Eat drink and be scary

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Special Occasions / Sweet delights

Why did the ghosts go to the bar? For the boos!

That joke is definitely worthy of a Halloween treat and what could be better for trick or treaters or friends at a party than a Halloween cupcake. Here they are.

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The sponge recipe has been stolen in its entirety from Nigella http://www.readersdigest.ca/blog/openkitchen/2012/06/21/nigella-lawsons-coca-cola-cake/ . It is the quickest and easiest recipe and when you are adding lots of sugary decoration to a cupcake, the sponge needs to be really light or else your tasters will have to be bulldozed home. This coke cola cake recipe is great for making moist cakes guaranteed to taste great well beyond the first day.

The recipe makes a cake, not cupcakes. If you split the mixture up, you can make 12 large cupcakes. Given the amount of icing used to decorate, it is better to make larger cupcakes so that the proportions of cake and icing are right. The cakes rise a fair bit so don’t fill the cases too high. Leave about 1cm clear at the top. I have found that the larger cupcakes need the full 40 minutes to cook. If you are making smaller cakes then they will only take about 30 minutes.

Sponge done, it is then on to decoration. For me, it is all about presentation. There are so many amazing cakes out there that it is always nice to have the edge when it comes to decoration. For all of the cakes I have used black paper cases.

HAUNTED COC-OOWWW-NUT GHOSTS:

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There is a lot of icing on this cake so I have flavoured the icing with creamed coconut to try and make it a little less sickly. Don’t worry though, you will still experience an intense sugar high.

You will need:

  • Coconut buttercream icing
  • Black fondant icing or chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth

To assemble:

  • This may look easy but is a real test of your piping abilities. Using a round piping nozzle, fill a tower of icing in the centre of the cake. Then pipe around the bottom of the tower to make a circular base. Continue following around with a second ring on top of the first. Make a third ring and then bring to a peak on the fourth by pushing down while squeezing out some icing and pulling up quickly.
  • Add two eyes and the mouth.

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RICH CHOCOLATE SPOOK-BAT-U-LARS:

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Be prepared to be suitably scared.

You will need:

  • Chocolate buttercream icing
  • Dark chocolate vermicelli
  • Chocolate coated popping candy
  • White fondant icing for the eyes
  • Black fondant icing or melted dark chocolate for the pupils
  • Red fondant icing for the fangs

To assemble:

  • Layer the cupcakes with some chocolate buttercream icing.
  • Top the cupcakes with a mixture of the vermicelli and popping candy until the icing is completely covered. I tend to put the vermicelli mixture in a bowl and then dip the cupcake in this, gently pressing down to make sure the vermicelli sticks. Alternatively, you can sprinkle it on but be warned, you will more than likely find specks of vermicelli in every nook and cranny for weeks afterwards.
  • Roll two small balls of fondant icing to make eyes and add a small ball of black fondant icing or dot with a small circle of dark chocolate to make the pupils. Place on the cake about 1cm or so from the edge of the cake.
  • Cut the red fondant icing into small triangles to make fangs and stick just below the eyes.

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EERY MALLOW EYEBALLS:

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Blood glorious blood, lovely sweet and runny.

You will need:

  • Vanilla buttercream icing
  • Large white marshmallows
  • Smarties (I have chosen red, blue, green and brown smarties but feel free to make them more colourful if you wish)
  • Black fondant icing or melted dark chocolate for the pupils
  • Red icing (you can use a writer icing pen, gel writer icing pen or make the icing yourself and pipe using a small piping nozzle)

To assemble:

  • Cut a marshmallow in half and stick a smartie on top. I used some red icing as the glue to make it look a little more bloody and gruesome but you can easily use a spot of melted chocolate if you prefer. Then place a small ball of black fondant icing or a dot of melted dark chocolate in the centre for the pupils.
  • Pipe the vanilla icing on to the cake. I have used a round nozzle for this so as not to detract from the eyeball but you can use any nozzle you want or simply spread a dollop of icing on the cake.
  • Stick the marshmallow in the centre of the cake and press down to make sure it is secure.
  • Draw a few squiggly interconnecting lines using the red icing running from the smartie right to the edge of the buttercream icing to represent the bloody veins. I prefer to use red gel writer icing as it makes the blood look more realistic but don’t worry if you can’t find this, any runny red icing works well.

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PUTRID PUMPKIN PATCH:

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Halloween cakes would not be complete without some garish orange. These pumpkin patch cupcakes provide the exact fix and are easy to make.

You will need:

  • Orange flavoured and coloured buttercream icing
  • Green fondant icing for the stalks

To assemble:

  • Simply pipe on different sized blobs of orange icing into pumpkin like shapes. Keep the blobs close together but you don’t need to go right to the edge of the cake.
  • Then take some green fondant icing. Roll it into a thin sausage shape and cut small sections about 1-2mm long to create the stalks.
  • For the larger pumpkins, take a larger piece of green fondant icing and mould into a cone shape. Lay on a flat surface with the flat end down and the smaller end pointing up. Then using the point of a sharp knife, press down little ridges all around the flat end to create the pointed edges of the stalk.
  • Place the green stalks on top of each pumpkin.

MORBID MINT MUMMIES:

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It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark (bet that song is in your head now!).

You will need:

  • Mint flavoured and green coloured buttercream icing
  • White fondant icing
  • Black fondant icing for the pupils

To assemble:

  • Top the cake with a layer of mint buttercream icing.
  • Make the eyes using the same method as set out above and stick on top of the cake.
  • Roll out the white fondant icing and cut into strips. Then cut each strip into sections varying in size, large enough to cover different sections of the cake.
  • Stick the white fondant icing strips on the cake in different directions with some overlapping to make it look like bandages.

All that’s left to say is Happy Halloween!

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The Author

I am a food lover with a passion for cooking and entertaining inspired by two very special grandmothers and a fabulous mum. I recently moved to London which has provided a plethora of new places, cultures and fascinations to stir up some underlying creativity. My hope is to share some cooking and entertaining ideas which I like and others seem to like too. I will also throw in the odd bit of Scottish flare to make sure I maintain my true braveheart roots. Hope you enjoy!

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