Sunday, October 30, 2011
Jack Skellington Cupcakes
Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite Halloween AND Christmas movies. In the spirit of the season, I thought it would be fun to make some Jack Skellington cupcakes. They were surprisingly easy to make. Rolling out, cutting, and drawing Jack's face on the fondant is a bit time consuming, but definitely not very difficult since his features are pretty simple.
I simply cut out this template of Jack's face (you will need to adjust the size) and laid it out on each circle of fondant. Because I don't trust my own drawing skills, I then traced Jack's features with the end of a thin paintbrush. After the features are impressed on the circle, I filled them in with a black edible food pen. If you don't have a circle cutter, I would suggest investing in one- it makes it much easier to create clean shapes.
The actual cupcakes are a simple chocolate cake with vanilla bean frosting. These are not gluten free because I haven't created a fabulous chocolate cake in the Pixie Crust test kitchen yet.
For the Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 24):
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream
Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift cake flour and salt together. Set aside. Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Once light and creamy, add vanilla extract using a stand mixer. Melt baking chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Add chocolate to mixer. Add dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with sour cream. Once fully combined, add hot water and stir to mix.
Bake for 20-24 minutes until cupcakes spring back to touch.
For the Vanilla Bean Frosting:
3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp cream cheese (for taste and texture to cut the sweetness a bit)
Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add in powdered sugar. Mix until light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean paste and food coloring.
I like to place fondant decorations over the icing so that the frosting still peeks out. That way, someone could choose to remove the fondant topper and still have a good frosting: cake ratio.
Frost cupcakes with pastry bag fitted with star tip, don't pipe frosting on too high. Add Jack head to the top of each cupcake.