Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Perfect for a Halloween cake sale or kids' party, these adorable ghosts hide light, orange-flavoured cupcakes underneath. Taken from The Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake book.


These fun ghosts are really orange-flavoured cupcakes with cherries or jelly sweets for heads plus ready-to- roll white icing for the ghostly covering. For extra spookiness, why not spray your ghosts with edible shimmer spray?

Read more Read less


100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 small orange
100g self-raising flour
3 tbsp tablespoons fine-shred or jelly marmalade
icing sugar for dusting
6 glacé cherries or round jelly sweets
450g pack ready-to-roll white sugar paste icing
12 currants


1.  Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Put the soft butter and sugar into the mixing bowl. Add the eggs.

2. Grate the zest from the orange* (page 22). Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from one half. Measure 2 teaspoons of juice into the mixing bowl (save the rest to add to a drink or fruit salad). Add the flour to the bowl, then mix everything together very well with the wooden spoon or electric mixer.

3. Spoon the mixture into the 6 paper cases in the muffin tray so they are evenly filled. Place the tray in the heated oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown and well risen. To test if the muffins are cooked, use the skewer test* on a muffin that’s in the centre of the tray; if necessary, bake for 2 more minutes, then test again.

4. Wearing oven gloves, remove the tray from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and leave to cool.

5. When you’re ready to decorate the cupcakes, put the marmalade in the saucepan and warm gently over low heat until melted.

6. Peel off the paper cases and set the cupcakes upside down on a serving plate or board. Use the pastry brush to coat the flat top and sides of the cupcakes with warm marmalade. Stick a cherry or round jelly sweet on top of each cupcake, dead centre, for the ghost’s head.

7. Lightly sprinkle the worktop with icing sugar, then roll out* the white icing to a large rectangle slightly
thinner than a pound coin. Using the saucer or plate as a guide, cut out circles of icing with the table knife.
Knead* the icing scraps into a ball, then roll out and cut more circles until you have 6.

8. Drape a circle of white icing over each cupcake so it looks like a sheet-covered ‘ghost’. Press 2 currant ‘eyes’ on each ghost. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week