October went by in a blur, and I never got a chance to post these fun, Halloween-themed cupcakes. They’re a basic almond cupcake filled with blood-red raspberry filling, topped with a little bat. I like to think Dracula would have enjoyed them.
I initially planned to poke holes in the tops and have some of the filling ooze out vampire-bite-style, but that didn’t quite work. Fortunately, I had some bat sprinkles, so that worked well. To make your raspberry filling appear a bit more bloody, simply add red food coloring once it’s cooled. You could also go with a cherry filling if you wanted to, as cherry and almond are good flavor friends as well.
For the cupcakes
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- dash of salt
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 recipe raspberry filling
- Red food coloring
For the frosting
- 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 2 3/4 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Bat sprinkles
Prepare raspberry filling and allow to cool; add several drops of red food coloring, stirring well until you reach your desired color.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until very well-blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond and beat until combined.
Add flour and milk alternatively in two batches, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until completely combined.
Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into each cupcake well.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.
Once cupcakes are cool, prepare frosting: in a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes.
Add vanilla extract and almond extract, beating well to combine. Add 1 tablespoon milk and beat well; add additional milk if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency that will be easy to pipe and spread.
To fill and frost: using a melon baller, scoop out the center of each cupcake. From the core, cut away all but the top 1/4 inch, leaving a small disc of cake. Reserve the scraps for a trifle or other treat.
Place raspberry filling in a zip-top bag and carefully snip one corner; pipe filling into each cupcake, then top with cake discs. This will help the raspberry filling from getting into your frosting, although I suppose for a vampire-themed cupcake, that wouldn’t be the worst thing.
Fill a piping bag with frosting and pipe onto each cupcake; using an offset spatula, flatted the swirls just slightly. You can also just frost the cupcakes by hand if you prefer.
Top each cupcake with one bat.
Store at room temperature for up to 3 days; you’ll have some filling left over, which you can combine with the cupcake scraps for a delicious mini trifle.
Makes 12 cupcakes. Below, you’ll see the blood-red raspberry filling.