OK this post is ridiculously late but better late than never has always been my motto! I made a few batches of these yummy cupcakes yesterday and sold them today at the Sandymount Halloween Festival on Sandymount Green. We raised some money for the Sandymount Tidy Towns Committee and the cakes went down very well.
I feel very very fortunate to live in such a wonderful place, where there is a real community atmosphere. Some local nursing home residents even came down to see the young kids strut their stuff at the fancy dress competition! They had face painting and spooky storytelling too! We don’t get many trick or treaters calling to the house, so it was great to see all the tiny tots dressed up in a range of spooky and adorable outfits. It’s so lovely to see the community spirit alive and well and I hope it continues into Christmas time! If you see any events coming up in and around Sandymount Green, I highly recommend you take part.
Here is the recipe for the vanilla buttermilk cupcakes. It is a nice twist on my usual traditional vanilla sponge cake recipe. The buttermilk gives them a lovely delicate tang.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
125g soft unsalted butter
125g golden caster sugar
125g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda (about 1/16th tsp)
2 large organic eggs – at room temperature
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp buttermilk
Preheat oven to 190 C. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
Cream the butter and sugar really well, until it is as light and fluffy as possible. I use my ancient electric hand mixer and it works perfectly well, despite being older than me! Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until light and creamy again.
In a separate bowl, sieve or whisk the flour, baking powder and soda. Fold gently into the cake batter with a large metal spoon, alternating with the buttermilk, until you have a smooth, thick batter. Try not to over-beat the batter at this stage.
Scoop spoonfuls into the paper cases and bake in the centre of the oven for about 18 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean and they are golden brown on top. Leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Top with whatever icing you prefer. I used a mixture of Swiss Meringue – a gooey marshmallowy style icing, and Swiss Meringue Buttercream – the recipe for which you can find here.
I then topped them with a selection of Halloween themed sprinkles and toppers.
For the Creepy Crispies, I was inspired by the brilliant Cupcake Jemma of Youtube fame yet again! I had some good quality Belgian White and Dark Chocolate and some supermarket own brand rice crispies, but unfortunately I didn’t find any oil-based food colouring so my colours weren’t as vibrant as I’d have liked. But they turned out very well anyway.
To make the googly eyes, I just rolled tiny pinches of supermarket fondant into balls (use icing sugar to keep them from sticking to your hands). I also found a great edible black ink pen in Decobake that worked well on the fondant. Once the eyes were in position on the cakes, I drew back dots at different angles. It was such a simple way to make eyes that I’ll be using it from now on.
I’m sorry this post wasn’t up sooner – I hope you give the recipes try. Let me know how you got on!