Jack Skellington Cupcakes

Jack Skellington Cupcakes

My six-year old daughter, Moozles, is beyond excited at the prospect of Halloween. So this weekend we put up some decorations and did some baking. I have recently renewed my relationship with Pinterest. And after a browse, Moozles decided that these Jack Skellington cupcakes were what she wanted. There is obviously not much instruction there, so I thought I would share what we did.

Whenever I ask what kind of cake we should make, everyone asks for chocolate. So, I make my Husband’s favourite chocolate cake recipe (if I make chocolate cake for kids, I use a more kid-friendly recipe). Since my family members are chocoholics, they can handle this fudgey cake. This cake is easy to make, and easier to decorate – perfect for baking with kids.

Chocolatey Fudge Cake
175g self-raising flour
280g caster sugar
100g butter (room temperature)
3 large free-range eggs
50ml whole milk (I use Lactofree)
40g cocoa powder
6 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven 160C (fan-assisted)/190C. 
Mix all the ingredients, apart from 
the last three. In a separate bowl, 
blend the cocoa powder and the boiling 
water, then add to the rest of the mixture. 
Add the baking powder and mix.

This can be baked as 12-15 cupcakes or in two 8-inch cake pans. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool in the pan before icing.


Buttercream Icing
180 icing sugar
90g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix half the icing sugar with the rest of the ingredients. 
Once that is blended, add the rest of the icing sugar. 
I use a hand blender for icing. 
I use a tea towel to cover the bowl so that my kitchen 
isn't covered in icing sugar. Spread  the icing onto the cupcakes.


To decorate the cupcakes:
You could use black gel food colouring to make the eyes, nose and mouth.
I happened to have leftover Renshaw   ready to roll icing, from Lakeland. 
I cut it up into bits and let Moozles add them to her cupcakes. 
The beauty of these cupcakes is that  they do not need to look perfect.

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Yummy Scrummy Cupcakes

The only thing my daughter loves more than baking cupcakes, is eating cupcakes. So when the people over at Flora asked me to bake with their new Flora Great for Baking Block and to blog about it, how could I refuse?! I was able to get the Flora baking block with my Tesco grocery delivery at the weekend. I was pleased with the price, £1.00 for a 250g block. For baking, I normally buy the Waitrose Essential block of salted butter, which costs £1.32 for a 250g block. 

Though price matters, ultimately taste is what we care about in our cake-crazed household. So my six-year old daughter, Moozles, and I put on our matching aprons and began baking. I let Moozles pick what kind of cupcake and icing we made. I had her look through a couple of recipes books, but she said she wanted to make a Mary Berry recipe because Mary Berry has the best cakes. Yes, I am teaching my daughter well. Moozles chose vanilla cupcakes and chocolate buttercream icing (we are die-hard buttercream fans). The chocolate icing is a recipe I have used for years, but adapted, from the BBC cooking website. It is my favourite icing recipe.

So, how did it turn out? Both the cupcakes and icing turned out quite well. Moozles had loads of fun decorating the cupcakes. I think she did a fab job! I would like to say that my two-year old, Dubz, was helpful too. But he basically just spooned icing onto his face and tried to climb over the table to grab more. Husband, who is a proficient bowl-licker, told me that it was the best icing I had ever made. Hand on heart, he asked if I had used a new recipe or whether it was the Flora. He wasn’t kidding, he scoffed three cupcakes in about five minutes. Moozles said it was ‘delicious’ (she only had two). Who can argue with those reviews?!
Yummy Scrummy Cupcakes Yummy Scrummy Cupcakes Yummy Scrummy Cupcakes Yummy Scrummy Cupcakes Yummy Scrummy Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
100g Flora Baking Block (or butter)
150g Caster Sugar
150g Self-Raising Flour
3 tbsp Whole Milk
2 large Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
 
Preheat oven to 160C for fan-assisted (or 180C). Cream sugar and Flora (or butter) then add the rest of the ingredients. Moozles and I mixed everything with a spoon. Spoon into cupcake or muffin tin, bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven.
 
This recipe makes 12 small fairy cakes or 8 proper cupcakes (American-size). We made nine this time, and there just wasn’t enough batter.
 
 
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
110g Flora Baking Block (or butter)
180g Icing Sugar
40g Cocoa Powder (sifted, but not a big deal if it isn’t)
2 tbsp Whole milk
I actually halved this recipe to accommodate the small amount of cupcakes being made above
 
Use a hand mixer to mix it all up. It should only take 30 seconds. My top tip for mixing icing–place a big tea towel over the bowl before you start mixing so that icing sugar does not fly everywhere. 

 

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