I’ve been wanting to make some Halloween-themed cupcakes for the past few weeks and have been brainstorming about how to decorate them. Then, this past week, I was contacted by McCormick about hosting a giveaway of their “Tricks for Your Treats” goodie bag, which includes some of their decorating items along with a Halloween dessert decorating suggestion sheet. They also sent me a kit of my own, and once I went through it I decided to use one of their decorating tips and create some frosting pumpkins and ghosts with candy stems and sprinkle eyes. The cupcakes themselves are chocolate pumpkin-flavored with chocolate chips and some black food coloring to make them extra dark and eerie-looking. They tasted wonderful, and the frosting decorations were really easy to put together! To win your own McCormick “Tricks for Your Treats” kit, simply leave a comment below about your favorite aspect of Halloween and make sure to include your email address as well. One entry per person, and the drawing is only open to residents of the United States. The “Tricks for Your Treats” kit includes:

– McCormick Assorted Food Color, Black Food Color, and Pure Vanilla Extract
– Cupcake Liners
– Silicone Baking Sheet
– Le Creuset Spatula
– Mu Kitchen Oven Mitt
– Assorted Halloween Candy
– “Tricks for Your Treats” Halloween Decorating Ideas

The deadline to submit a comment is 12:00 midnight PST Saturday, October 15th. The winner will be announced Sunday, October 16th. Best of Luck! Recipe makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Course Dessert
Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 and 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Cup Butter softened
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 and 1/2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Black Food Coloring
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Chocolate Sprinkles
  • About 6 inches of Green Sour Candy String
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting (Pumpkin Flavors Optional)

  • 12 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Plus 5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Orange Rind optional
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract optional
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon optional
  • 3 and 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar optional
  • 5 Drops Yellow Food Coloring optional
  • 5 Drops Red Food Coloring optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir until well blended and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated, and brown sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition and making sure the scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Then add the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, black food coloring, and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  3. Begin to add the flour mixture to the cake batter, about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until the two mixtures are completely combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and then spoon the cake batter into cupcake liners that have been placed in a cupcake pan.
  4. Once the cupcake liners have been filled, place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, mix together the cream cheese and butter in a medium sized bowl until completely blended. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix well. Divide this mixture in half and place half of it in a small bowl. This will be the frosting used to make the ghosts.
  6. If you want to make the pumpkins, add the pumpkin puree, orange rind, vanilla extract, cinnamon, yellow food coloring, red food coloring, and the remaining 3 and 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar to the remaining frosting mixture in the medium sized bowl and mix until completely blended.
  7. To frost the cupcakes with a pumpkin, fill a frosting bag equipped with a 13 mm plain circle tip with the orange frosting and pump out the frosting straight down onto the cupcake, lifting up slowly so that the frosting pools out to the side in a plump circle. Once the pumpkin has reached a height of about 2 or 3 inches stop pumping the frosting and push down slightly and then pull straight up to limit the trail of the frosting.
  8. Then take a toothpick and make lines down the side of the pumpkin to give it ridges. For the finishing touch, cut 1/2 inch long piece of the green sour string candy and stick it in the top center of the pumpkin to give it a stem.
  9. To frost the cupcakes with a ghost, fill a frosting bag equipped with a 13 mm plain circle tip with the white frosting and
  10. pump out the frosting straight down onto the cupcake, lifting up slowly at first
  11. so that the frosting pools out to the side in a plump circle to give the ghost a base, then pull up faster while pumping and then pull up and away and stop pumping the frosting. Use 2 chocolate sprinkles to give the ghost eyes. Continue frosting until all of the cupcakes have been decorated. Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.
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