These Ultimate Cheesecake Stuffed Halloween Cupcakes are one of my favorite Halloween recipes. The decadently rich chocolate cupcakes are topped with chocolate ganache frosting and have a pumpkin-shaped cheesecake hiding inside.
Recipe originally published on September 19, 2013
In my last post (published back in 2013), I promised you I'd share a surprising way to use the Mini Cheesecake Pumpkins that I made using silicone molds. Did you have any idea I would stuff these creamy little bites of Halloween goodness into a cupcake? I just know you are going to love these Ultimate Cheesecake Stuffed Halloween Cupcakes.
What's not to love?
Each cupcake is rich and chocolatey and has a cheesecake pumpkin inside.
As soon as I popped the tiny cheesecakes out of the pumpkin molds, their size and shape made me think of all the Halloween reveal cupcakes I've seen on Pinterest lately. You know the ones where you cut open the cupcake to find a ghost, bat, or a pumpkin hiding inside.
All of those Halloween cupcakes are created by making a cake, cutting it into slices, then cutting it into the shape of a ghost, bat, or pumpkin. Then those shapes are arranged in a cupcake tin and cake batter is poured around them. Once baked, the shape inside remains intact and surprising also remains moist and tender.
I wondered if my small pumpkin-shaped cheesecakes would fare as well. To my delight they did.
After waiting for my cupcakes to bake and cool, I finally got to cut into one, and I got a little giddy when I saw that the pumpkin still looked like a pumpkin. The texture of the cheesecake was still creamy and smooth. At that point, I was so happy that I decided to go all out and use Cooks Illustrated's Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe because something so pretty surely needed to taste just as wonderful.
The recipe calls for stuffing chocolate ganache inside the most amazingly chocolatey cupcake, but I wanted to put a cheesecake inside instead, so I decided to put the ganache on top in a big heaping swirl. This is a seriously decadent cupcake.
If you don't like incredibly rich desserts, walk away now, forgetting what you've seen here. But, if you are like me and you can't get enough of rich, creamy, chocolatey, desserts, then go into your kitchen and give these a try. You'll definitely thank me for it.
Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes Stuffed Halloween Cupcakes(makes 11)
22 Mini Cheesecake Pumpkins (recipe, here)
Cupcakes: recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
3 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ounce (⅓ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa
¾ cup hot coffee*
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup (4 ⅛ ounce) bread flour**
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
*These cupcakes will not taste like coffee, I promise. If they did, I wouldn't like them. It just intensifies the chocolate flavor.
**Definitely use bread flour. If you use all-purpose flour, the cupcakes won't hold together as well. You need the extra gluten in the bread flour to keep the structure of the cupcake.
ganache frosting and decorations:
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
optional: Halloween sprinkles or candy
22 Halloween cupcake wrappers
2 large pastry bags
optional: food processor
large star pastry tip
Note: if you bake the cupcakes in two liners instead of one, the inside liner will protect the outer liner from getting dark so you'll actually be able to see the design. Plus the outside liner will have conformed to the shape of the cupcake. It looks great.
How to make Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes for Halloween
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Make Mini Cheesecake Pumpkins (click here for recipe) and keep them frozen until needed.
- When you paint in the green filling, be sure to fill the entire stem area, so that when you cut into the cupcakes you have a nice pumpkin shape.
How to Make Chocolate Cupcake Batter
- Pour finely chopped chocolate and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl.
- Add hot coffee and stir until chocolate melts.
- Place in the refrigerator to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Once cooled, whisk in oil, eggs, white vinegar, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add it to the chocolate bowl and whisk until smooth.
Fill Cupcake Liners
- Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.
- Pour a thin layer of batter into each of the cupcake liners.
- Remove the Mini Cheesecake Pumpkins from the freezer.
- Un-mold them, and stick 2 cheesecakes together (put their backsides together) then place them in the center of each cupcake liner.
NOTE: It is very important that you know which way your cheesecake pumpkins are facing. Later when you cut into a cupcake to reveal the pumpkin, you want to cut across the front, not the side.
- Fill the cupcake liners up over the cheesecake pumpkins.
- I felt it was easiest to put my batter in a large disposable pastry bag and pipe it into the cups.
- Once all the cups are filled allow them to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
- While you are waiting, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake Cheesecake Stuffed Cupcakes
- Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes until they are set around the edges and puffed in the middle.
- As the cupcakes cool, they will sink a bit in the center.
- Allow them to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache frosting.
How to make Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- Place chopped chocolate in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until chocolate is fine crumbs.
- Heat heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir often until it just comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, put the lid on the food processor bowl, and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Pulse for 3 seconds.
- Remove lid and scrape down the sides and bottom of the food processor bowl.
- Return lid and pulse for 5 more seconds or until the mixture, which is called ganache, is smooth.
- Don't' over-mix your ganache or it will turn grainy as it sets up.
No food processor? Use this microwave method.
A food processor makes easy work of creating a chocolate ganache. If you don't have one there is another way to make your chocolate ganache frosting.
- Finely chop your chocolate and put it in a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
- Boil cream as above and pour over chocolate and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Use a whisk to create an emulsion.
- Begin by stirring just in the center of the bowl, then slowly bring the whisk out to the edge of the bowl.
- Stir just until combined and the ganache is smooth.
- If you have chunks of chocolate remaining, place the entire bowl in microwave and heat on high for 10 seconds.
- Stir until melted.
Whipping your Ganache Frosting
- Pour ganache into a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then remove and stir.
- Refrigerate for 15 more minutes.
- Then use an electric mixer to beat the ganache until it's lighter in color (left photo.)
- The frosting will not hold stiff peaks at this point, it should fall off the beaters.
- Allow it to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, but no more.
- Beat for 5 more seconds and it should now hold stiff peaks (right photo.)
If you have more time and patience, you can simply allow your chocolate ganache to cool at room temperature. Keep an eye on it so that you can whip it just as it starts to thicken.
Pipe Frosting onto Cupcakes
- Immediately spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Pipe big swirls over cooled cupcakes.
- This frosting is rather stiff and will actually harden slightly much like a chocolate truffle.
- You can easily bite into it and it has an intense chocolate flavor, but it is not soft like a buttercream style frosting.
Decorate your cupcakes.
- Decorate with Halloween sprinkles or candy, if desired.
- I found it helpful to just sprinkle the front side of each cupcake. That way when I went to cut into them, I knew which direction the pumpkin would be facing.
Store your cupcakes.
- Keep your cupcakes stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Allow them to come to room temperature before serving so that the ganache frosting and the cheesecake are smooth and creamy and will melt in your mouth.
When you cut into them, use a sharp knife to cut across the front of the cupcake about ¼th of the way into the cupcake for the best results.
These pumpkin stuffed cupcakes would also make a wonderful Thanksgiving dessert. Just decorated them with fall colored sprinkles or candies instead.
Be sure to check out all the Halloween recipes here on Hungry Happenings.
Items used to create this project that are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)
NOTE the silicone molds that I used to create my cheesecake pumpkins have been discontinued. I have included links below to some of the silicone pumpkin molds that will work for this recipe. I've also shared links to some fun cupcake wrappers.
Creamy pumpkin-shaped cheesecakes are stuffed inside the most amazing chocolate cupcake topped with a swirl of chocolate ganache frosting and Halloween sprinkles.
- 3 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 ounce Dutch-processed cocoa (approximately ⅓ cup)
- ¾ cup hot coffee*
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup bread flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 22 mini pumpkin cheesecakes
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- optional: Halloween sprinkles or candy
Pour finely chopped chocolate and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl.
Add hot coffee and stir until chocolate melts.
Place in the refrigerator to cool for about 20 minutes.
Once cooled, whisk in oil, eggs, white vinegar, and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add it to the chocolate bowl and whisk until smooth.
Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.
Pour a thin layer of batter into each of the cupcake liners.
Remove the Mini Cheesecake Pumpkins from the freezer.
Un-mold them, and stick 2 cheesecakes together (put their backsides together then place them in the center of each cupcake liner making sure all the pumpkins are facing the same direction. (Mark your pan so you know which way they are facing.)
Fill the cupcake liners up over the cheesecake pumpkins.
Once all the cups are filled allow them to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
While you are waiting, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes until they are set around the edges and puffed in the middle.
As the cupcakes cool, they will sink a bit in the center.
Allow them to cool completely.
Place chopped chocolate in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until chocolate is fine crumbs.
Heat heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir often until it just comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, put the lid on the food processor bowl, and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
Pulse for 3 seconds.
Remove lid and scrape down the sides and bottom of the food processor bowl.
Return lid and pulse for 5 more seconds or until the mixture, which is called ganache, is smooth.
Pour ganache into a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then remove and stir.
Refrigerate for 15 more minutes.
Then use an electric mixer to beat the ganache until it's lighter in color.
Immediately spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe big swirls over cooled cupcakes.
Add sprinkles on top if desired.
A few more Halloween recipes from Hungry Happenings.
Chocolate Caramel Apple Cauldrons
Cappello di Strega - Witch Hat Cheese-ball
See all the Halloween Recipes, here.
- Mini Basketball Cheeseburgers - February 15, 2023
- Snowman Popcorn Bucket - December 24, 2022
- Peanut Butter Popcorn - December 20, 2022
First of all, these are adorable! And second of all, THANKS for the PICTURES! It really helps, I'm a visual learner. Awesome!
Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple
I am just blown away by this, they are so awesome!!!
The Bearfoot Baker
No you didn't!! You didn't add the cute cheesecake pumpkins to the center of a delicious chocolate cupcake did you? YES YOU DID and I love it!!!!!
what a cute touch!!
Jill @ KitchenFunWithMy3Sons.com
You are definitely the Queen of Halloween! These are awesome!
Wow! These look SO good - and what an awesome idea putting the pumpkin inside! Don't forget to link up to The DIY'ers. http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-diyers-30.html
Oh these are just TOO cute!!! I LOVE the pumpkin in the center, that is just the cutest idea!!!! Love love love this!!! The cupcakes look delicious too! Happy fall! 🙂
These look amazing!! You are so talented!
Come link up with me and share!
Wow thee are awesome! I want to try it! pinning it!
Shamene @say it with cake
Thanks for the pin:)
Lyuba @ Will Cook For Smiles
Oh my goodness, these are adorable!
Karen @ Sugartown Sweets
If it's possible..your treats just keep getting cuter! I absolutely love these pumpkins.
I do love cute food:) Thanks, Karen.
that is so creative and cute!
Thank you, Dina.
Oh my oh my, these are the cutest stuffed brownies ever, not to mention the look
they must taste heavenly! That ganache piled so high on top of a cheesecake filled
brownie.... I just gained 5 pounds. Absolutely brilliant!! 🙂
Believe me, I gained 5 pounds eating them! They really are addicting. I had to give most of them away just so I wouldn't eat all of them, because believe me, I wanted to:)
Lindsay Ann @ Dollhouse Bake Shoppe
What a fantastic idea! I bet they taste so much better than the ones that have cake shapes baked in the center. YUMMMMMM!!!
wow! how cool are these?!! do the cheesecakes pop out easily? I guess freezing is the key!
Thanks. Yes, the cheesecakes pop out so easy, but they do need to be frozen. I've had success removing them without freezing, but some might crack or break. Freezing is definitely the key.
the only time i'd walk away would be if there were a plate of these waiting for me in the next room!
oh and btw, your pics are beauty full! :>D
Thanks, Lisa. I finally got a new camera. I've entered the world of DSLR photos and I am in love!
Your entire site is AMAZING, but I couldn't just read this post and walk away - bravo - this are excellent and perfect for the season!
Thanks so much. I'm happy that you liked this post enough to stop by and saw more that intrigued you enough to stick around!
Beautifully done, as always, Beth. Thank you.
Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff
This has got to be the BEST HALLOWEEN CUPCAKE EVER!!! It's cute, creative and most of all yummy chocolate!!!
Diet? What diet?
Yep, my diet was really ruined with these cupcakes, but it was worth every bite.
Jo and Sue
Cake AND cheesecake...*boom* mind blown.
I don't know if I should say "thank you" for bringing this deliciousness into my life
or "what have you done" because now my diet has been completely derailed. 🙂
I need to get me some pumpkin molds ASAP!
I get it. I just ate part of one of these amazingly decadent cupcakes for breakfast. OMG, my diet is totally blown. I guess I'll need to ride my bike an extra 10 miles today. Eeek.
Are you supposed to use regular or decaf coffee? Also can you use morsels or does it have to be a chocolate bar cut into pieces?
I used regular coffee. You can use chocolate chips, just use chips that you like to eat right out of the bag. You want to use really delicious chocolate in these cupcakes.