These cupcakes are of course perfect for the entire fall season, but by adding the chocolate witch and wizard hat, they become the most adorable and delicious treat for Halloween. Today is July 31st which means that it’s Harry Potter’s birthday – these cupcakes are my tribute 🙂
The spice level in these cupcakes isn’t over the top. We get the punch of pumpkin first, then a subtle but noticeable hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger (coming from the pumpkin pie spice). The cupcakes are also perfectly moist so the butterscotch filling is not absolutely necessary but totally recommended because it’s just too good. Then of course we have arguably one of the most rich and delicious frostings in the game – Cream Cheese Frosting. No words really needed for that. I promise you guys these cupcakes are truly one of the best I’ve had and make for the perfect fall, halloween, or Harry Potter celebration.
Making The Pumpkin Cupcakes
This recipe is super simple to follow and doesn’t require rocket science, uncommon ingredients, or a lot of time. Let’s dive into our key ingredients.
- Dark Brown Sugar – In this recipe, the use of dark brown sugar is going to enhance the pumpkin flavor by giving it an extra oomph of deep richness. The molasses in the brown sugar is going to contribute to the earthiness of the pumpkin by giving it a more robust and almost caramel-like flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – This ingredient might go with out saying but as you could have guessed, this is where we are getting the warm familiar feelings of the season. All in the pumpkin pie spice. Typically, pumpkin pie spice contains cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. The mix of those spices in this recipe gives each and every cupcake that same deliciously warm consistent pumpkin spice flavor that could not be accomplished alone by the pumpkin puree.
- Pumpkin Puree – With cupcakes, we obviously don’t want a dry or dense texture. That’s typically where milk, buttermilk, sour cream, sometimes even MAYO comes into play. But today we’re making pumpkin cupcakes so gosh dang it we are using pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree adds that fresh pumpkin flavor but also a tremendous amount of moisture and stability to these cupcakes. Aside from the brown sugar, pumpkin puree also brings its own natural sweetness to the table.
- Eggs – In most recipes, eggs pull off the same or at least similar effect. In this case we’re proving that to be true. Eggs help bind all of our ingredients together so we not only have a cohesive batter but a deliciously put together cupcake coming out of the oven. Eggs also help contribute to the rising and texture of our cakes. While we were mixing our batter little pockets of air got trapped in the eggs which are then released in the oven helping to give us a fluffy, cakey texture.
How To Make Chocolate Witch Hats
My favorite part of the baking process, ever since I was a kid was when it came time to decorating. There is so much hard work that goes into each recipe before the decorating portion…which also makes it more rewarding. Luckily, these chocolate witch hats are super fun and very easy to make.
The most important thing to have when going into making these is patience. As someone who has very little of that I can understand the struggle of not wanting to wait for things to chill but I promise, you’ll be kicking yourself if you try to dip these hats too prematurely and they fall apart on you. Be sure to let the ganache set on top of each cookie before moving on.
You can absolutely use regular chocolate with a bit of coconut oil melted into it to coat these hats instead of ganache, but ganache has a bit more structure to it and may act as a better “binder” for assembling all of these ingredients together. I also suggest using a fork to help coat the hats in chocolate. The prongs on the fork will help let all the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and off of the hat for a more neat, and finished look.
We don’t like anything going to waste over here – save the extra waffle cone pieces and use them as a crunchy ice cream topper for your next Sundae night! If you’re not big on ice cream (why??) try adding waffle cone pieces to your next chocolate chip cookie recipe for a toasty flavored crunch in every bite!
Making The EASIEST Butterscotch Recipe
I have had my fair share of caramel fails. Either the sugar crystalizes, the heavy cream doesn’t incorporate nicely, or a number of other things can stop me in my tracks. But this butterscotch recipe makes for the most delicious pairing with these cupcakes and is also INSANELY delicious. Win. Win.
This recipe, while so simple, delicious, and easy, does require your attention because anything on the stovetop can easily bubble over if unattended. That is my only big advice with this butterscotch recipe – that’s how much I believe in you and how much I believe that this recipe is so simple to make.
Much like ganache, the butterscotch will thicken as it cools. If you fill your cupcakes with hot butterscotch hot off the stovetop then it’ll just seep into the cupcake and you won’t get that luscious filling. To add to that – a hot butterscotch drizzled on top of the buttercream will quickly melt the buttercream you worked hard on. Be patient 🙂
How Do I Make Cream Cheese Frosting?
Well I am so glad you asked! Cream Cheese frosting is my sisters favorite, shout out to Lexi. This recipe, just like the pumpkin cupcakes and the butterscotch filling – is super easy. The number one thing to look out for when making cream cheese frosting is the temperature of your butter and cream cheese. Trying to whip up cold butter and cream cheese with powdered sugar and heavy cream will be a lumpy mess and is sometimes irreversible to get to a smooth finish unless you heat up the mixture to melt it down, then have to wait hours for it to firm up more – it’s best to skip this nightmare and make sure to take your butter and cream cheese out ahead of time to ensure that it’s softened up OR just pop in the microwave to soften for about 15 seconds.
I used a large star tip to pipe on my buttercream but you can use a butterknife or offset spatula to spread the buttercream, use a piping bag with no metal tip, get fancy and use some other really fun and festive tip – whatever makes you happy. Just keep in mind that if you plan on placing these witch and wizard hats on top of each cupcake that you’ll want a nice little pillow of buttercream for them to sit on.Yum