Happy Halloween! Devil’s food cupcakes are a fitting choice for these Halloween treats with a spider web design. For a fun, festive touch, the vanilla glaze used to make the spider webs can be tinted light orange with food coloring. For an even spookier touch, garnish the cupcakes or the serving platter with a gummy spider, or make your own spiders out of licorice candies. Cut thirty-six 1-inch (2.5-cm) lengths of black licorice laces, then halve each piece lengthwise. Using a wooden skewer, poke 3 holes on each side of 12 licorice drops, then insert a licorice lace piece into each hole.
Creepy Crawler Halloween Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) lukewarm water
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) buttermilk
For the chocolate glaze:
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream
1 Tbs. light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
8 oz. (250 g) milk chocolate, chopped
For the vanilla glaze:
1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
2 Tbs. milk, plus more as needed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
To make the chocolate glaze, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, corn syrup, and salt and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate; let stand for 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the chocolate glaze to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
To make the vanilla glaze, in a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, the 2 Tbs. milk and the
vanilla until smooth; the glaze should be spreadable. If it seems too thick, whisk in additional milk a few drops at a time; if it seems too thin, whisk in additional confectioners’ sugar 1 tsp. at a time. Use
immediately. Place the glaze in a parchment paper cone or small pastry bag fitted with a fine writing tip.
Spoon the chocolate glaze over the cupcakes. Using the vanilla glaze, create spider web designs: Pipe
concentric circles onto the top of a cupcake. Lightly draw the tip of a wooden skewer, toothpick or paring knife from the center of the cupcake outward to the edge, occasionally alternating the direction, if you wish. For the cleanest look, wipe the tip of the skewer after each draw.
The glazed cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; bring to room
temperature before serving. Makes 12 cupcakes.
Recipe adapted from Cupcakes, by Shelly Kaldunski