With Halloween being a week away I wanted to create a few more fun ways to celebrate! I will admit I’m feeling the need for some healthier food after having a Whimsical Fall M&M Cake and Trick-or-Treat Ice Cream at the ready for noshing. Very hard to resist!
I really had my heart set on cupcakes, devilishly delicious cupcakes! After making Graveyard Cupcakes for a prior Halloween celebration I felt we needed to add some new fun cupcakes to our party arsenal. ‘Devil’s Food’ seemed completely spot on!
For those who don’t know, Devil’s Food is a moist, light, rich chocolate cake. I did a bit of research, always interested in the history of cakes with iconic names. Devil’s Food began to appear in the late 1800’s but truly became ‘the rage’ in the early 1900’s. At the time it was more easily distinguished from the just-plain Chocolate Cake by the use of Dutch-processed cocoa powder, higher baking soda amounts and often cookie to provide the light, airy texture and rich flavor.
The name of ‘Devil’s Food’ is of unclear origins but believed to be referring to how sinful the cake is to eat, in contrast to the white, light ‘Angel Food’ cake which showed up in cook books about the same time.
Typically Devil’s Food Cake is frosted with chocolate frosting however I decided to make something equally devilish in taste and appearance: Red Hot Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting. Flavored with pulverized Red Hots candies, the frosting bears a true spicy, cinnamon flavor that is perfection on these cupcakes. Not overly sweet as some buttercream frostings can be and definitely with a kick. In its natural state the frosting is a fleshy-pink tone from the Red Hots. I wanted the frosting to be undeniably devilish and opted to add some coloring (vegetable based colorings can be used if preferred or it can be left untinted).
The cupcakes are rich chocolate without being over the top. They are moist, light, and a beautiful flavor of chocolate thanks to a combination of Dutch-processed cocoa powder and melted Bittersweet Chocolate. They are deeply chocolaty but not deeply sweet. Paired with the frosting makes for a wonderful treat!
A perfect cupcake to spice up any occasion: Gluten-Free Devil's Food cupcakes with Red Hots Cinnamon Buttercream frosting. The cupcakes are moist, light, richly chocolaty flavored without being overly sweet. The buttercream frosting in turn is deliciously balanced, not overly sweet, and made cinnamon-spicy with ground Red Hots candies.
- 1/2 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
- 1/3 Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
- 1 ¼ cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (I used King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Blend)
- ¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Buttermilk, shaken
- ¼ cup Prepared Coffee
- ½ cup Sunflower Oil
- Optional: Red Food Coloring
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
- 2 cups Confectioner’s/Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 tablespoons Milk
- ¾ cups Red Hots Candies (1-6 ounce package), ground to a powder in a spice grinder or strong blender)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with double cupcake liners. Tip: using 2 liners allows the outer liner to look new and the inner liner to absorb any fats from the baking.
- In a metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the chocolate chips; stirring occasionally.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, cocoa powder. Stir to fully combine.
- In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup combine the shaken buttermilk, coffee and oil.
- In the bowl of a mixer lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the sugar and beat to combine.
- Spoon the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl along with some of the flour. Running the mixer on medium speed allow the mixture to combine. Slowly pour some of the liquid mixture into the mixing bowl allowing it to incorporate; continue to alternate the remaining flour and liquid, ending with flour. Mix until just combined; do not overmix.
- Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and smooth the top of the batter (the batter is airy and will hold the shape of the top of the batter when baked). Bake for 13-17 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then removed from the muffin tin and placed on a cooling rack until fully cooled.
- Using a mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until lighty and fluffy (it will turn a very light color).
- Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- Combine the powdered sugar and powdered Ret Hots candies in a medium bowl; stir to fully mix together.
- With the mixer running at medium speed, add the dry mixture to the butter ½ cup at a time allowing it to blend in before adding the next ½ cup. Repeat until all dry ingredients are mixed in.
- Slowly add the milk while the mixer is running to make the frosting smooth and spreadable.
- If piping the frosting onto the cupcakes the frosting may be chilled for 10-15 minutes before frosting. If during the frosting process the frosting becomes too soft, refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes before proceeding. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in a sealed contain in the refrigerator.