I used a very basic, and incidentally, vegan chocolate cake recipe to make these cupcakes – although I added in a few teaspoons of instant espresso powder to make them mocha cupcakes.
The cupcake recipe is below. They are frosted with a basic chocolate buttercream and then dipped in Oreo crumbs (Oreos make good dirt/earth). Then the tombstone cookies are added. Various other decorations can be added to suit your tastes.
Chocolate cupcake recipe (vegan)
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
(2-3 teaspoons instant espresso if you’re going for a mocha thing, like I did)
Preheat oven to 175C. Mix the wet ingredients. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients. Divide among cupcake pans lined with cupcake papers. Bake 15-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle of cupcakes comes out clean.
I will post later with all the recipes and reflections on this, but here are some images of all the baked stuff I made this weekend – my last big bake, I do believe. I set it all up in the office and feel very… free.
Getting the big Halloween bake all set up in the office
Vanilla cupcakes with cherry “blood” filling decorated with small candy knives
A number of years ago, I worked with a guy who was accused of stabbing another person to death in a parking garage. He spent some time in jail but was eventually released – I suppose there was a lack of evidence. I don’t know all the details of the story or the case. But I can’t look at these small candy knives and not think of him, regardless of his guilt or innocence.
Vanilla cupcake recipe
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 375F/180-185C. Line a cupcake pan with liners.
Whisk dry ingredients together in one bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the milk. Beat for a few minutes until the mixture is light. Alternately beat in dry ingredient mix and the remaining half cup of milk. Half-fill each cupcake liner.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of cupcakes; a clean toothpick means the cupcake is ready). Cool.
When cooled, hollow out the center of the cupcakes, discard the middle parts but retain the very top to recover the filled cupcake. Fill each cupcake with cherry jam or cherry pie filling and top with the reserved cupcake lid.
At this point you could also frost the cupcake but the “bloody knife effect” is best achieved by simply sprinkling more jam/filling messily on top of the cupcake and plunging the candy knife into the cupcake or flat on top of the cupcake.
I always make a mix of cookies and cupcakes, following the principle of “something for everyone”. Despite my attempts to provide variety, it is possible that there is not always something for everyone. I know that people, such as vegans, those allergic to dairy, to nuts, to eggs, to wheat… most of these people won’t find any satisfaction in my baked goods. I imagine I will do something to accommodate these differences, but I don’t seem to ever get around to it.
I used my standard recipe for white chocolate macadamia cookies to make chocolate chip cookies using a package of Halloween chips: