Black Zinger Cupcakes

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Black Zinger, who could resist a name like that. I couldn’t so I’ve chosen it for the last recipe from The Cake Slice Bakers Current Book, Great Cakes – Carole Walters. Since last November we’ve been baking a recipe each month from this book and this month see’s the last recipe from the book. As this was the final month we’ve been given free reign over the book, baking whatever we see fit.

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I wanted to theme my bake on Halloween. I love this holiday but here in the UK it’s barely celebrated which is a shame as it’s such a fun holiday. These cupcakes are a simple treat to make for any Halloween party where all you need to jazz them up is some edible glitter, Halloween themed cupcake wrappers and some themed sprinkles.

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I’ve loved baking from this book, every recipe I’ve tried has been a complete success and I’ll definitely be using the book frequently. It lack’s in photo’s but is packed full of scrumptious recipes. The recipe I choose for the cupcake base makes in my opinion a superb choice for any chocolate cupcake. It’s bakes wonderfully with a moist crumb, flaky topping and has a smooth surface making piping icing on very easy.

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So what is black Zinger? A dark chocolate cake loaded with black pepper! A lovely, warming sensation will erupt upon your taste buds after eating one of these, you may think pepper would be gross in a cake but it works wonderfully. Try it for yourself, you won’t regret it.

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I didn’t want too sweet an icing topping these cupcakes so I shied away from the seven minute frosting and swiss meringue buttercream. I’d never tried a sour cream icing before and seeing as sour cream isn’t too sweet I thought this would make a great topping for my chocolate based cupcakes.

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Turns out I was right, these two go together perfectly. A thick chocolate sour cream icing which has the texture of a chocolate ganache, just not as rich. The sour cream really helps reduce the sweetness and another factor in reducing the sweetness of the icing is to use all dark chocolate, not half dark half milk as the recipe suggested. I used a 85% cocoa solid dark chocolate.

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I love glitter, who doesn’t and when I learned of edible I bought quite a few, all in different colours. For my Halloween cupcakes I used two colours. Sparkle Range Graphite Halloween Non-Toxic Glitter and Sparkle Range Hologram Black Non-Toxic Glitter. I love the way these two colours glisten and gleam together, perfect ghoulish shades. For the cupcake wrappers I used these fun Cobweb Cupcake Wrappers , they really make a difference to a simple cupcake wrapper and enhance the chosen theme.

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These cupcakes are hard to resist, eating two within one day is proof of that, taste testing is a must and I didn’t want to let you guy’s down with an average recipe. I shall be keeping these recipes in mind when it comes to future cupcake quests.

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This cake recipe will yield around 24 cupcakes, maybe more depending what sized cupcake cases you bake them in. The icing only iced half of these cupcakes, so I suggest possibly making the recipe for the icing twice. I haven’t tested the recipe doubling the quantities so I can’t say how it would turn out.

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Next month will see the launch of The Cake Slice Bakers new book and we are currently still recruiting new members. Drop me a comment if your interested, we’d really love to have you . All you need to do is love cake and we all love cake right?!

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If you want a quick, easy, fun and most importantly yummy cupcake recipe for Halloween then give these a try, you don’t need any fancy decorations just a few items which can be used again. An addictive chocolate cake and icing with a lingering warmth, perfect for a chilly All Hallows Eve.

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Now let’s see what the other Cake Slice Bakers have chosen for this our final bake of this years book!


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Yields – 24 Cupcakes



  • 185 ml (3/4 cup) Hot water
  • 1 tablespoon Espresso powder
  • 170 grams (6 ounces) Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 3 tablespoons Honey
  • 240 grams (2 cups) Plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Black pepper
  • 113 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) Vegetable shortening
  • 400 grams (2 cups) Caster sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) Cold water

{sour cream chocolate icing}

  • 85 grams (3 ounces) Dark chocolate, 85% cocoa solids
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) Sour cream
  • 180 grams (1 2/3 cups) Icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Hot water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons Honey


{black zinger cake}

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C (350F) and line two, 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake cases and set aside.
  2. Add the hot water to a medium size bowl and stir in the espresso powder. Add the chocolate and honey, whisking until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, setting aside also.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment soften the butter for a few minutes, scrape down the bowl with a spatula and add the vegetable shortening mixing for a further 3o seconds. Start adding the sugar, spoonful at a time letting it get incorporated before adding the next spoonful. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to cream together until you have a smooth, light and fluffy mixture. Scrape down your bowl again.
  5. Add the eggs, one at time mixing well before adding the next and once all have been added scrape down your bowl again. Add the chocolate mixture followed by the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture in the three additions alternating with the ice water. Once everything has been mix together give it a final mix with your spatula, ensuring everything has been fully incorporated.
  7. Spoon your batter into the cupcake cases filling each 2/3 full and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the cake tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes before transferring to the wire rack to cool completely.

{sour cream chocolate icing}

  1. Place the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the sour cream.
  2. Sift in the half the icing sugar and stir to combine, add the hot water stirring to combine then add the rest of the icing sugar mixing to combine. Finally stir in the honey. If the icing is too runny simply pop it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up then pipe onto your cupcakes and sprinkle with the glitter and Halloween themed sprinkles.


* Both recipes are adapted from Great Cakes by Carole Walters.

* Any left over cake can be freezed to make cake pops at a later date.

* These cupcakes will last for up to 3 days stored in a cake tin with a  tight-fitting lid.

* Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.


Sweet and Savoury Sunday #84

Welcome to week #84 of Sweet & Savoury Sundays!
Calling all bakers who love baking cakes! I’m looking for new members to come and join a baking group that I run called The Cake Slice Bakers. Basically what we do is bake our way through one book for a year, then blog about our chosen cakes. We only take new members once or twice a year, depending how keen you are to join and this is the time of year where we open the window for new members. Our chosen book for our new baking year which starts in November is Southern Cakes by Southern Living. If anyone is interested in joining or wants more information then drop me a message. We’d love to have you!
Once again thanks for all your entries last week, we’d love for you to link up all your recipes, crafts and DIY projects again with us, tell all your friends to link up too :) Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
So what are you waiting for, join us now and let’s have some fun!!
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After you’ve viewed my favourites this week, make sure to stop by Cupcakery to view their favourites as well!
Baking In Pyjamas Favourites:
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Chocolate Cloud Cake – A Sweet Muddle 
 link party 84 favourite 2
Homemade Marshmallows – Malted Caramel Swirl by The Gold Lining Girl
link party 84 favoutie 3
Peanut Butter Fudge Cookie Cups by Just About Baked
Most viewed link this week
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Chocolate Babka by The Wordy Baker 
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Holiday Bread & Butter Pudding Bars

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Walking past John Lewis yesterday I couldn’t help but notice the glittering strips of hanging decorations in golds and reds, surrounded by glowing fairy lights. Seems as though Christmas has arrived early. I couldn’t help feel the glimmer of excitement swell up inside of me. Christmas will upon us in a matter of weeks. Holiday Bread & Butter Pudding Bars 1

I know it may seem a titchy bit early to be baking holiday inspired treats, we haven’t even had Halloween yet, which I’ll be sharing two recipes next week with you, but I just couldn’t help myself as I soaked my fruits in brandy, sprinkled mixed spice, clementine zest and juice into my mixing and inhaled the Christmassy smells.

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It’s good to be prepared right?!

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These bars are a take on the classic British bread and butter pudding. Bread and Butter pudding is a dessert made up of bread, raisins, milk, eggs and nutmeg. You layer the bread in a dish with a scattering of raisins between the layers, then a mixture of milk and eggs get’s poured over finished off with a grating of fresh nutmeg. This all get’s baked in the oven, it can be enjoyed with cream or custard.

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My version has a vast selection of Christmassy flavours. The dried fruit element is a mixture of the traditional raisins, along with dried cranberries, cherries and currants. I soaked these fruits in a good healthy dose of brandy overnight. These get plumped up rather juicily, so when you bite into them a rush of flavour will hit you. Holiday Bread & Butter Pudding Bars 5

As you will see from the method, these are very easy to make. Just like your standard bread and butter pudding but baked into portable bars.

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The zest and juice of two clementines get added to the these bars, along with mixed spice. Both of which are essential Christmas baking ingredients for me. With all these deeply warming flavours, the bars burst with mouth-watering tastes with each bite. Eaten when warm is a true delight. You could pour over a steaming trickle of custard, it would make the most fabulous dessert.

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It’s a great bar to make to use up left over bread and any dried fruits you have lying around. You needn’t use the combination of dried fruits that I used for mine, just make sure it totals 500 grams (17 1/2 ounces). I used white bread, but brown will do just as well. These bars are great to serve as a dessert if you have guests coming around or just for the family. Once cut into bars, serve some up and keep the rest back for snacking upon.

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If your concerned about wasting food, then these bars are perfect for your needs. Old bread, left over dried fruits and then all you need is the everyday staples of milk and eggs. The brandy is optional, if you didn’t want to use this you can use orange juice instead. If you yearning for a little piece Christmas indulge yourself in these holidays bars.

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Yields – 16 Bars


  • 50 grams (1 1/2 ounces) Currants
  • 250 grams (9 ounces) Dried Cranberries
  • 150 grams (5 1/2 ounces) Raisins
  • 150 grams (5 1/2 ounces) Dried Cherries
  • 5 tablespoons Brandy
  • 500 grams (17 1/2 ounces) Bread
  • Zest and juice of 2 Clementines
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Mixed spice
  • 600 ml (2 1/3 cups + 4 teaspoons) Milk
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140 grams (2/3 cup) Light brown muscovado sugar
  • 100 grams (1 stick – 1 tablespoon) Unsalted butter, melted


  1. The day before you plan on making these bars, place all the dried fruits in a medium size bowl and pour over the brandy. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for the fruits to soak.
  2. To a large mixing bowl add the dried fruits and all the liquid. Tear up the bread and add this to the bowl too. Add the clementine zest and juice, along with the mixed spice.
  3. Add the eggs, sugar and the milk and using your hands squish everything together completely breaking up the bread. Leave to soak for 15 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking tin and line with parchment paper leaving enough to overhang the sides.
  4. Pour the melted butter over the mixture in the bowl and give everything a stir. Pour into your baking tin and bake for 1 hr, 40 minutes or until golden brown and set. If it browns too quickly cover with a layer of parchment.
  5. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting unto slices.


* Recipe adapted from Good Food Magazine

* These will last for up to 3 days stored In a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid.

* Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.