This weekend is Halloween and all the ghosts and goblins are going to be out Trick or Treating. Since it falls on a Saturday this year I imagine many of you will be headed out to parties as well. Here is where I have to get really honest with you. I had planned to make some truly Halloween inspired treats for you guys so you had something fun to bring to all of those Halloween parties this weekend. Well, I had some techniques in mind to share but the cupcakes I made were lacking the most important ingredient of all: Love. In a rush, I used a box mix (what?! I know. I know.) and by the time I got to icing them, I was just depressed with the whole mess.
I had every intention of not sharing my failure with you and just sweeping everything under the rug. But, part of my charm is my ability to screw things up. 🙂 No, really, I am constantly telling Captain Cupcakeasaurus that I’m The Ruiner. It sounds like a pretty awesome arch nemesis or villain name, doesn’t it?
So with included disclaimer, I’m going to show you the monstrosity that were my Halloween Cupcakes. Compared to the Cinnamon Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes last week, these sad little puppies looked like the bargain bin ones that the new cake decorator screwed up on at the grocery store. Okay, that may be cruel but I don’t mean it to be cruel toward the new cake decorator as much as I mean it as cruelty to myself. I’m ashamed but I’m going to share anyway. Why? Because I promised to be honest and maybe my failures can be someone else’s successes or maybe we can find solidarity in cake failure together.
Since these cupcakes did not come out as planned, I will still be sharing a cupcake recipe tomorrow with you but it is not a batch I made this week. They are a family favorite that I think you will enjoy regardless.
On previous Halloweens, I have made cupcakes and tried to be creative with different spook inspired decorating. One of my favorites is the Vampire Bite Cupcake. You can use any of your favorite flavors of cake and still make them into Vampire Bites. Like I mentioned above, I used a basic white cake mix this time around.
Then using the Wilton 230 tip, I inject “blood” into two parallel holes like a vampire bite. The blood is a mix of strawberry preserves (raspberry works too), chocolate syrup and 2-3 drops of food coloring. The ratio is about two parts preserves to one part chocolate syrup. I like using the preserves because it even adds a little chunkiness to the blood which I think is disgustingly awesome.
The Wilton 230 tip is also great for injecting other types of fillings into your cupcakes. I also injected a few with green “slime”. I used the Wilton Slime Green Sparkling Decorator’s Gel for the slime both in and on top of the cupcakes.
Another fun technique for Halloween is to make brain cupcakes. They can be filled with blood too for extra gross factor. Using a brain colored frosting —Wait! What color are brains anyway? This is kind of artist’s choice because fresh living brains are pink but the formaldehyde brains look more gray. Anyway, first you’ll do a flat base icing on top of the cupcake.
Then, using Wilton size 10 tip draw a straight line slightly right of center and moving out to the right edge curl the icing around and make a zigzag motion all the way back to your starting point. Using the same technique, you will do the left side of the brain. For added depth and icing, I like to add another swivel of icing on top of the zigzags on both sides. It gives your brain more of a 3D effect as well.
While you are creatively making ghoulish cupcakes, you may also want to throw in some monsters as well. A few candy eyeballs can go along way. My color of icing here is not ideal but the possibilities are endless. I used the Wilton 233 tip to make the monsters look furry. Just squeeze the piping bag with the tip on the cupcake and then pull upwards to create those long stringy hair looking pieces.
While I was playing with slime and blood and whatnot I got the idea to try something else out too. Peeps learned awhile ago that Peeps didn’t just have to be a treat for Easter. They are now sold in the shape of pumpkins and ghosts for Halloween. Peeps aren’t the only ones to catch on to this marketing potential. Cadbury eggs aren’t just for Easter now either. Cadbury makes a Screme Egg that is a Cadbury Egg with green slimy insides. Still just as sweet and delicious as ever, just green.
Well, I wondered what would happen if I baked a Screme Egg into a cupcake. My hopes were that you could bite into a cupcake and get a mouthful of chocolate and green Cadbury goo. As it so happens, things didn’t quite go as planned. The Screme Egg was still relatively intact but the ooze had oozed itself out of the cupcake made the wrapper difficult to remove. It also didn’t do much for the flavor of the cupcake so I will mark this down as a failure and a lesson learned.
There are so many fun things out there now to help with decorating Halloween party cupcakes. They are candy bones, candy knives and candy tombstones. You can turn Oreos into bats or licorice into spiders or melted white chocolate into spider webs. With all the different options out there, try not to get overwhelmed. Getting overwhelmed leads you to where I was last night: burnt out and not feeling the love. If you don’t love the food you’re making, it shows in the taste and presentation of that food.
Towards the end, I realized what was wrong and had to call time of death on my cupcaking debacle. I let Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex take over and he enjoyed decorating them with bones and blood. There’s no harm in letting the little ones do their thing especially for Halloween cupcakes. I’m pretty sure kids know more about what is scary than we do. Go wild! If there is ever a holiday to make not so pretty cupcakes, I think Halloween would be it.
Life isn’t perfect. Things don’t always go as planned. Cadbury Eggs should really not be baked into a cake. Have fun and be safe this Halloween. Make life taste sweeter by not forgetting the most important ingredient of baking : LOVE.