Happy Halloween – Black Velvet Cupcakes!

Posted on October 30, 2015 in American buttercream/ Cakes and Cupcakes/ Edible Decorations/ Icings, Frostings, Toppings, Oh My!/ Modeling Chocolate/ The Sugary


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:

Halloween cupcakes

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! đŸ˜‰ 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!


Black Velvet Cupcakes
Serves 24
Sinfully light and moist cocoa cupcakes that'll leave you screaming for more!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
  1. 1 cup buttermilk
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  6. black food coloring
  7. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  11. 2 1/2 cups flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by combining all of your wet ingredients (buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring).
  3. Once combined, add salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder and mix lightly until just combined.
  4. Add your flour and lightly mix just until all traces of flour have disappeared, do not overmix.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops spring back lightly when pressed.
  1. **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.
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