Black and White Sugar Skull Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These black and white sugar skull cupcakes are both festive and delicious! They've got a rich & moist chocolate base and a thick sweet white chocolate buttercream.
Yield: 18 cupcakes
  • Chocolate cupcakes:
  • ¼ c. unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ c. canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ c. Zulka Morena pure cane sugar
  • ½ c. Zulka pure cane brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 eggs + 2 yolks, room temperature
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. dutch-process or cocoa rouge cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ c. full-fat sour cream or buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ c. water (warm) + ½ tsp. espresso powder
  • White chocolate frosting:
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2- 2½ c. Zulka pure cane powdered sugar
  • ¼ c. heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • White chocolate sugar skulls:
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard size cupcake pans with 18 liners, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, oil, sugars, vanilla extract and melted chocolate until smooth. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sifted cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients along with the sour cream (or buttermilk) and the warm water/espresso mixture. Mix just until combined. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Divide batter evenly among cups, filling ⅔ of the way full (I like to use a large scoop, a #20). Place in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake! Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile to prepare the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn mixing speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Pour in the white chocolate and beat for 2 additional minutes or until creamy. Add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt, beat for 1 more minute or until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar if needed. Frost the cooled cupcakes with a large pastry tip or an offset spatula.
  6. To make the white chocolate sugar skulls, pour the melted white chocolate into the mold. Place in the refrigerator to firm up. If desired, add details using a edible marker or black frosting. Place on top of the frosted cupcakes, garnish with festive sprinkles.
-If you want to fill the cupcakes with "confetti," just core the cupcakes (with a knife or a cupcake corer) and fill them with sprinkles. You can either place a bit of the cupcake core over the top or pipe the frosting directly over top.
-Sugar skull mold is from Lekue (Crazy Skull Game Mold).

[i]Recipe source: Life Made Simple/i]
Recipe by Life Made Simple at