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Thursday, March 26, 2009

An old favorite: Death Cakes!

My friend Aaron had a birthday, and held a little gathering at a local bar here in Seattle. I hadn’t seen him in several months, so I was looking forward to wishing him a happy birthday.

We met a couple years ago at our mutual friends’ wedding. He was the best man and I was the maid of honor and therefore, we got to know each other through wedding planning, rehearsals, and whatnot.

Now, Aaron and I are about as opposite as they come. He’s a hardcore metal musician, and I’m a church-going goody 2 shoes. But for some reason we really hit it off. Our friends call it odd and unexpected. I call it friendship. He’s a great guy and I’m glad to know him.

Anyway, I was thinking about his birthday and decided I wanted to make something to bring to his gathering. I figured there would be a good crowd and although drinks and bar food have their time and place, birthdays require homemade treats.

“What would be a good treat for Aaron?” I asked myself. “Oh I know,” I thought, “Black Metal Cupcakes!! There’s got to be something like that out there!”

Thanks to Google, I found an awesome recipe over at The Black Oven Blog. The owner of the blog, Meg, is a black metal enthusiast who also has a passion for cooking. Check out her blog. It’s pretty sweet. Erm...I’s full of wrath and eternal gloom! Or something.

These cakes are known all over the web by various names, but I just want to call them ‘Death Cakes’. I really like the way it rolls off the tongue. Try it: “Death Cakes”. See? Hey Aaron, is there a difference between Black Metal and Death Metal? Hopefully it’s okay with you that I’m leaning toward the death side on these.

Anyway, less talky, more cakey! Here’s Meg’s recipe, along with some of my own additional notes and a few photos.

O beware, all ye who enter here!!

In a perfect world everything would be as stark and void of color as these cupcakes. They are baneful in their absolute disdain for your tastelessness, and are true misanthropes as far as baked goods go.

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cups cold water
6 Tbsp. goat’s blood (optional)

Cream cheese sea of woe:
8 oz. cream cheese(softened)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
chocolate chips
1 splash of vehemence

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl sift together: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt. Add: Oil, vanilla, vinegar, cold water. Stir gently until just combined. Too much friction annihilates the bubbles!

And believe me, there are bubbles. Feast your eyes on this boiling vat of fury!

In a small bowl stir together until creamy: Softened cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Add as many chocolate chips as you can stand. Fill cupcake tins about half full of cake batter, and drop cream cheese mixture by the spoonful into each one. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into cakey part comes out clean.

Let cool, and decorate with an angry splattering of melted chocolate.

Here’s how my batch of Death Cakes turned out:

Look at how cute they are on my awesome aquamarine blue melamine plate! Aren’t they simply adorable?


Wait, what am I thinking?! These are DEATH CAKES. Hello! No no no. This will never do. They must be placed in a cold, hard, metal container on a bed of blood red tissue paper. Yeah, that sounds right. Yar! Death Cakes!

• The original recipe didn’t indicate how many Death Cakes the recipe yields, so I doubled the batch. That was INSANITY. It ended up making 3-dozen-plus-6 regular-sized cupcakes, and five jumbo cupcakes. I had to use every cupcake tin in the house, and cook them in two batches.

• If you double the batch, be careful while mixing the dry ingredients. I accidentally turned the mixer on high, instead of moving the lever the opposite direction to turn it off. Cocoa-infused flour EVERYWHERE. I think I might still have some behind my ears.

• I experimented with the cream cheese sea of woe. It’s best if you use small dollops rather than large ones, so the cakey part cooks up and around the cream cheese part. Next time I think I’ll shove the cream cheese down a bit into the cake, so it’s only partially sticking out.

• I wasn’t sure where I could go to buy goat’s blood, so I left that ingredient out. Or did I? ;)


  1. nice- threatening and delicious, a good mix ;)

  2. i can't tell you how happy this recipe made me! you are absolutely adorable... and i've already emailed this page to my obsessed metalhead husband :)

    while i'm glad you named these cakes after one of my favorite kinds of metal (the death kind), they more closely resemble the corpse paint found on the faces of many a black metal band-member. check it out:

    keep on being adorable... no, i mean RAWWR KEEP ON BEING TOTALLY GRIM

  3. Um, did you need my address to send me a box of those? I am happy to send it your way ;0)... or when you come down in July could work too...