These Blackberry Skull Cupcakes are a Halloween treat we love making, with chocolate cupcakes, blackberry frosting, and spooky yet elegant chocolate skulls on top.
Every year we try to make a few fun Halloween foods that you can add to your menu to make the perfect Halloween spread. This year, one of our favorites turned out to be these blackberry skull cupcakes that take a slight departure from our usual goofy antics and swings a little more to the elegant side.
They turned out beautiful, and have the perfect touch of spooky and dark whimsy. I’m sure you’re going to love not only the decoration on these, but also the amazing flavor combo of the chocolate and blackberry.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make delicious blackberry skull cupcakes, you will need a variety of ingredients. Here is a list of the essential ingredients you will need to create these spooky treats:
For the Cupcakes
- Flour– You can use all-purpose flour or cake flour, depending on your preference.
- Cocoa powder– This is used to give the cupcakes a nice chocolate flavor.
- Baking soda and powder – We use both to give rise to these cupcakes. Make sure they are fresh for the best results.
- Salt– A pinch of salt goes a long way to boosting the chocolate flavor.
- Egg – I use one large egg – preferably free-range.
- Sugar – We use both granulated sugar and brown sugar to sweeten the cupcakes.
- Vegetable oil – Use any cooking oil you prefer. We use vegetable because it’s a neutral flavored cooking oil.
- Vanilla extract– Vanilla will give the cupcakes a good depth of flavor.
- Buttermilk– This will add a tangy flavor and tender texture to the cupcakes. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by combining milk and vinegar or lemon juice.
For the Frosting
- Blackberries– Fresh or frozen blackberries will be used to add a subtle fruity flavor and a pop of color to the cupcakes.
- Unsalted butter– This will be used to give the frosting it’s fluffy texture.
- Powdered sugar– This will be used to sweeten the frosting.
- Vanilla extract– This will give the frosting more depth of flavor.
For the Decorations
- Dark chocolate melting wafers– You need these to make the chocolate skulls. I use Ghirardelli melting wafers.
- Blackberries– These add dimension to the garnish of the cupcakes.
- Edible glitter and sprinkles– This is totally optional, but can give your cupcakes a more whimsical feel.
Make sure to have all of these ingredients on hand before you start baking to ensure that your cupcakes turn out perfectly.
How to Make Blackberry Skull Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
First, preheat the oven to 350° F, then prepare your cupcake pan by adding 6 cupcake liners. For this recipe we used black cupcake wrappers, but purple or Halloween-themed ones would also look good.
In a large bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until fully combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil.
Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, along with half the buttermilk, and then mix for a couple seconds. Then, add the remaining wet ingredients and the remaining buttermilk. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix the batter.
Once the batter is mixed, scoop it into cupcake liners until they are about half full and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
For the Chocolate Skulls
Heat your dark chocolate wafers in 10 to15-seconds increments in the microwave, mixing between each increment. When the wafers are melted, spoon them into your skull molds and place into the refrigerator until set.
For the Blackberry Frosting
To start, add your blackberries to a bowl and crush with a fork until broken down. Once the blackberries have broken down, strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds.
For a blackberry buttercream frosting, beat the butter with a hand mixer on medium high for about 3 minutes or until it’s creamy and has lightened in color. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat on low speed until combined. Then, increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy.
Add in the blackberry juice 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until well combined between each tablespoon. Once all of the blackberry juice is combined, turn the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is fluffy and somewhat stiff.
If your frosting is too runny and will not become light or stiff, add more powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, at your frosting to a piping back with a star tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Then, add a chocolate skull and a fresh blackberry on top of the cupcakes.
To embellish, add sprinkles, edible glitter, gold leaf, or other toppings such as dried flowers or freeze dried fruit. There are so many ways to make these cupcakes pop. We liked using chocolate sprinkles on top of ours, but you can use anything you like.
Serving and Storing
Once your cupcakes are baked and ready to serve, it’s important to know how to store them properly to keep them fresh. Here are some tips to help you serve and store your cupcakes:
Blackberry skull cupcakes are perfect for any Halloween party or spooky gathering. These cupcakes are delicious and visually striking, with chocolate skulls on top of a moist and flavorful cake. Serve them on a platter or cake stand to show off their unique design.
If you want to add a little extra flair, you can sprinkle some edible glitter or black sanding sugar on top of the cupcakes to give them a glittery, spooky look.
To keep your cupcakes fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. If you don’t have an airtight container, you can cover them in multiple layers of plastic wrap.
If you need to store the cupcakes for longer than two days, you can also store them in the refrigerator. However, be aware that refrigeration can dry out the cupcakes, so it’s best to wrap them in plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container with a moist paper towel to help keep them moist.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to store blackberry cupcakes?
The best way to store blackberry cupcakes is to place them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for up to 2 days. If you want to keep them fresh for longer, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. However, keep in mind that refrigeration can cause the cupcakes to dry out, so it’s best to bring them to room temperature before serving.
What are some creative ways to display blackberry skull cupcakes?
There are many creative ways to display blackberry skull cupcakes. You can arrange them on a tiered cupcake stand or on a platter decorated with Halloween-themed accessories. You can also place them in individual cupcake boxes and tie them with a ribbon for a fun and festive party favor. Another idea is to serve them on a black tray with a white skull in the center for a spooky effect.
How long does it take to make blackberry cupcakes with skull decorations?
It typically takes about 30 minutes to prepare the blackberry cupcake batter and another 20-25 minutes to bake them. The skull decorations can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to make, depending on your skill level. Once the cupcakes are baked and the decorations are complete, it should take about 10-15 minutes to assemble them. In total, you can expect to spend around 1-2 hours making blackberry cupcakes with skull decorations.
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Blackberry Scull Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1/3 cup (47 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (20 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon (0.75 g) salt
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons (44.36 ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (59.15 ml) buttermilk at room temperature
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup (114 g) unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 20 blackberries
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a cupcake pan with 6 liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla.
- Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, along with half the buttermilk. Whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir just until combined; avoid overmixing.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners to 1/2 full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.
For the chocolate skulls:
- Heat your dark chocolate wafers in 10 to15-seconds increments in the microwave, mixing between each increment. When the wafers are melted, spoon them into your skull molds and place into the refrigerator until set.
For the frosting:
- Add blackberries to a bowl and crush with a fork until broken down. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds.
- With a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter on high speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy and lightened in color, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and and beat on low speed until combined Turn the speed up to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Add in the blackberry juice 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing on low speed until well combined between each tablespoon. Once all of the juice is combined, turn the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is fluffy and somewhat stiff. Approximately another 3-5 minutes.
- Frost the cupcakes once cooled, using a 1M star tip. Add chocolate skulls, a blackberry, and chocolate sprinkles if desired.
- Double the recipe to make 12 cupcakes.
- Streamline the prep by using store-bought cake mix and frosting.
Laura is a home cook, with 25 years experience behind the stove, who spends an extraordinary amount of time in the kitchen cooking. She loves making new recipes and finding wonderful new things to eat, both at home or abroad. She spends a lot of time researching, crafting, and perfecting her recipes and currently has a cookbook in development.