Orange Buttercream Frosting Pumpkins on Chocolate Cupcakes

DSC_0941It’s almost Halloween, which means it’s time to get down to business and start throwing out themed treats. Designing with candy melts can be tough sometimes, but here’s one super simple way to show off Halloween themed cupcakes without needing superb candy melt decorating skills (because I don’t have those yet either).

What comes to mind when you think of Halloween? Or October? Or fall? Pumpkins, of course. So here’s one simple way to incorporate pumpkins into your autumn treats with orange flavored buttercream frosting, rich chocolate cupcakes, and a little bit of green candy melts. First, gather your ingredients:

For the cake:

  • Boxed mix (I used Duncan Heins Devils Food Cake)
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil

For the frosting/pumpkins:

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp orange flavoring
  • Orange gel food coloring
  • Green candy melts

Start by mixing your cake according to the box’s instructions and bake inside of cupcake liners.

While they bake, mix your frosting by mixing the softened butter and vanilla until smooth and slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing as you go until it is creamy and still pretty stiff. Add about 2 tsp of orange flavoring (try one at first, taste and decide from there) and about 6 drops of orange gel coloring, and continue to mix until the color is evenly distributed. It’s important to use gel coloring so that it does not change the frosting’s texture.

When your cupcakes are done baking, leave on a cooling rack to cool completely. In the meantime, melt your green candy by microwaving  a couple pieces (you don’t need very much) in a bowl on the defrost setting for about 30 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 10-15 second intervals until it is completely melted. Then, move the candy into a squeeze bottle or a piping bag with a very small tip.

*Pro tip: You can totally use a regular plastic ziplock bag with the tip cut off to do this if you don’t have a bottle or piping bag.

DSC_0948DSC_0952Carefully pipe the melted candy into multiple curved pumpkin stems on a piece of waxed paper until they are about 1/4 inch wide and 1 inch tall. If you have the hang out it, try making the stems thicker on the bottom like a real pumpkin stem might be. Let them cool and harden.

Once your cupcakes are cool, pipe or  spread the orange frosting onto the tops with a large circular tip or a spatula.

Carefully peel the pumpkin stems off of the waxed paper, and stick them into the tops of each of your cupcakes for a delicious, orange and chocolate flavored pumpkin! Stay tuned for a couple more Halloween inspired DIYs and treats. Enjoy!

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