Preparation 40 mins
Cooking 20 mins
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 cups cold brewed black coffee or water
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp whole milk (optional)
- Black, brown or orange and yellow sprinkles
- Black gum balls
- Black jelly beans
- Black licorice laces
- Round licorice allsorts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin pans with 24 large paper liners, then set aside.
- For the chocolate cupcakes, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coffee, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar.
- Slowly whisk the coffee mixture into the flour mixture until well combined.
- Fill the paper liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. (The undecorated cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.)
- For the chocolate frosting, in a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the butter until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting is thick and creamy.
- Beat in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract until well combined. If the frosting is too thick, stir in the milk, 1 tablespoonful at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
- Using an offset spatula or a piping bag, swirl the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
- Put the sprinkles in individual bowls. If you’re using orange and yellow sprinkles, mix these together in one bowl. Dip the cupcakes in the sprinkles.
- For scary spiders, decorate the cupcakes with a gum ball for the body, a black jelly bean for the head and licorice laces for the legs. For cute spiders, decorate with licorice allsorts for the eyeballs and licorice laces for the legs. (The decorated cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring them to room temperature before serving.)