Ok so I have to admit, in comparison to the cute pinterest ghost meringues or pumpkin shaped rice crispie treats, my humble little cupcakes aren’t going to win any points for innovation in baking, but still. Who’s going to complain about a good cupcake, right? Certainly not the people I work with, that’s for sure.
On Thursday night, I set about baking some halloween cupcakes for my office buddies. My baking cupboard is looking a bit sparse at the moment, and I don’t like to spend extra cash on ingredients if I don’t have to. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m scrooge – If I’m baking somebody a birthday cake I don’t mind, but for a general Halloween treat? Nah mate. So, collecting the remnants of my bakers stash I found I had all the ingredients for some chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting, dyed purple and orange to make them a bit more festive.
I used Sally’s Baking Addiction for the cupcake recipe. I swear, I’ve never had a bad bake out of her recipes. I really love that she translates all of the ingredients into grams for us British folk who have weird sized cup measures and aren’t really sure what a stick of butter is. If you want to try your own, the recipe is here. I can whole heartedly confirm by the way, that the Nutella frosting that goes with that recipe is worthy of its own religion. But alas, I didn’t have any Nutella in. Which begs the question, is a house really a home if it doesn’t contain a jar of Nutella?
Whilst contemplating my empty shell of Nutella-less house, I set about making some regular vanilla buttercream frosting, which I split into two bowls – one to dye orange and one to dye purple. Now. This is where things went a touch pear shaped. I used Dr Oeteker’s gel food colouring, and got through an entire tube of each. I was expecting a neon orange (as the packet declared) and a deep purple. What I actual got was a mid tone orange and a slightly post pastel purple. Suffice to say, Dr Oeteker and I are no longer mates. Still, in spite of the buttercream not exactly being the shades I’d hoped, I have to say, I think the finished product still looked pretty good.
To ice, I used a standard disposable piping bag with metal nozzle I bought in a pack of two on amazon for about £5. I don’t have a dual piping bag yet, although it is on the ‘to buy’ list. Instead, I lined one crease of the piping bag with orange butter cream and the opposite with purple, which created a slightly more blended swirl effect, but a swirl effect all the same. To be honest, after the Dr Oeteker beef, I couldn’t really be bothered to spend much time on the icing. Such a defeatist. So yeah, perhaps not as neat as it could be, but hey! It’s Halloween, things aren’t supposed to be pretty and perfect, right? Right?! Moving on. The decorations came courtesy of Asda and Aldi. Asda for the plastic spiders and aldi for the black/silver/orange sprinkly bits. One of my favourite things about Aldi is that every ‘holiday’, they seem to have special baking bits in, and they’re all at such reasonable prices it’s basically impossible to say no.
So, the fruits of my culinary labour? See below: