Is it possible to make a treat that is scary and whimsical at the same time?
Yup, Martha Stewart can with her Halloween-themed “Creep Cakes,” cupcakes adorned with monster-style marshmallow eyes and orange-wedge candy mouths.
Granddaughter Coco, 3, decorated these cupcakes without help. Look who photo-bombed in the background! Katie the Carin. (Coco told me that the cupcakes represent members of her family.)
Although some of Martha’s versions at www.marthastewart.com are more labor intensive, I choose the easiest renditions for small grandchildren-hands to create.
And I simplified the process by using a packaged spice cake mix for the cupcakes, plus a simple buttercream frosting, a creamy icing that I tinted lime green with food coloring.
1 spice cake mix, plus ingredients called for on box (or any flavor you prefer)
Cupcake paper liners
Buttercream frosting: 1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 4 cups powdered sugar (1 pound), 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, food coloring
Decorations: regular-size marshmallows, M&M’s, orange citrus wedge candy, candy eyes; optional – licorice lace, gummy tape and jellybeans
1. Prepare cupcakes according to package directions, lining muffin tin with paper liners. Cool.
2. Prepare frosting. Place softened butter and vanilla in bowl of a free-standing mixer; beat on medium until combined. Add powdered sugar; drape a clean kitchen towel over mixer and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with silicone spatula and beat on medium-high speed until completely combined, again scraping down sides as needed. Add milk a little at a time, beating between additions, until a spreadable consistency (you may end up using less milk). Add desired food coloring (I used green and a little yellow); beat to combine, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Spread on cupcakes (an offset spatula is handy for this).
3. Make Creep Cakes: For big googly eyes, cut marshmallows in half through the middle. Press an M&M’s on the sticky side. Put one, two, three or four eyes on top of each cupcake, facing forward. Cut citrus-wedge candy to make mouths or tongues.
Source: adapted from marthastewart.com