Makes 12-14 cupcakes
110 g. unsalted butter
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C degrees. Line one cupcake tin (or maybe two) with cupcake cases.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between each time. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment; add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and sour cream and whisk on medium speed until smooth (about 1 minute). Alternatively, mix with a hand-held whisk.
4. In a medium sized bowl, sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined.
5. Add the cooled butter/chocolate mix and whisk until smooth.
6. Slowly add in the flour mixture, about ¼ cup at a time with the stand mixer on low. If using a hand-held whisk, mix carefully.
7. As soon as you are done adding the flour turn the mixer off/stop mixing. You do not want to over-mix! The batter will be very thick.
8. Fill the cupcake cases 2/3 of the way full with cake mix. Bake for 15-18 minutes. When fully baked, the center of the cupcake should spring back up if gently pressed.
Ingredients-Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
110 g. butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
ColorKitchen Powder, red and yellow
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until very smooth on medium speed. Turn the mixer down and slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time. If your frosting seems thin, add more sugar. If your icing seems stiff, add a tablespoon of milk. Mix red and yellow Color Kitchen powders into a little bowl with water or glycerin to form a smooth orange paste. Starting slowly add the orange paste to the frosting until you like the color.
2. Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off, put a star tip into the bottom. Fill bag with frosting and frost your cupcakes.
Ingredients-Royal Icing for Decorations
2 egg whites
2 lb icing sugar sifted (not all may be used)
1 tsp lemon juice
ColorKitchen food coloring powders
1. Combine egg whites and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add some of the sifted icing sugar to the mixture and start mixing.
2. Keep adding icing sugar a little at a time. When the mixture looks like thick whipped cream and makes soft peaks, you can use it for piping.
3. When you have the soft peak icing, only add 2 tbsp of icing sugar at a time. From now on, the icing will get more and more stiff. When you can pull out small stiff peaks the icing is ready. Cover the icing with cling film and a lid or wet cloth and store it in the fridge.
1. Take some royal icing (stiff made) into a bowl and start mixing it with water, a few drops at the time. Continue this until the icing is thin and liquid. It should be smoothing out when you lift the spoon. The mixing with the water will most likely cause many air bubbles in the icing, so it is always good to cover up the icing and let it “rest” for 30 min. Then give it a slow stir - this will reduce the amount of air bubbles in the icing.
2. Divide your royal icing between a few small bowls for colouring. Mix your Color Kitchen powders with a little water or glycerin to form a smooth paste. I added red and yellow to make orange for the pumpkins. Begin slowly adding the colour paste to your royal icing until you like the colour.
3. Using a black felt tip pen, draw shapes on a sheet of parchment paper. I searched Google images to find Halloween clip art to print out and used them to trace the shapes of pumpkins, ghosts, cats etc…Once you have the shapes drawn on your sheet of parchment, cover that sheet with a clean sheet of parchment. This will be the sheet you pipe your royal icing onto. Try using the technique in the video linked below. The dark brown decorations were made with dark chocolate. Pipe a triangle “stem” onto the bottom of each decoration so you have something to stick down into the frosting.
Excellent video showing the technique for icing cookies with royal icing.
- Recipe by chef Rose Archer