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Friday, October 28, 2011

Quick and Easy Halloween Cupcakes

Party preparations are in full swing around here. I was test running the cupcakes this morning! Even though there are many ways to do really scary things and really cute things with cupcakes for Halloween, my mission this year is to try and be as quick and easy about it as possible, while always bearing in mind, that my sensitive little princess gets scared rather easily. So if you make it look too real, or the suggestion is too real, she backs away!

So, making spider cupcakes is a bit of a push, but making them look sort of “limp” and cute and not at all like they’re going to walk off your plate was going to be ok with her, she thought!

My boy however, can’t wait to have everything be scary and icky! He loves the “worms of doom” which are not really Anna’s cup of tea at all - since they are almost “too real.”

So here are some quick, easy and not at all scary Halloween cupcakes! They are also great for little kids to help with, which reduces the scary factor even more and totally ups the fun factor!



These can literally be prepared last minute, just make sure you have all the ingredients on hand and you can make a dozen of these in less than half an hour!

You can make your own cupcakes or you can just go and buy some chocolate cupcakes without frosting at almost any supermarket!

Same goes for the frosting, either make your own from your favorite recipe or use the store bought stuff!


You will need:

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate frosting

Licorice or fruit lace (licorice works better color wise, but my kids don’t like it so much, so I got grape laces, which are almost black and much more yummy as far as the kids are concerned)

Chocolate sprinkles or brown/black casting sugar

Licorice all sorts yellow and black rounds (Walgreens carries licorice all sorts if you are having trouble finding it)



By the way, you can make or purchase the cupcakes days ahead and freeze them. When you are ready to decorate, there is no need to defrost them first. Just decorate on them as they are and by the time you’re ready to serve them they will be defrosted. And if your cupcakes are particularly fragile, use them frozen, they are easier to handle.



Pour your chocolate sprinkles/casting sugar in a bowl.

Cut your laces so they are long enough to go across your cupcake, all the way to the counter and then give them an extra half an inch. Depending on the size of your cupcake this could be around 8 inches or so. Make them longer than you need. You can always trim them later!  You need 3-4 licorice laces per cupcake, so cut as many as you need.

Pick out two yellow licorice eyes per cupcake. Or if you have a princess girl too, also use the pink eyes. I used yellow for half and pink for the other half, since we are having a boy/girl party!

Now we are ready to go!

First spread a thin layer of frosting on the cupcake with an offset palette knife.

Criss-cross the laces across the top of the cupcake.


If you are having trouble doing the legs that way you can also do them individually after you frosted and sprinkles your cupcake.

Use scissors to cut six to eight 4-inch pieces of licorice for the legs. Holding all of the legs together in a bunch, bend them in half and crease (if you want the more real looking spider legs.) Push the end of each leg into the side of the cupcake, 3-4  on each side.


Carefully pick it up and spread another, more generous amount of frosting over the top of the cupcake, covering all the laces and going all the way down the sides of the cupcake to the cupcake wrapper.



Place the cupcake on a plate or in a large bowl and sprinkle the top generously with the chocolate sprinkles. The plate/bowl helps you salvage the sprinkle mess. Gently press the sprinkles into the frosting a bit to make them stick better.



Spread a little frosting on the back of both yellow licorice eyes and place them on the cupcake.



Voila - you’re done! Now do all the others!



You can bend the licorice lace to make them look like “real” spider legs by straightening them out and then giving them a kink towards the top third at this point. They’ll look more like Daddy Longlegs like that.  Personally, I like the spider legs flailing all over the place. It makes them look even cuter and as I mentioned,  I am catering to 6-year-olds!


The other little non-scary decorations on that picture above are the  toothy white pumpkin, which is simply a small white pumpkin carved to make room for the child-sized dollar store vampire teeth and a couple of sticky googly eyes!

The mummy is a juice box, wrapped in dollar store white electrical tape and again, two googly eyes!

Just a tip though, when you are wrapping the juice boxes with the tape, do it loosely. If you do it too tight, the juice will squirt out all over the place as soon as you put the straw in!  How do I know that? Let’s just say I learn from experience!


Want a cupcake that is even quicker and has ingredients you could pick up at almost any store right NOW?

Here you go!



You need:

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate frosting

Chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Oreo cookies

M&Ms or Reese's Pieces



Carefully pull the top of two Oreo cookies. Be careful you leave the filling intact on one side of the cookie. You could use the empty cookie halves to make the dirt for the worms of doom dessert!

Frost your cupcake, place the two Oreo cookies on the cupcake. Use an orange M&M as the beak and stick two yellow (or brown, which I like better but the kids wanted yellow) ones on the Oreo cookies with a dab of frosting.

Optionally, sprinkle some chocolate sprinkles on the “forehead” of the owl.

That’s it!

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Birgit Kerr