Now that summer is finally over, it’s time to get serious about baking. I went crazy last year and did this 31 Days of Halloween cook-a-thon thing, and it wore me out (and I gained a pound or two). I made several real cool and tasty Halloween treats, too. One of my favorite treats is Vampire Poke Cake. It’s a fairly simple recipe. A combination of white cake mix batter and a box of strawberry Jell-O is dangerously addictive. Root Beer Float Brownies and Old Fashion Ginger Beer were also among my favorites. I will surely make them all again this October, but I don’t think I’ll go for another marathon.
So, I’m kicking off the month of October with Halloween Dark Chocolate Ganache cupcakes. Dark chocolate is hands down the number one sought after sweet in our house. Dark Chocolate Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Baking Pieces are staples in my pantry. We have plenty of it, too. Never know when we might need to whip up a cake or chocolate pie. Yes, we’re addicted to chocolate.
To make Halloween Dark Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes, I start by making dark chocolate cake batter. I use two sets of baking cups. I line the muffin pan with one set of plain or Halloween baking cups (dark-colored); I drop the frosted and decorated cupcakes in Halloween black and orange ruffled baking cups for easier handling. I let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. I use very little frosting. Most of the time, we eat the dark chocolate cupcakes unfrosted unless I make them for a special occasion. Then I use a bit of frosting and a few small candy decorations.
Once the cupcakes are cool, I make a dark chocolate ganache with semi-sweet dark chocolate morsels and heavy cream. I add about a teaspoon on top of each cupcake, then I finish the frosted cupcakes with Halloween candy sprinkles. We’re all addicted to dark chocolate—the cupcakes usually don’t last more than a day. Every time we walk through the kitchen, we quietly and quickly pick up a cupcake before we’re caught. Before we know it, the tray of cupcakes are gone. We don’t know how it happened.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup semi-sweet dark chocolate baking pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Halloween candy sprinkles
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups.
- Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill baking cups.
- Bake for 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- In a small pan, heat cream over low-medium heat until heated through. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until blended. Let cool before frosting cupcakes. Add about 1 teaspoon of frosting to each cupcake. Top frosted cupcakes with Halloween candy sprinkles.