Spooktacular Halloween Bakes

24 Oct 2014
Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:34

Halloween is looming so we’ve been in the kitchen conjuring up a selection of spooktacular snacks to kickstart your celebrations. Here at Vivatic HQ we had a feast of tasty treats, and I’ve gathered up our top recipes so you can try them yourself at home. Which is your favourite?

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Eyeball cake pops

Transform leftover cake into these gory, yet delicious vanilla and white chocolate pops – take a bite, if you dare…

Leftover cake or bought madeira, made into crumbs, OR make your own:
120g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs, room temperature
180g self-raising flour

For the cake pops:
80g unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsps milk, room temperature
40g cream cheese, softened
200g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g while chocolate
250g black ready to roll icing
Red piping or writing icing
Skewers or lolly sticks

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease and flour a 25cm round cake tin or a 20cm square cake tin.
To make the vanilla cake, cream butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy and add 1 tsp vanilla.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add half the self-raising flour and then half the milk and mix until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a light golden brown.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

  • To make the cream cheese frosting, cream 80g unsalted butter and cream cheese together. Gradually add the icing sugar, continuing to cream until light and fluffy. Finally, mix in the remaining 1 tsp vanilla extract and refrigerate frosting for 30 minutes.
  • To make the cake pops, crumble the vanilla cake finely in a large mixing bowl. Remove the crust of the cake with a sharp kitchen knife first to avoid any lumps.
  • Once you have crumbled the cake, add in one heaped tablespoon of cream cheese frosting at a time, and mix with the crumbs. (You may not require all of the frosting, depending on how moist your cake is, so use a little at a time). Keep mixing until you have a fudge-like texture. To see if it's ready, squeeze a little of the mixture in your palm - it should be pliable and not crumble. Wrap the mixture in cling film and chill for an hour.
  • Break off a small piece of the mixture and roll into a ping pong sized ball with your palms. Place cake balls on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, or until firm.
  • Melt white chocolate. Take each skewer, dip one end 2cm deep into melted white chocolate and immediately into centre of each cake ball, stopping the lollipop stick half way through. Place on a tray lined with baking paper for 1 to 2 minutes to set.
  • Take each cake pop on a stick and dip fully into chocolate, ensuring you cover right to the top of the stick to secure the cake pop in place. Gently tap over the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
  • Allow the dipped cake pops to fully set in the fridge before adding a small black ball of ready rolled black icing for a pupil and use red piping icing to add veins, or just use food colouring to paint on the details as I have done.

Bourbon Bat Biscuits

They’re delightfully chocolatey with a soft vanilla buttercream filling; a perfect accompaniment to your afternoon tea.

125g butter, softened
85g icing sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp milk
175g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp fine espresso-style powder coffee (optional)
50g cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt

To decorate:
100g coloured writing icing (or make your own with 100g icing sugar, 3-4 tsp water and some colouring)

To fill:
75g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

  • Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy and pale, then beat in the yolk, the vanilla and milk. Sift the flour, coffee (if using), cocoa and salt into the bowl, then mix together to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 15 minutes.
  • Dust the dough all over with a little flour, then roll it between two large sheets of baking parchment, to the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top layer of the paper, stamp shapes with an 8cm bat (or other) cutter, and carefully lift to the lined sheets using a palette knife.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the biscuits feel sandy and smell rich and chocolatey. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then lift the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  • Pipe faces and fangs onto your bats, then leave to dry. Cream butter and icing sugar together and add vanilla extract, then sandwich between biscuits. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

Spooky Spider Orange Cupcakes

These scrumptious cupcakes are moist with a lovely orange citrus flavour. Decorate as desired but we love these creepy spiders sitting on their webs. The orange icing is naturally coloured with carrot, which gives a fantastic colour without the E numbers.

For the cupcakes:
100g butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
100g self raising flour

For the icing:
250g sliced carrots
125g unsalted butter, softened
175g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.
  • Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs and fold in the flour.
  • Spoon half the mixture into the cake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until springy to the touch. Remove and cool.
  • Cook 250g sliced carrots in boiling water for 20mins or until very soft. Drain well, cool, then puree. Add 125g softened butter, 175g icing sugar and 1teaspoon lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add extra icing sugar if the mixture splits. Spread onto each cake, add a spider’s web with black icing and create a spider using glace cherries and orange peel.

Pumpkin and Ginger Cupcakes

A tasty way to use up leftovers once you’ve carved your pumpkin lantern. Kids will love experimenting with different faces!

For the cupcakes:
200g unsalted butter, softened
175g muscovado sugar
2 eggs
85g stem ginger in syrup
250g pumpkin, grated
200g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1½ tsp allspice
1½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and add the stem ginger and pumpkin to the mixture and stir until evenly blended.
  • Fold in the flour, baking powder and spices, then fill the muffin cases three quarters full with mixture.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and cool on a wire rack.
  • I used the same icing as above and piped on a stalk and features, but you could substitute for a cream cheese frosting (125g butter, 125g cream cheese, 225g icing sugar).

  • Juicy Jelly Worms

    Kids will absolutely love making these slimy, squirmy creepy crawlies. They’re terrifyingly realistic and will go down a storm at a Halloween party.

    2 Packs of raspberry jelly
    3 Leaves of gelatin or vegetarian substitute
    250ml of hot water
    200ml of cold water
    1 Teaspoon green food colouring
    1 teaspoon of red food colouring
    2 table spoons of thick cream
    80 flexible drinking straws

    • Pour cold water into a shallow dish and soak gelatin leaves until soft. (This should only take a couple of minutes.)
    • Chop jelly into small chunks, dissolve in 250ml hot water, and then add the gelatin.
    • Add 200ml cold water, then a teaspoon of red and green food colouring. Stir in two tablespoons of cream and whip until mixture turns cloudy, then leave to cool.
    • While the mix is cooling, pull each straw out to extend the bendy neck and place in a container with bendy necks at the bottom (I used a pint glass.)
    • Once cooled, pour the mixture into the top of the straws, then put the container into the fridge to cool until the jelly sets (4-6 hours)
    • Once your worms have set, remove the straws from the container and squeeze them from one end to push the worms out into a bowl. Serve on a plate of crushed chocolate biscuits.

    I hope you’ll give our creepy Halloween recipes a try and have as much fun baking them as we did.

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