It’s National Cupcake Week and Halloween is just round the corner, so why don’t you try out creating some quirky cupcakes for the spooky season. The styles range in technical difficulty and allow kids to create as many or as few styles as they wish. Mummy is allowed to help, of course!
Things you will need for 12 cupcakes:
The edible bits:
sugarpaste in black, pink & blue (shop-bought or made with gel colouring)
blue & pink sugar balls
black cake decorating pen
black food colouring gel
edible glitter/sparkles (available from cake decorating shops)
The tools you’ll need:
disposable icing bags
icing tip (5 pointed star shape such as Wilton 1M)
non-stick chopping board
non-stick rolling pin
7 cm round/fluted biscuit cutter
small sharp knife
small palette knife
small heart biscuit cutter
greaseproof paper & a tray
To make the pink, black & blue discs:
Choose which colour you want to make first – then take a lump of colour sugarpaste and knead it on your board. You may want to sprinkle some icing sugar on to your board or add Tylo Powder to your sugarpaste to stop it from sticking.
Then take your rolling pin and roll the sugarpaste until it is about 0.25cm thick.
Take your palette knife and skim under the flat piece of icing to make sure it lifts easily away from the board. Now take your cutter and cut out 4 discs.
Using your palette knife lift the discs onto the greaseproof paper and leave to set (ideally overnight) – repeat for the other two colours so that you end up with 12 discs in total.
To make the black hearts (easy)
Roll out some black sugarpaste (as you did for the discs) – using a small heart cutter cut out some hearts. These can be placed in the middle of the pink or blue discs. You can sprinkle a little glitter on the middle of them for a little ‘bling’!
To make the blue hearts (easy)
Roll out some black sugarpaste (as you did for the discs) – using a small heart cutter cut out some hearts. These can be placed in the middle of the pink or black discs. Then using your black pen, add the stitching’ to each heart – don’t press too hard!
To make the coffin toppers (moderate)
Score a couple of black discs with the blunt side of a knife so that you have a criss-cross pattern ( press gently as you don’t wan to go all the way through the icing!). Place your pink & balls sugar balls where the lines meet.
To make the coffin – roll out some blue & pink sugarpaste as you did earlier. Then, using your small sharp knife cut out a small coffin shape in each colour and create a door handle with your black pen. Add a blue ball in the centre of the key hole as the door handle and place on your ‘criss cross’ discs.
To make the bats with hearts (moderate)
As you did earlier, roll out some black sugarpaste. Using either a bat cutter or a template made from the internet (see top tips) cut out some bat shapes. Then using a very small heart cutter cut of some pink hearts to go in the middle, we placed some white sugar balls in the middle but you can just use glitter if you prefer as you did for the black hearts. Once finished they can be placed in the middle of the blue discs.
To make the lips (moderate)
Either using a template cut for the internet or by cutting free-hand, cut out some pink lips from rolled-out sugarpaste. The teeth are cut from white sugarpaste and placed in the middle of the lips. Again we used a little glitter to each decoration. These can then be laced in the middle of the blue discs.
To make the skulls (difficult)
Roll out some white sugarpaste as you did earlier. Using a template (or free-hand) – cut out some skull shaped toppers. To make the bows cut out tiny hearts and place them next to each other. Add a little blob of pink sugarpaste in the middle to create the bow effect, then draw on some black lines to make them look more realistic.
Use the black decorating gel to create the eyes and nose. Then using a toothpick, carefully “pull” away from the eye to create the eyelashes.
Once the bows have been placed in the top right hand corner of the head, the skulls can be put onto some black discs.
Once your decorations have been left to set – ideally overnight you are ready to put everything together.
How to put everything together:
You need to put a swirl or blob of icing on each cupcake – to do this cut the tip off of your icing bag and place the nozzle inside. Fill the bag with some of your buttercream icing – do not fill the bag more than half-full otherwise you may find the icing spills out of the top as you squeeze!
Twist the bag above where the icing reaches to stop it spilling out, then carefully pipe a ring around the edge of your cupcakes – if you prefer you can just squeeze a ‘blob’ in the centre which is a little easier
Now place each topper on the icing and push them down gently so that they lie flat.
Some top tips for decorating cupcakes:
1) Add some Tylo Powder to your sugarpaste to make it a little less sticky. You can buy Tylo Powder from any cake supply shop or online and it will help your toppers to set.
2) Add a little icing sugar on your board, if you find that your sugarpaste is sticking, but be careful: too much will dry out your sugarpaste and make it go crumbly.
3) You can colour your own sugarpaste from scratch: you will need gel colours rather than liquid and gloves should be worn to avoid your hands turning pink or blue! Black is very difficult to make so should be shop-bought ideally.
4) Whilst your toppers are best left to set you can put them on straight away, they may not look as flat on the cakes that’s all
5) Remember not to roll too thin as it is much harder to handle
6) Use edible glue to stick the sugar balls to the sugarpaste and the smaller pieces onto the discs. This isn’t essential but will hold everything in place.
Disclosure: The Boutique Cupcake Company has created these designs to celebrate the release of Monster High: Ghouls Rule (out October 8th).