Recipes

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

November already? I’m here to sweeten your Friday with these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins! Another monthly muffin post, except there’s something different about this one. This is not the Food Network Magazine’s November muffin recipe. Theirs was a corn chestnut muffin that Matt and I could not get excited about so I made these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins instead!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used the base from February’s Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins since they were extra chocolatey and moist. Then I add some cinnamon and brown sugar spiced pecans to the top that you can whip together in a small mixing bowl. The inspiration for these November muffins came from my love of chocolate pecan pie – see recipe for Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies – but way easier and perfect for eating for breakfast.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

There’s a few things I miss about college, but one of the biggest is their dining hall food – is that weird? Every once and a while Boston College would have slices of the most amazing chocolate pecan pie in to-go boxes and I always had to get it, and maybe a second one for my mini fridge. As you know I have a hard time parting with chocolate treats and I begrudgingly shared these muffins, but I’m glad I did because everyone really liked them! Also, because then I would have eaten them all so basically a win-win all around.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s also fitting to be posting these for the November Muffins since Diane’s birthday is later this month and my stepmom loves chocolate pecan pie – big emphasis on the chocolate! I hope you all love these muffins! I don’t like the sound of December’s muffin either so I have something in the works for that one, too. Think savory like March’s Irish Cheddar, Bacon and Potato Muffins – yum!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did any of you make the Food Network Magazine’s November muffins? What did you think? Also, don’t forget to turn back your clocks this weekend. Fun fact – Japan hasn’t observed daylight savings time since 1951, but they are considered adopting it for the 2020 Olympic Games. Okay, that’s all I have for you today, happy Friday, friends!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Each muffin cup should be filled ⅔ to the top. Bake for 2 minutes then remove the muffin pan from the oven and working quickly, spoon some of the pecan mixture into the center of each muffin. Return the pan to the oven. Continue to bake for 16-20 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out with just a crumb or two.
  6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

 Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Monday before Halloween! I don’t love Halloween solely because of the candy, but all those Kit Kats and Reese’s are definitely a big factor! No matter what age you are, you’re bound to have leftover candy after Halloween. It may because your kids collected way more than they need so you snagged a stash for yourself. It may be because you bought several Costco size bags of candy, but no one in your neighborhood felt like coming to your house since it’s on a “hill” – speaking from experience.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

It may be because you went trick-or-treating at Disneyland’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which Matt and I did two years ago and it was so much fun! Or maybe you just took advantage of all the after-holiday sales while you were hungry and felt at the time you really had to have all four bags of those fun size chocolate candy bars. Either way, now you have a bunch of candy and while it’s great to eat on its own you can only do so much of that before you never want to look at a candy bar again.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Enter this Halloween Chocolate Lasagna. I hesitate to call it a Chocolate Lasagna since I think the name makes people not want to try it, but according to the internet and Pinterest that is what this layered chocolatey dessert is called. The bottom layer is a no-bake Oreo crust. Next up we have a sweetened cream cheese layer that’s been folded together with some whipped topping to make it light and fluffy. If you don’t want to use store bought whipped topping you could always fold in some homemade whipped cream so I put those directions in the recipe as well. The next two layers are creamy chocolate pudding and then whipped topping. Don’t forget the Halloween candy! You can use whichever chocolate candies you prefer. I chopped up Kit Kat, Reese’s, Milky Way, Snicker’s and 3 Musketeers and sneaked them in between the pudding layer.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

This dessert is addictive, especially with the candy added in as a fun surprise. It tastes incredibly light while you are eating it, but it’s also very rich at the same time. Everyone who had this ate it up and they even each brought a bowl-full home.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

The first time I ever heard of Chocolate Lasagna was last year when Matt’s mom made it for Christmas. The minute I saw all the whipped cream and chocolate I knew I was going to be in love. We kept the leftovers and by we I mean I may or may not have told Matt he couldn’t have any 😂. When I thought of turning it into a leftover Halloween candy dessert I asked Matt’s mom to send me the recipe so I could share it with all of you. And so I could get to eat it again since I had been dreaming about it since last Christmas. If you are looking for other leftover Halloween candy ideas, check out my Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies!

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna
 
Yield: 20 - 24 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 14.3-ounce package of Oreo cookies, about 36 Oreos (not double stuff)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk, cold (use any fat percentage of milk except non-fat)
  • 12 ounces frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), defrosted
  • 2 4-ounce packages chocolate instant pudding
  • 3¼ cups milk, cold (use at least 1% milk)
  • About 3 cups chopped leftover Halloween candy
  • Halloween sprinkles, for decorating
Directions
  1. Crush the Oreo cookies using a food processor or by placing them in a large freezer bag and crushing them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. They don’t need to be fine crumbs, but there shouldn’t be any huge chunks of cookie. Pour the cookie crumbs into a large mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter until combined. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9x13 baking pan and press the crumbs to form an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate while you work on the rest of the layers.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and the 2 tablespoons of milk then beat until combined. Fold in 1¼ cups of the whipped topping and spread in an even layer over the Oreo crust.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl (or the same one used for the Oreo crust), combine both chocolate instant pudding mixes with the 3¼ cups cold milk. Whisk until the pudding starts to thicken. This will take several minutes; be sure to scrape from the bottom as you whisk. Spread half of the pudding in an even layer over the cream cheese layer. Top with the chopped candies then pour over the remaining half of the pudding and smooth with a spatula. Let sit in the fridge for at least 5 minutes so the pudding can firm up more. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or the freezer for 1 hour before serving. Add the Halloween sprinkles right before serving (the colors on the sprinkles may run if you add them ahead of time).
Notes
If you would prefer to use fresh whipped cream instead of frozen whipped topping, follow this substitution. Beat 1¾ cups cold heavy cream (in a cold metal mixing bowl with a cold beater is preferred) with ¾ cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until you have stiff peaks. This will make about 4 cups whipped cream.

Recipe from Genius Kitchen.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

I just realized this is the third Friday in a row I’m posting a vegetable dish. Don’t worry, this Braised Red Cabbage and Apples is just as swoon-worthy as the other two healthy side dishes. Tender, sweet and the perfect amount of acidity from the balsamic vinegar, you will be hooked on this cabbage after one bite.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

Instead of adding any sugar, the red cabbage is cooked down with an apple to give it some natural sweetness. The cabbage takes on a lot of the balsamic vinegar flavor, which is also slightly sweeter than other types of vinegar since it’s made from grapes. I love making this dish for the holidays because it makes a ton, the color is stunning and you can absolutely make it ahead of time. In fact, it tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld together. It also freezes really well; I just freeze it in quart size freezer bags or reusable containers.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

My grandma, Babu, is always on my mind, but especially today on her birthday. Babu loved cabbage and I think she would have been a big fan of this Braised Red Cabbage and Apples. I also think she would be laughing about me celebrating her birthday with cabbage and telling me she would have much preferred some vanilla ice cream! She used to make ground turkey and rice stuffed cabbage rolls, baking them right in our toaster oven. I would never take a bite of them – they didn’t look like my usual macaroni and cheese and fish sticks – but I bet I would love them now.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s so interesting to me how your taste-buds evolve and change the more you introduce them to different foods. Also, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, a lot of it has to do with how the foods are prepared and presented. Matt gobbles this braised cabbage up every time I make it and its been a big hit whenever I make it for company. I hope you enjoy this one and have a wonderful weekend!

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples  |  Lemon & Mocha

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
 
Yield: 10-12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large red cabbage, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tart apples, such as granny smith, peeled, cored and sliced
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Prepare the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage and remove the loose outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into quarters: place the cabbage stem side down and cut it in half. Slice each half in half again from the top to the stem to make quarters. Remove the stem and core from each quarter wedge by diagonally cutting it off. Finally, lay each quarter down on the flat side and thinly slice. Place the sliced cabbage in a bowl and cover with cold water while you finish getting everything else together.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet that has a lid or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is golden, stirring while it cooks. Add the apple slices and cook for 3 more minutes, continuing to stir.
  3. Drain the red cabbage slices and add to the onions. Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and 2 more tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine well them season with salt to taste. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Before removing from the heat, add some freshly ground black pepper and another tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Season with additional salt according to taste if needed.
Notes
This recipe makes a lot, but it can easily be halved. It also freezes really well in freezer bags.

Recipe from NY Times Cooking.

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am obsessed with the recipes I’ve been posting so far in October! I’m normally super excited about all the food I’m sharing, but I feel especially extra excited for all of these. This Chicken Schnitzel and Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce is no exception. In fact, it’s heavily contributing to that extra excitement. This dish has a lot of components, but when they come together in the same bite it is pure magic.

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

On the bottom we have our homemade spaetzle dumplings. They are technically a dumpling, but I think of them as noodles. If you love pasta then you will love spaetzle since they are like egg noodles with a bit of chewiness to them. A classic German dish, spaetzle is typically served with lots of butter and parsley. We are taking a slightly healthier approach and topping them with a quick homemade almond and spinach pesto. The pesto is nutty and makes the spaetzle a beautiful green color. However, before adding the pesto we cannot get away without pan-frying the spaetzle.

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I seared them in a pan with just a little bit of coconut oil cooking spray; they just need to get very lightly browned, which adds a crispy textural element to the little dumplings. On top of the incredible pesto spaetzle is crispy chicken schnitzel. It’s basically a fancy German way of saying a breaded cutlet. Usually I make schnitzel with veal or pork cutlets, but I wanted to keep the dish a little lighter so we are using chicken cutlets. The cutlets are thin so you can shallow fry them in just a little bit of olive oil.

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Although the crispy chicken schnitzel and cozy pesto spaetzle would be amazing on their own, I felt like the dish needed one more flavor to pull it all together. Enter this out-of-this-world creamy cauliflower sun-dried tomato sauce. I officially want to put this sauce on every pasta, pizza and chicken dish I make from now on. I might even eat it as a soup. You will know what I mean once you make it. Chicken broth, cauliflower, garlic and seasonings are simmered together before being blended with some sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil. Pure magic! I got the recipe from Caitlin @starinfinitefood – you need to follow her Instagram if you don’t already! She posts beautiful food and clean recipes. When you get a bite with the spaetzle, pesto, chicken schnitzel and sun-dried tomato sauce together it is one of those bites where you just have to shout out, “Damn!” after lots of mmming and other inappropriate noises.

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

The pesto, sun-dried tomato sauce and chicken schnitzel are all incredibly quick recipes to whip together. However, although mixing the spaetzle dough takes barely any time at all, pushing the batter through a spaetzle maker, colander, slotted spoon or whatever you are using into a pot of boiling water is time consuming. Now, I’ve never used a spaetzle maker so maybe that would make it infinitely quicker, but every time I’ve done it I always forget quite how long it takes to push the dough through. The reason you are pushing it through is to make it into those odd little squiggly shapes that you then boil until they float before scooping them out and letting them drain. The good news is you can make spaetzle ahead of time and simply run them under cold water and strain them before storing them in the fridge until you’re ready to brown them up. I hope you try this dish soon, and make sure you invite me over when you do!

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken Schnitzel & Pesto Spaetzle with a Cauliflower Sun-dried Tomato Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the spaetzle
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk, or water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
for the pesto
  • 2 cups packed spinach leaves
  • ⅓ cup whole almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
for the sun-dried tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes, about 5 whole ones
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
for the chicken schnitzel
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets, pounded to ¼” thick
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Directions
for the spaetzle
  1. Bring a medium to medium-large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together both flours, the salt, nutmeg and black pepper. Add the milk and beaten eggs then stir to combine.
  3. Using a spaetzle press, colander or slotted spoon with round holes, press the batter through with a wooden spoon so it falls/drips into the boiling water. Once you’ve pressed a bunch through, use a slotted spoon to skim the spaetzle noodles out when they’ve floated to the surface. Put them in a colander to drain while you finish making the rest.
  4. Once you’ve made all the spaetzle, spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium-high heat and add the spaetzle. Cook, stirring as needed, until lightly browned.
for the pesto
  1. Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Toss with the spaetzle to coat.
for the sun-dried tomato sauce
  1. Bring the cauliflower, vegetable broth, garlic, dried parsley and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Carefully blend the contents of the saucepan in a high-speed blender. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil then blend again until smooth.
for the chicken schnitzel
  1. If the chicken cutlets are really big, cut them in half. Set up your breading station with three shallow bowls. Put the flour in one, whisk together the egg and Dijon in the other, and mix together the panko and dried parsley in the third. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken cutlet into the flour mixture and make sure it’s completely coated, shaking off any excess. Then dip it into the egg mixture and make sure it’s completely coated, letting any excess drip off. Then dip the cutlet into the panko and make sure it’s completely coated. Repeat until you’ve breaded all the chicken cutlets.
  2. Over medium heat, heat enough olive oil in a high-sided skillet so that it will come halfway up the side of the chicken. Test that your oil is ready by tossing in a couple panko breadcrumbs. If your oil isn’t hot enough, the panko will sink. If your oil is too hot, in which case you should turn the temperature down, the panko will burn. If it bubbles then your oil is ready for frying the cutlets. I cooked mine in two batches; you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Make sure it registers 165 degrees F when you remove it, otherwise cook it a little longer. Remove the cutlets to a paper towel lined plate then move them to a wire cooling rack so they stay crispy. Refresh the olive oil as needed and repeat for any remaining chicken cutlets.
  3. Serve hot over the spaetzle tossed with pesto. Pour the warmed up sun-dried tomato sauce over top.
Notes
For the spaetzle, you can use all all-purpose flour if you would prefer.
I highly recommend using this pesto since it’s fresh, nutty and really easy to whip up. If you would rather use your own, you will need about ½ cup to toss with the spaetzle.

Sun-dried Tomato Sauce from Starinfinitefood.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Halloween is next week! I love Halloween and I’m so excited to be sharing another festive Halloween treat with you. Last year I shared the Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches and before that there were some Halloween Witches’ Cauldron Cupcakes. This year, we have Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes. Notice a theme? I’m clearly a chocoholic! These are moist chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting and easy DIY witch leg cupcake toppers. I saw these all over Pinterest and decided they were too cute not to make. I’ve added a link to download a handy free printable I made for you all to the bottom of this post so all you’ll have to do is print and cut out the little witch boots.

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cupcakes are my Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes and they really are the best chocolate cupcakes. I topped them with a neon green cream cheese frosting that’s not too sweet before adding the witch leg toppers. I’ve linked to the supplies I used below as well.

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was growing up, my brother and I loved making haunted houses. If our family was having a party with family friends we would set up the haunted house in the basement. When we got older and no longer went trick-or-treating, my brother and I set up the haunted house in our garage so the trick-or-treaters could walk through it. We would go all out with the decorations and everyone in the family had a role, whether you were supposed to hide under a table and grab people’s legs as they walked by (usually me) or whether you were dressed up like a zombie (usually my brother). My brother was the creative one and my favorite design element was always the soundtrack tapes he would make. One year without my Dad knowing, my brother recorded my Dad bench pressing weights. My Dad’s grunting and the clanking of the metal weights made the best spooky sounds!

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

The funny part about all this is that I hate being scared. I don’t like going in haunted houses, going on spooky hay rides or watching scary movies. There is a haunted house ride at the boardwalk where we have our family beach week every summer and my cousin, who is six years younger than me, would try to reassure me during the ride and tell me to open my eyes! Apparently I love everything about haunted houses, except actually going in them! Do you love haunted houses or are they not your thing?

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I are doing something a little different this year for Halloween – we will be flying to Tokyo, Japan! I’m so excited! Japan has been on our travel bucket list so we are heading to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Don’t worry; I have plenty of posts scheduled while we’re away, but my access to internet and email will be limited so I may not respond to comments or emails until I return. In the meantime, I have some cozy dinner recipes coming for you this week so stay tuned!

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Printables
Option 1: Print out a pair of witch boots and cut them out. Trace the pair of witch boots onto black construction paper, one pair traced for each cupcake, then cut out the pairs of witch boots. Get that printable here. The boots I made for these photos were made using black construction paper.
Option 2: Print out solid black witch boots with black ink from your printer. Cut them out. Get that printable here (print two copies).

Supplies Used:
Paper straws
Neon gel food dye
Cupcake liners
Round piping tip

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes
 
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
for the witch leg toppers
  • 24 paper straws
  • 24 sets of witch boots, using printable and either black printer ink or black construction paper
  • Tape
for the chocolate cupcakes
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, see note
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee, see note
for the cream cheese frosting
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Neon gel food dye
Directions
for the witch leg toppers
  1. Cut the straws in half.
  2. Cut out the witch boots. Use a small piece of tape that’s been rolled up to stick each boot to a straw half. Make sure the straw is coming out of the ankle of the boot. Make sure you have a left and right boot pointing out in opposite directions for each cupcake.
for the chocolate cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners so you have enough for 24 cupcakes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth.
  4. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and stir until combined. The batter will be extremely liquidy. Divide the batter between the 24 cupcake liners, filling them slightly more than half full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back mostly clean. Alternatively, they are done when you gently press your finger on the center of a cupcake and it lightly springs back. I find mine to be done at exactly 19 minutes.
  5. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
for the cream cheese frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until combined. Add the food dye and mix, continue to add until the desired color is achieved.
  2. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and stick a pair of witch legs into each cupcake. Frosted cupcakes require refrigeration since cream cheese frosting has to be refrigerated. You may want to wait to put the toppers in until you are ready to serve them in case they get soggy or the coloring on the straw runs.
Notes
To make your own buttermilk: pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk, any fat percentage, into the measuring cup until you have 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using.
If you don’t want to use coffee you can use hot water, but the flavor of the chocolate won’t be as pronounced. You can use decaffeinated coffee if you prefer.
The cupcakes, unfrosted, freeze very well if you want to make them ahead of time.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!