Trick or Treat Cupcakes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

This cupcake is the showcase for our Halloween thrills. For the parade of goblins, ghosts, and monsters looking for something sweet, we top it with anything we can find on the candy aisle. There's no trick to this treat—it's scrumptious any time of year.

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Recipe from Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 3 drops orange liquid food coloring
  • 3 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange flavoring
  • Paper baking cups
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Halloween Orange Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons orange flavoring
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (16-oz.) packages powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 to 4 drops orange liquid food coloring
  • Toppings:
  • Assorted candy
  • Sprinkles
  • Candy sticks

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter and sugar at medim speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  3. Combine milk and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in orange flavoring.
  5. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
  7. To prepare frosting, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Add juice and food coloring; beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Makes 3 cups.
  8. Fill each cupcake with Halloween Orange Frosting. To fill cupcakes, insert the end of a wooden spoon or dowel into the center of the cupcake to make a hole. Fill a zip-top plastic freezer bag with filling or frosting. Use scissors or kitchen shears to snip about 1/4 inch from one corner of the bag; insert bag into the hole in the cupcake. Squeeze gently until filling comes to the top of each cupcake.
  9. Frost each cupcake with Halloween Orange Frosting using metal tip no. 12. Top each with assorted candy, sprinkles, and 1 candy stick.
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