I’m sure you can tell from the jar of eyeballs… I have a slight obsession with the macabre! October is my FAVORITE time of year – the leaves falling, the air taking on a slight chill, the crisp clean smell, and of course…Halloween!! Every year I go all out when it comes to parties, costumes, and desserts and every year it gets better and better. This year for my annual Halloween party I made several batches of cupcakes decorated with everything from sugar eyeballs to Oreo spiders to tombstone marshmallow Peeps:
I just can’t get enough when it comes to the creepies and crawlies – I know a lot of people wouldn’t go for it… but can we get a vote to keep October all year?! Fridays are “Val baked goodies days” at work, and this Friday was also the day before Halloween, so I had to brainstorm what kind of cupcake and decoration I was going to bring in. I figured if we can do red, blue, and pink velvet cupcakes, since the colors of “velvet” seem to be expanding, why not do a deeply sinister black velvet cupcake??I wanted to take it a little further with a vibrant contrast, so I decided on red velvet frosting with my new favorite ingredient: Lorann Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion. If you can’t find it, or don’t want to buy it, you can always use red food coloring and a little bit of cocoa powder to simulate the taste too.
“Velvet” cakes are typically a very moist, light, and fluffy oil based cake made with cocoa powder and food coloring. Buttermilk is often used to retain moisture as well. Fun fact: red velvet cakes used to be colored with boiled beet juice for color and to retain moisture! Now that you’ve learned something, you deserve a cupcake! 😉 To make the black velvet cupcakes, I relied on extra cocoa powder to darken it, then added a generous amount of black food coloring. I like Americolor Super Black gel paste because I can use less of it, and it doesn’t have a chemical taste to it like some red or black food coloring can have. Take a look at how the black velvet just makes the red frosting pop!
I went on what I thought was the simpler side of decorations, but once you’ve sat and shaped 48 devil horns, and 24 devil tails you’ll feel the burn! I used modeling chocolate that I had tinted black, once again with my trusty Americolor Super Black, to make the horns and tails. They ended up tasting like delightfully evil little Tootsie rolls ;-). If you’re looking for the perfect Halloween cupcake, or just want to change it up a little bit, these black velvet cupcakes are definitely for you!
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- black food coloring
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Start by combining all of your wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring).
- Once combined, add salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder and mix lightly until just combined.
- Add your flour and lightly mix just until all traces of flour have disappeared, do not overmix.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops spring back lightly when pressed.
- **The food coloring can be adjusted after the batter is mixed, but adding it early to the wet ingredients reduces the risk of overmixing your batter and keeps it light.