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Vampire Cupcakes

vampire cupcake

It was a dark and stormy (read: there was a heavy drizzle) night when a discussion of Halloween costumes let to a discussion on Halloween baked goods. I already had a spiderweb chocolate tart and some pumpkin muffins planned, but I wanted to come up with something dramatic. Something impressive. Something that a dark and spooky holiday – albeit a candy-centric one – deserved. And something that involved vampires, since a good vampire costume is always my favorite at Halloween.

Vampire cupcakes sounded perfect.

I knew I wanted a white cupcake (vampires are pale, after all) and had a recipe in mind to use already. The question that remained to be answered was how I was going to decorate it. There are a ton of articles, primarily in family-oriented magazines, that describe how to make a cartoony vampire face on top of a cupcake. I rifled through them feeling unsatisfied. Then I found a picture of some cupcakes on a blog called horror gourmet that really struck a chord with me and I decided to make a cupcake that not only looked like it had been bitten into by a vampire, but that would bleed when you bit into it!

I baked my cupcakes, used the cupcake-filling technique I used on my devil’s food cupcakes to fill the cakes up with pureed cherry pie filling (canned or homemade) and topped them off with white icing to best accentuate the red bite marks. I made the marks using a skewer dipped in leftover cherry filling, making sure to leave a clear impression of a fang bite, rather than just a red streak on top of the cake.

The result was even better than I could have hoped for. They looked fantastic and tasted even better. The cherry filling worked surprisingly well in the vanilla cupcake and didn’t get absorbed by the cake at all, so it stayed nice a runny even after two days (how long the batch lasted before being devoured). The recipe makes 18 cupcakes, but you will probably have leftover filling and frosting, especially if you opt for canned cherry pie filling, so feel free to bake up a second batch to use everything up.

Although I made these cupcakes for Halloween, these would also be perfect to serve at a Twilight movie party, as would a batch of my vampire cookies.

vampire cupcake: money shot

Update: I made a YouTube Video that shows exactly how I made these cupcakes and walks you through the steps! Take a peek at How to Make Vampire Cupcakes, the video!

Vampire Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large egg whites
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins (you will need 18 cups total) with paper liners and set aside.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and blend, using the paddle attachment (You can use a hand mixer, too).
Cut butter into 4 or 5 chunks and drop into the bowl with the flour mixture.Blend on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.
In a large measuring cup, combine eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With the mixer on low, pour 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the bowl. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the buttermilk mixture. Continue to beat at low speed for an additional 30 seconds, until liquid is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds, if necessary.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin tins, filling 18 cups as equally as possible.
Bake for 16-20 minutes, until cupcakes are light golden and a toothpick inserted into their centers comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 18 cupcakes.

1 can cherry pie filling

Puree cherry pie filling – a syrupy mix of sugar and cherries, usually – in a food processor until fairly smooth. Very small pieces of cherries are ok.
(A photo how-to of the assembly method can be found here.) Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.
Take the cherry filling and spoon about tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling it almost to the top with filling. Top off with the flat circle of cake you just removed to seal the hole and hold the “blood” filling in place.

Marshmallow Frosting
(previously used on Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup water
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, egg whites, 1/3 cup water, light corn syrup, and cream of tartar in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch simmering water). Using handheld electric mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture resembles soft marshmallow fluff, about 5-7 minutes.
Increase mixer speed to high and beat until mixture is very smooth and thick, about 3 minutes longer. Remove bowl from over simmering water. Add vanilla extract and continue beating until marshmallow frosting is completely cool, about 5-7 minutes longer.

Using a butter knife or a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with a layer of the cooled marshmallow frosting by placing a dollop of icing in the center of the cupcake (on top of the cut out circle of cake) and spreading from the center to the sides of the cupcake.
Dip a wooden toothpick or skewer into some leftover cherry pie filling and poke two fang-holes, about 3/4 inch apart, in the frosting on one side of the cupcake. Dribble a little extra filling from the holes for effect.
Repeat until all cupcakes are frosted and decorated. You will probably have frosting leftover for another batch if you are baking more.

Makes 18 vampire cupcakes.

Share this article

  • Becky O.
    October 27, 2008

    i love these! and i think i’ll make these for the premiere of the twilight movie! i love your blog. i’ve lazy about commenting but not today!

  • Sam
    October 31, 2008

    These are great!!! I tried the recipe last night and they turned out incredible. I also found that using an apple core remover tool to make the hole to fill is a great shortcut.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  • liz
    October 31, 2008

    These turned out wonderfully! Thanks for the great idea!!

  • Karli
    November 11, 2008

    How long did these take you?I’m having a twilight party but will be pressed for time to prep.

  • boei dog
    December 31, 2008

    i want some GOODIES

  • Asha
    February 24, 2009

    I work in a bookstore and we are doing a launch party for the latest book in a popular series. The party theme is vampires, so am looking for good snack/cookie recipes that would work with it. Most of the sites and books I have have plenty of cupcake ideas, but I am more interested in cookies as I will have to make several dozen and the cookies will leave far less mess and less chance of frosting on the books in the store. Thanks for any ideas…I appreciate it.

  • Raymond Vampire
    March 10, 2009

    Awesome. I tried your cookies.. Time to try these 😉

  • dude
    March 11, 2009

    Why not make ‘Lady Fingers’. You take a basic sugar cookie recipe, one that the dough is relatively dry before baking, and roll into logs around 4″-5″ long. Take a knife and score ‘knuckles’ in the middle and close to the tip. Take slivered almonds and while you are prepping the fingers, soak the almonds in water tinted with red food coloring. Press one almond slice on the ‘end’ of the finger to simulate a fingernail. Bake until just done (not browned on bottom) and cookies are dry. If, and this is a big if since you questioned icing, you may want to mix vanilla icing with a deep red food coloring to similate blood and dip the ‘amputated’ end of the fingers in the icing. Allow to dry. If using un-iced, may be served standing up (nails to the ceiling) in brandy sniffers or a large vase. Definitely a conversation piece.

  • Rachel
    March 30, 2009

    I’m making these for a party coming up. Is the sugar in the frosting powdered or just regular granulated? Thank-you!

  • kari
    September 9, 2009

    I am definitely going to make these for our upcoming True Blood party!

  • Blondie
    October 19, 2009


    I really want to make these for Halloween but I live in the UK and have never seen cherry pie filling…will anything else work, strawbery jam maybe ifi sieve it? We have glace cherries over here but not sure if they will work?


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    October 24, 2009

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  • Christmas Gift Ideas
    October 26, 2009

    This looks very yummy. I was glad to see you are using a cherry filling rather than just red dye. Great imagination reminds me of the old Reece’s pieces vampire ad.

  • becca
    October 28, 2009

    this is an awsome recipe! I used it to make my backing final at high school. =)

  • Jojo
    October 31, 2009

    oh no! my frosting won’t form stiff white peaks 🙁

  • cop
    November 6, 2009

    You take a basic sugar cookie recipe, one that the dough is relatively dry before baking, and roll into logs around 4″-5″ long.

  • Dildo Tricks Guy
    November 6, 2009

    huh… nice thoughts.

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    November 10, 2009

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    November 13, 2009

    🙂 It’s just horrible!

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    November 14, 2009

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  • Anonymous
    February 5, 2010

    i think it could look better, too boring. also, not all vampires are pale, anyone can be it; brown, yellow,black. etc, you dont have to be pale. its a common but idiotic misconception with most ignorant people, i guess its understandable…

  • Cargo pants women
    March 2, 2010

    These are awesome! but I have to think they probably taste good too – canned cherry pie filling is one of my secret favorite foods in the world!

  • Life in Asia
    March 3, 2010

    Great imagination reminds me of the old Reece’s pieces vampire ad.

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    March 10, 2010

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  • mcitp
    April 20, 2010

    i love these! and i think i’ll make these for the premiere of the twilight movie! i love your blog. i’ve lazy about commenting but not today!

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    April 24, 2010

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  • Halloween Costumes
    April 24, 2010

    So cute, I love these. They look devilishly yummy!

  • public adjuster
    May 5, 2010

    The best idea for halloween ever!

  • Pole barn homes
    May 11, 2010

    I had to take a second to write and thank you for introducing me the information. Keep up your good work.

  • Jeux
    May 19, 2010

    You take a basic sugar cookie recipe, one that the dough is relatively dry before baking, and roll into logs around 4″-5″ long.

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