A few weeks ago I ordered halloween and christmas cookie cutters from my favorite website where most of the cookie cutters are .99 cents! I don’t even bake cookies that often but cookie cutters come in handy.. you never know when you’ll need a cookie cutter of a strawberry or maybe you need a witch, a broom, a black cat, frankenstein, a pumpkin, leaves, or a tombstone. Call me because I’ll probably have what you’re looking for!
I kind of forgot about the new cookie cutters because I put them in a tupperware bin underneath our bed. When I went to pull them out, I discovered a whole bunch of things.. some slate pieces I bought for $2 at the antique store, candy canes (from last year!), new year’s eve napkins and silverware, and christmas towels.
It’s so sad that I have a bin full of stuff that I only use for like 30 days out of the year. I decided I better put some of the halloween cookie cutters to good use before I pack them away for the next 335 days. Enter tombstone cupcakes :)
I am loving how these cupcakes turned out! I was worried that the tombstones were too big for the cupcakes, but I’m the girl who loves over the top themed treats so what the heck!
In my mind I envisioned the tombstones being gray, but when I couldn’t find gray candy melts, I was a little worried. I ended up using white chocolate candiquik/almond bark and added black gel food coloring to it. I LOVE the speckled look the gel food coloring gives the tombstones – it honestly happened by accident.. gel food coloring and candiquik don’t mix well, so the chocolate is actually speckled because the black wouldn’t mix in evenly.
The other thing I’m digging about these cupcakes is that I used a new method of piping on the buttercream. Nerdy, I know.. but I feel like it makes the frosting look more full, which it should because I actually used more buttercream per cupcake. Normally I start piping on the buttercream on the outside edge, but this time I started in the center, swirled out to the edges, and then swirled in again.
The tombstones are completely edible because they are made from rice krispie treats! I made up a batch of rice krispie treats and pressed them onto a larger baking sheet. Then used the tombstone cookie cutter to cut out my shapes. The tombstones were refrigerated until they were nice and hard, then dipped in the chocolate mixture and set out to dry on a silicone baking mat. I pipped the “RIP” onto the stones using buttercream before I dyed the buttercream orange. Add some crushed oreos for dramatic effect, and voila!
Yield: 12 cupcakes
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 3/4 sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp melted chocolate, cooled
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5-7 cups powdered sugar
- Orange gel food coloring
- 6 cups rice krispie cereal (sometimes I add up to 8 cups)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1, 10 oz, package mini marshmallows (or regular standard size bag)
- Vanilla candiquik, 3-4 squares will probably cover about 12 tombstones
- 1 tbsp vegetable shortening
- Black gel food coloring
- Buttercream, reserve a little bit of the buttercream before you dye it orange
- Oreo crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently mix using a spoon.
- In a larger mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla, lightly beat.
- Add in the sour cream and melted chocolate, mix by hand using a spatula.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
- Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 full with batter.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before adding the frosting.
- In a mixing large bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy, 2 minutes.
- Add in the vanilla extract, beat using electric mixer.
- Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 1-2 cups at a time, mixing by hand first, then with the electric mixer. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting tastes good to you.
- Reserve a small portion of the buttercream before you dye it orange for the lettering on the tombstones.
- Add in your desired amount of orange gel food coloring. Start with a little and add more to get your desired color. Beat the frosting using the mixer one last time.
- Measure out 6-8 cups of rice krispie cereal and set aside.
- In a large pot, melt the butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat.
- Once melted, remove the pot from the heat.
- Add in the cereal and stir well to coat.
- Transfer the mixture onto a large greased baking sheet. Press the mixture evenly into the pan.
- Refrigerate the rice krispies for 20 minutes.
- Once they are cold, use a tombstone cookie cutter to cut out as many tombstones as you need.
- Refrigerate the tombstones while you prep the chocolate. You can also refrigerate them overnight if you’ll be dipping them a different day.
- In a small pot over low heat, combine the vanilla candiquik and vegetable shortening. Stir occasionally until the mixture melts. Be careful to not overheat the candiquik.
- Once melted, add in some black gel food coloring, stir in the food coloring until the mixture is speckled.
- Cover each tombstone in chocolate, placing one in the pot at a time, spooning chocolate over it. Remove the tombstone from the chocolate using a fork - warning, the hot chocolate may cause the marshmallows in the rice krispies to melt slightly!
- Place the dipped tombstones on a silicone baking mat or wax paper to set.
To add the lettering onto the tombstones
- In a piping bag fit with a wilton 5 round piping tip, add the reserved white buttercream and push the buttercream down into the bag. Write “RIP” on each tombstone.
To frost the cupcakes
- In a piping bag fit with a wilton 1M piping tip, add the buttercream and push the buttercream down into the bag. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, starting in the center, swirling to the outside and swirling back into the center as you progressively stack the frosting.
- Add oreo crumbs to each cupcake.
- Place a tombstone on top of each cupcake, pressing it into the frosting. If needed, support the tombstone with a toothpick in the back.