If you're looking for easy, no-recipe-needed Halloween treats, these creeped-out cupcakes are an eerily good choice. In one, a traditional frosted cupcake falls victim to a bat attack. In the other, they take a slimy, almost radioactive, turn.
Both ideas are from Matthew Mead's "Monster Book of Halloween," which is jammed with numerous ghastly treats and decorations.
Bake up a batch of your favourite cupcake recipe or prepare a boxed mix according to package directions. Alternatively, most bakeries (even those in grocers) will sell unfrosted cupcakes if asked in case you want to do only the fun part - the decorating.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost them with white cake frosting.
Use black gel icing (the sort sold in tubes in the baking aisle) to draw a bat on top of each cupcake. If you need help with this, a template can be downloaded from Mead's website at http://www.tinyurl.com/yeboobr. Cut out the template and use it as a stencil.
Use a toothpick to make 2 holes (bite marks) near each bat, then drizzle red gel icing into each.
Get Slimed Cupcakes
Prepare 2 packages of Jell-O Gelatin (any variety, though green and yellow are good) according to the package's directions for Jigglers (2 packages plus 500 ml/2 cups boiling water). Divide the liquid among 6 flexible silicone baking cups.
Divide remaining liquid among 6 round-bottomed teacups (this creates a domed top for each cupcake), filling each about 2 cm ( 1/2 inch). Refrigerate everything for 4 hours or until set.
To remove gelatin from cups, set base of each in a bowl of warm water for about 10 seconds. Overturn cups and gently pry out cupcakes and dome tops. Invert a dome onto each cupcake, then decorate with gummy worms.
Source: Ideas adapted from Matthew Mead's "Monster Book of Halloween" by Matthew Mead (Time Inc., 2009)