Considering how much fun I had making Witches' Hats and Broomsticks, you can only imagine how happy I was making these. I spent a very contented Friday evening (yes, super cool) surrounded by cupcakes, a jar of Nutella, and more chocolate buttons than I needed (you have to sample as you go along, naturally). There's something so rewarding about turning plain chocolate cupcakes into owl faces, and they don't fully come together until you place the last piece of the puzzle, regardless of whether it's a nose or an eye or a piece of the feathers.
These little guys are so fun to make, and I think they make for a friendly face to have around at this time of year when we're surrounded by witches, ghosts and ghouls! The cake base is my new deliciously chocolatey go-to recipe topped with Nutella, followed by milk chocolate buttons serving as feathers, white chocolate buttons and mini chocolate chips as eyes, halved jelly diamonds as noses, and little stars for extra decoration! If you can get past not wanting to eat something so cute-looking (my Mum has to eat the eyes first so that they're not longer looking at her!), they taste absolutely amazing. I'd say have some ready to hand out to Trick or Treaters, but you really won't be overly inclined to share them.
TWIT-TWOO OWL CUPCAKES
Yield: 12 cupcakes Time: 45 minutes (plus cooling time)
for the chocolate cupcakes
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g golden caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 medium egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate chips
for the owl tops
a few tablespoons of Nutella
milk chocolate buttons
white chocolate buttons
milk chocolate chips
jelly diamonds, halved
white chocolate stars (optional)
Heat the oven to 170C.
Line a 12-cup muffin tray with muffin cases.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a bowl. Add the sugar and butter, and mix until combined and you have a sandy consistency.
- Whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla in a jug, and slowly pour half into the flour mixture until combined, then repeat with the second half. Be careful not to over mix.
- Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Spoon into the waiting muffin cases and bake for 18-22 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool fully.
- Top each cooled muffin with a tablespoon of Nutella and spread out with a fork until you have a feather pattern.
- Place milk chocolate buttons across the bottom of each as feathers, and white chocolate buttons topped with milk chocolate chips as eyes. Halved jelly diamonds as beeks to finish them off!
Owl topping adapted from the Waitrose Kitchen Magazine, October 2014.
Cupcake recipe adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, p17.