Creepy Crawly Cupcakes
Ingredients for Cupcakes
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cups natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup canola oil
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten (preferably room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water (or hot coffee, or 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved into 1 cup hot water)
Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-5 Tbsp milk
- Black Sanding Sugar, at least 1 cup, but other colors are fun, too!
- Black Liquorice Strings, about 16 feet
- Small round candies such as Smarties, M&M’s, Skittles or Reese’s Pieces.
Directions for Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners (or lightly grease and flour).
- In large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir in canola oil and milk, stirring until combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Add hot water and stir until the mixture is evenly.
- Fill prepared muffin tins just over ⅔ of the way full and bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes (use the toothpick test to check).
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Directions for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- In electric mixer cream butter. Add sugar, one cup at a time until completely combined.
- Stir in cocoa powder and then vanilla extract. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add milk, 1 Tbsp at a time and beating on medium-high speed after each addition for about 15 seconds.
- Spread in an even ½ inch layer on top of cupcakes. Stick 2 candies into the frosting of each cupcake to make the eyes.
- Dip the whole frosted part of the cupcake into a bowl filled with sanding sugar. Insert 8 one-inch strips of liquorice into each cupcake. Keep covered until ready to serve.