Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween - with owl cupcakes! :)

A few of my owls seem to be sleep deprived. 
Over the last year, I've come to slowly realize that I might really love owls. There's that Hedwig necklace that I have, along with the snowy owl Build-a-Bear I got for my birthday in college. OH and that awesome "Doctor Hoo" shirt I bought on an impulse. There's also the fact that I tend to gravitate towards owl-themed items, like these owl teacups that I really want. Maybe it's because owls have been trending in fashion and art in the past few years, enhancing my love for them.
(But no, honestly, it's probably because I really wish I could attend Hogwarts and have an owl deliver letters to me).

Anyways, with Halloween coming up, owls seemed to be a perfect theme for my next baking project. While browsing Pinterest, I stumbled across an adorable picture of owl cupcakes, using Oreos as eyes and was sold instantly. I simply HAD to make these.

That pin only had the picture and no recipe, giving me the freedom to decide what kind of cupcake to make. In the end, I decided on a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate frosting, following the recipe here from Sally's Baking Addiction.

The making of the cupcakes went smoothly enough (and true to the recipe, the resulting cupcake batter is extremely thick), but when it came time for the frosting, I realized I didn't have enough butter OR powdered sugar that the recipe called for. Time to improvise!

Searching through my baking cupboard, I came up with a box of chocolate pudding mix and decided to base my frosting around that. After all, the last time I made a pudding based frosting, it turned out great. I threw what butter and powdered sugar I had in with the pudding mix, added some heavy cream and milk, and mixed until I got some sort of frosting. It was very pudding like - even stiffer, maybe, with the powdered sugar and butter added in it.

It tasted delicious and still spread easily over the cupcakes, and the extra stiffness came in handy in adhering the Oreo owl eyes to the top of the cupcake. For the pupils and the beaks, I used Reese's Pieces. (In a completely unrelated note, I might bake something Reese's Pieces related next week - I suddenly have a large supply of them....)

And because it's Halloween, half of the Oreos I used were the orange filling Halloween Oreos and I also piped red frosting bloodshot details onto some of the eyes. They are much cuter without the bloodshot eyes though!


Happy Halloween! :)

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes - makes 12

Cupcakes - from Sally's Baking Addiction 


  • ~1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • ~3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 box of instant chocolate pudding mix (I used Jello brand)
  • ~1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • ~3/4 cup of almond milk

Owl Details

  • Oreos (I used regular and Halloween themed)
  • Reese's Pieces - pick out the brown and orange ones
  • Red frosting (I had ready-made frosting in a tube leftover from a previous recipe)
  1. Make the cupcakes according to the linked recipe above. Let them cool completely before icing. 
  2. Make the frosting - cream the butter first separately and then slowly add the rest of the ingredients, alternating between dry and wet ingredients. I really played around with the frosting, eyeballing everything, so the amounts above are only approximates. I adjusted all the ingredients until I got a thick pudding consistency (but was still spreadable). 
  3. Generously spread the frosting on the cupcakes. 
  4. Split the Oreos in half and keep the half with the filling. Pipe veins onto the Oreos, if you want bloodshot eyes. Stick a brown Reese's Pieces on each Oreo (using the frosting as glue, if needed). 
  5. Arrange the Oreos on top of the cupcake. Stick an orange Reese's Piece vertically into the frosting to form the beaks. 
  6. Admire your adorable flock of owlets. And then proceed to eat all of them. 

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