The following information is from Handmade Hostess by Kelly Lee-Creel and Rebecca Soder.
For Halloween, I like cupcake decorating ideas that are unique yet easy to make. I chose purple icing “hair” for Tootsie Roll–hatted witch cupcakes, and neon green for googly-eyed monsters. (You will need a piping bag and various tips to achieve these effects.) Enjoy adding a spooky and tasty flair to your Halloween party!
Makes 24 cupcakes.
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks),
at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons
cake flour (not self-rising)
11⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk (You can substitute 2 cups whole milk with 2 tablespoons vinegar added; let sit for 5 minutes.)
For the witch cupcakes:
Icing in purple and black
Miniature Tootsie Rolls
For the monster cupcakes:
Icing in neon green, white, and black
Candy eyeballs (available in the baking aisle at most grocery stores)
You will need a cupcake pan and liners, and a piping bag and various piping tips.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and eggs. Sift 1 cup of flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and add to the batter. Alternate adding the butter-milk and remaining flour. Beat until well incorporated; do not overmix. Fill the lined cupcake pan three-fourths full.
Bake for 22–30 minutes, checking cupcakes after 22 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean. Let them cool before frosting.
Use a piping bag and a tip #233, which has many small holes in it, to cover the top of the cupcake with purple frosting “strands of hair.” Microwave a miniature-size Tootsie Roll for 10 seconds on high. Roll it out on waxed paper and use a small, circular cookie cutter to make the brim of the hat. Microwave a second Tootsie Roll, and make a cone shape. Gently apply this to the brim. Using a very small piping tip (#1 or #2), pipe a black line of frosting in the crevice between the top of the hat and the brim. Place the hat on the cupcake.
For the green monster, use icing as glue to stack marshmallows into a mound shape on top of the cupcake. Place the neon green frosting in a piping bag. Using a piping tip #12, squeeze out the frosting, allowing it to slide down the mound in ripples. Repeat around the entire cupcake until you get a green glob. Gently press the candy eyeballs into the frosting. For the other monster, pipe on white icing as shown in the photo and add eyeballs.