These are the perfect little treats to make for Halloween that both kids and adults alike will love. They are so easy as really they are just Chocolate Cupcakes but they look so great and are a fun treat to make. If you can't get or don't have the little silicone terracotta pots you can use any little cup or plastic container you can find – they will still look great! For a final touch you could also add a little sprig of greenery (some fresh herbs work great) but for Halloween I like the earthy, dark look! Have fun and make them your own – it's what it's all about!
As always this is my trusty cupcake recipe that I always use which is taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
100g plain or all-purpose flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster or berry sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
300g icing sugar
40g cocoa powder
100g unsalted butter, softened
8-10 plain chocolate biscuits of your choice, crushed finely (although it's ok to have different sizes)
Edible glitter (optional)
Jelly worms and spiders
Jelly worms and spiders
Preheat your oven to 170C/ 325F/ GM 3 and line a cupcake tin with large paper cases .
Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into the bowl of a KitchenAid (or other freestanding mixer) and using the paddle attachment mix slowly until everything is combined and you have a sandy consistency (if you don't have a KitchenAid use a hand-held electric beater).
While the mixer is running, slowly pour in half of the milk and mix until it's just incorporated. Add the egg to the remaining milk along with the vanilla, quickly mix then add to the bowl and continue beating until it's mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly mixed but be careful not to over beat the mixture.
Evenly spoon the cake mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until the sponge bounces back when touched (with my oven 22 minutes works perfectly every time) and a skewer comes out clean when put into the center of the cake. Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack.
While the cakes are cooling make the buttercream. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into the bowl of the mixer then add the softened butter and beat on a low setting until it comes together. Increase the speed a little and continue beating until it is well mixed. Turn the mixer to low then gradually add the milk. Beat the icing until everything is well mixed then turn the speed up a little and leave to beat for up to 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.
Once the cakes are completely cool remove the paper wrapper and carefully transfer to your pot (or plastic cup etc) then spoon the buttercream on top, creating a raised mound effect (I like to use an offset spatula for easy icing). Sprinkle over the crushed chocolate biscuits so that it resembles dirt then if you like add a sprinkling of edible glitter. Finish by adding the jelly worms and spiders then prepare to shock everyone when you tell them it's edible!
*If you do have some silicone muffin cases you can cook the cupcakes directly in them if you prefer. My preference is to bake them in paper cases then transfer them. That way I know they are all the same size and keep a nice flat top for icing.