Are you looking for a scary and delicious treat for the hungry ghouls and goblins haunting you on Halloween? Nothing is more devilish and decadent than these spooky spider web halloween cupcakes. The richest chocolate cupcakes topped with sinful dark chocolate infused with cinnamon and chili spices to give a surprising spicy kick!.
Normally when people think of Halloween time, they think pumpkin pies. But for those with a sweet tooth its all about the candy! When I was growing up, we used to decorate our house with lots of cotton spider webs, the essential outdoor decoration during Halloween! I was inspired to create some fun spider web halloween cupcakes using fondant decorations to top the chocolate cupcakes.
I like to use the Satin Ice Rolled Fondant brand for all of my edible decorations. To color the pieces I found that Wilton Gel Icing Colors works amazing! You can use less color and still get high impact results. I recommend wearing gloves so that your fingers do not get stained with the dye as you work the color into the fondant. A non-stick silicone mat like Silpat works great or you can use any non-stick smooth surface to create the fondant shapes. I also had a little bit of edible white and silver dusting powder that I added to make a little sparkle to the spider and spider web.
To create the spider web, I used FooDoodler Food Coloring Markers. It was easier to write on the fondant cut outs when they had dried slightly on the surface. When working with fondant make sure to keep any pieces that you are not using covered with plastic wrap or in a Ziploc bag because the fondant can dry out very quickly. If the fondant does dry just knead the fondant between your hands to bring back the pliability. Have fun and get creative with your cupcake decorations!
TIP #1:What is rolled fondant? Rolled fondant is a cooked mixture of sugar, glucose and water with a consistency of dough. When using fondant, the first step is to knead the dough to soften and make the product more pliable and easy to roll out and shape. The rolled fondant can then be colored, stretched out to the desired thickness and shaped. When the fondant dries it can hold a shape nicely for your decorations. Rolled fondant is traditionally used to cover and decorate cakes, but they are also a fun way to jazz up cupcakes!
TIP #2: When working with fondant, make sure to keep the product tightly wrapped in plastic to prevent the fondant from drying as you work. Store the unused fondant in an airtight container to prevent dying out and cracking.
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s recommended)
- ¾ cup hot water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter
- 2 ¼ cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s recommended)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon chili powder (Optional, adjust to your liking)
- 8 ounces chocolate, melted (dark or semi-sweet)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup milk, plus extra to adjust for thickness of the frosting
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- As needed, fondant (Stain Ice Rolled Fondant- White/Vanilla flavor recommended)
- Black and orange gel icing color (Wilton recommended)
- Black food coloring marker (I use Foodoodler)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tin with 24 paper-baking cups. Set pan aside.
- Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla, the cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
- Fill each cupcake cup until ¾ full, about ¼ cup of batter for each cupcake.
- Bake 20 minutes, rotating tins halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature.
- Place butter in a microwave safe bowl, heat for 15-second intervals until completely melted.
- Combine cocoa powder, cinnamon and chili powder in a small bowl. Add mixture to the melted butter, and stir until combined.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, heat for 20-second intervals until completely melted, stirring between each heating.
- Add butter mixture and melted chocolate into mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Alternately add the powdered sugar (about ¼ cup at a time) and milk (a few teaspoons at a time), mixing over medium speed between additions. The frosting should be mixed until a spreading consistency is reached. Add a small amount of additional milk, if needed until the frosting looks shiny, yet still thick. If the frosting looks slightly granular, that’s okay, it will become smooth once piped.
- Add the vanilla extract to the frosting, a mix until combined, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- For the spider webs, roll out the fondant on a flat surface (silpat type mat recommended), to about ⅛ inch thick. Cut out 24- 2 inch round or scalloped circles, transfer to a pan lined with parchment paper, and allow drying and hardening for at least 10 minutes. Using the black food-coloring marker, create a dot in the center of the circle. Make at least 12 evenly spaced lines that go outward from the dot in the center. Connect the adjacent lines with semi circles to create a spider web look, create at least 4 webs.
- For the spiders, use enough fondant to make 24 small spiders (about the size of a quarter). Color the fondant with black gel coloring; use a toothpick to remove some of the gel, you do not need very much to get the grey color. Work the color into the fondant until evenly distributed. Roll a small pea sized circle for the head, and a bean sized shape for the body. Roll out 8 small grey legs, 4 legs on each size. Press the legs into the sides of the body to attach. Cover the fondant with plastic wrap or in a plastic bag in between use, as the fondant can dry quickly.
- For the eyes of the spider, color the fondant with orange gel coloring; use a toothpick to remove some of the gel. Work the color into the fondant until evenly distributed. Roll a small pinhead sized circle for each eye, then press on top of the head of the spider.Transfer each spider to the web; add a small amount of water to the bottom of the spider if needed to help the spider stick.
- Using a large round piping tip, pipe about 2 to 3 tablespoons of frosting on each cupcake. Carefully add the fondant spider and spider web to the top of the piped frosting. Cupcakes can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.
Devil’s Food Cake Recipe Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes Book