Easy, fool-proof cupcakes inspired by the colors of Halloween. I wrote this recipe for a food-writing class! The olive oil in the batter makes them moist, and instant pudding mix gives the buttercream a hint of pistachio.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Cake:
Icing:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups with shortening using a paper towel and dust with about 1 teaspoon flour or line with paper liners.

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  • Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat 1 cup cold water, olive oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract into flour mixture on medium-low speed until batter is just combined, about 2 minutes. Fold orange zest into batter. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, 2/3-full.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  • Beat butter in a bowl using an electric mixer in medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly pour confectioners' sugar into creamed butter and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Beat pudding mix into butter mixture until just combined. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency of icing is reached. Ice the cooled cupcakes; garnish with grated chocolate.

Nutrition Facts

301 calories; 15.2 g total fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 190 mg sodium. 40.4 g carbohydrates; 2.1 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (5)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2017
Made this for my husband's birthday celebration - loved by all! And I'm NOT a baker. Followed recipe exactly - so flavorful moist not overly sweet: perfection! Can't wait to make again - would be great without the icing too; and they'd be vegan! Eager to try variations of the olive oil cake; lots of possibilities. Read More
(3)
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2017
Made this for my husband's birthday celebration - loved by all! And I'm NOT a baker. Followed recipe exactly - so flavorful moist not overly sweet: perfection! Can't wait to make again - would be great without the icing too; and they'd be vegan! Eager to try variations of the olive oil cake; lots of possibilities. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2017
Made this for my husband's birthday celebration - loved by all! And I'm NOT a baker. Followed recipe exactly - so flavorful moist not overly sweet: perfection! Can't wait to make again - would be great without the icing too; and they'd be vegan! Eager to try variations of the olive oil cake; lots of possibilities. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2016
Admittedly I've only done the cake part. My full intention was to do the pistachio frosting but changed plans after my kids said that they wanted other flavors. So my review is for the cake part - it is a very lovely cake for cupcakes - not overly sweet (I find many cupcake recipes to be sickeningly sweet) moist flavorful. I have made it topped with a semi-sweet orange cream cheese frosting dusted with grated dark chocolate and it was perfection! Hopefully one of these days I'll get around to the pistachio frosting. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2018
Wow is all I can say. I followed the recipe exactly and didn't change anything. These were some of the best cupcakes I've ever made. They were devoured at coffee hour and I was told this recipe was a keeper and ill definitely have to make them again in the future. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
07/10/2019
So delicious! I substituted the 1/3 cup of oil for melted butter I do in all my baking. I also had to double the frosting recipe. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/15/2018
5 stars for the cupcake perfect orange chocolate flavor and perfectly moist. The frosting is quite gritty I even tried mixing it longer but something just would not dissolve guessing the pudding powder but had great flavor! Read More
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