Thinking of throwing a Halloween party? Not throwing a Halloween party but still like cupcakes? Or vampires? Or some sort of thematic recipe that combines both for your own pleasure? I got a recipe for you.
I first saw this recipe floating around on the intertubes a few years back. It’s gained a bit of popularity since them – Etsy hosted a “how to” video last October, for instance – but it’s popular because it’s a fun and easy dessert.
This yellow cake recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, though a white cake, dark chocolate, or even a Duncan Heinz box mix works equally well. You’ll also need to buy or puree your own cherry pie filling and buy or make a white icing (for the contrast).
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool.
Using an apple corer or a sharp knife, cut a cone shape out of the middle of each cupcake. Put the extra aside. Fill the hole with pureed cherry filling and put the “cone” back in place. (You may need to trim the bottom to fit.)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream the cream cheese and butter together. Gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar. If the frosting is too thick, use milk to thin it to desire consistency. Add the extract as the last step.
Frost the cupcakes liberally. Using a toothpick, make two “bite” marks in the frosting, then use the leftover cherry filling to make “blood trails” from the wounds.