Mix up a batch of your own Witches Brew Cupcakes to serve to guests this Halloween, and watch as your spell turns them all silent and makes all the cakes disappear. These delicious black chocolate cupcakes are topped with a creamy combination of black buttercream and witches brew green buttercream then decorated with a selection of witches brew ingredient decorations.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
Fun for all the family | These cupcakes are one of the most interactive and fun bakes to create with the family as the kids can really get involved in the decoration part. You can have so much fun adding your own edible versions of eyes of newt and your tails of rats and the best part is showing them off to friends and eating them afterwards.
Perfect for parties | If the family love baking these then baking them for a party is even better. Guests will be wowed and excited to try your witches brew cupcakes and they’re definitely a real crowd pleaser.
Delicious black chocolate cupcakes | One of the stars of this recipe is the black cocoa powder that turns these chocolate cupcakes a deep black colour. They’d still look fantastic with ordinary cocoa powder but there’s definitely something special about that dark black tone against the lime green. Find out more about Black Cocoa in the next section.
HOW TO MAKE WITCHES BREW CUPCAKES?
Before you dive straight to the recipe for these cupcakes there are a few things you might want to know about the ingredients, what you’ll need and where you can find them.
WHAT IS BLACK COCOA POWDER?
Firstly you may have noticed that these cupcakes are a super dark rich black tone which is so fitting for Halloween and really makes these cupcakes pop, especially agains the lime green cupcakes. This tone is all thanks to the wonderful ingredient Black Cocoa Powder.
Black Cocoa Black is a highly processed form of cocoa powder which has been dutch processed, meaning it has been treated with an alkaline solution to reduce the acidity. When you compare this to normal brown cocoa powder that is really the only difference in process as they have both come from the same bean, what you will notice though is that they are very different in taste.
As the name suggests, black cocoa powder is extremely darker in colour than natural brown cocoa powder is and it will make everything else it touches black too including your hands so be very careful when using it. I’ve spent the day with a black smudge over my face and didn’t even realise until later than day.
WHAT DOES BLACK COCOA POWDER TASTE LIKE?
Black cocoa powder is much smoother than ordinary cocoa powder and the taste is much less bitter thanks to the dutch process of removing the acidity. I would go as far as saying and it actually tastes much less “chocolatey” than the natural ones do.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE NATURAL COCOA POWDER FOR BLACK COCOA POWDER IN THIS RECIPE?
Of course you can, but just remember you won’t get the desired black tone, unless of course you wanted to add black food colouring in which case you may be able to replicate the tone a little better. Regarding the amount, you won’t need to add any more or any less natural cocoa powder in the recipe so the substitution is very straight forward.
WHERE DO I FIND BLACK COCOA POWDER?
My go to brand for Black Cocoa Powder is the Van Houten Intense Deep Black Cocoa Powder. I buy mine in 1kg bags which is great as it lasts me for an entire year. At best cocoa powder has a shelf life of 2 years when opened so a 1kg bag will see you through two halloween seasons and plenty more other delicious bakes.
If you love the idea of they brand then they also do a number of other great cocoa powders too including a Natural Warm Brown Cocoa Powder and a great Robust Red Maroon Cocoa Powder which is amazing for Red Velvet Cakes
Shop these Cocoa Powders
WHAT DECORATIONS WILL I NEED TO MAKE THESE WITCHES BREW CUPCAKES?
Once your cupcakes have been baked and iced in buttercream the fun can really begin with all the decorations.
Bubbling Brew | To give them a “bubbling brew” effect you can create green coloured white chocolate spheres using a silicone mould and use one or two per cupcake to resemble a large bubble. If you don’t want to go to that much effort then big ball sprinkles are your best way to get the bubbling look, or you could use white fondant coloured to match your green buttercream.
Witches Brew Ingredients | If you follow the Shakespeare poem “Bubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble” it will give you a good list of all the things that go into the brew. Or you could just make it up. Edible eyes are perfect for the “eyes of newt” and you can use items such as pretzel sticks for “a rats tail”. The beauty is you can go as creative as you want with this part, adding gummy sweets, little chocolates and lots more sprinkles.
Food colouring | Over the years I have tried a number of different food colouring and there are a couple that have really stood out from the crowd. Colour Mill is one of these brands and they’re colour range is fantastic. They’re an oil based concentrated colouring so a little goes a long way and they don’t alter the consistency of your bake at all. They work best in anything from cake batter, buttercream and white chocolate.
Find all the best Halloween colours in my shopping list below.
Shop these decorations
TOOLS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THESE WITCHES BREW CUPCAKES
So you know what you need to make these cupcakes. Let’s now take a look at what tools you’ll need to get them baked.
- Cupcake Tray
- Cupcake Liners (ideally black)
- KitchenAid Standing Mixer or Electric Hand Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Cookie Scoop (optional)
- Piping Bag
- Open Star Piping Nozzle
Shop These Tools
OTHER HALLOWEEN BAKES YOU SHOULD TRY
I would love it if you tagged me @mykitchendrawer on Instagram if you make these Witches Brew Cupcakes. It’s the biggest honour to see my recipes come to life in your kitchen and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a message. Happy baking!
Witches Brew Cupcakes
For the chocolate cupcakes
- 150 g plain flour
- 50 g black cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g light brown sugar
- 80 ml vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 120 ml buttermilk or sour cream
For the buttercream
- 250 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 450 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp green food colouring
- 1/2 tsp black food colouring
For the decorations
- 60 g white chocolate melted (optional)
- 1/2 tsp green food colouring (optional)
- Edible Eyes
- Various Halloween Sprinkles
- Pretzel Sticks
For the chocolate cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined then leave to one side.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together both sugars with the eggs and oil and mix until combined well.
- Add half the dry mixture into the wet mixture and fold it together. Add the buttermilk then add the remaining dry mixture and fold through again until just combined. Be careful not to over mix, you only want to mix until you can no longer see any flour bits.
- Spoon or pour the mixture to fill the cupcake cases half way. Be careful not to over fill the cases as this could cause them to rise too high and over flow.
- Give the cupcake tin a tap on the work surface to remove any big air bubbles then bake in the centre of the oven for 19-21 minutes until well risen and springy to touch. When baked leave the cupcakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, the remove and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
For the buttercream
- In a medium bowl, add the butter and cream it to soften a little. Add the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Split the mixture 70/30 between two bowls and add the black food colouring to the smaller amount and the green food colouring to the larger amount. Mix them all through until well combined, adding more if needed to reach the colour you want.
- Put the buttercream into two piping bags fitted with open star nozzles.
- (optional) To make the white chocolate spheres, add some green colouring to the melted white chocoalte until it matches the colour of the green buttercream.
- Fill each sphere mould with the green white chocolate ensuring the full sphere is covered then put the mould in the freezer for the chocolate to set.
- With the buttercream, pipe around the edge of the cupcake with the black buttercream, then top the rest of each cupcake with the green buttercream
- Decorate with the chilled chocolate sphere and plenty of edible sprinkles to resemble your very own witches brew.
- Happy Halloween