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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cupcakes and Other Goodies for Halloween or Samhain

Here are some cute ideas I have found on several food sites, get your ideas rolling for your Cupcake Treats!!

Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Although it looks almost like a cake, this graveyard is made up of individual cupcakes, making it a self-serve party option. Just grab your cupcake and go — no knives necessary.
Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

From Food Network Kitchens

Total Time:
2 hr 35 min
1 hr 0 min
1 hr 10 min
25 min
24 cupcakes

Although it looks almost like a cake, this graveyard is made up of individual cupcakes, making it a self-serve party option. Just grab your cupcake and go--no knives necessary.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup grape jelly
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, spooned and leveled
3 tablespoons milk
10 chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely crushed
15 large white marshmallows
1/4 cup finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 3 cookies)
1 tablespoon black or dark green decorating sugar
One 6.4-ounce tube black decorating icing, with tips
5 oval-shaped vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies
One 7-ounce tube marzipan
3 round lollipops, wrapped
1/4 cup orange decorating sugar
One 6.4-ounce tube green decorating icing, with tips
Seven 8-inch pieces black licorice
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Warm the grape jelly in the microwave until loosened, 20 to 30 seconds, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Beat together the sugar and eggs in another medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients and then all of the milk. Follow with the rest of the dry ingredients, taking care not to over mix the batter.

Remove 2 cups of the batter and stir in the grape jelly. Evenly fill the liners about two-thirds full, alternating with yellow and grape batter.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back lightly to the touch, 20 to 22 minutes. Place the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the frosting: Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl until fluffy and combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the milk one tablespoon at a time until the frosting has a nice spreadable consistency. Add the crushed cookies and continue to beat until any large chunks are crushed to smaller bits and the frosting has a speckled, greyish look.

For the decorations: Arrange the cupcakes in 4 rows on a large serving plate or cutting board. Fit a marshmallow between each cupcake, 5 marshmallows per row, to fill in the gaps between the cupcakes. Spread the frosting over the whole rectangle so it looks like one cake. Sprinkle with the cookie crumbs and black decorating sugar.

To make the tombstones: Use the black decorating icing and a small round tip to write "RIP" or other one-word epitaphs on the top half of the oval sandwich cookies and stick into the cupcakes randomly around the graveyard.

To make the ghosts: Remove two-thirds of the tube of marzipan and place between 2 sheets of wax paper or parchment. Roll about 1/8-inch thick and cut into 3 rounds using a 4-inch biscuit cutter. You may need to gather and reroll the scraps for all 3 rounds. Drape over the wrapped lollipops and stick into the cupcakes around the tombstone. Using the black decorating icing and the same round tip, dot eyes and a mouth on the ghosts.

To make the pumpkins and leaves: Divide the remaining marzipan into 4 small pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll in the orange sugar until coated and place around the graveyard. Use the black icing to pipe a small stem. Fit the tube of green decorating icing with a leaf or ribbon tip to dot bits of green grass poking through the dirt around the graveyard and pumpkins.

To make a border: Use 6 pieces of the licorice, trimming to fit, to make a border around the cake, leaving the middle of the front side open. Bend the seventh piece into an upside down "U" and stick into 2 cupcakes in the front to make an arched gateway.

Cook's Note: If your decorating icing does not come with tips, you can squeeze some icing into a small plastic bag or piping bag fitted with a small round metal tip or a small metal leaf or ribbon tip.


Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Photo: Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes Recipe
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Total Time:
30 min
30 min
1 dozen cupcakes

1 dozen store-bought, un-iced cupcakes (pumpkin if they have seasonal flavors)
1 can dark chocolate frosting
1 box prepared orange fondant (recommended: Wilton)
Special equipment/ decor:
Rolling pin
2-inch round cutter (or one that is same diameter as the tops of the cupcakes)
Small shaped cutters and/or large pastry tips
Frost all of the cupcakes with a smooth even layer of the chocolate frosting. Wipe off 

the spatula frequently, and dip it in warm water, if necessary, to get the frosting as 

smooth as possible.

Roll out the orange fondant to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut 

out 12 rounds from the fondant. Using small cutters, cut a jack-o-lantern face of your 

design in each round. Lay the rounds on top of the cupcakes. Arrange the cupcakes on a 

serving a platter and serve.

Monster Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Total Time:

20 min


20 min


1 dozen cupcakes


2 cans white frosting

Green food coloring

1 dozen favorite flavor store-bought un-iced cupcakes

Special equipment/decor:

Pastry bag or resealable plastic bag

No. 7 round pastry tip

12 green apple gummy rings or green fruit jells

24 brown chocolate coated candies (recommended: M and M's)

Cashew nuts


In a bowl mix together the icing with the green food coloring until desired "monster 

green" is reached. Put the frosting in a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag fitted 

with pastry tip. Pipe a haphazard squiggle pattern on top of the cupcake until 

completely covered and slightly mounded. Put a green gummy ring on top. Create eyes 

for the monster by putting 2 brown coated candies into the center of the green gummy 

candy. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

Use cashew nuts to create horns by inserting them into the frosting behind the eyes 

with the smaller side facing up. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Arrange the cupcakes 

on a serving platter and serve.


Ghouly Cupcakes

From Food Network Kitchens

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
20 min
30 min
25 min
12 cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup root beer, flat
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch fine salt
1 teaspoon banana extract, or more to taste
1 to 2 drops pastel food coloring, optional
Candied eyeballs
Equipment: 12 cup standard muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners or 

spray footed cupcake holders with nonstick spray.

Put the butter, root beer, and cocoa in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic 

wrap, and microwave on HIGH until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a 

large bowl. Whisk the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla together in a small bowl.

Whisk the hot cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the sour cream mixture 

just to combine; take care not to overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the 

prepared muffin cups, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full, about 1/4 cup per 

cupcake. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out 

clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely in the tin on a rack. Remove 

from liners and return cakes to a rack.

For Frosting: Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a 

mixer's bowl above the water. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt 

in the bowl by hand. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until 

the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. 

Transfer the mixture to a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at 

medium-high speed until eggs beat up into a cool stiff meringue, about 5 minutes. Add 

a few drops of desired extract and/or food coloring and lightly beat into the 


To decorate: Using a spoon, offset spatula or piping bag, dollop, spread or pipe about 

1/2 cup meringue on top of each cupcake to make a ghost or monster of your choice. 

Decorate with candied eyeballs or other candies. These can be finished 2 to 3 hours in 

advance and held at room temperature.

Wicked Cupcakes

From Food Network Kitchens

Total Time:
2 hr 10 min
45 min
1 hr 0 min
25 min
12 cupcakes, 2 cups frosting

1 1/2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cups prune juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
4-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 drop food coloring (green), optional
Chocolate wafer cookies
Licorice strips
Toasted coconut
Small candies
Special equipment: 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners
For the cupcakes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees 

F. Set liners in muffin cups.

Put the chocolate and prune juice in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on 

low power, stirring occasionally, until completely melted.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large 

bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and yolk with an electric hand mixer at high speed 

until slightly thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Slowly add buttermilk, oil, 

vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until thoroughly combined. Add 

the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter among muffin tins, filling them 1/2 of the way. Bake until a 

toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring 

back when pressed gently, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 

10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.

For the frosting: Beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in a large bowl 

with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar 

and milk mixing until the frosting is smooth. Add food coloring as desired. 

Refrigerate the frosting until firm.

To decorate the cakes: For the witches hat, score a circle in the middle of a cupcake. 

Cut a deep cone-like shape with a knife held at an angle. Rotate the cupcake to 

complete the circle and remove the center. Repeat with all the cupcakes. Generously 

scoop or pipe enough frosting into the center of each cupcake to fill the hole and to 

come over the cake to make a face. Top with a chocolate wafer cookie. Put a dot of 

frosting in the middle of the wafer cookie and invert the cone shaped piece of cake on 

top to make a witches hat. Use skinny licorice, toasted coconut or cereal flakes for 

hair and candies for eyes and/or nose. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes before 


Wicked Witch

To make the evil witch's legs, roll orange fondant into two 3-inch-long ropes. Mold small pieces of black fondant into shoes and press onto the legs. Place the legs on a plate and use black decorating gel to draw striped tights. Put a green-frosted cupcake upside down on top of the legs.


Spiky Candy Corn Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Total Time:
30 min
30 min
6 cupcakes

1 can white frosting
Yellow food coloring
1/2 dozen store-bought un-iced vanilla cupcakes
1 large bag yellow, orange, and white candy corn
In a bowl stir together the white frosting with enough yellow food coloring to match 

the color of the bottom of the candy corn. Ice the cupcakes with the yellow frosting.

Starting from the center and working your way outwards in a circular pattern, put the 

candy corn on the icing of each cupcake.

Arrange the cupcakes on a platter and serve

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Total Time:
1 hr 42 min
30 min
1 hr 0 min
12 min
12 cakes

Nonstick cooking spray
All-purpose flour
1 (18 1/4-ounce) box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, plus more if needed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Red and yellow food coloring, if desired
Special equipment: 12-count mini pumpkin cake mold pans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, coat with flour, and knock out the excess.

Combine the cake mix with the pumpkin puree and oil. Beat with a hand mixer on medium until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Some pumpkin purees have more moisture than others, if the cake batter seems dry then add more pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup at a time.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill the molds 2/3 of the way to the top with batter. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine the icing ingredients and mix together until well blended; the icing should be thick but have a pourable consistency. If it's too thick add a little water to thin. If you want the color to be more orange add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Dip the top 1/2 of each cupcake into the icing and place onto a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack allowing the icing to drip down the sides. Let icing set for 1 hour before serving.

Bubbling Cauldron by Lina Nykorchuk from Toronto

Halve a plain medium-sized cake doughnut horizontally, then press one half, cut-side down, onto a chocolate-frosted cupcake. Cover the doughnut with chocolate frosting, then pipe green frosting into the doughnut hole. Roll the bottom edge of the frosting in red sugar crystals. Cut a small piece of black licorice string and insert the ends into the doughnut so it stands up like a handle. Add a pretzel rod stirrer and a piece of cotton candy for smoke

Pumpkin Patch by Gina Nalbone from Hamilton, NJ

Break apart shredded wheat into hay-like pieces and pile the strands onto a frosted cupcake (try a pumpkin spice cupcake with maple frosting), then add a cluster of mini candy pumpkins.

Haunted Forest by Tiffany Aguilar from Pasadena, TX

Melt chopped semisweet chocolate in the microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and draw a tree on wax paper; refrigerate until set. Melt white chocolate and transfer to a squeeze bottle; pipe onto the branches to make ghosts. Add chocolate sprinkles for eyes and return to the refrigerator to set. Crush chocolate wafer cookies and sprinkle onto a frosted cupcake. Cut a small slit in the top of the cupcake and insert the tree

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