Published On: Mon, Oct 19th, 2015

Halloween Cupcakes with Spun Sugar

We had a great time making and designing these Autumn cupcakes! Perfect for you to practice your colour buttercream techniques and to get you spinning sugar as well as making some more sweet than scary Halloween characters. This recipe will make 12 large cupcakes, which taste as good as they look!

halloween cupcakes
Halloween Cupcakes with Spun Sugar

For the cupcakes:
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
100g caster sugar
100g butter at room temp
1 tsp baking powder
A few drops of vanilla extract

For the buttercream:
125g butter at room temp
250g icing sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
Red & Orange food colouring (substitute orange with red & yellow blended)

For the spun sugar:
100g caster sugar
50ml water

For the decorations:
Coloured sugar paste stars – some wired / Halloween spiders, cats, witches hats


1 Preheat your oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Place 12 cupcake cases in a bun tin.

2 Put all the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk for approx 5 mins until smooth and creamy. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases and place in the centre of the pre heated oven for 20-25 mins, until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool.

3 For the butter cream, place the butter in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until it softens. Gradually add the icing sugar and then the vanilla extract. For a single colour add the colouring a few drops at time and continue beating to mix. For two colour buttercream, place half the mixture in a separate bowl and add colouring to each.

4 Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle and fill with the buttercream. For the two tone effect, carefully fill one side of the bag with the first colour and layer the second on top of the first. Twist the top of the bag to close it and pipe swirls onto of each cake.

5 To make the caramel for the spun sugar, first prepare your equipment. You will need two wooden spoons or chopsticks, well greased with butter or oil. Position these to over hang a worktop and weigh down the ends with a heavy chopping board or tape into position. You will also need two table forks, secured together back to back with a twisty tie, or a wire whisk with the looped ends snipped through to leave wire prongs. Cover the floor with sheets of newspaper to catch any caramel that falls.

6 Choose a heavy based pan and gently heat the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat and the sugar syrup will start to bubble and colour, do not stir at this stage. Do not leave the pan unattended. As soon as the mixture turns golden brown, take the pan off the heat and place it on a heat resistant surface. The sugar will continue to cook and the colour will develop on standing. The caramel will be extremely hot, so take precautions to avoid spills and burns.

7 Allow to cool for 2 mins then dip the fork tips/whisk prongs into the caramel and flick  backwards & forwards over the wooden spoon handles or chopsticks. Fine threads will form, keep dipping and flicking until the threads build up. Gather up the spun sugar and curl them into a nest and place on top of the cakes.

8 To finish, sprinkle with sugar stars or add wired stars for extra sparkle for the bonfire night theme or top with Halloween decorations.

* Sugar stars can be made in advance using coloured sugar paste rolled to a 1mm thickness and cut out with a star plunger tool.

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