Juggling work, family, and fun can get so hectic that some of us may daydream we’re Samantha Stephens—the beautiful blond witch from the cult ’60s sitcom Bewitched— imagining we can simultaneously clean the entire house and prepare a delicious dinner with just a nose wiggle.
But no matter where homemaking ranks on our priority lists, it remains an effective and essential part of family life. Spending time in the kitchen baking sweet treats is one of the most pleasurable and positive memory-inducing experiences you can share with family and friends. And holidays are the ideal time to combine a pinch of effort with a heaping tablespoon of creativity for a recipe guaranteed to deliver whimsical and delicious delights.
So get your Martha Stewart on with these five frightfully easy Halloween cupcakes recipes.
These appetizing arachnids will make you scream with delight. Licorice lace legs, large marshmallow eyes (made from one cut in half crosswise), and M&M pupils and noses perched atop creamy frosting and generous amounts of chocolate sprinkles make for surprisingly succulent snacks—and each is just 310 calories! Visit Bright Ideas for the complete recipe.
White chocolate-covered pretzels create the crunchy rib cage and arms for these salty ‘n’ sweet treats. Though less complicated to make than they look, a couple of special supplies are needed: lollipop sticks (available at stores like Target) to place the marshmallow head and pretzel rib cage on, and a food writer pen (craft stores) to draw their faces with (black frosting works okay, too). Once the bone daddies are standing firm on their cakes, carefully cut one pretzel in half to create arms for each, gluing them in place with extra vanilla frosting. And keep things colorful by covering each cupcake base with orange and black sprinkles. Visit Cookies & Cups for the complete recipe.
Oreo cookies and brown Reese’s Pieces create the spooky but sweet-tasting stare of these edible owls. Add an orange Reese’s piece to create the beak, wave a toothpick like a wand to sculpt the creamy chocolate frosting into tuffs of “feathers” at the top of the bird’s head, and this fabled witch’s companion will be ready to nestle itself in your satisfied stomach. Visit Juneberry Lane for the complete recipe.
Escape the curse of additives while munching on these gluten-free mummies that are easily “wrapped up” with the aid of a pastry bag and three nozzle tips. Just cover the cupcake with chocolate frosting, and then use a #47 small basket weave tip to create the mummy’s vanilla bandages (make sure to leave an opening for the eyes). Follow up with a #4 and #2 small round tip to create the peepers, and voilà; incredible, edible ancient Egyptians. You can even add a zig-zagging chocolate mouth so your mummies aren’t so muffled. Visit Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free for the complete recipe.
Decorating these orange frosted treats is self-expression in its purest form. After adding green frosting (achieved with food coloring in vanilla icing) to make the pumpkin’s leaves and stem, kids from 8 to 80 will let their minds run wild creating unique eyes, mouths, and noses for their Halloween jack-o’-lantern cupcakes. And the funny faces can be made with equally delicious results using black frosting or by cutting shapes out of black licorice. Visit Life’s Ambrosia for the complete recipe.