Halloween Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
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Scary graveyard brownie cupcakes are a real Halloween treat for your favorites little ghosts and goblins! Dense brownies topped with chocolate buttercream.

Halloween themed graveyard brownie cupcakes

“Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat…”, do you remember that song? I used to sing joyously that with my cousins, knowing very well how naughty it was!

Halloween has got to be one of my favorite fall festivities. It’s one of the rare nights sugar crazy kids get to stay up all night, dress like what they secretly want to be in real life, collect pillowcases full of free candy from strangers and your parents don’t say no. I admittedly had a secret stash of candy hidden in my closet that I was sneaking each day until Santa came to town.

Scary treats for your favorite little ghosts and goblins!

I don’t make a lot of cupcakes, but I sure eat a lot more than recommended (if you ask my husband). If I made them often I would be tempted to eat one each day all by myself, you know, not to be wasteful, ha. However, for some reason, I always feel the need to make cupcakes for Halloween, because it’s fun to get creative and tap into your inner kid.

But who really needs a good excuse to turn flour, butter, and sugar into something fun and edible? I’m totally there! It was tough for me to decide on what kind of cupcakes to make this year; there are just too many elements to nail down. I lost sleep over this, haha. So I settled for something a little different, dark chocolate brownie cupcakes with chocolate buttercream.

Halloween cupcake with a tombstone on top

Halloween Cupcake Decorating Tips

I had never made brownie cupcakes before and thought it would be a nice change-up from traditional cupcake batter. This recipe yields a chewy brownie with a dense fudge-like texture on the inside. Now the even trickier part was picking my cupcake topper decorations.

  • This year I went for a spooky graveyard theme. I made little tombstones with Trader Joe’s Speculoos cookies cut in half, then dipped in gray colored icing (powdered sugar mixed with a tiny bit of milk until it reached the right dipping consistency, that’s it!).
  • Write tombstone sayings for each cookie. I went for “Boo!, Bonz, Ah!, Yikes and RIP”. I’m sure you can get even fancier and scary.
  • For the graveyard “dirt”, I ground up some chocolate wafer cookies and leftover speculoos cookies.
  • I found the coolest Wilton skull sprinkles and added a few to each cupcake to make it look like the bones were coming out of the grave.

I had a blast making these graveyard cupcakes! They tasted pretty boo-licious too, I know, I’m a nerd. If you’re looking for more Halloween cupcake ideas, check out my spooky spider web cupcakes. Be safe and have a great Halloween!

Do you remember the “cookie butter” craze? I think it’s still happening, haha! Some indulgent food geniuses decided to take delicious crispy, caramelized, cinnamon-flavored speculoos cookies that were originally made in Belgium, combine it with sugar and oil, gave it a whirl, and you’ve got cookie butter. The speculoos cookies have a wonderfully sweet and spiced gingerbread-like cookie flavor, just without the ginger sting. You can also find them in the form of Biscoff cookies. I remember getting these on Delta flights, so much better than peanuts. You can crumble the speculoos cookies on top of ice cream, dip it in your favorite hot beverage, or use them for pie crusts, yum!

Halloween Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes

Scary graveyard brownie cupcakes are a real Halloween treat for your favorites little ghosts and goblins! Dense brownies topped with chocolate buttercream.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients  

Brownie Cupcakes

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, or bittersweet, 60% cocoa recommended
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature, 1 stick
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened, sifted

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 ⅔ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened, sifted
  • cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Decorations

  • 6 speculoos cookies, cut in half
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed for glaze and writing
  • black food coloring, to achieve gray-colored tombstones
  • ¼ cup crushed cookies, or gingersnaps
  • skull candies, optional

Instructions 

Brownie Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Place chocolate and butter in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally just until melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove bowl from the heat.
  • Whisk in sugar and salt until mixture is smooth; whisk in eggs to combine. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa just until smooth (do not overmix).
  • Fill each cupcake to about ¾ full with batter. Bake, rotating halfway through until a toothpick inserted halfway in centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes and allow to cool completely on the rack.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Using the whisk attachment on a mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa. Whisk together to combine. Whisk in sugar mixture with butter, alternating with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Blend in vanilla. The buttercream will be light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag.

Decorate

  • In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup powdered sugar and milk; add milk a ¼ teaspoon at a time until a glue-like consistency is reached. Add more powdered sugar if needed to thicken the glaze. Place 2 tablespoons of the white glaze in a small plastic bag or bottle to use for writing on the tombstones and set aside.
  • In the remaining glaze, add a small amount of black food coloring to color the tombstones gray. Cover with plastic wrap if not using immediately.
  • Dip the halved cookie into the gray glaze, scraping off excess glaze. Allow glazed tombstones to dry fully on a sheet pan.
  • For the white writing glaze, cut off a small portion of the tip of the plastic bottle (if using), and write the letters on each dried tombstone. Set aside.
  • Pipe a generous amount of buttercream in the shape of a circle on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of crushed cookies evenly on top of the piped buttercream. Add the tombstone to the center of each cupcake. Add a few candy skulls if desired.

Notes

  • Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, Cupcakes
  • Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 12 cupcakes
Calories 484kcal (24%)Carbohydrates 70g (23%)Protein 6g (12%)Fat 24g (37%)Saturated Fat 13g (65%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 83mg (28%)Sodium 175mg (7%)Potassium 21mg (1%)Fiber 6g (24%)Sugar 49g (54%)Vitamin A 550IU (11%)Calcium 20mg (2%)Iron 8.1mg (45%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Thalia @ butter and brioche says

    These have to be the best halloween inspired cupcakes I have ever seen. Even though Halloween isn’t that big here in Australia, you definitely can consider I will be recreating the recipe. I love it!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can use a spatula to frost the cupcakes. I also use the top of a plastic bag and cut a hole if that helps too.