Halloween is almost here and one treat that my little ones love to create each season are these darling black velvet ‘Ghost in the Graveyard’ cupcakes. Ghost in the graveyard is actually a fun game from my childhood that we have passed on to our children that is fun hide-and-seek remix. So when we came up with this cupcake decorating idea, we knew we had to call them ‘Ghost in the Graveyard’ cupcakes! And who can resist a delicious black velvet cake recipe for the Halloween holiday?
I know cupcakes as well as frosting from scratch can seem a bit overwhelming for us busy moms, but I promise that I am far from a baker and both of these recipes are fool proof and easy to pull off. Let’s start with the black velvet cake mix…
This recipe is the Betty Crocker version. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. You will want to start with your dry ingredients and combine them all in a bowl – add your flour, your sugar, your baking cocoa, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients which includes your vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, white vinegar, vanilla and your black food coloring. Now, the black food coloring will be the trickiest part. It’s so hard to find it in the stores so I always order our bottles right here on Amazon. When you do find the black coloring in the local stores, it’s usually meant just for icing and we have never had luck with those products in our cake mix.
Once you have combined all of your wet ingredients, you will then want to add it to your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
After that, simply add your cupcake liners to your pan and add about 2 tablespoons of your cupcake mix to each one. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes (remember this will differ based on where you live and how dry or humid it is there). To make sure they are done, simply use a toothpick or fork – if it comes out clean, you are good to go!
While those cool, you will want to start on your buttercream. This recipe is from Wilton and is so incredibly simple. In a bowl, combine your shortening and butter and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Then add in your vanilla and confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time.
It will seem a bit dry, but then add in your milk and beat until light and fluffy.
Once you have your buttercream ready, you will want to prep your piping bags. We like to make this super simple and this cupcake decorating style allows for it luckily. You will not need any additional pieces aside from your piping bag to add your ghosts onto your cupcakes. A trick that we love using to make filling the piping bags a breeze is to place your piping bag in a glass and fold the top over to keep it steady.
This makes it so much easier to make adding in the buttercream a one-person job. Remember not to pack it too full because you don’t want the buttercream to be pushed right up to the top. You will see the reason why shortly.
We then set each piping bag in the fridge to stiffen up before decorating.
Once your cupcakes are cooled and your buttercream has had a chance to chill, you simply need to snip off the end of your piping bag (see why you don’t want to push the frosting to the very top?) to get started. Depending on how large you want your opening, that is where you will cut the tip of your bag off. You then want to work in a circular motion, ice cream cone style, to get your ghosts added to the top of each cupcake.
To finish them off, simply add on your candy eyes that you can find in any store in the baking section. I grab mine at Target. And there you have it! Delicious and festive black velvet ‘Ghost in the Graveyard’ cupcakes for all of your Halloween festivities! Fun, right?
Here are your supply lists!
For the black velvet cake mix:
For the vanilla buttercream:
And don’t forget your candy eyes! I pick mine up here.