For a spider-themed Halloween party you must make these awesome chocolate Spider Web Cupcakes! Triple-chocolate cupcakes are swirled with vanilla frosting and topped with a chocolate spider web and a fondant spider! Arachnophobes beware!
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Spider Web Cupcakes
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
These cupcakes are definitely not for people who are scared of spiders! But if you’re throwing a Halloween party with a spidery theme then you can’t NOT make these!
The cupcakes are made with cake mix, so that’s an easy enough task, and frosting is so easy to make!
The spider webs are made using melted chocolate or candy melts and the spiders are made using fondant. Don’t worry, I’ve got all the tips and tricks in the blog post to walk you through everything…
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may have some of the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen already – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon if available online.
This recipe uses American cups. They’re a handy piece of kitchen equipment to have along with a kitchen food scale. Having both in your kitchen means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog as I use both cups and weighted measures.
- Chocolate Candy Melts – or chocolate chips to make the spider webs
- Black Fondant – to make the spiders
- Tube of Black Icing – to pipe on the spider legs
- Box of Triple Chocolate Cake Mix – plus the ingredients to make the cake mix, usually eggs, oil, and water.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy the best you can afford, it really makes a difference to the flavor!
- Powdered Sugar – known as Icing Sugar in the UK
More Recipes Using Chocolate
One of the hero ingredients in this recipe is chocolate, so here are some more recipes using the same:
- Decadent Chocolate Walnut Brownies with Chocolate Frosting
- Ice Cream Sodas with Homemade Chocolate Syrup!
- Homemade Bailey’s Chocolate Truffles
Spider Web Cupcakes Recipe Tips
Chocolate Spider Web Tips
- To make the spider webs you can use either chocolate candy melts or chocolate chips. Use my candy melting tips below – which are also applicable when melting chocolate too.
- Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag (or plastic food bag) and snip off the tip.
- Pipe the webs freehand if you can.
- If you are not confident with piping freehand, you can draw the web design on the reverse of the wax paper, or print a spider web design onto a piece of paper and place it under the paper to trace on top of.
- Pipe a few extra webs just in case of any mistakes, or if any should snap.
Melting Tips for Candy Melts
You can melt candy melts/candy wafers in the microwave or a double boiler, or if you plan on making lots of candy covered treats in the future, I recommend investing in a Wilton candy melting pot as treat-making life is then so much easier!
If you use the Wilton Candy Melting Pot, you can check out Wilton’s demo video on YouTube which is really helpful. They also give tips on how to melt candy melts in the microwave, as well as using the double boiler method.
The two most important things are
- Do not overheat – use an even melting temperature
- Do not add water – it makes the candy seize up and become unusable. Make sure the equipment used is completely dry, and avoid using utensils that retain moisture like a wooden spoon.
If you find that the candy is too thick, add vegetable shortening or (solid) coconut oil in 1 teaspoon increments, up to 1 tablespoon, and stir well.
Another reminder – do not add water. The very first time I used candy melts I managed to get water in the bowl and it was ruined. Learn from my mistakes! Additionally, do not use vegetable oil, butter, milk, or any other liquids as this will also make the candy seize up.
If you are using your microwave, test melt a small amount of candy melts first, to see how it works. You may need to adjust the temperature and time to suit your machine. Heat in 15-30 second increments, stirring the candy melts each time. They may not look melted, but they might have started melting from the inside. Stirring helps to distribute the heat.
Fondant Spider Tips
If you have never worked with fondant before, don’t panic – it is really easy to use, follow my tips and you’ll be just fine!
- Dust your work surface with powdered sugar so that the fondant doesn’t stick. Think of it like the way you use flour when rolling out dough.
- Rub a little powdered sugar into your hands and knead a handful of the fondant to make it more pliable before rolling, rather than using straight from the package.
- If there is excess powdered sugar on the pieces, you can gently brush away with a pastry brush, or an unused, clean paintbrush.
- Alternatively, you can use a vodka spray. Pour some vodka into a mini spray bottle and gently mist the fondant pieces. Vodka dries quicker than water which is why it is usually used when handling fondant.
- Always make extra pieces – that way if some break or you have another mishap, you have got backups that you can use.
- Leave the fondant pieces to harden in a cool, dry place – do not place in the fridge.
- The fondant pieces should be solid enough to handle and use after 3 – 6 hours. I personally leave fondant pieces to dry for around 24 hours. How long this takes, however, is based on the size and thickness of the fondant, and how humid your house is, so judge best if they will hold up as they need to on the cupcakes.
- When making cakes or cupcakes that use fondant decorations I like to make them a few days ahead of time which allows for drying without the stress. Fondant that isn’t dry enough can mean disappointing end results.
- After using fondant the surface will be super sticky (it always is in my experience!) so you will probably have to wipe away the sugar first, then give it a soapy hot wash over and then another clean over! You can always by a fondant rolling mat for easier clean up!
- Any unused fondant should be wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container so that it doesn’t dry out. This way it can be used for other cake decorating projects.
Cupcake Making Tips
- Use festive Halloween-themed cupcake liners to bake your cakes in.
- Use an ice cream scoop to equally divide the cupcake mixture between the cupcake liners.
- The cupcakes should be ready in about 20 minutes – test their doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cakes. It should come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked through. Bake for an extra 2 minutes and check again.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Tips
- When making the frosting you want the end result to be creamy, smooth, and for it to hold a stiff peak. You may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and cream slightly to achieve the consistency you need.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip for the frosting swirl.
- If you feel like you are going to be making a lot of cakes and cupcakes in your future, I think it is worth investing in a set of piping tips so that you know you always have the right ones on hand for a recipe.
- Do not overfill the piping bag with frosting, and make sure you squeeze the frosting down the bag to expel any air bubbles.
- If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag to use on the cupcakes.
More Halloween Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more Halloween cupcakes to make? Check these recipes out next:
How Do I Make Spider Web Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, and instructions. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
For the Chocolate Spiderwebs
- 2 cups chocolate candy melts
For the Fondant Spiders
- 1 (4oz) package of black fondant
- 1 tube black cookie icing
For the Cupcakes
- 1 box of triple chocolate cake mix
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup of softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1Tbsp pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- To make the chocolate spiderwebs, melt the chocolate candy melts according to the package instructions until smooth.
- Pour into a disposable piping bag and cut off the tip.
- Pipe half spider webs onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper: pipe a horizontal line, then a vertical line connecting to the horizontal one, and two diagonal lines connecting to the middle of the horizontal one where the vertical one meets. Then connect each of the lines with half circles. If you are not confident with piping freehand, you can draw the web design on the reverse of the wax paper, or print a spider web design onto a piece of paper and place it under the paper to trace on top of.
- Leave to set overnight in a cool, dry place.
- For each spider, pinch off a ½ teaspoon size piece of fondant, and a ¼ teaspoon size piece of fondant. You will need 12 of each size in total, plus a few extras, just in case!
- Roll fondant pieces into balls.
- Dip your finger lightly into some water and wet one of the fondant balls so that you can stick them together. Place each spider on cookie sheet lined with wax paper and leave to dry in a cool, dry place overnight.
- To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
- Place all of the cupcake ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine.
- Fill cupcake liners three-quarters full.
- Bake for 21 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave in pan to cool for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, use an electric stand or handheld mixer.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy and peaks form.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Pipe swirls of frosting onto each cooled cupcake.
- Carefully peel spider webs from wax paper and insert one into each of the frosted cupcakes towards the back.
- Place a spider in the center of each cupcake, in front of the web.
- Use the tube of black icing to pip out spider legs.
- Leave to set for about 10 minutes before serving.
Time does not include drying time for chocolate spider webs and fondant spiders.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 4g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Appetizer: Halloween Quesadillas
- Main Dish: Slow Cooker Beef, Bean & Pumpkin Chilli Con Carne
- Beverage: Hocus Pocus Cocktail
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!