Need a last-minute homemade Halloween treat to share? These “death by chocolate” cupcakes by Naina of Spice in the City are just the thing. Decadent chocolate cupcakes with a rich whipped chocolate ganache frosting, topped with malted milk balls – mmm. Read on for the recipe, and to download the free printable cupcake toppers!

Death by chocolate cupcakes recipe (with FREE printables!)

These cupcakes are fantastic because of how simple they are. They’re not for decorators only, they’re something that anyone can do (and they’ll be a big hit)!

Death by chocolate cupcakes recipe (with FREE printables!)

The gravestone cupcake toppers are a perfect accent. There are 4 designs so you can build a spooky cupcake graveyard of your own. ; )

Death by chocolate cupcakes recipe (with FREE printables!)

You can top the cupcakes with any candy you like – the candies shown here are malted milk balls.

Death by chocolate cupcakes recipe (with FREE printables!)

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe by Naina of Spice in the City, inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction and Stop Lookin’ Get Cookin’.

Makes 12 Cupcakes

For the Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:
1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
2 ounces (60g) semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup (64g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk

For the Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
2 cups (340g) chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180C). Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time. Or, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat on the stovetop. Stir until smooth and set aside to slightly cool.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added. Stir until just combined; do not overmix. The batter will be very thick, like pudding.

Pour the batter into the 12 cupcake liners and bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: Heat heavy cream in a heavy pan on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth. Let chocolate mixture cool in a refrigerator for 1 hour. When the mixture is at a “spoonable” consistency, place in mixing bowl. Whip mixture with either the whisk or beater attachment of your mixer for 5 minutes on medium speed or until mixture creates stiff peaks. Place whipped ganache into a piping bag outfitted with a 1M, 2D or #12 Tip. Pipe ganache onto cupcakes.

To decorate: Add the printable gravestone cupcake toppers, secured with a toothpick or lollipop stick, and add some malted milk balls.

Download the free printable gravestone cupcake toppers

…right here!

Thank you so much to Naina of Spice in the City for sharing her cupcake recipe with us today!

Chickabug Halloween party theme paper goods & printables

Shop for Halloween theme paper goods and printables here.
Or, check out more Halloween ideas on Pinterest or here on my blog!


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  1. 1
    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 12:31 pm
    Sue Brown says:
    I am so excited about these. I am making them for a Halloween party. I am going to do the crushed Oreos on top of the frosting. I found some very small candy bones (taste like Sweet Tarts) to put on top of that. With your toppers of course. Thank you for this!
    • 1.1
      Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 2:16 pm
      Heather says:
      You're welcome, Sue! What you're planning sounds amazing. I'm so glad my printables get to be a part of it! : )
  2. 2
    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 3:50 pm
    Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff says:
    Love it ... pinned it!
    • 2.1
      Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 4:09 pm
      Heather says:
      Hi Brenda! Thank you so much! : )
  3. 3
    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 7:50 pm
    The Partiologist says:
    The perfect topping for the cupcakes and the perfect end to any evening!!
    • 3.1
      Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 at 10:51 am
      Heather says:
      Well said, Kim! : )