Looking for the perfect dessert for your Hocus Pocus party? Make my Hocus Pocus Cupcakes! Here incredibly moist chocolate pumpkin cupcakes are topped with vanilla frosting to look like Winifred, Mary, and Sarah’s hair. I hope I did the Sanderson sisters proud with this delicious dessert!
These cupcakes stay fresh for days. We’re talking five days. You can easily bake these the day before your Halloween party.
This recipe makes twenty-four cupcakes and I decorated eight Winifreds, eight Sarahs, and eight Marys. I split the frosting three ways and used Wilton food coloring to get these shades. Mary’s hair is straight purple whereas Sarah’s hair is yellow with a few drops of ivory and Winifred’s hair is red with a few drops of yellow for a beautiful reddish orange.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted pointy Winifred hair or more of a bun so I did some of each. I like it both ways!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
Vanilla frosting, recipe follows
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray liners with nonstick spray.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- Whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in another small bowl.
- Cream together butter and sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternatively, ending with the buttermilk mixture.
- Fill prepared liners 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. Let cool ten minutes, then remove from tins and cool completely.
- Prepare frosting according to recipe below, dividing the frosting into thirds. Tint frosting desired shades of yellow, purple, and red. Frost like the Sanderson sisters’ hair.
Note: For these exact shades, I used Wilton purple for Mary’s hair, Wilton yellow plus a bit of ivory to make it more blonde and less neon for Sarah’s hair, and Wilton red with a couple drops of yellow for Winifred’s hair.
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp milk
- Cream together powdered sugar and softened butter with an electric mixer. Start with two cups of powdered sugar and half a stick of butter, alternating additions.
- Slowly incorporate vanilla extract and milk. Beat until smooth. Add additional milk or powdered sugar if needed for desired consistency.