Toil and Trouble Cauldron Cupcakes

Would it even be my blog if I didn't do cupcakes for Halloween? Before I planned all of my Halloween bakes, I spent a bit of time on Pinterest to get a bit of inspo and I stumbled across these adorable cakes. I knew I wanted to do something similar, but put my own stamp on it. I will say, though, I wish those little cauldron cake mold things were available in the UK because then I think these would look a whole lot better. But still, even though they don't look too much like cauldrons, I'm really chuffed with how they turned out and plus, they taste amazing.

So, I could've just made these plain old chocolate cupcakes with green coloured vanilla buttercream on top, but I really wanted to play with the flavour a bit. Now, I don't know about you, but when I see the colour green, the first flavour that pops into my head is mint, and we all know that mint and chocolate go perfectly together. With that in mind, I popped a little bit of peppermint extract into the cupcakes batter so that you get just a hint of mint in amongst the chocolate crumb, then I flavoured the buttercream with the same peppermint. You definitely do have to like mint to enjoy these, but I think that they taste just like an Aero!
As I mentioned, I couldn't find any cauldron molds anywhere in the UK (or bone sprinkles - what is that about?), so to get a cauldron effect, I purchased some black metallic cupcake cases. I then filled the cases with a little more batter than I usually would so that the cakes peeked over the top a little - that way I could create a shallow well and fill it up with green slime. That way, when you bite into the cake, you'll see the rounded dip in the cake, the lip of the edge of the cupcake and the overflowing green goop. I hope that makes sense, but I'll explain further in the recipe.

You can add whatever you want into your cauldrons, but my little witch gang were making potions that included, bats, skulls and eyeballs. I also had gummy snakes to put in, but they were kind of massive, so I just ate them as I baked. I popped the green balls on to make a bubbling effect and stuck in a chopped mint Matchmaker for a spoon.
For the cupcakes, you will need:
180g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
Half teaspoon salt
115g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
120ml milk

For the icing, you will need:
250g unsalted butter, softened
300g-400g icing sugar
Green food colouring gel
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
A few tablespoons semi-skimmed milk (optional)
A few mint Matchmakers
Any decorations you want (I used green pearls, white skull, eyeball and bat sprinkles)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c/160c fan and line a cupcake tin with 10 cases.
  2. In a medium bowl, sieve together the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set to one side.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the unsalted butter with the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and peppermint extract, and beat the mixture until well combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom to get everything mixed in!
  4. Gradually add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and beat gently after each addition until the mixture becomes thick. Add in the milk and mix until just combined. Overmixing is not your friend!
  5. Spoon the cake batter into the cases, filling them until they're around two thirds full and bake for around 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the butter reserved for the buttercream to soften it further, then add in your icing sugar 100g at a time, beating after each addition. When you have reached your desired buttercream consistency, add in your peppermint extract and small amounts of the green gel until you reach the perfect colour. Gel colouring is a lot more vivid than regular colouring, so go easy!
  7. Once your cakes have fully cooled, use a spoon to scoop out a shallow well from each cake, almost like a butterfly cake, but wider and not as deep. Use your chosen nozzle and a piping bag to fill up the well, then pipe a swirl on top, overlapping the well ever so slightly. Snap your Matchmakers into smaller pieces and stick one in each cake, then add your decorations.
There's a really cute, black glittery cake stand in Bargain Buys at the minute especially for Halloween, and these little guys would look amazing presented on it at a party. It would make the perfect centrepiece! If you're not big on the mint flavour, just take it out and go for a chocolate and vanilla combo, or if you want to mess with people's minds, you could flavour them chocolate orange. I'd be so confused if I tasted green buttercream and it was orange flavoured!

8 comments

  1. These look absolutely amazing, Olivia. I'm loving the Halloween baking you've been doing.

    Anna x

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    1. Thank you, Anna! I'm kind of sad that it's over, but I've got Christmas to plan now x

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  2. These look delicious! I have been loving your Halloween baking :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

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    1. Gosh, thank you for the lovely comment, Yasmina xx

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  3. They look so good Olivia! I can't believe cauldron cake molds aren't available in the UK yet since Halloween has become really popular in the last few years; I'd have thought a supermarket would've jumped right on that. I am awful at making cakes but I really want to try your recipe so I might have to spend a day before Halloween baking so I can gorge on cupcakes while watching scary movies!

    Raise The Waves

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    1. I KNOW, how upsetting is it?! I'm sure you're not awful at making cakes, just go for it x

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  4. Love these so much and how you put your own little twist on them. I like the sound of chocolate mint flavour, it’s making me hungry… :-) They fit the Halloween theme perfectly too. Fab serious of Halloween bakes, it’s been fun to see what you have created. :-) xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Chocolate and mint just go together so well, don't they? These were one of my favourite bakes to plan, so I'm glad you like the look of them! xx

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