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Halloween Cupcake Recipe

These garish, grinning monster cakes may look inviting, but beware, at the centre of each Halloween cupcake is a gory, strawberry surprise.

  • Serves 12 (makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 30 mins to prepare and 14 mins to cook

  • 391 calories / serving


For the cupcakes

  • 150g caster sugar

  • 150g lightly salted butter, very soft

  • 3 eggs

  • 150g (5oz) self-raising flour, sifted

  • 2 tbsp milk, at room temperature

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 12 small tsp strawberry jam

For the frosting

  • 120g slightly salted butter, very soft

  • 240g (8oz) icing sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • few drops green food-colouring gel

  • 1 tbsp milk, at room temperature

  • 6 soft liquorice sticks

  • 30g white ready-to-roll fondant icing



  • Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C.

  • Line a cupcake tin with 12 large, paper cupcake cases.

  • Using a hand-held electric beater, beat the caster sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl for several minutes, until really light and fluffy.

  • Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.

  • Fold in the flour, milk and vanilla and divide the mixture between the paper cases.

  • Bake for 13-14 minutes, until pale golden and slightly bouncy when pressed.

  • Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.


  • To make the frosting, slowly beat the butter and icing sugar together in a mixing bowl, then beat with a hand-held electric beater at high speed for 3-4 minutes, until very light and fluffy.

  • Beat in the vanilla, food-colouring gel and milk to form a thick, airy icing, adding extra food colouring as needed to create a shade of garish green.

  • Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small, star nozzle.

Decorating the cupcakes:

  • Using a small knife, cut a plug out of the top of each cupcake, removing half a teaspoon of the cake from the top.

  • Drop in a small teaspoon of strawberry jam and replace the cake ‘lid’ on top.

  • Repeat for each of the 12 cupcakes.

  • Working slowly in circles, starting from the outside, carefully pipe tiny peaks of icing all over the surface of each cupcake.

  • Repeat until each cake has a ‘hairy monster’ covering.

  • Slice the liquorice sticks across into discs (8 per stick, making 24 discs in all).

  • Now divide 25g of the white icing into 24 small marble-sized balls, rolling them to shape.

  • Sit a liquorice disc on each icing round and press down, bringing the white icing up at the edges to create a monster eye.

  • Put two eyes on each cupcake.

  • Slice the remaining liquorice sticks into fine lengths and use as angry eyebrows and mouths.

  • Shape the remaining 5g white icing into little triangular ‘fangs’ and sit these on the mouths to make scary faces.

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