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Stuffed Halloween Cupcakes are just like your favorite cream-filled cupcakes, only decorated with cute (and EASY) Halloween designs! Use frosting and store-bought candy to make four different Halloween cupcake designs: monsters, vampires, mummies, and Frankenstein’s monster.
This post is sponsored by International Delight. This year I’m pleased to partner with them to bring you a series of dessert recipes featuring their products.
Is it possible to have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) over holidays? Specifically, is it possible to get nervous about missing a holiday a month before it’s even happened? EXTRA specifically, is it possible to walk into a store and find the Halloween aisle cleared out by mid-September and get the anxious feeling that everyone is already Halloween-ing better than you are and you’ve probably missed your chance to Halloween at all this year, better luck next time?
Asking for a friend.
This is the first official Halloween recipe I’m posting this year, and I thought I was being pretty reasonable in waiting until a month before the big day to get going. But judging by all of the Halloween recipes I’ve seen pop up in the last 4-5 weeks (and the very empty Halloween store aisles, sniffle) I am seriously late to this party.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Halloween. But I also love, like, taking a breath before diving into the holiday madness that is October-December, every year. But I guess breathing is for losers, because we’re about to do this Halloween thing.
These cupcakes were inspired by my love of cream-filled chocolate cupcakes. Ya know, the ones that barely taste like chocolate (with a filling that is not at all related to real cream?) Yeah, those. I could eat them by the plateful.
So I wanted to make my own version, with a Halloween twist. These babies are decorated–using only buttercream and store-bought candies–with four different (and EASY!) Halloween designs–mummies, vampires, monsters, and Frankensteins.*
*Look, I know it’s technically Frankenstein’s monster, but that is really unwieldy and annoying to type every time, so can we just shorthand it and agree you won’t judge me for calling it the wrong thing? kthxbye
These start with jumbo chocolate cupcakes, made with two different kinds of chocolate and moist enough to keep for several days, but dense enough to stand up to hollowing out and stuffing.
I used International Delight’s French Vanilla coffee creamer to make a smooth buttercream with a deep vanilla flavor. Swapping in creamer for milk or cream in frosting is one of my favorite tricks. It’s an easy way to add fun flavors to frosting, and the texture is always lovely and smooth, perfect for decorating and piping.
The original plan was just to stuff each cupcake designs with an accompanying frosting filling. But as I went along, I got a little frisky. For the Frankensteins and monsters, I kept to the plan, and they got color-coordinated frosting. But when I got to the vampires, I couldn’t resist adding a little cherry pie filling to the inside, so it looked like oozing blood when you bit into it.
And when it came time for the mummies, inspiration struck and I stuffed them with candy bones. I know. I KNOW. It’s a far cry from my cream-filled cupcake inspiration. But how fun is it to bit into a mummy and have bones tumble out?! I couldn’t resist. Just know that whatever you choose to stuff them with, these cupcakes will be a huge Halloween hit.
It was impossible for me to pick a favorite. Decoration-wise, I might go with the monsters–it was really fun to pick out different types of candies for their noses and ears, and give them all unique faces. But concept-wise, the mummies full of bones really tickled me. And who could be mad at a grinning Frankenstein, or cheerful vampire who just happens to have blood on his fangs?
A quick note about the recipe: I made jumbo cupcakes–I prefer them when I’m doing decorations like this, because it gives me a little more room to space things out and fit everything on the cupcake. But you can certainly make yours normal sized, and you’ll get about twice as many cupcakes from the batch. You might just need to make some small decorating adjustments.
I’ve also written the recipe quantities as if you were making a full batch of any given design–this seemed easier than guessing or assuming how many of each style people would be making. But know that if you’re only making one or two styles, you won’t need all of the decorating ingredients. And if you’re going to make an assortment of styles, as seen here, the quantities of some of the ingredients, like the cherry pie filling, might be less. I assume you all will use your best judgment if you find yourself with extra filling or frosting. *awkward, over-exaggerated wink*
Stuffed Halloween Cupcakes
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 2 oz coconut oil (1/4 cup, can substitute vegetable oil if desired)
- 8 fl oz coffee or water (1 cup)
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 8 fl oz buttermilk (1 cup), at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 oz granulated sugar (1 cup)
- 9 oz all-purpose flour (2 cups)
- 2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (2/3 cup)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Frosting:
- 8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
- 24 oz powdered sugar (6 cups)
- 6-8 TBSP International Delight French Vanilla coffee creamer
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Food coloring I used Americolor Electric Purple, Electric Green, Electric Yellow, Electric Orange, and Electric Blue
For the Decorations:
- 24 candy eyeballs
- 1 can cherry pie filling
- 1 cup bone-shaped sprinkles
- 1 cup chocolate jimmies
- Candy fangs
- Chocolate chews like Tootsie Rolls
- Fruit chews like Starburst or Laffy Taffy
- Colored licorice
- Gummy rings like gummy LifeSavers
- Red string licorice
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray two jumbo muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray, and place a square of parchment in the bottom of each—this will help with removal later on.
- Combine the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl, and microwave for 1 minute. Stir, and if the chocolate is not completely melted, microwave for a little while longer, just until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.
- Combine the melted chocolate/oil, coffee or water, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and mix until combined. (It will be lumpy.) Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl well, then run the mixer for 2 minutes on medium-low speed, until the batter is smooth.
- Fill each cupcake cavity 2/3 full. Bake at 325 F for 25-28 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool completely before decorating.
- When stuffing the cupcakes, you’ll follow the same procedure each time: use a sharp paring knife to cut a cone-shaped hole in the top of each cupcake. Fill each hole with whatever the design specifies, leaving a small amount of room at the top. Cut off the bottom of the cone, and place the top of the cupcake back over the hole.
To Make the Frosting:
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until creamy and light in color. Add the powdered sugar, 6 TBSP of creamer, salt, and vanilla, and mix well, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too stiff for your liking, slowly stream in the remaining 2 TBSP creamer, a bit at a time, until you get a texture you like.
- Fill the holes in the cupcakes with bone-shaped sprinkles, leaving a small amount of room at the top, then place the top of the cupcake back over the hole.
- Fill a piping bag with frosting and fit it with a small flat tip (I used Ateco tip #101). Pipe two dabs of frosting on the cupcake and press on candy eyes. Pipe a long, flat strand of frosting from one side of the cupcake to the other. Next pipe a second strand running in the opposite direction and crossing over the first—almost as if you’re making an asterisk of frosting on the cupcake. Continue to pipe criss-crossing strands of frosting, going in all different directions, until the top is nearly covered with frosting “bandages.” Be sure to run a few over the outer edges of the eyes to cover the eyes with the bandages a bit.
- Divide the frosting in quarters and color it bright purple, yellow, orange, and red. (Or any other colors of your choice!) Fit four piping bags with couplers, and fill them with the frostings. Fill the holes in the cupcakes with a big squirt of frosting, and cover them with the cupcake tops.
- Fit each bag with a grass piping tip (I used Ateco tip #133). Pipe monster “fur” all over the top of each cupcake. Press two eyes on each monster. To make their noses, shape bits of fruit chews into circles, ovals, or teardrop shapes. For their ears, cut gummy rings in half, or snip pieces of colored licorice into 1-inch pieces and fringe the ends.
- Fill a piping bag with white frosting. Coarsely blend the cherry pie filling in a blender or food processor, until the cherries are broken up but still a bit chunky. Fill the holes in the cupcakes with a little squirt of frosting and a big spoonful of cherry pie filling, and cover them with the cupcake tops.
- Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake, and use a small spatula to smooth it out. Wait 10 minutes for the frosting to crust over slightly. While you’re waiting, make the decorations: flatten a chocolate chew into a long, thin rectangle, and use a sharp knife to cut it into a wide triangle shape to represent the vampire’s widow’s peak hair. Flatten half of a red fruit chew out, and cut it into a smile shape.
- After 10 minutes, take a smooth paper towel (like Viva brand) and lay it over the top of the cupcake. Lightly press down and smooth out any uneven ridges on the frosting. Add the chocolate hair to the top of the cupcake, and two candy eyes below that. Add the mouth, and press the candy fangs on top. If desired, take a toothpick dipped in red food coloring and add red drips to the bottom of the fangs and at the bottom of the vampire’s face.
- Color the frosting bright green, and place it in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or coupler. Fill the holes in the cupcakes with a big squirt of frosting, and cover them with the cupcake tops.
- Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake, and use a small spatula to smooth it out. Press chocolate jimmies in a line across the top of each cupcake for the monster’s hair.
- Wait 10 minutes for the frosting to crust over slightly. While you’re waiting, make the decorations: cut a chocolate chew in half. Roll one end of each half between your fingers to make it longer and sharper—almost like a golf tee shape. These will be the bolts in his neck. Repeat until you have two bolts per cupcake. Cut a 1-inch segment of red string licorice for each cupcake.
- After 10 minutes, take a smooth paper towel (like Viva brand) and lay it over the top of the cupcake. Lightly press down and smooth out any uneven ridges on the frosting. Add two eyes to the cupcakes, and the licorice smile. Press the candy bolts into the side of the cupcake. Finish by giving each Frankenstein a dab of frosting for a nose.