I feel like I’ve been missing out when I look at all the cute halloween recipes showing up on my favorite blogs. For some reason, I just don’t normally bake halloween specific things. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been very good at decorating? Well this year I got around that by simply baking something with the colors of halloween. If it’s black and orange, it automatically becomes halloween themed, right? (This would be great if my icing actually turned out orange instead of a random shade of peach.)

On Friday night, Mike is helping out with an all-nighter for our church youth group. I volunteered to make a snack as my contribution (the least I could do since I refused to stay up all night with them) and I figured what better time to try out halloween themed cupcakes! I sent out a plea on twitter for some help and Lindsey from Gingerbread Bagels came through with this wonderful recipe.

Not only are they black and orange, therefore fulfilling my halloween requirement, but they have cream inside them! Mike absolutely loves cream filled cupcakes and I figured the amount of sugar in these would help anybody stay up all night. I decided to make mini cupcakes and I was pretty happy with how they turned out. They are fairly time consuming to make, but the end result is so cute that I think it’s totally worth it. I don’t like chocolate cake, so I can’t speak to how they taste, but Mike took a huge bite, closed his eyes, and said “mmmm these are sooo good”, so I think that means they were a success.  He then proceeded to eat all the rejects that I messed up while decorating.  I’ll have to wait and see what the teens think at the all nighter, but in the meantime, if you’re looking for a fun treat for halloween, give these a try!

And don’t worry if you can’t get to these before Halloween – they look equally as cute with white frosting :)

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Black Magic Cream Filled Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed strong coffee, make sure it’s hot! (I used instant coffee mixed with 8 oz of water)

Cream Filling:
7 oz marshmallow cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Icing:
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 ounces heavy cream

Directions:

For the Cupcakes:Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin/cupcake pan with cupcake liners. I did mini cupcakds without cupcake liners, but I would definitely use liners next time - it was very hard to get these out of the pan. Learn from my mistakes.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, canola oil, vanilla and eggs.

Prepare the coffee maker and start brewing 1 cup of coffee. It’s important that the coffee is very hot when you add it to the batter because if it isn’t, your batter will have lumps and the cupcakes will sink in the middle.

Turn the mixer of low and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until somewhat combined. Slowly pour in the 1 cup of strong hot brewed coffee. Mix until barely combined. There may be some lumps in the batter but there shouldn’t be too many. Use a spatula and give the batter a stir to incorporate it a bit more. The batter will be very thin, like liquid.

Pour the batter into a measuring cup. Fill each cupcake liner until half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-15 minutes. Don’t open the oven up they’re done. (I had to bake about 12 minutes for mini cupcakes). Cool the cupcakes in the muffin/cupcake pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.

Fill the cupcakes with the cream filling using a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip. After filling the cupcakes, frost them with the vanilla buttercream frosting.

For the Filling:Beat together the marshmallow cream and unsalted butter until completely combined at medium speed. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you like and mix the cream filling again. Put the mixture in a piping bag with a decorating tip. Place the tip of the bag in the center of the cupcake and pipe some filling into it.

For the Icing: Cream together the butter and shortening on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt. Put the mixer on low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Once it’s all added, increase the speed for about a minute. Then take your spatula and scrap the bottom of the mixing bowl to help incorporate the ingredients.

Pour in the cream while the mixer is on low. Then increase the speed a bit more. Now take a spatula/mixing spoon to mix up the frosting. The frosting won’t be smooth at this point, so don't worry. Turn the mixer on high speed and beat for about 5 minutes. The frosting should be very light and fluffy.

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