Baking this week for the school Halloween bake sale? Or planning sweet treats to delight revellers at your Halloween party? If you are short on time, or lacking inspiration, you need a helping hand from the experts.
This week, we challenged three of our authors to come up with the quickest, easiest ideas for Halloween baking. The challenge? Take a plain fairy cake or biscuit and pimp it up in spooktastic style. They came back with some supernaturally ingenious ideas.
1. Chocolate Cupcakes by The Primrose Bakery: See the recipe
For best results, start by making a batch of our basic chocolate cupcakes. If you don't have much time, you can substitute these for shop-bought cakes. For the topping, use our Marshmallow Icing recipe, but add half a teaspoon of green or purple food colouring right at the end. You can add more, if you want a darker shade. Top with a selection of Halloween themed sweets, available in any supermarket.
Primrose Bakery Celebrations is out now.
2. Spooky Biscuits by Miranda Gore Browne
My favourite way to make Halloween biscuits is to use a round cutter to cut circles out of biscuit dough – recipes for gingerbread, chocolate and vanilla dough can be found in my book, Biscuit. Lay each circle of biscuit dough on a wooden lollipop stick and bake in the oven for the usual time. If you want to skip this step, just use plain shop-bought biscuits.
1) For ghost biscuits, roll out white sugar-paste and cut with the same round cutter you used to make the biscuits. Use icing or melted white chocolate to stick the sugar-paste to the biscuit – use black icing (available in tubes) to make a scary ghost face (blobs for eyes and a wide oval for a mouth).
2) For pumpkin biscuits, roll out orange sugar-paste in the same way, then use the black icing to make three triangles for the eyes and nose then a zig-zag line for the mouth.
3) For spider biscuits, stick white chocolate buttons or Maltesers to the biscuits with melted chocolate, then use black icing to draw on legs and eyes.
4) For spooky owls, stick on two white chocolate buttons for eyes, and a slice of a chocolate button for a beak. Put dots of black icing on each eye to make the owl look as if it is watching you!
All major supermarkets should stock sugar-paste and pre-mixed icing in tubes, but if the tubes are not available, use dark chocolate as an alternative. Melt it, leave it to cool a little (really important as otherwise it drips everywhere), then put in a icing bag or food bag and snip off the tiniest corner - this would work for spider legs etc. Happy baking!
3. Ghostly Marshmallow Pops by Genevieve Taylor
For ghostly marshmallow pops, skewer white marshmallows onto sticks and dip in melted white chocolate until completely covered. Stick into an orange or potato and set aside to dry. Once dry, use a black icing pen to draw ghostly features - simple eyes and a wiggly mouth are all you need. Use packet marshmallows, or be adventurous and make your own. My book Marshmallow Magic gives a recipe for vanilla marshmallows. They are easier to make than you might think!
For the easiest spooky biscuits, spread a smear of white icing over your favourite biscuit (I'm a bit of a ginger nut fan). Whilst it's still wet, use a black icing pen to pipe a few concentric circles (three is a good number) onto the white. Take a toothpick and draw through the black circle, starting from the centre and working outwards, to create an easy spider web.
For more Halloween bake ideas check out:
We'd love to see photos of your Halloween baking creations. Tweet us @thehappyfoodie to show us what you've been making.