Devil's Food Cupcakes with Wicked Walnuts

Halloween calls for treats that are not only devilishly delicious but also fit the spooky theme of the holiday. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of walnuts, you can whip up a batch of these eerie yet irresistible devil's food cupcakes. Not too sweet with a nice nutritional boost from the nuts, you can leave them unfrosted or see the note at the end for a creamy chocolate frosting.


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot water

For the Walnut Surprise:

  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped

    Frosting/Decorations: optional - see note*


    Prepare the Devil's Food Cupcakes:

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

    Mix Dry Ingredients:

    • In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder.

    Combine Wet Ingredients:

    • In another large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until the mixture is well combined
    • Stir in the buttermilk and vegetable oil

    Add Dry Ingredients:

    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined

    • Slowly stir in the hot water until the batter is smooth

    Add the Walnut Surprise:

    • Fold the finely chopped walnuts into the batter

    Fill Cupcake Liners:

    • Fill each cupcake liner about two-thirds full with the batter

    Bake and Cool:

    • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean

    • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely


    *NOTE:  Creamy Chocolate Frosting (optional)

    These cupcakes are rich and satisfying enough to enjoy unfrosted, however there's not much that can't be improved by a dollop of chocolate frosting!


    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    • In a bowl, sift the cocoa powder to remove any lumps.
    • In a separate bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy.
    • Gradually add the sifted cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar to the butter.
    • Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

    Once the cupcakes are complete cooled, pipe or spread the frosting. 

    Spooky Decorations:

    • For an extra Halloween touch, place plastic spiders or other spooky decorations on top of the cupcakes.