“What’s this? What’s this?” A yummy cupcake inspired by Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas. These chocolate cupcakes have such a Pumpkin King vibe with the black and white swirled buttercream, Jack’s distinctive tie, and fondant Minnie Ears with stripes to mimic his suit.
These Jack inspired cupcakes are perfect for a Nightmare Before Christmas family movie night or to bring to your next Halloween party. Looking for another Nightmare Before Christmas Recipe? Check out my Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Crinkle Cookies.
I also have a list of 25+ Disney Inspired Halloween Treats!
Supplies Used To Make These Cupcakes
You will need some supplies that you may not already have. If there are workarounds I share them, but having the correct tools makes the cupcakes come out wonderful!
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Fondant Rolling Pin. You can use a regular rolling pin. A baking rolling pin can be a bit heavy and is slightly less maneuverable than a specific fondant one.
- Small Cutting Board
- 4 in. Round Fondant Cutter
- Cupcake Pan
- Large Piping Bag. A Ziploc bag would work in a pinch.
- Large Star Tip. If you are using a plastic bag then just cut small triangles out of the tip.
Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcake Tips
These cupcakes may look difficult to make but they are not. I went to America’s Cake Fair and learned some tips from Buddy the Cake Boss himself. Fondant is much easier to work with than you may think!
If you want to make your own fondant check out Sugar Geek’s recipe. Personally for this recipe I would just buy it. You would use so much black coloring that it would negate the savings.
Dust your work surface with powdered sugar so that the fondant doesn’t stick. It’s just like dusting flour on your surface when you make bread or biscuits.
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.
Dust your rolling pin too, and roll fondant to about 1/2 inch thick. Some fondant rolling pins have guides you can use. You don’t want it too thick as it will take ages to dry, and you don’t want it too thin as it will become more tricky to work with.
While you bake the cupcakes let the fondant set. Use these tips for drying your fondant.
Contact your local bakery and see if they can print out a black outline of Jack’s bow. If not, there are clip art ones available for free online and you can cut out with an Exacto knife.
Be sure to let your cupcakes cool completely before you try to ice them.
Elevate your boxed cake mix a little bit by swapping milk for the water, melted butter for the oil, and add an extra egg yolk. It will transform your boxed to bakery quality!
- 1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
- Ingredients as listed on the back of the cake mix box
- 2 Cups Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter, Softened
- 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 6-10 TBSP Heavy Whipping Cream
- Black Gel Food Coloring
- 2 tsp Vanilla
Fondant Minnie Ears
- 2 Container of Black Fondant
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Silver Edible Writing Pen
- Preheat the oven as per directions on the box.
- Put the liners in the muffin pan. Set aside.
- Following the directions add ingredients.
- Mix all ingredients as instructed.
- Put in the oven and bake for 22 minutes.
- Check for doneness. ( Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake,
- it should come out clean.)
- Sprinkle powder sugar onto the cutting board and spread around.
- Remove black fondant from container and place onto a cutting board
- Coat fondant with powder sugar and roll out onto the cutting board
- into a flat 1/2 inch disk
- Using the 4 inch round cutter, cut out 24 circles
- Place cut circles onto the cookie sheet
- Using the silver edible pen, draw rough lines onto the ears
- Edible print out of jacks bowtie :
- Contact your local bakery and see if they can print out a black outline of jacks bow
- Cut out the printout
- Using the edible pen, draw the lines and face on
- Set aside.
Frosting & Assembly
- Using a stand mixer, combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed.
- Mix until you see stiff peaks in your frosting
- Divide the frosting in half
- Mix one half of the frosting with black gel food coloring
- Scoop the black frosting into one side of the piping bag and the white frosting on the other side.
- Frost cooled cupcakes
- Place the black bow in the middle of the frosting
- Place one "ear" on either side of the bow