Today I'm partnering with CIARRA to create a delicious festive Halloween treat!
Over the years I discovered that there are two groups of people, those who love Halloween and those who could care less. I happen to fall in the latter group. But give me an excuse to make a festive treat and I'll celebrate whatever holiday it's for. This year I had an idea to turn the classic black forest cake into Halloween bleeding cupcakes. With the help of Ciarra's Air Fryer, I'm happy to say these cupcakes are a success!
Halloween Bleeding Cupcakes
Black forest cupcakes
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (185 grams)
- ½ cup cocoa powder (40 grams)
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- ½ cup oil (125 ml)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk (125 ml)
- 2 cups cherries pitted (11 ounces)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- ¼ cup water (62 ml)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (8 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Dark chocolate frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened (227 grams)
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder (25 grams)
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar (325 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- black food coloring
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup plus ¼ cup divided
- ⅓ cup water
- red food coloring
- Make the cupcake batter. Sift together the dry ingredients including the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk the eggs with sugar, oil, and vanilla until well combined. Add half of the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Fill each of the muffin cups about halfway with the batter. Set the air fryer to 350 degrees F and bake the cupcakes for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, make the cherry filling. Combine the cherries with sugar, water, cornstarch, and vanilla in a medium saucepot over medium heat, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and gently mash the cherries. Let cool completely.
- Make the sugar glass. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. Combine 1 cup sugar with ⅓ cup corn syrup and ⅓ cup water in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees F. Carefully pour the syrup onto the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Break into small pieces and set aside.
- Make the edible blood. Mix together ¼ cup corn syrup with enough red food coloring to turn it dark red. Set aside.
- Make the frosting. Beat the softened butter until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and slowly add them to the butter, mixing constantly. Add the vanilla and enough black food coloring to turn the frosting black. Beat until well combined then transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a star tip.
- Prepare the cupcakes. Scoop out about ½ tablespoon of the center of each of the cupcakes. Fill the center with the cherry filling, making sure to add some of the liquid too. Pipe the frosting on top and stick a sugar glass on top. Drizzle some of the blood on the glass and enjoy.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
These Halloween bleeding cupcakes take a little extra effort to get the full Halloween effect, however, it'll all be worth it! The dessert is a basic black forest cake so if you like chocolate and cherries, you'll enjoy this dessert. The sugar glass and blood are the extras that take the cupcakes to the next level.
Let's start by making the cupcake batter. First, sift together the dry ingredients including the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. The espresso powder doesn't add any coffee flavor to the cake, rather it accentuates the chocolate flavors.
Whisk together the eggs with the sugar, oil, and vanilla until well combined. Then, add half of the flour mixture followed by the buttermilk. Add the remaining amount of flour, stirring just until combined. We want to add the flour in batches to make it easier to mix in the batter.
Line a muffin pan and fill the cups about ½ way full. Normally when I make muffins, I fill them ¾ full to get oversized muffins. However, in this instance, we want regular-sized cupcakes so we're filling them only halfway.
Bake the cupcakes in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You may have to adjust the time according to your air fryer. My 12-in-1 CIARRA high-quality air fryer is quite strong so they were ready in 12 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool completely while you prepare the cherry filling. Black forest cake usually includes Kirsch in the cherry component but I decided to not add it this time.
Simmer the fresh or frozen cherries with sugar, water, cornstarch, and vanilla until the cherries have softened. I used frozen cherries but you can use fresh if they're in season.
Mash the cherries so that they'll look more like guts coming out of the cupcakes. Let the cherry compote cool completely. You can also prepare the compote up to 2 days in advance.
If you want the full Halloween look, go ahead and make the sugar glass. Simmer sugar with water and corn syrup until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees F. Keep an eye on the sugar, making sure it doesn't go past 300 degrees and turn brown. Pour the sugar onto the prepared baking sheet and let it cool completely before breaking it into small pieces.
To make the fake blood, simply mix light corn syrup with red food coloring. You can purchase edible blood gel but making it yourself is so easy to do, so why not take one extra step?
Next, make the chocolate buttercream frosting, adding enough black food coloring to turn it completely black. The black color will give the cupcakes a more ominous look. How much food coloring will depend on the brand and type (gel or liquid) so just add a little at a time until you reach the desired color.
Now it's time to assemble the cupcakes. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the cupcake in the center and fill it with the cherry compote. Make sure to get some of the juices to make it look more like blood.
Pipe on the chocolate frosting on the cupcakes, making sure to center the cherry filling. Garnish each of the Halloween bleeding cupcakes with the sugar glass and drizzle the blood over the glass, letting it drip down.
These Halloween bleeding cupcakes look the part already but cutting into them and watching the cherry ooze out like blood really takes the cake. Plus, they taste great!