Black Forest Cupcake Graveyard

Today marks the last day of our six week run of daily posts! And for our final Baked with Scare Saturday, we're pulling out all of the stops with a cupcake graveyard full of tricks and treats for all!
Halloween cupcakes, cupcake graveyard, chocolate gravestones, cupcake decorations
Halloween cupcakes, cupcake graveyard, black forest chocolate cupcakes with graveyard decorations
Ingredients
  • Chocolate cake mix and required ingredients (See box packaging)
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • Chocolate sandwich cookies
  • Cherry pie filling
  • Black and white chocolate candy melts
Additional Tools
  • Piping bags and decorating tips
  • Parchment paper
  • Cupcake liners
  • Permanent marker
  • Silicone tombstone candy molds
Instructions
  1. Bake the cupcakes as directed on the cake mix box. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.
  2. While the cupcakes are cooling, place a mix of white and black candy melts in a piping bag and microwave. As they melt, mix them together slightly to create the marbled effect. Pipe the marbled black and white candy melts into the tombstone candy mold and allow to set completely before removing from the molds.
  3. Draw two sections of a fence and one side of a gate on a piece of parchment paper. Flip the gate over and trace the mirror image to make the second gate.
  4. After the tombstones are piped with the marbled candy melts, fully combine the black and white candy melts to make a gray melting chocolate. Pipe the beams of the fence and gate with the gray melting chocolate.
  5. Melt additional black candy melts in another piping bag and pipe accent details for the fences and gates. Allow to set completely before handling.
    1. Note that these chocolate pieces will be very delicate, even after they are fully set! Handle with extreme care!
  6. To make the cookies and cream frosting, first crumble the sandwich cookies, either in a food processor or by hand. (I recommend using slim cookies to have more sandwich cookies and less cream, since you'll be adding them to the frosting.) Thoroughly combine the cookie crumbles with the cream cheese frosting.
  7. Fill the cupcakes with the cherry pie filling. To do this, poke a small hole in the top of the cupcakes with a piping tip and then fill each cupcake with a good amount of filling. The cherries may not fit through all decorating tips, so you can also pipe them without the tip.
  8. Once the cupcakes are filled, ice them with the cookies and cream cheese frosting using a star tip and piping bag.
  9. Assemble the cupcake graveyard by first placing the cupcakes on a cake stand or display. Carefully add the fence and gate pieces to the cupcakes. Once those are securely in place, add the candy melt tombstones throughout the scene.
  10. Take lots of pictures to thoroughly document your handiwork and then dig in!
chocolate cupcakes in progress
graveyard decorations made with melting chocolate
chocolate tombstone decorations, chocolate cupcakes with cherry filling
Halloween cupcakes, cupcake graveyard, black forest chocolate cupcakes with graveyard decorations
Over the last several weeks on Baked with Scare Saturday, I've shared a variety of recipes for different types of baked treats in a range of flavors, so going into the last week, I knew I wanted to focus a bit more on decorating as opposed to just a baking technique or flavor. I've worked with piping chocolate candy melts a few times in the past, and each time I'm pretty impressed with the results. It's a lot easier than the finished product would make it seem and only takes a bit of practice with the piping bags! My only real advice here is that if you're interested in working with piped melting chocolate for decor and accents to your baking, go for it! Just remember that using smaller openings in the piping bag (or zip top bag, which ever is available!) will produce much finer lines. And of course, take care to not overheat the chocolate.

The idea for a cupcake graveyard had been on my mind for awhile and I had originally intended to pipe the tombstones by hand, too, but then came across a mold at the store that worked wonderfully! Remember to take your time marbling the chocolates and pipe in the molds using a back-and-forth motion to really get the marbled tombstone effect. (Note: I also tried melting chocolate in the molds themselves with less than stellar results. Save yourself the time, and melt the chocolates in a piping bag before piping!)

As for the flavors, I didn't want to phone it in on the last Baked with Scare Saturday! I hadn't really done anything chocolate flavored thus far (sacrilege as we get nearer to Halloween, I know!) so I knew I wanted to make chocolate cupcakes. Initially, I was just going to top them with the cookies & cream cheese frosting (which turned out just as I'd imagined!), but then I had the idea to fill them with a cherry filling to create Black Forest cupcakes. Much like the apple hand pies from the first Baked with Scare Saturday, you can make the cherry filling from scratch, but in the interest of saving time, I opted to fill the cupcakes with store bought cherry pie filling and the final cupcakes were some of the finest I've ever baked.

I've especially enjoyed our Baked with Scare Saturdays together over the past few weeks. As I mentioned when I started this whole project, I've had my share of baking fails, but luckily almost all of my ideas for Baked with Scare Saturday turned out just as I'd envisioned them - some of them turned out even better than I'd thought! So I hope you're inspired to get baking this Halloween! Take chances in the kitchen and experiment with new flavors and techniques; you may just find a new favorite treat this Halloween. Happy Baking!

🎃
Halloween cupcakes, black forest chocolate cupcakes with graveyard decorations

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