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Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • Author: Elise
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes, Halloween
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Get ready to elevate your Halloween celebration with these Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes, a delightful fusion of rich, chocolatey goodness and festive fun. These cupcakes feature a moist and decadent chocolate base and also offer the optional surprise of a luscious ganache filling that oozes out when you take a bite! Perfect for Halloween parties or simply as a spooky sweet treat, these mini jack-o-lanters are sure to cast a delicious spell on your taste buds!



For the Ganache

  • 1 ½ cups (270g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • (160g) heavy whipping cream

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (210g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs (100g), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup (85g) sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ cup (120g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups (300g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) heavy cream
  • orange food coloring
  • black food coloring or black decorating gel


For the Ganache

  1. Place dark chocolate chips in a medium, heat-proof bowl.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, heat heavy whipping cream until it begins to simmer. The mixture should just begin to bubble, and you should see steam coming from it. Do not let the cream fully boil, as a film will form over the top of the cream.
  3. Immediately, pour the cream over your chocolate chips. Push chocolate chips under the cream if they aren’t fully covered by the heavy cream.
  4. Let the mixture sit for about 2 minutes, uncovered, before using a rubber spatula, wire whisk, or spoon to combine. Start by making small circles in the center of the bowl. Continue making a swirl motion and slowly begin working outside the center of the bowl as the mixture combines.
  5. Place a piece of cling wrap directly on top of the ganache and leave it at room temperature until after baking and cooling.

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 count muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk granulated sugar, vegetable oil, room temperature eggs, vanilla extract, room temperature sour cream, and room temperature buttermilk together with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour properly-measured flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and whisk. Mix only until you see the dry ingredients disappear into the batter, as overmixing could lead to dense cupcakes.
  4. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin liners, adding about ¼-⅓ cup of batter to each liner. The liners should be about ¾ full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes look slightly shiny, the centers look set, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out with moist crumbs. Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before decorating.
  6. After the cupcakes have cooled, use a teaspoon measurer to make a hole in the center of each cupcake.
  7. Then, spoon or pipe ganache filling into each cupcake's center. Fill the cupcake as much as you can to make frosting easier.

For the Frosting and Decoration

  1. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar together until smooth. This should be about 2 minutes of mixing.
  2. Add heavy cream and beat on high speed for about 3-5 minutes. This will create air in the frosting, resulting in a smooth, bright, white, and fluffy frosting.
  3. If you are using black food gel, skip this step. If not, remove about ⅓ cup of frosting from the batch and dye it black. Place the frosting in a piping bag or in the corner of a plastic bag with the corner cut off to create a makeshift piping bag.
  4. Dye the remaining frosting orange and ensure the color spreads evenly throughout all of the frosting.
  5. Transfer it to a piping bag or zippable plastic bag with the corner snipped off for greater control if desired. If you'd like a textured pumpkin, fill the piping bag or zippable bag with a 1M piping tip.
  6. To create the true pumpkin look, pipe 2 curved half circles on each edge of the cupcakes, then 2 smaller curved half circles in the middle.
  7. Then, use your black food gel or black frosting to create a jack-o-lantern face on each cupcake by piping 2 triangles and then a textured mouth.

Keywords: Halloween Cupcakes, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Jack-o-lantern Cupcakes