Spooky season is upon us – which means it’s time to get baking! These little chocolate cupcakes are the ultimate finger food, quite literally, as one variation incorporates some rather tasty peanut butter witch fingers. I made these using Doisy & Dam’s Peanut D&D’s – the ideal vegan confectionary for creating some creepy treats.
Entirely dairy-free, egg-free and made with Truvia rather than traditional sugar, this plant-based recipe is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a healthier version of the typical calorie-laden classics, whilst still full of flavour and a little indulgence
I grew up in Houston, Texas before I moved to England – that meant Halloween was ALWAYS a big deal at home. I have some seriously fond memories of my two sisters and I carting our little brother around in a red wagon when trick or treating, and getting home to ‘play poker’ with our candy and swap for the best bounty.
Getting older, the sweets and apple bobbing morphed into parties and themed cocktails – but I still miss those innocent childhood days when I ran around in a witches hat for about a week straight. These cupcakes could work for both a grown up soiree or a little people party – they’re fun, creative and yes, pretty spooky!
I’ve made three variations here, the insect garden, the mummy and the creepiest of all, the witch finger cookie. If you want to make the former from scratch, find the full plant-based bake recipe here for the cookies. Gluten-free and full of peanut butter goodness, they take about 15 minutes to make and taste sublime!
I love turning traditional confectionary into healthier alternatives, so for this vegan recipe I replaced all extra sugar with calorie-free Truvia, a plant-based sweetener and added almond flavouring for a lovely, marzipan like edge. Creamy cupcakes have never looked so creepy!
Happy baking (and have a great Halloween). Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more creations!
Vegan Halloween Chocolate Buttercream Cupcakes
- Electric whisk
For the vegan chocolate cupcake batter:
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Green & Black's)
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 3/4 cup Truvia sweetener (use sugar if preferred)
- 1 handful Doisy & Dam Peanut D&D's
- 1/2 tsp salt (I used crushed sea salt)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup dairy-free yoghurt
- 1 tsp apple cyder vinegar
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond flavouring
For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sift before adding)
- 2 cup Truvia sweetener (sift before adding)
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (room temp)
- 1 tsp almond flavouring (replace with maple syrup or alternative flavouring if you don't like almond taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 small pinch sea salt / Himalayan salt
- 1/4 cup plant-based milk (have more ready if needed)
For spooky toppings:
- 1 pack Doisy&Dam Peanut D&D's
- 1 tube orange/yellow/pink frosting
- 2-4 small 'Witch Finger' cookies (carefully slice to shorten, see post for full recipe)
- 1 pack edible flowers
For the vegan chocolate cupcake batter:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees then fill a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk all wet ingredients (combine the last six in list). Leave to sit for minimum of 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients. Once added, combine wet with dry and pour into liners using spoon to smooth. If you have used generous baking powder amounts, only fill 2/3 of the way up. Otherwise fill to top.
- Bake for 20 minutes then leave to cool on rack.
For the vegan chocolate buttercream:
- Add the cocoa powder, vegan butter, sweetener, almond essence, vanilla extract, sea salt and milk to the bowl then prepare electric whisk. Reminder to SIFT thoroughly to ensure smoothest result.
- If butter isn't soft enough yet, use spoon to mix before using slow setting on electronic whisk. If needed, gradually add more plant-based milk to help mix together until the frosting is formed. Keep whipping until a lovely, swirled texture is formed and all ingredients have combined together.
For the toppings:
- To make the 'insect garden': frost cupcake using spoon then press one Peanut D&D into the top. Using icing, gentle draw 3 legs on either side and add spots on top if preferred. Then add edible flowers next to the 'bug'.
- For the mummy cupcakes: Grab a ziplock lunch bag (or freezer bag), add two tablespoons of frosting into one edge (push down with fingers to help) and cut the corner off with scissors. Hold icing bag firm and wrap other end to create 'piping bag'. First add two matching Peanut D&Ds for 'eyes' then use your 'icing bag' to draw lines across the cupcake and create bandages. Don't worry about it being super tidy, just have fun.
- For the witch fingers: Frost cupcake with spoon and use reverse of spoon to create 'dirt' look texture with small swirls. Then, use a knife to shorten your pre-baked witch cookies (take care as fragile) then gently stick into the frosting. Add extra frosting at base of finger to create the look of a 'mud pile'.