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Chocolate Beetle Cupcakes with Blood Cherry Filling and Chocolate Dirt Frosting

What you need: 

Chocolate cupcakes:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup nondairy milk (I use almond)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract

Assembly:
1 (9 ounce) jar cherry butter
1 (1 ounce) box colored food dye (red, blue, green, yellow)
7-8 cream chocolate sandwich cookies (I use Back To Nature Classic Creme Cookie)
1/2 (8.8 ounce) box marzipan
gold luster dust, to garnish

What you do: 

1. For cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake tray. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and milk. Set aside. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and combine well. Combine all wet ingredients in another bowl including vinegar milk mixture and beat until foamy. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until no lumps remain.
2. Pour into prepared cupcake tray 3/4 full in each, and bake for 18-22 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Prepare chocolate frosting. I use the chocolate buttercream recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. For filling, in a bowl, combine cherry butter with red food dye. Add as much red food dye as necessary to make it "blood red".
3. Using a melon baller, scoop the center out of the cupcake and take out some of the middle. Be sure you don't go too far down so as not to get the bottom of the cupcake. Add 1-2 teaspoons cherry butter to the center of the cupcake. Replace the top back on the cupcake. Frost with the chocolate frosting.
4. In a blender, process cookie tops (not the side with the cream centers) until they are thoroughly pulverized. Put the cookie dirt in a small bowl. Roll each frosted cupcake in the cookie dirt and pat more with your hands. Shake the cupcake to take off stray cookie dirt.
5. In a bowl, add 5-10 drops of all 4 food dye colors. Mix. Add the marzipan and mash with a fork until combined. Follow the directions here (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=363170.0) to make beetle marzipan figures. Dust each beetle with gold luster dust. Top each cupcake with one beetle.
The cherry butter was a brand I found at Whole Foods called American Spoon. For marzipan, I use Stramondo brand. Luster dust is edible glitter, more or less. You can find it in the baking section of JoAnn's or Michael's craft stores. You should use a paint brush to apply it, but I didn't have one handy so I just brushed with my fingers.
Source of recipe: I wrote parts of the recipe. The cupcake was modified from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. For more information, please see my blog here: http://veganmiss.blogspot.com/2011/10/chocolate-beetle-cupcakes-w-bloody...

Preparation Time: 
1-2 hours, Cooking time: 18-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 
18-20 minutes
Servings: 
10
Recipe Category: 

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