Spooky Black Velvet Cupcakes

I hate Halloween food that looks gory or gross. Give me something genuinely artistic and ever-so-slightly creepy, however, and I’m all for celebrating the season of spooks. This fun, simple recipe for Spooky Black Velvet cupcakes offers a twist to the traditional red velvet cake you likely know and love. Topped with simple little chocolate trees, this is one Halloween recipe you’re gonna love to share!

 

Ingredients:
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
2 cups canola oil
2¼ cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1¼ cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon black gel food coloring
3½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 (8 oz.) box cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
orange gel food coloring

Directions:
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
In a large bowl, beat together oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and gel food coloring. In a second, medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Slowly start to beat the dry ingredients into the wet just until they are all fully incorporated. In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and vinegar. Beat into the batter until incorporated then spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake wrappers. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or just until the center of the cupcakes bounce back when touched lightly. Cool completely before frosting.

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and shortening. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat until light and fluffy. Color with food coloring, if desired.

To make the trees, click here for a tutorial.

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