Salem Cupcakes Recipe (Easy)

Can you believe that tomorrow is Halloween?? I’m astonished myself! We’ve come a long way since Week 1, and now it’s time to put all of that celebrating together to make All Hallow’s Eve delightfully devilish.

Since this week’s theme is Hocus Pocus, I stuck with all things Salem, since the movie takes place there. For today’s post, I’ve got a special recipe you can easily make. You can pass these out to your trick-or-treaters, or hoard them for yourself (hey, I don’t judge). These wicked morsels are called Salem Cupcakes.

I picked up this recipe in Salem at a shop called Pamplemousse. The recipe is originally from a cookbook published in the 1900s**, so it’s a bit antiquated. But, I’ve baked enough to know how to throw together some flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. Here is my adapted version of this particular recipe; all that’s changed are the measurements (I cut them in half), and an addition of vanilla extract. So fire up those ovens, because we’re going to be running amok, amok, amok with a special Halloween treat.

From your utility belt, you’ll need: 

For the cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup of salted butter (or a stick and a half)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 1/4 even teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups pastry flour (or all-purpose flour*)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cupcake liners
  • Cupcake tin

For the whipped cream topping (recipe by Alton Brown, and can be found here)

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

*Note: if you can’t find pastry flour, or you happen to have all-purpose flour and some cornstarch, you can substitute it by mixing 1 teaspoon of cornstarch per 1 cup of flour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Step 1: 

Soften the butter in the microwave on half power. Transfer to a mixing bowl, along with sugar, milk, and beaten egg yolks.

Cream these ingredients together.

Step 2: 

Sift the baking soda into the flour. If you’re using all-purpose flour, make sure you sift in the cornstarch. Once the dry ingredients are combined, gradually add this mixture into the wet mixture.

Step 3: 

As your dry ingredients mix into your wet ingredients, add the teaspoons of lemon extract, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Be careful not to mix for too long, otherwise the batter will become tough.

Step 4: 

Beat the egg whites untill they’re stiff. Once they’re beaten, fold them into the batter.

Step 5: 

Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Fill the cups about halfway up with the batter.

Step 6: 

Place the cupcakes in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes. When the cupcakes are done, place on a cooling rack, and start on the whipped topping.

 Step 7: 

Chill a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 15 minutes. When completely chilled, add a teaspoon of sugar into the bowl, and a cup of heavy whipping cream. Whip the ingredients together until the mixture has become stiff.

For added flavor, I also mixed in some vanilla extract. Make sure you taste test the whipped cream topping before applying to cooled cupcakes (it’s absolutely essential that you sample it beforehand. You know, for quality and stuff).

Step 8: 

Using a pastry bag, a Ziplock bag, or some rolled up wax paper, pipe ghostly peaks of whipped topping onto your cupcakes. Place on serving tray.

You’re done! 

To fully enjoy these delectables, I suggest brewing a cup of Earl Grey tea, or some decadently dark hot chocolate. I put my tea into my new favorite mug I picked up at HAUSWITCH, a home and healing store I visited in Salem. Also, for added effect, you can sprinkle some ground cinnamon over your ghostly whipped topping.

I don’t think I could be any happier with how these turned out. They’re light, spicy, and soft. They remind me of a spice cake recipe I had in one of those American Girl: Felicity books. I never tried it, but I always wanted to. They taste homemade, but in a supremely delicious way. The whipped cream topping, which was a last minute addition, definitely made them much more yummy. These would taste great with a cream cheese frosting, but it would be kind of heavy. The touch of vanilla in the whipped cream brought out the lemon and nutmeg notes in the cupcake. So, I’d say these were a success!

This is also a perfect treat to bring over to that Halloween party you’re attending. They took about half and hour to prepare, and the batter yielded over two dozen cupcakes. But, if you decide to save them for yourself, then I suggest eating them while watching Hocus Pocus. Between that and the cupcakes, you’re sure to feel like you’re in Salem!

Thank you for joining me throughout NERDIWEEN! The support has been overwhelming! I’ll be posting pictures of some other great Salem finds onto Instagram. Also, be sure to share your Halloween and NERDIWEEN pictures with me through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And have a fun, safe, and spoopy time!

Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for? 

**The original recipe came from What Salem Dames Cooked, which is a book of old recipes compiled and published by Applewood Books. I did not come up with the recipe myself, and only modified it as needed (measurements). 

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