Halloween is one of the most celebrated occasions of the year. With it comes fancy dress, parties and of course deciding what Halloween-inspired foods to serve to guests.
Here are some suggestions for spooky cupcake toppings and icings as well as ideas on how to decorate a larger cake to make it relevant to the celebrations. There are no complicated techniques or expensive specialist equipment used. Here are some suggestions on how to make your cakes stand out from the crowd!
Ideas for Decorating Halloween Cupcakes
Either home-made or shop-bought cupcakes can be used for any of these icing techniques. If using home-made, it is essential that the cakes are fully cooled before they are iced so allow ample time to bake them before the party. If the cakes are iced while they are still warm, the icing will not set properly and the icing itself or the colours may run, destroying the effect.
All techniques here have been kept incredibly simple, requiring just a little icing or a topping before the icing sets. Try the following ideas.
• Ice cooled cupcakes with icing of your chosen colour and allow to dry completely. The icing must be flat for this topping to work, do not use a swirl of buttercream. Using writing icing (available from supermarkets or cake decorating stores) carefully pipe on a spiderweb design in a contrasting colour. You could even decorate the cupcakes with black icing and then pipe on a white spiderweb. Dust with edible glitter for a sparkly effect.
• Look for Halloween-themed sweets, such as jelly worms, spiders or dracula teeth. After icing the cupcakes in the colour of your choice (buttercream swirls work well here), top the cake with one of these sweets before the icing sets. A jellied worm can look effective poking out from a beautifully decorated cupcake.
• Make small individual meringues or buy them ready made. Created by placing a small dollop of egg white mixture on a baking sheet and then cooking them at a very low temperature, they usually have a wide base and a swirly point at the top. This can resemble a ghost. Pipe on two eyes and a round moaning mouth with writing icing and place one of these on top of each iced cupcake.
Decorating a Larger Cake for Halloween
Larger Halloween cakes can be decorated using any of the techniques described above, but for a centrepiece something more dramatic might be required. Here are some ideas on how to decorate a large cake for a Halloween party.
• Make a template cake – this consists of dusting icing sugar or cocoa powder in a contrasting colour to the cake itself over a paper template. Once the template is removed, a striking silhouette is achieved. Other than a steady hand and a good pair of scissors this requires no special equipment to achieve. Relevant templates include skeletons, witches, skulls or spiders.
• Make a graveyard-themed cake by getting creative with icing. Pipe small strands of green grass onto a frosted chocolate cake. Push in small slabs of broken biscuits to resemble headstones. You may wish to pipe an ominous message onto the headstones for your guests to read! This decorating technique is perfect for those who feel comfortable with piping icing but it can take considerably longer to produce than other versions. Plan the cake before you start by sketching a drawing of it and looking to photos of other similar cakes for inspiration.
There are many ways to decorate either cupcakes or large cakes for a Halloween themed party. Some techniques will take longer than others and require more specialist equipment such as fine piping nozzles and food colourings. Others are more cost effective and quicker to make. Find the technique and style that suits you and get creative making cakes for Halloween.