Just in case you are in need of a quick last minute treat to make to celebrate Halloween, here you go.  Chocolate frosted cupcake tops, otherwise known as frosted cake-like cookies, decorated with Halloween sprinkles.  If you’re anything like me, you probably have one of those monster containers of Halloween sprinkles at home…okay, actually two now.  Yep, I happened to notice that this year the sprinkle container had a couple of new varieties and I just couldn’t resist.  Anyway, back to these lovely cookies.  They are meant to mimic the top part of a cupcake (the best part, duh) and come pretty darn close.  They are quick and easy to make, made festive in a snap when topped with some pretty sprinkles, and definitely satisfy a chocolate craving.

Shanon and I decided to bake these together as our virtual baking project for this month.  It turned out we both had this recipe bookmarked for quite some time.  We were doubly excited about this selection because these cookies come from Paula’s blog.  We had the privilege of meeting Paula when we attended Food and Light in Boulder, CO last year.  She is incredibly sweet and I feel so lucky to have met her.  Our family enjoyed these cookies as a wonderful Halloween treat while we carved pumpkins this weekend.  Whether you make them today or some other day, definitely do make them.  Break the monotony of sneaking pieces of Halloween candy and make use of your sprinkle surplus.  And, have a very happy Halloween!

  • Yield about 30 cookies


For the cupcake tops:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. espresso powder
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)

For the frosting:
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.  Whisk to blend, and set aside.  Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water (or in short intervals in the microwave) until smooth.  Set aside and let cool until just barely warm to the touch.

  • 02

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg.  Blend in the vanilla.  Beat in the melted chocolate until smooth.  With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.  Add in the buttermilk and mix just until smooth.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

  • 03

    Drop the dough in spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1½ tablespoons per cookie, spacing each about 2 inches apart.  Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, just until set.  Let cool on the baking sheet about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  • 04

    To make the frosting, place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.  Melt over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave in short intervals, stirring until smooth.  Stir in the sour cream.  Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is smooth and glossy.  If necessary adjust the consistency with additional confectioners’ sugar to thicken or sour cream to thin it out.  Frost cookies as desired and decorate with sprinkles (optional).