at home, but normal cupcakes covered in buttercream aren’t quite the same. If you’ve ever had one of the original Entenmann’s cupcakes, you’ll know what I mean.  

Halloween cupcake with fudge frostingEver since Fall unofficially started at the beginning of September, I have been thinking about those Entenmann’s Halloween cupcakes. Unfortunately, they’re not exactly easy to find when you’re living in New Orleans and not New York. I haven’t seen them, at least.  So I decided, as I’ve done so many times before, to just take matters into my own hands. Don’t worry, this time, I wasn’t as complicated as when I made bagels. Or macarons.

cut cupcake

Everything from the original Halloween cupcakes is here. Tender yellow cake? Check. Rich fudge? Check. Neon orange buttercream and candy corn garnish? You bet! I even bumped the Halloween theme up a notch by adding fall sprinkles to the batter and baking them in adorably spooky cupcake liners.

Bright Orange Frosting

So, if you’re craving an old school Entenmann’s cupcake like the ones you had as a child or you’re dying to know what they taste like, try my dupe. You won’t regret it!

Halloween cupcake with fudge frosting overhead
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Halloween cupcakes with Fudge Icing

Delightful yellow cake adapted from Brown Eyed Baker's Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting Recipe.  Buttercream Frosting recipe adapted from Wilton's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Fudge Frosting adapted from Brown Eyed Baker's Bergers-Style Cookies. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk or an equivalent amount of powdered buttermilk and water
  • 1/4 cup "fall" sprinkles (yellow, brown, orange, black)

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk or cream
  • Orange food coloring (or yellow and red)

Fudge Frosting

  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Lagniappe

  • 1 bag candy corn

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard sized muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Spray cupcake liners with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. If you are using powdered buttermilk, as I did, whisk that in as well. Set the bowl aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a large bowl and hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light yellow and fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides down to ensure that all of your butter and sugar are evenly mixed. Beat eggs in one at a time, mixing for one minute after each egg is added. After all the eggs are added, beat in the vanilla extract. 

  5. All at once, add in the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add in the buttermilk or, if you chose to use powdered buttermilk, the equivalent amount of water at this time. Beat on low for 1 minute, then increase to medium speed. Beat for 3 more minutes. 

  6. Gently fold in the sprinkles by hand, being careful not to mix too much. If you over-mix, color from the sprinkles will bleed into the batter. 

  7. Fill muffin liners 2/3 full of batter.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. The cakes are ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost completely clean. The center should spring back when touched lightly. 

  8. Cool the cupcakes for 2-5 minutes in the baking pan, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Buttercream Frosting

  1. While the cake is cooling, cream together the butter and shortening in a large bowl until light, fluffy, and well incorporated. 

  2. Beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, beating on medium speed. Between additions, scrape the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula. When all the confectioner's sugar is mixed in, the mixture will appear pretty dry. 

  3. Add milk in one tablespoon at a time until it reaches a fairly spreadable consistency. If you don't need the last few tablespoons, then don't add them. You want to mixture to be soft enough to pipe easily, but thick enough to hold it's shape when piped.

  4. Once the desired consistency has been achieved, mix in enough orange (or red and yellow) food coloring to achieve a pumpkin-orange color. 

Fudge Frosting

  1. Add the chocolate chips, cream, and salt to a large bowl and microwave at 50% power until melted and smooth. Do this in short increments of about 30 seconds at a time to prevent burning your chocolate and stir between intervals. 

  2. Once the chocolate mixture is cohesive, whisk in the remaining ingredients until the frosting resembles brownie batter. If you use a thermometer to check the temperature, it should be around 95 degrees. 

Assembly

  1. Fit a large piping bag with a jumbo open star piping tip. I used a Wilton 1M for these cupcakes. 

    Fill the prepared piping bag with your buttercream icing. Set aside. 

  2. Spoon approximately 2 tbsp onto the top of each cupcake. Spread evenly, so that the top of the cupcakes are completely covered. 

    Set aside to allow the fudge to firm up slightly. 

  3. Pipe swirls on top of each cupcake, leaving the middle open. 

    Press 2-4 pieces of candy corn into the center of each cupcake. 

  4. Enjoy! These cupcakes will last in an airtight container for several days, if you manage to keep them around that long. 

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on candy corn? Is it a perfectly delicious Halloween candy or is it disgusting and pure sugar? Let me know if the comments!

Copyright © 2017 Baker at Law

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