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Green and Black Chocolate Cupcakes

These green and black chocolate cupcakes are perfect for a party and versatile enough to use for different occasions. I like to use them to represent Frankenstein at a Halloween party, evergreen colors for a Christmas party, or shades of green for St. Patrick’s Day, to name just a few!

Advantages of Cupcakes

I usually prefer to make cupcakes instead of a cake because they can provide two dozen opportunities to experiment with decorations. Also, I can divide the number I bake in half and decorate half one way and the other half with another look–making them versatile. Also, I have about two dozen opportunities to experiment with the decorations. Furthermore, there are no cake pans to grease and flour with cupcakes. You can use colored paper liners if you want a specific look. But the number one reason I love baking cupcakes is that I can taste-test one cupcake. It is much harder to taste-test a cake. Who wants to give or receive a cake with a missing test slice?

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes all have a chocolate cake base, but half are frosted with black chocolate icing and the other half with green vanilla icing. I wanted a dramatic black and green color scheme so I started with black cupcake liners and dark chocolate cake. I added extra dark cocoa to make them very dark and chocolaty.

Buttercream Frosting: Two Flavors in One Bowl

To simplify the recipe and only use one mixing bowl for two flavors, make one batch of vanilla buttercream frosting with a mixer. Here is how to make two flavors out of it:

  1. Divide the frosting in half, leaving one half in the mixing bowl and placing the other half in a separate bowl.
  2. Add green food coloring to the frosting in the mixing bowl and beat it to mix the color well.
  3. Move the finished green frosting to another bowl and set it aside for piping later–be sure to remove as much frosting off the beater as you can.
  4. Add the other half of the frosting back into the mixing bowl. You do not need to wash the bowl or beater because the chocolate will cover any green frosting.
  5. Finally, add dark chocolate cocoa powder and black gel food coloring to the buttercream and mix it well with the mixer.

Black Chocolate Buttercream

There are two ways I make black buttercream. The first step is to add dark chocolate (Dutch) cocoa powder to the buttercream to create a rich dark blackish-brown color. Then add black gel food coloring or edible charcoal powder to deepen the color to a true black. 

Gel Coloring

It takes more than just a few drops of black gel coloring to dye chocolate buttercream black. Sometimes I use an entire small bottle or tub to color one batch of cupcakes. Of course, the more dark chocolate cocoa you use, the easier it is to create a black color. Usually, the frosting turns a dark gray at first but gets a little darker as it sits. Also, if you use sprinkles, they will contrast with the dark black color, making it appear even darker.

Charcoal

Charcoal powder works very well to turn buttercream a dark black color. Add it by teaspoons until you achieve the dark color you want, beating it well between additions. I think it turns frosting black easier than gel coloring. However, there are a couple of things to know before using charcoal. Charcoal dust can fly onto other surfaces, and it easily stains things. Also, charcoal can reduce the absorption of some oral medications because it can act as a filter. So if you plan to use it, keep these things in mind.

Sprinkles

I used premixed sprinkles with black, white, silver, blue, and shades of green. To make your own (similar) sprinkle mix, search online for “green sprinkle mix” or look for them at a local store that sells sprinkles. Then add silver, white, and black sprinkles to a green mix to get a look like these cupcakes. When you create your own sprinkle mix, vary the sizes and shapes of the sprinkle mix. Add a few larger candies, such as Sixlets in green and black. Also, add silver metallic jimmies and balls to make it eye-catching. 

I hope you enjoy creating your own sprinkles and black and green chocolate cupcakes!

Other Green Recipes

Here are some other “green” party recipes you might like:

Print Recipe
Green and Black Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate cupcakes with green vanilla buttercream and black chocolate buttercream.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15-17 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Cupcakes
Frosting
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15-17 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Cupcakes
Frosting
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the cupcake liners into the cupcake pan(s).
  2. Place the sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and vegetable oil into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Then sift in the cake mix, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir until smooth--but not overmixed. Do not skip sifting the cake mix because the batter will be lumpy.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, divide and place the cake batter into the cupcake liners. Fill them about 1/2 - 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few small crumbs. Do not overbake. After 5 minutes of cooling time, move the cupcakes to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting
  1. Use a mixer to beat the butter, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt until creamy. Add the cream and stir. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat between each addition.
  2. Divide the frosting in half, leaving one half in the mixing bowl and placing the other half in a separate bowl.
  3. Add a few drops of Leaf Green gel coloring to the frosting in the mixing bowl and beat it to mix the color well. Keep adding Leaf Green, if necessary, to make a rich green color. Then add a couple of drops of Kelly Green gel coloring and beat until the frosting is a vivid green color reminiscent of Frankenstein or St. Patrick's Day green. Move the finished green frosting from the mixing bowl to another bowl and set it aside for piping later. (Be sure to get as much of the frosting off the beater as possible.)
  4. Add the other half of the white frosting back into the mixing bowl. Do not wash the mixing bowl or beater because the chocolate will cover any green frosting. Add dark chocolate cocoa powder and beat until well mixed. Add black gel food coloring (or charcoal powder) to the buttercream and mix. Keep adding gel coloring or charcoal (it takes a lot) until the frosting is black. You can use gel coloring and charcoal powder to dye the frosting black. Beat in a little extra cream if the frosting is too stiff.
Assembly
  1. Place the star tip into a piping bag with the end snipped off. Use a frosting coupler with the piping bag to make it easy to change the star tip to another color. (See note below for a link on how to use a coupler.) Fill the bag with green frosting. Pipe green frosting onto half of the cupcakes. Spoon the sprinkles over the buttercream of each cupcake as you finish frosting them. If you frost all the cupcakes before you add the sprinkles, the frosting will crust slightly, making it hard for the sprinkles to stick. Tap down any loose sprinkles.
  2. Change and wash the tip and set up another piping bag. (Or use another Wilton 1M tip.) Add the black buttercream to the bag. Pipe chocolate frosting onto the other cupcakes. Spoon sprinkles over each cupcake, pressing them into the frosting if necessary to make them stick.
Recipe Notes

Buttermilk

Buttermilk can separate while sitting. Be sure to shake it before measuring it to mix it well.

Measuring Powdered (Icing) Sugar

Use these tips to prevent adding too much sugar to the frosting:

  • Use a spoon to fluff the sugar before measuring it for the buttercream.
  • Do not pack the sugar in the measuring cup.
  • Use a knife to level the top of the sugar in the measuring cup.

Frosting

If the frosting is too stiff, add more cream. If too soft, add more sugar.

Piping Coupler

Click on this link to see how to use a piping coupler with tips. 

Charcoal Powder

Click here to link to a food-grade charcoal powder.  

Gel Food Coloring

Click here to link to Leaf Green food coloring, here for Kelly Green, and here for Super Black.

Star Tip

Click here to link to a 1M Star Tip.

Piping Bags

Click here to link to 16-inch piping bags. 

 

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