Halloween Recipes: Candy corn cupcakes

For the next four weeks, every Sunday I’ll be featuring a dessert inspired by classic Halloween candy. Come back for some spooky inspiration for your Halloween party, hostess gifts or classroom/office treats for all of your favourite ghouls and boys. 

I love scary movies.

Correction: I love listening to scary movies. I usually end up watching them through the tiny holes in knit blankets or through my fingers. I have this great trick where I put my knees up and look like I’m watching the movie, but the screen is actually hidden from view.

Still, I love that feeling of being scared. Especially around Halloween.

Halloween is a great holiday for fraidy-cats like me. If you don’t have the stomach for horror movies, you can always appreciate Halloween for the candy.

As a kid, I went trick or treating every year until about the seventh grade. I lived in this absolutely amazing neighbourhood for trick or treating. Picture a typical middle class Canadian neighbourhood and you’ll get something like mine. Almost every house opened their doors for Halloween and my friends and I had our route down to a science.

We’d fill our bags to bursting and then head home to drop off some candy before going out and filling up again. I’d come home and dump out my loot, separating the candy into chocolate bars, gummies, chips, soda/juice and stuff I didn’t like (raisins, that gooey brown taffy, etc…)

Candy corn, though a classic Halloween candy, was rarely present during my childhood Halloweens. People just didn’t give it out and my parents never kept it in the house.

I’ll be honest when I say it isn’t my favourite candy. It is a bit too sweet and artificial for my taste. But, it looks damn good on a cupcake.

Candy corn are just so cute. They make an incredible addition to any Halloween treat, with those pops of yellow and orange.

I knew I could recreate that candy corn cuteness in a cupcake.

I went with a chocolate cake base instead of vanilla. Candy corn is already sweet and I wanted to create some contrast. Plus, this chocolate cake recipe might be the best one you ever eat. I’m not joking.

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This is THE chocolate cake recipe. My mom made it for all of my birthdays and it is still the one I make for my own birthday now that I’m an adult and I have to do that stuff.

It went perfectly with the candy corn-inspired vanilla buttercream frosting. This cake is rich and moist, without being overly sweet.

Frosting these babies was definitely some work (I did mine at 5:30 a.m., thus the appallingly bad lighting in one of my images – sorry!) But, the end result was totally worth it.

Have a spooktacular Halloween!

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Candy corn cupcakes 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of strong, cooled coffee
  • 1 recipe of Buttercream frosting (See below)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake tin with liners. 
  2. Mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine your eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and coffee with beaters or in a stand mixer. Add dry ingredients to wet 1/2 a cup at a time until the dry mix is empty and the batter is just combined, with no lumps. 
  4. Fill each muffin cup 2/3s of the way up. Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops of  your cupcakes are springy and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool. 

Frosting 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of icing sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Red and yellow food colouring

Directions

  1. Beat butter using a stand or handheld mixer until creamy and soft. Add vanilla and beat again. Add 1/2 of icing sugar at a time, mixing until fully blended each time. The frosting should be thick, but still spreadable and smooth.
  2. Separate into three bowls, putting 1/2 a cup more into one bowl. In your bowl with the most frosting, add 5 drops of yellow food colouring and stir with a spoon until all of the frosting reaches an even yellow colour. This may take more or less colouring depending on the one you use. In your second bowl, add 4 drops of yellow colouring and 4 drops of red. Blend until the frosting is orange. Leave the final bowl white.  
  3. Add your frosting to three separate piping bags. I use disposable ones. Given the choice, I would have used my round tip, but I couldn’t find it on this morning and used an open star tip instead. 
  4. Layer the frosting exactly like a candy corn. With yellow on the bottom, orange in the middle and white on the top. For the white, you will likely just need one quick squeeze of frosting. Top with a candy corn and your job is done! 

Yum

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