Hey there! I know that everyone loves the gross food traditionally offered on Halloween. No? Okay, maybe it is just me. But not everyone wants to take the time to ugly up the food they work so hard on, to the point that no one will eat it. So, how about just making the food cute and theme appropriate? Yeah, I thought you might like that better. Today’s blog will be a comparison of two simple decorative themes on cupcakes. One is a store bought decorating kit, and the other is homemade.
To start, we need cupcakes. My time was much shorter than I had planned, so I went to my friendly neighborhood Publix and bought 24 pre-made cupcakes, 12 chocolate and 12 vanilla. Next, I picked out what decorations I wanted to use.
For the pre-made decoration group, I went for a traditional tombstone theme. I bought an adorable Wilton kit from Wal-Mart that came with sugar tombstones, candy bones, and a food-color marker to write the epitaphs.
It also came with chocolate candy sprinkles, but I hate those, so I nixed that in favor of some pre-made cookies to crush. Namely, two packages of single-serve Oreo crisps. These are 100- calorie packs of oreo-tasting thin wagers with sugary sprinkles on them. I crushed them up with in a quart-size ziploc bag with a rubber mallet. This was fun, but took almost no time at all.
The result is awesome cookie dust that looks like potting soil. Perfect! I put a thin layer of chocolate icing on each of the 12 chocolate cupcakes and dunked the entire top of the cupcake in the cookie dust. It looks awesome!
The second fun part was to come up with 12 epitaphs. I was sure to leave the bottom 1/3 of each tombstone empty, as this was going to be submerged in the ‘ground’ of the cake.
Insert the tombstone, arrange two bones on each cupcake, and done. Quick, fun, and adorable.
For the handmade decoration group, I went for a cauldron theme.
To start, I broke out my new toy, a cupcake corer, and cut a hole into the middle of each cupcake. If you have one of these corers, it will easily go through 2/3 of the cupcake, leaving a little at the bottom. If you do this with a knife, be really careful not to cut through all of the cake, or it will collapse in on itself. Of course, I ate the middle of these cupcakes. This was as a test, to make sure none of these vanilla cupcakes were poisonous. Yeah, that’s it.
Next, I made a nice green pistachio pudding, sugar-free for me, there is more than enough sugar in these cakes already. You could also just make vanilla or banana pudding with 1-2 drops of blue color mixed in. The blue will make the color a little cooler (in my opinion) than adding green. I only use straight up green for St. Patrick’s stuff. Anyway… I ice the tops of each cake with vanilla icing (with a small knife, don’t worry about a mess) and dunk these babies in crushed vanilla wafers. This gives it a little bit of a stony look. Or, I think they do.
Fill each cake with a heaping tablespoon or so of pudding. Don’t worry if it makes a mess on the top, as it will look like the evil brew is bubbling over. To make the witchy stew a little cooler, I put green sprinkles (the sugar kind) and three green mini M&Ms. These look like big bubbles. The sugary green sprinkles will melt into the green pudding, looking just the smallest bit sickly. I love that. You can add a little toothpick or a cut piece of chocolate into the pudding as a spoon handle, but I didn’t worry about that.
The best cupcakes? It came out 50-50. Everyone loved the tombstones, but the cauldrons were all eaten up well before the tombstones. So, if you want a cupcake that can also double as decorations, go for store bought. If you want them to magically disappear, go homemade as much as possible. Happy haunting!