Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts

But, before we get into these boo-tiful Halloween cupcakes, I have a giveaway winner to announce! Thanks to all who entered last Thursday’s Sara Lee giveaway and left your kind comments on my cake jars. I wish I could pop one on each of your doorsteps with a little festive bow and a spoon for immediate enjoyment!

Without further a-boooo (okay, I’ll stop), congratulations to the winner of the giveaway… Katie Reeve Smith! Wahoo! Katie, feel free to contact me with your address. And go use that gift card for some fabulous fall shopping, why dontcha? I’m thinking pumpkin everything.

Now, onto the cupcakes… perfect for Halloween and also for a deliciously belated birthday celebration! I rang in the big 2-8 over the weekend at a BBQ with friends, but what’s a little extra indulgence to recover from the festivities? The cleanup after the party required a cupcake, y’all. It wasn’t an option.

Inspired by McCormick and all their delicious, fun Halloween recipes, I created these spooky ghost cupcakes with glittery orange frosting and fluffy white meringue ghosts. Swirls of red and yellow food colorings made the pretty pumpkin hue easy to obtain, and for the eyes, toothpick dabs of black food coloring added an extra special touch!

The dark chocolate cupcake is fluffy and moist, rising right to the occasion for two layers of luscious, decadent frosting! A sparkly coat of orange sugar crystals (found at most hobby, craft or cake decorating stores) gives the orange frosting gorgeous glittery pizzazz, too. But, let’s be honest, people. The main event here is really the puffy little ghost meringues!

Aren’t they darlin’? I mean… uh… terrifying?

Roll up your sleeves and recreate these spooky treats for your own Halloween festivities! They’re easier than they look, eye-rolling delicious, and sure to impress even the most discerning goblins and ghouls!

PrintPrint Recipe

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts

Yield: Makes about 16 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

2 large eggs

For Orange Frosting:

1 (16 oz.) container pre-made white frosting

1/4 teaspoon McCormick Red Food Color

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Yellow Food Color

1/4 cup orange sugar sprinkles

For Meringue Ghost Frosting:

4 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon McCormick Black Food Coloring

Directions:

For Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Into a large bowl, sift flour and cocoa powder together. Whisk in both sugars, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Whisk milk, oil, vanilla and both eggs into the dry ingredients just until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. The batter will be runny. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each about 2/3-full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

For Orange Frosting:

In a medium bowl, mix white frosting with food coloring until desired shade is reached. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. Place 1/4 cup sprinkles on a small shallow plate, turn cupcakes upside down and press gently against sprinkles to coat evenly.

For Meringue Ghost Frosting:

Simmer 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan set to medium heat.

Place egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom is not touching the water. Heat mixture for about 6 minutes, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot to the touch (about 120 degrees F).

Transfer bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5-10 minutes more. Add vanilla and whisk until just incorporated, about 1 minute.

Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes with a wide round tip. With a toothpick dipped in black food coloring, add eyes and a mouth to the meringue ghosts.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

NOTES

The dark chocolate cupcakes don't have a strong, bitter dark chocolate taste. They just taste like a regular (rich and delicious) chocolate cupcake!

I used a Wilton 1A pastry tip to pipe both frostings.

Cupcakes adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Meringue adapted from Chow

 

Disclosure: This was a recipe created for McCormick and I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

      

56 Responses to “Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts”

  1. #
    1
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs — October 14, 2013 @ 12:37 am

    Aww these turned out so so pretty! Look at how cute they are, I love them! :)

  2. #
    2
    Deborah — October 14, 2013 @ 12:45 am

    Happy belated birthday! And I love these cupcakes – perfect for Halloween!

  3. #
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    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker — October 14, 2013 @ 12:45 am

    These are so cute and festive Georgia! Perfect fall/Halloween treat! YUM! :)

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — October 14, 2013 @ 1:18 am

    Okay this is just too cute! I’ve made bloody cupcakes and spider cupcakes but no ghosts – definitely need to squeeze this in before Halloween!

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    ThisBakerGirlBlogs — October 14, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    Very cute! And I love the sparkle on the orange frosting :)

  6. #
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    Becca @ Crumbs — October 14, 2013 @ 2:03 am

    So adorable! Have been searching for a halloween cupcake idea, so thanks!

  7. #
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    Kelly — October 14, 2013 @ 3:46 am

    Happy belated birthday Georgia! These are the perfect Halloween/fall cupcakes – I love how festive and cute they look :)

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    Jamie@Milk N Cookies — October 14, 2013 @ 6:02 am

    Oh my goodness — I can’t even believe to tell you how adorable they are. I definitely need to stop by my cake-decorating store so I can get myself some orange sanding sugar. Can’t wait to make these for Halloween! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  9. #
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    Ramona — October 14, 2013 @ 6:19 am

    These cupcakes are truly boo-tiful!! I love them. :)

  10. #
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    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — October 14, 2013 @ 6:25 am

    These are too cute for words. Not too cute for me to eat though!

  11. #
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    Angie@Angie's Recipes — October 14, 2013 @ 6:31 am

    They are so dang adorable! Beautiful colour contrast.

  12. #
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    Kathryn — October 14, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    i love these! So cute but they also look like they’d be really tasty too; the best of both worlds!

  13. #
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    Paula — October 14, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    Adorable!

  14. #
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    Tieghan — October 14, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    Happy Belated Birthday! These cupcakes are so fun! You ghost look perfect and I love the contrast of the dark chocolate cupcake with the orange sprinkled frosting and the crisp white ghost! So cute!

  15. #
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    Alyssa — October 14, 2013 @ 8:20 am

    Ah–these are SO adorable! We’re throwing a Halloween party and they’d be perfect.

  16. #
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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — October 14, 2013 @ 8:30 am

    HOW CUTE ARE THESE??! Ohemgee!!! Love em!

  17. #
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    Marie @ Little Kitchie — October 14, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    These are so adorable, Georgia!! And happy, happy belated birthday! xo

  18. #
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    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — October 14, 2013 @ 9:36 am

    These are too cute!

  19. #
    19
    Christina — October 14, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

    These cupcakes are SO adorable! I just love them.

  20. #
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    Mr. & Mrs. P — October 14, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    Very cute!!! Love them!! Who wouldnt get into the halloween spirit with these!

  21. #
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    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — October 14, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    These are way cute! Our girls would find these to be too much fun!!

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    Lisa — October 14, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    They look incredible! Did you use Dutch processed cocoa to get that deep,dark color?

    • Georgia — October 14th, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

      Thanks! Yes, I used Valrhona cocoa powder, which is Dutch processed. A drop or two of black food coloring doesn’t hurt, either!

  23. #
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    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — October 14, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

    Darling and terrifying!! So so cute, Georgia ;)

  24. #
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    Monica — October 14, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    These cupcakes are perfectly executed, Georgia! Not only that, they sound really delicious!

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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — October 14, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    Bootiful! Georgia, these are the cutest ghost cupcakes I have seen yet! Stinkin’ cute, I tell ya! Excellent work for McCormick. Love your styling and photography here. Hope you had a fun birthday weekend, girl! Pinning! xo

  26. #
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    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — October 14, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    These are adorable! Happy belated birthday!

  27. #
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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 14, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

    These are too cute, I love the meringue ghosts!

  28. #
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    Ashley — October 14, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

    These are so cute Georgia!! And spooky too : ) I love making fun treats this time of the year. And happy belated birthday!!

  29. #
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    The Café Sucre Farine — October 14, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

    These are adorable, I love the colors you used Georgia!

  30. #
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    Erin | The Emerging Foodie — October 14, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

    Ok, Georgia, these are so stinking cute! What a clever idea! I hope you had a lovely birthday!

  31. #
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    Cassie | Bake Your Day — October 14, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    These are so fun, Georgia. They look perfect!

  32. #
    32
    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — October 14, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    Georgie, these are absolutely perfect! I love the contrast of colors!

  33. #
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    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 14, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Georgia! These cupcakes are SO much fun!

  34. #
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    Monet — October 14, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

    These are just too cute Georgia! I’ve seen quite a few Halloween inspired treats but these are certainly my favorites! Thank you for sharing!

  35. #
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    Angela Barrett — October 15, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    the orange next to the chocolate with that beautiful white ghost ontop!!! Just perfect!

  36. #
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    Cate @ Chez CateyLou — October 15, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    These cupcakes are SO CUTE! What a great idea!! Plus, they look delish!

  37. #
    37
    honeywhatscooking — October 15, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    you do such a nice job with your pics Georgia. No, these aren’t terrifying, they are darling. :-)

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    Laura — October 15, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

    Gah, stinking adorable. What fun for Halloween! :)

  39. #
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    Ash-foodfashionparty — October 15, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    These are the cutest little cupcakes I’ve seen. Very artistic and original. Love it. it is gonna be a big hit, it’s all over on pinterest.

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    Kitchen Belleicious — October 15, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

    Okay I am definitely making these for my son’s Halloween party at school. I have to= i mean what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t LOL!

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    cquek — October 16, 2013 @ 1:55 am

    oh yes they are so cute i love that on my Halloween party.

  42. #
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    Lynna — October 16, 2013 @ 3:12 am

    This is just TOO CUTE!!! I`m in love with the meringue ghosts!

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    Luv What You Do — October 16, 2013 @ 6:48 am

    Those cupcakes are soo adorable! They make me want to host a Halloween bake sale : )

  44. #
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    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — October 16, 2013 @ 6:50 am

    Boo, love this. The colors really make it pop

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    easyfoodsmith — October 16, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    These look so pretty and the color combination is so amazing. Very creative post indeed. PInned!

  46. #
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    Nicole — October 16, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    These are just too adorable! You are so talented at decorating cakes/cupcakes. Mine never quite turn out just so, I’m a very frustrated cake decorator!

  47. #
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    Vicki Bensinger — October 16, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

    These are darling. I love how you created that little ghost on top of the cupcake. These will be fun for Halloween.

  48. #
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    Shawnda — October 17, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! And those are *seriously* cute cupcakes!

  49. #
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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — October 18, 2013 @ 5:27 am

    These are so darn cute, I can’t even stand it Georgia!! You are so creative in the kitchen. And happy belated! We’re the same age. Let’s make 28 our best year! xo

  50. #
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    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — October 21, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

    These are so amazing!! Seriously, some of the cutest cupcakes I’ve ever seen. Happy belated birthday, Georgia! :)

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    Jennie @themessybakerblog.com — October 22, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    Georgia, these are the cutest dang cupcakes I ever did see. I love the little ghost faces. Pinned.

  52. #
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    Rachel @thedessertchronicles — October 22, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    These are so much fun! I want to go make some right now and then throw a halloween party. Thanks for sharing!

  53. #
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    Lokness @ The Missing Lokness — October 23, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

    OMG! These cupcakes are so cute! Who wouldn’t fall in love with them? Just have to pin it! Thanks for sharing such a cool halloween dessert!

  54. #
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    Liz — October 23, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

    These are ADORABLE!!! Pinning!!!

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    Kelsey — October 26, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    I made these this morning for a party tonight! The cake came out awesome… However my meringue was very soupy and I used the electric mixer for over 15 minutes!! I put it on the cake anyways (so i will add my own creativity later) but it looked like the meringue was melting off!! Not sure what I did wrong, but it was an awesome idea!!!!

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