I am definitely in the festive spirit. This Halloween the kids and I decided to go nuts and make some crazy cupcakes. I never really did this, although I enjoy making and decorating my kids’ birthday cakes. How hard could Halloween be?
I searched my many magazines, favorite websites and the internet in general and found TONS of inspiration. Since I couldn’t decide on which one to make, I decided to make as many as I could! And I did. For two days I engrossed myself into spooktacular thoughts and came up with lots of fun and crazy ideas. Every time I decorated a new cupcake, my kids would run up and see what I made. There would be a giggle and laugh and even a compliment, “Oooh, Mommy, THAT’S my favorite.”
And even better, I didn’t have to buy a candy store to do it. Being a Mommy means you sometimes collect things you don’t want. We have a candy collection: a big plastic bin that holds candies and treats from birthdays and holidays past. Yes, we still have some Valentine candies. Sugar doesn’t go bad, does it? I do draw the line when it comes to using Halloween candy from a year ago, now that’s gross. I do have my limits.
And during my extreme and serious research on decorating cupcakes for Halloween, I knew that a guide was needed for those new to the home-decorating genre. Here is what I came up with. Think of it as a legend for Halloween decorating:
M&Ms;: great for eyes, mouths
Mini M&Ms;: a great size when you need a smaller circle for eyes or noses
Reese’s Pieces: same size as M&Ms; but with peanut butter filling
Spree: larger circles than M&Ms;
Licorice: pull it apart and you have hair, spider legs, arms and legs
Life Saver or Apple Rings: great for the eyeball treats
Candy Corn: eyes and noses
Pumpkin Candies: for mini pumpkins
Gummy Worms: gross & edible creepy crawlies
Mini Jelly Beans and raisins: noses and eyes
Dum-Dums: mini ball-shaped lollipops that come in lots of colors
Now & Later or Starburst Candies: soft enough to mold in any shape you want
Nerds: larger than sprinkles, but irregular rocks of candy
Cake sprinkles: texture
Fruit Roll Up: tongues, bat wings, fire
Shredded Coconut: dye it green and you have grass, or dye it any other color for hair
Shredded Wheat: also great for grass or hay
Large Marshmallows: ghosts, mummies, use them whole or cut them in slices
Mini Marshmallows: small mummies, skeleton heads, cut in diagonal and make teeth
Almond slivers: great for teeth
Almond thins: finger tips
Oreos or chocolate wafers: crush them up (without the white filling) for dirt
Nutter Butter Cookies: hourglass shape that is great for ghosts. Just dip in melted white chocolate
Nila Wafers: round cookie, crush to resemble sand
Chocolate Graham Wafers: headstones
Round cookies: bottom of witch hat or cut in half for bat wings
Pretzels: wood, sticks, dip in chocolate for arms or legs
Ice Cream Sugar Cones: witch’s hat
white frosting: can be dyed into any number of choices
chocolate frosting: when you need a dark background
milk & white chocolate chips: for melting and to coat things or connect joints
toothpicks and wooden skewers: for structure support
food dye: no explanation needed, I think!
Now I’m sure you can find other goodies that aren’t the list. I did my best to think of as many possibilities as I could. And this was after scouring websites like Family Fun, Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Garden. You, too, can easily come up with mummies, witches, black cats, spiders, bats, graveyards, body parts… you name it, it’s all possible. And odds are, most of what you need is in your pantry.
Witch: sugar cone hat, coated in chocolate and decorated with orange sugar, green-tinted frosting for face, candy corn nose, raisin-half eyes, dyed shredded coconut for hair.
Mummy: 1 large marshmallow cut in thirds, M&M; for mouth, 1 Mike & Ike cut in half for eyes (can also use Mini M&Ms;), chocolate frosting base with white sugar sprinkles.
Spider: for each leg join 2 pretzel sticks with melted chocolate and chill until hardened. Sprinkle colored sugar onto chocolate before it dries. Use candy corn for teeth, 2 M&M;’s for eyes, chocolate frosting base with black sugar sprinkles.
Brain: tint white frosting with a couple drops of red and yellow food coloring and a drop of green until desired color is formed. Pipe zig-zag pattern (starting in the middle) using a #10 round tip.
Eye Balls: mini cupcakes work great here: white frosting base, red-dye frosting veins, apple rings or life saver candies for iris and brown M&M; for iris.
Cemetery: Chocolate frosting base with crushed oreos for dirt, cracker dipped in chocolate (or chocolate graham wafers) for headstone, green-dyed shredded coconut for grass.
Worms: Chocolate frosting base with crushed oreos for dirt, 2 halved or whole worms pushed into to cupcakes.
Pumpkin Patch: Chocolate frosting base with crushed oreos for dirt, green-dyed shredded coconut for grass, mini pumpkin candies placed on top with green-dyed frosting piped to look like vines.
Happy Halloween from Family Spice!