I love to play with new icing techniques with our cupcakes, but often, I am doing so with one hand tied behind my back. Okay, not really with one hand, but while holding a baby or holding back preschoolers who get right in the middle of my workspace to help me. Even these fun Halloween cupcakes had to handle their own share of abuse long enough to get pictures for you. “NOOOOO, mommy! I just want ONNNNEEE!”….
But that’s what I love about cupcakes. I can hand one (or five) off to the little ones to enjoy right away and still have a few left for a pretty display. Cakes – ha! – they don’t stand a chance in this household!
Do You LOVE Ghosts?
The fun part of Halloween cupcake decorating is spooky stuff isn’t perfect. So what? if the eyes look runny or you got red blood where you weren’t supposed to – nobody will notice. When the eyes on my ghosts got a little swirly on accident my kids loved it. My teens suggested all of the eyes on my ghosts should have a little run (“looks creepier”, they said.)
Make your own ghosts by spreading out a sheet of wax paper and melting white chocolate. Drop a heaping dab of chocolate onto your wax paper and use a spoon to spread downward in three strokes/slightly fanned. Slide a pop stick or toothpick near the bottom (I used toothpicks – kids still loved them).
5 Tips for Making Cupcakes Presentable
- Play with sprinkles! Kids love them and they hide imperfections.
- It’s all about the stand! Cupcake stands make everything look better!
- Mix and Match! Mixing up your icing designs is fun and it looks great on the party table!
- Decorative Paper Cups – Use the plain cups to bake and set them inside decorative paper to display.
- Pipe, don’t wipe! If you aren’t using sprinkles, pipe on your icing, even if you are just using a plastic bag without a tip.
Bonus tip: Don’t have a plastic bag, sure you do! Something in your pantry is bound to be packaged in a plastic bag. I forgot to pick some up for myself for this post. I emptied my chocolate chip bag and used that to pipe my icing!
Do you love the look of this cupcake (above)? Before adding your frosting to your plastic bag, squirt food coloring on one side in a line. Add frosting and pipe!
You know what? My jack-o-lanterns are store-bought toppers that were too inexpensive to pass up — they came with the cupcake paper cups!
Reminder: Mix and Match! I prepared a few cupcakes with a single chocolate chip on the tip of my piped frosting and my little ones went nuts for them! Simple. Beautiful. Easy!
Quick Tip on Filling: What I learned about cupcake fillings during this post is to be careful about how much you stuff inside your cupcake. The cupcakes I overfilled required piped icing to avoid smearing. If you are smoothing on your frosting, level off your filling first.
Spice Cake Cupcakes
with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling
& Cream Cheese Frosting
Cake & Filling Ingredients:
- Box of Spice Cake – Cake Mix
- Vegetable oil (according to cake mix package)
- 5 Eggs
- 1 can Pure Pumpkin
- 2 Packs Cream Cheese
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
Prepare a box cake mix of Spice Cake according to the package directions. Add an additional two eggs to the batter (should be 5 eggs added to the cake batter in all). Bake cupcakes and allow to cool.
Thoroughly combine two packages of cream cheese, 1 can Pure Pumpkin, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional). Cover and chill for one hour.
Remove center of cooled cupcake with a cupcake corer or cut square with fork.
Fill center of cupcakes with pumpkin cream cheese (cheesecake) filling.
Frost cupcakes with your favorite cream cheese icing, top with your favorite decorations & sprinkles.