Halloween Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

These Halloween Dark Chocolate Cupcakes are to die for!!!  Boo!  Rich dark chocolate is baked into a perfectly moist cupcake and topped with the whitest buttercream to create a base for however you want to decorate them!

I found these very cute picks at a local craft store, but any fun decorations will work!

Begin by melting butter, oil and water together in a small saucepan.  In a large bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the melted butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Add the egg followed by the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Pour the batter into cute cupcake liners but only fill them about 3/4 full.  Bake them for about 25 minutes, or until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let them cool.

To make the whitest buttercream ever, I have found that if you use clear vanilla vs regular vanilla, that’s a good beginning.  The palest butter you can find is also helpful.  But the real trick is to add a bit of violet food color gel.  It offsets the yellow butter and creates a very white buttercream.

Whip the butter until it is pale, fluffy and creamy, about 3 minutes.  On low speed, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until it is all incorporated and then increase the speed to medium and whip for another 3 minutes.

Add the clear vanilla and half the cream (you may need to add a little more cream to reach the consistency you like).  Now, dip a toothpick into the violet gel color and add a tiny bit to the buttercream and whip it.  If it’s not white enough, add a tiny bit more.  Whip it until it’s nice and bright white.  You can also add some bright white color gel to get it more white.

Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate how you like to create a cute halloween theme!

Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Halloween Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Halloween Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

White Buttercream:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature, the whitest butter you can find
  • 2 tsp clear vanilla extract or colorless flavoring of your choice
  • 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream room temperature
  • violet color gel
  • bright white color gel


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the vegetable oil and water over low heat.

In a large bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the melted butter mixture and beat with a handheld mixer at low speed until smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, then add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about three-fourths full.

Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

White Buttercream:

Prepare a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip butter until pale, fluffy, and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until well blended. Increase speed to medium and whip for 3 minutes.

Add clear vanilla and 2 tablespoons cream and continue to whip on medium for 1 minute. Add more cream as needed until desired consistency is reached (I added all 4 tablespoons).

Dip a toothpick into a tiny bit of violet color gel and add it to the buttercream. Whip to incorporate.

Add more violet if needed and/or some bright white color gel. Whip until the frosting is smooth and silky.


Frost and top the cupcakes as desired.

Make ahead:

The unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.


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