Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Hocus Pocus Cupcakes

These Hocus Pocus Cupcakes will put a spell on you this Halloween season! With a rich dark chocolate base, peanut "boo-tter" filling, and homemade vanilla buttercream frosting, these fun Halloween cupcakes are inspired by Disney's latest seasonal desserts and the infamous Sanderson Sisters!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Assembly Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 562kcal
Author: Amy Nash



  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Peanut Butter Filling

  • ½ cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups salted butter
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Yellow, orange, and purple food coloring
  • Silver edible glitter



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Let them sit for 5 minutes so the chocolate flavor can deepen.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk the milk, eggs, and oil into the cooled cocoa mixture. Stir in the flour mixture just until the batter is smooth.
  • Fill the cupcake pan, so each cup is about ¾ full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Filling

  • Beat the softened butter and peanut butter together until creamy and smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar on low speed, then increase to medium speed and beat for 3-4 minutes until creamy and light.
  • Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain medium tip and use it to pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each cooled cupcake from the top, which will be covered with frosting later.

Buttercream Frosting

  • In the bowl of a large mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Turn the speed down to low and gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add in the milk one tablespoon at a time. Turn the mixer back up to medium speed and mix for an additional 3 minutes until creamy and light.
  • Divide the buttercream into three separate bowls. Add enough food coloring to each bowl to get a vibrant color, so you end up with one bowl of orange, one bowl of yellow, and one bowl of purple.


  • Transfer each buttercream color into a separate piping bag fitted with a large star piping tip.
  • On one-third of the cupcakes, pipe a swirl of the yellow buttercream by placing the piping tip in the middle of the cupcake and adding pressure to the bag from the top. Swirl the bag around the cupcake, slowly making your way to the top.
  • Pipe a swirl of orange buttercream on another third of the cupcakes. Then pipe two mini swirls on the top sides of the top of the buttercream.
  • On the last third of the cupcakes, start by piping a swirl of purple buttercream, but but continue piping at an angle once you get towards the top. Draw the piping bag away, letting the top of the swirl tip over.
  • Sprinkle the cupcakes with edible glitter for a magical sparkly effect.


Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 371mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 632IU | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg