It's that time of the year again, when little ghosts, goblins and ghouls go gallivanting throughout the neighborhood begging for treats and adult creatures of the night head for parties to imbibe in some witches' brew and to down a few tasty eats. If you're looking for something to bring, try this Devil's Food Cupcake recipe by Martha Stewart. I made a batch this afternoon and topped it with some orange cream cheese frosting and some zombie limbs and mini-bone sprinkles (leftover from last year's cake decorating kit). Voilà! A perfect Halloween snack for both kidlets and adults. Unfortunately, our resident "Batdog" can't have chocolate for doggies, no matter how cute they are.

Martha Stewart's Devil's Food Cupcakes - makes 32


3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

3/4 cup hot water

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream, room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Cream Cheese Frosting


2 (8 ounce) packages Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract

yellow & red food coloring


1. Using an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar.

2. Add food coloring to frosting until desired color shade is achieved.

3. Spread or pipe icing onto cupcake. Decorate.
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