Holy Halloween! The boys have never been more excited for this holiday. They are working on costumes for a Zombie and a Goblin, and last weekend we kicked off the countdown to ghoulsville at the Sunset Hills Halloween Carnival. A traditional school carnival, this spooktacular event featured a cake walk, old time carny games, a haunted house, and of course...a bake sale.
I spent an unnecessary amount of time getting a recipe picked, and by that time it was so freakin late that I chose Martha Stewarts One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes. I did splurge on the frosting, and made a traditional Swiss Meringue Buttercream because it is just that much better than powered sugar and milk. Martha also featured some fabulous creepy cupcake ideas that inspired mine.
I packaged them up in some funky paper containers I had been holding on to, and tied them up in cellophane bags with orange ribbon. I tried some as "mini's" and packaged for the cake walk in a paper egg carton with a ziploc baggy, stickers, and measuring tape.
One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Swiss Merengue Buttercream Frosting
Makes about 9 cups, enough for about 28 cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 10 large egg whites
- 4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
- Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
- Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.
- Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.