Cute Ghost Cupcakes

I have never, ever gone all out for Halloween. Part of it is probably that I enjoy passing out candy and people watching more than I do either dressing up and walking around in the cold or dressing up and going to a party. I tend not to put a lot of effort into creating Halloween desserts as well, because it happens to fall on my brother’s birthday. I mean, why make dessert if you’re going to have dessert anyways?


Just kidding. There’s always room for dessert, especially when dessert is these festive and adorable ghost cupcakes made with my SECOND chocolate cake recipe. You’ve already seen my ultimate chocolate cupcakes, but that recipe and this recipe are very different and produce very different results. Those cupcakes have no butter and are very soft and airy, making them great for a swirl of buttercream and not much else. These chocolate cupcakes are denser and actually make very good cake layers. I would say the only downside to this recipe is that it is definitely made for a stand mixer. Hand mixing is possible but will take a while, and it’s pretty much a no go by hand. However, there’s nothing wrong with scooping this batter into a cupcake tray and making tiny buttercream ghosts.


Halloween spirit isn’t really the same without fluffy buttercream ghosts with chocolate chip faces rising up out of dense, chocolatey graves, right? Stay safe and have a happy Halloween!



for the cupcakes

  • 1 ⅛ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

for the decorations


Preheat oven to 350º F

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar together (I used the paddle attachment of a stand mixer) on a high speed for two minutes. The mixture should be a light color and almost a paste. It’s not the same as creaming the butter, because that only works with room temperature butter. It will look and feel more like a paste.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla, making sure not to overmix.

Alternate between adding sour cream and the dry ingredients in three or four installments. You always want to start and end with dry ingredients.

Fill the wells of a cupcake tray ¾ of the way up with the batter and bake for 13-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs.

Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely before decorating.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip with some buttercream and pipe cone-shaped swirls onto each cupcake (one recipe only covers around 9 cupcakes depending on the height of the swirls).

Take 3 mini chocolate chips and place them in a triangle pattern to create a screaming, wide-eyed ghost face on the front of each of your cupcakes.


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