Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes

Friday, October 10, 2014

If you know me, I am a big lover of all holidays and Halloween is no exception.  Now that I am a mama I love holidays even more and want to make them special for our family.  It isn't the easiest to celebrate holidays with a tiny baby but we do our best by wearing festive outfits, reading holiday-themed books and making festive foods.  
Like many mamas, I was on my phone while feeding the babe and came cross this little idea from Country Living.  Cute, so cute.  I combined Amanda from I am Baker's amazing chocolate cake + buttercream recipes and these adorable white chocolate spider webs to create the ultimate festive Halloween cupcake.  While our little Addie can't enjoy cupcakes quite yet, she did "help" me make them while wearing her festive apparel. 

All I have to say about these cupcakes is: holy delicious chocolate heaven.  I almost passed out after I tried them but I quickly reminded myself that I have a baby who needs her mama not to pass out from eating chocolate…but I came close.  

Let's get this Halloween party started! 
 Start with the cake.  Add flour
 Coca powder
 Baking soda
 Baking powder
 And salt into a medium bowl
 Stir to combine and set aside
 Then in a bowl of a stand mixer
 Along with oil, I used canola
 And buttermilk.  Give it a quick stir to combine
 Then spoon in the dry ingredients a cup or so at a time, until you run out of dry ingredients
 Then add cup of strong coffee.  Don't tell my husband I used his beloved ice coffee for this recipe.  Also, keep in mind you cannot taste the coffee in this recipe, it simply intensifies the chocolate taste.  Not a bad thing in my book. Unless you are my husband who doesn't like chocolate and I used a cup of your iced coffee to make these...
 Moving on.  Stir the cake batter until it is just combined.  The batter will be very runny.  I honestly thought I missed something so beware.  It is okay, it will all be okay. Pour the batter into a cupcake pan lined with paper liners.  They rise quite a bit so just fill them 1/2 the way full.  I used my cupcake/muffin scoop to do this.
 Bake for 12-14 minutes.  I baked mine for 12 and as you can see they have a slight dimple in the middle which would make you think they weren't done but I did stick them with a toothpick and it came out clean.  Also, I hate HATE it when I make cupcakes and they overflow over the top and stick to the pan.  These did that.  So, I took a knife and while the cupcakes were still warm I gently scooted the knife between the cupcake and the pan.  It worked great!  I let the cupcakes cool for a bit in the pan and then transferred them to a cooling rack.
 Sleeping on the job…wait that was her job, keep sleeping so mama could bake.  : )
 Then I got to work on the white chocolate spider webs.  To do this, pop some white chocolate chips into the microwave in 20 second intervals.
 Take them out every 20 seconds and stir.  This is after 40 seconds.  Rock hard white chocolate. WTF.
 I added some coconut oil to thin things out and stirred...
 And stirred, and added a little more.  Popped it in the microwave for another 10 seconds, stirred some more and it came out great.
 I carefully poured it into a piping bag with a very small tip (Wilton 3) but you can put it into a zip top bag and cut a teeny tiny hole in the corner.
 Take the template and place it on a small cutting board that fits in your freezer.  Place a piece of wax paper over it.
 Pipe the white chocolate over the template.  It really was pretty easy once I got going.  They don't have to be perfect, mine are definitely not.  Pop these in the freezer to harden while you make the chocolate buttercream.  The chocolate buttercream!
 Start with butter
 And vanilla.  Mix these on medium for about 3 minutes.
 While the butter and vanilla mix, combine powdered sugar
 Coca powder
And salt 
 Give it a good stir
 Start by pouring a cup of the dry mixture into the butter and vanilla and turn the mixer on medium speed.  Slowly add the remaining dry mixture.
 Once you have added all of the dry mixture, add the milk or heavy cream (I used heavy cream) to the bowl
 Beat for 2 minutes and you will end up with this fluffy goodness.
 Taste it and almost pass out. Heavenly.
 To assemble, simply frost the cupcakes
 And adorn with the white chocolate spiderwebs
 I mean how cute are these little guys!?
They seriously taste as good, if not better, than they look.  They are dare I say it, the MOISTEST cupcakes I have ever made.  Combined with the light and airy chocolate buttercream.  Your little goblins will devour these.
 I ended up not making spiderwebs for all of the cupcakes since the baby stopped doing her job (sleeping) and needed to be fed.  So I quickly piped the frosting on and topped with a few Halloween sprinkles.  I liked the combination of spider webs and piped cupcakes with sprinkles.
I quickly packed them up and sent them with my husband the next day to work…no way I could be at home with these delicious beauties all day!

I love love love these cupcakes and the recipes while are longer than using a cake mix and tub of frosting have a few steps they are nowhere near difficult to make.  That being said, I wouldn't hold it against you to use a boxed cake mix and pre made frosting to get the job done.  That would totally work too, I won't judge.

Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes 
Makes 24 cupcakes

For Perfect Chocolate Cake:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
2 cups white sugar 
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt 
1 cup buttermilk
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil 
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 cup strong coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Give it a quick stir and set aside.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Turn on the mixer, just to combine.  With the mixer on low, pour in the dry ingredients.  Once you have added the dry ingredients, pour in the coffee and mix just until they are combined. 

Scoop or pour the batter (it is very thin, don't worry) into a muffin tin that has been lined with cupcake liners.   Fill the liners 1/2 way full and pop the pan in the oven for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick is stuck in the middle and comes out clean.  Mine took exactly 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  

If your cupcakes came over the liner and on to the pan, gently take a kitchen knife and separate the cake from the pan.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan until they are set and easily removable.  Take them out and place on a cooking rack to cool.  

For the White Chocolate Spiderwebs: 

12 oz bag of white chocolate chips 
1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, if needed 

Pour the white chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl.  Pop in the microwave for 20 seconds, remove and stir.  Place back in the microwave for another 20 seconds.  Continue to do this.  If your white chocolate hardens add a bit of the coconut oil to thin things out.  Just keep stirring, and stirring and adding a little coconut oil if needed.   

Once you are at a good consistency (not to runny but able to pipe with it) place in a zip top bag and cut the corner out of it or put into a piping bag with a small round tip, I used Wilton 3.  

Print off this template  and place it on a cutting board that will fit in your freezer.  Place a piece of wax paper over the template and trace the template with the white chocolate.  Once you have piped all of the spider webs, I did 8 per page by flipping the template around, place in the freezer.  

For the Chocolate Buttercream:

1 cup room temperature butter 
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract 
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream (I suggest heavy cream) 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Scrape the sides.  

While the butter and vanilla combine, take a medium, sized bowl and combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Give it a quick stir.  

Once the butter and vanilla are done mixing, slowly add in the dry ingredients.  Once those are added, pour in the milk or cream and whip for at least 2 minutes on medium high.  

That's it!  Note that the frosting will darken as it sits.  

To Assemble:

Take the chocolate buttercream and frost the cupcakes with a knife.  Gently place the white chocolate spider webs on top.  The spiderwebs are surprisingly more sturdy than I thought they would be!  



1. The frosting recipe makes quite a bit of buttercream.  If you are simply frosting with just a little foresting like I did in the pictures above with the white chocolate spiderwebs, you can cut the recipe in half and will have enough.  If you choose to pipe some and frost some using a knife, you will need a full recipe as piping uses more frosting.  

2. The coconut oil does add a little coconut taste to the white chocolate spiderwebs.  They taste awesome but I like coconut.  If you do not care for coconut, you could use vegetable shortening.  

3. These recipes are absolutely amazing but you could totally have the same visual effect by using a boxed cake mix and pre made frosting.  

Cake and buttercream recipes from: I am Baker.  She is the bomb, check her out. 

The template for the spiderwebs can be found here on the Country Living website. 

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