Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & A Giveaway



I've been wanting to make some Halloween-themed cupcakes for the past few weeks and have been brainstorming about how to decorate them. Then, this past week, I was contacted by McCormick about hosting a giveaway of their "Tricks for Your Treats" goodie bag, which includes some of their decorating items along with a Halloween dessert decorating suggestion sheet. They also sent me a kit of my own, and once I went through it I decided to use one of their decorating tips and create some frosting pumpkins and ghosts with candy stems and sprinkle eyes. The cupcakes themselves are chocolate pumpkin-flavored with chocolate chips and some black food coloring to make them extra dark and eerie-looking. They tasted wonderful, and the frosting decorations were really easy to put together! To win your own McCormick "Tricks for Your Treats" kit, simply leave a comment below about your favorite aspect of Halloween and make sure to include your email address as well. One entry per person, and the drawing is only open to residents of the United States. The "Tricks for Your Treats" kit includes:

- McCormick Assorted Food Color, Black Food Color, and Pure Vanilla Extract
- Cupcake Liners
- Silicone Baking Sheet
- Le Creuset Spatula
- Mu Kitchen Oven Mitt
- Assorted Halloween Candy
- "Tricks for Your Treats" Halloween Decorating Ideas

The deadline to submit a comment is 12:00 midnight PST Saturday, October 15th. The winner will be announced Sunday, October 16th. Best of Luck! Recipe makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.






Ingredients:

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

5 Eggs
2 and 3/4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 and 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 and 1/2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Black Food Coloring
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Chocolate Sprinkles
About 6 inches of Green Sour Candy String
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves


Cream Cheese Frosting (Pumpkin Flavors Optional)

12 Ounces Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Plus 5 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree (optional)
1 Tablespoon Grated Orange Rind (optional)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
3 and 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar (optional)
5 Drops Yellow Food Coloring (optional)
5 Drops Red Food Coloring (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir until well blended and set aside.


In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated, and brown sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition and making sure the scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Then add the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, black food coloring, and vanilla and mix until well blended.


Begin to add the flour mixture to the cake batter, about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until the two mixtures are completely combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and then spoon the cake batter into cupcake liners that have been placed in a cupcake pan.


Once the cupcake liners have been filled, place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.


To make the frosting, mix together the cream cheese and butter in a medium sized bowl until completely blended. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix well. Divide this mixture in half and place half of it in a small bowl. This will be the frosting used to make the ghosts.


If you want to make the pumpkins, add the pumpkin puree, orange rind, vanilla extract, cinnamon, yellow food coloring, red food coloring, and the remaining 3 and 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar to the remaining frosting mixture in the medium sized bowl and mix until completely blended.


To frost the cupcakes with a pumpkin, fill a frosting bag equipped with a 13 mm plain circle tip with the orange frosting and pump out the frosting straight down onto the cupcake, lifting up slowly so that the frosting pools out to the side in a plump circle. Once the pumpkin has reached a height of about 2 or 3 inches stop pumping the frosting and push down slightly and then pull straight up to limit the trail of the frosting.


Then take a toothpick and make lines down the side of the pumpkin to give it ridges. For the finishing touch, cut 1/2 inch long piece of the green sour string candy and stick it in the top center of the pumpkin to give it a stem.


To frost the cupcakes with a ghost, fill a frosting bag equipped with a 13 mm plain circle tip with the white frosting and pump out the frosting straight down onto the cupcake, lifting up slowly at first so that the frosting pools out to the side in a plump circle to give the ghost a base, then pull up faster while pumping and then pull up and away and stop pumping the frosting. Use 2 chocolate sprinkles to give the ghost eyes. Continue frosting until all of the cupcakes have been decorated. Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.





55 comments:

  1. Oooh, my favorite element of halloween is the dinner beforehand. When I was a child, dinner the night of halloween was always extra early to make sure we could get ready and be out treat or treating too late. So, my mother always used to make a "quick" dinner. It was often pork chops crusted with corn flakes. She is a brillant cook, so for her this was "cheating" but us kids always loved it!

    jane.highstreet@gmail.com

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  2. My favorite part of Halloween is definitely waiting for all the little princess to come up to the door and say "Trick or Treat!" When you tell them Happy Halloween they in turn smile or get shy that someone is talking to them. It is my favorite part because I know how exciting it was to be able to dress up and go around my neighborhood.

    rae.meghan@gmail.com

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  3. I will have to say my favorite part of Halloween is how excited my brother gets. We almost always make a scarecrow out of ratty old clothes and hay and newspaper. Dressing up is fun too :-)

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  5. Love, love these Hallowe'en themed cupcakes. Very creative with ghosts and jack o'lanterns!

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  6. seeing the most creative costumes!

    blueblanket@hotmail.com

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  7. These are crazy cute! Thanks for the super-easy instructions on how to make the ghosts and pumpkins on top!

    My favorite part of Halloween is hosting our annual Halloween party! It's a great excuse to decorate our house, make delicious treats (like these!) and generally enjoy ourselves.

    -Holly
    ThePreggersPlan@gmail.com

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  8. My favorite part of Halloween is the creativity that it inspires in everyone. From food to customs to decorations everyone thinks outside the box and you end up with some amazing surprises.

    Jessica, jessica.czarnowski@gmail.com (my maiden name)

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  10. My favorite part of Halloween was always coming up with a costume. It's such a great way to express creativity and ingenuity as a kid -- my mom was always so impressed with the costumes I created out what we had at home.

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  11. My favorite part of Halloween was always coming up with a costume. It's such a great way to express creativity and ingenuity as a kid -- my mom was always so impressed with the costumes I created out what we had at home. nsw1970@yahoo.com

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  12. those little pumpkins and ghosts - my heart is exploding!

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  13. those little pumpkins look really cute! did you just cut them with a knife? I would really like a tutorial on how you decorate them!

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  14. Thanks everyone!

    @betty: I used a toothpick actually :) I do have a tutorial, sans photos, in the recipe, it says: To frost the cupcakes with a pumpkin, fill a frosting bag equipped with a 13 mm plain circle tip with the orange frosting and pump out the frosting straight down onto the cupcake, lifting up slowly so that the frosting pools out to the side in a plump circle. Once the pumpkin has reached a height of about 2 or 3 inches stop pumping the frosting and push down slightly and then pull straight up to limit the trail of the frosting. Then take a toothpick and make lines down the side of the pumpkin to give it ridges. For the finishing touch, cut 1/2 inch long piece of the green sour string candy and stick it in the top center of the pumpkin to give it a stem.

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  15. I Love these cupcakes! Can't wait to make them!!!
    And my fave thing about halloween is all the homemade costumes
    Leah.torbett@gmail.com

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  16. My favorite part of Halloween is spending it at my sisters handing out candy and also my daughter's cute homemade Halloween cupcakes.

    Julia

    wtxgirl67 at gmail.com

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  17. I think my favorite part is the opportunity to dress up in costume and have fun with my kids.

    cruzowlpost at att dot net

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  18. These are super cute! Love them! A very classy not cheesy Halloween look to them : ) I love dressing up, best part for sure!

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  19. those look sooo cute... love your photographs

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  20. I love everything about Halloween. The colors, foods, and weather.
    heartsandcake@ymail.com

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  21. I love all the Halloweendecorations and craft projects
    stampinariel@yahoo.com
    ~Ariel

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  22. I love handing out candy to the kids!

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  23. Love seeing the kids with their costumes on :)
    thanks
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

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  24. Your cupcakes are adorable, Eva! I especially love the pumpkin decoration. Really cute.

    Great giveaway too!

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  25. I love watching the shows and movies on tv with the Halloween themes to them. Some are scary and some funny and cute =)

    Elsa

    e_rg05@yahoo.com

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  26. I love pretty much everything about Halloween. Every year my mom would make me a new Halloween costume from scratch. I was even a cat one year with stripes of fur. And princess Leia complete with boots and hair bun The one costume rule is that you could never be the same thing two years in a row. But I never got just one use out of my costumes I loved to dress up as I still do so I would wear them until I out grew them. Today I have an attic full of costumes that I can choose from every Halloween, but I try to never be the same thing twice, so pieces are always being reused or shared out to friends.
    Ann
    aryooki@gmail.com

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  27. I love that come Halloween-time there are always plenty of shows on TV about haunted houses, ghosts, and the like. My mom and I love to watch them when we're together at this time of year.

    I love the little ghosts and pumpkins on your cupcakes--too cute!

    laurenrpacek@gmail.com

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  28. SO CUTE!!!!!! I love seeing the kids costumes- best part of handing out candy!
    atherjennie@gmail.com

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  29. My favorite part of Halloween is all the yummy treats I get to make! I LOVE pumpkin season!

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  30. I am not big on costumes but I LOVE baking...so making everything for the kids classes and parties is my favorite thing

    soldier 01 wife at gmail.com

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  31. My favorite aspect of Halloween is pumpkin patches--taking my nephew to a pumpkin patch for the first time and seeing his face light up is the best!

    sarah.herried@gmail.com

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  32. My favorite part of Halloween has always been dressing up - my mom used to make me costumes, and now I have so much fun putting them together on my own!

    rachelouise18@gmail.com

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  33. my favorite part of halloween is anything pumpkin flavored..mmm, probably the best flavor! (those cupcakes look delish)

    carina.kooiman@gmail.com

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  34. My favorite part of Halloween is going trick or treating, especially when I get to take young kids, like my best friends' niece and nephew. There's that excitement of dressing up in costumes that we made or picked out, and then there's that whole knocking door to door and getting free candy from old adorable couples who tell us that we look "so cute!" The excitement that everyone radiates is just the coolest feeling ever; it's catching.

    marianperez93@yahoo.com

    I can't wait to try these at home! They look SO cute!(:

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  35. My favorite part of halloween is when the kids come dressed up at the door. I love seeing all the unique costumes. And, I love it bunches when I see dogs dressed up!
    carinarochelle @ gmail dot com

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  36. I always host a pumpkin carving party/competition. It's a lot of fun and I get to keep all the seeds to roast!

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  37. My favorite part of Halloween is observing my two beautiful girls and the excitement that builds up in their eyes as they go from house to house..galexicupcakes@gmail.com

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  38. Love the surprise of these cupcakes as you wouldn't probably expect pumpkin flavor in a chocolate looking cupcake! Beautiful! :)

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  39. Hey...

    Nice to see the recipes and decoration of pumpkin..Its very good for make fun with kids in Halloween..
    Christmas Treasure Hunt

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  40. My favorite aspect of Halloween is how it seamlessly transforms daily life into something new and exciting. Over the course of October, people turn their yards into dark, creepy messes, and turn themselves into brilliantly costumed versions of their own desires. Halloween's timing meshes perfectly with the turn of seasons, so that as everyone slowly changes their lives for the holiday celebration, the weather also changes, bringing cool fall crispness outside and warm fall flavors in the kitchen. It's so interesting to see everyone across different neighborhoods and communities all embracing the same exciting spirit of transformation, and of course I love being swept away by it myself!

    paperbackwriter109@yahoo.com

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  41. What I love the most about Halloween is the spooky excitement behind the decor and costumes! Plus, the ghouls, goblins, and witches make me feel festive! sxy_psycho_kitty@yahoo.com

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  42. My favorite part of Halloween is that it totally brings in the fall mood. I love pumpkin spice and apple pie:)

    hungrygnomesblog@gmail.com

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  43. My favorite part of Halloween is all the delicious treats! I love pumpkin treats,any kind of squash, apple cider, and carmel apples. I love all the fall flavors. =)
    JackieBenseler@gmail.com

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  44. My favorite thing about Halloween is seeing all the little trick or treaters that come to my door. I really love everything about Halloween - decorating, cooking, eating the leftover Halloween candy...
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  45. These look delicious! And your photos are absolutely stunning!

    My favorite thing about Halloween is seeing all the happy kids! And well, candy, too :)

    Sues

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  46. My favorite part of Halloween is making pumpkin seeds in the oven after carving the jack-o-lantern. :)

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  47. Over the course of October, people turn their yards into dark, creepy messes, and turn themselves into brilliantly costumed versions of their own desires. Halloween's timing meshes perfectly with the turn of seasons.
    I really love everything about Halloween - decorating, cooking, eating the leftover Halloween candy...
    And your photos are absolutely stunning


    Uebersetzung Deutsch TschechischGreen Energy Tax Credits

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  48. My favorite aspect of Halloween is everything, the trick-or-treating, baking cupcakes or cakes for my friends to enjoy, and of course the decorations people put up.

    JadeWang10@gmail.com

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  49. my favorite aspect of Halloween is everything. The trick-or-treating, baking cupcakes for my friends, and especially the decorations people put up.



    JadeWang10@gmail.com

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  50. comment avoir votre blog en Français il est super, Amitiés, Annick

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    Replies
    1. Merci beaucoup, Annick! Vous etes très gentile :)

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