Halloween Cupcakes

Cupcakes, cookies & muffins

Halloween Cupcakes

Finally temperatures have dropped a bit, finally it feels like Autumn! It’s a time of change… a time to give the wardrobe a twist, a time to use different and seasonal groceries and food. While I think about different ways I could prepare our Panellets  (Catalan sweet typical for these days), to make them a bit funnier and prettier, I baked these cupcakes to get in the creepy mood :D. These are really fun to make and if there’s kids at home and it’s rainy outside, time will fly while you prepare them.

Halloween Cupcakes

Just pick any cupcake or muffin recipe, get some Decor-ice (I used the Renshaw ready to roll Icing) and the result was spectacular! Easy to do and delicious to eat ;D. I bought the cookie cutters at the corner shop; but if you like them, you can also find them here: Ibili 733000 – Cortapastas con expulsor para Halloween, 4 piezas or here Silikomart Mini Cookie Cutters with Spring Ejection Feature, Set of 4, Assorted Halloween. Also you will need some cupcake paper liners… find yours here: Cupcake Combo Pack 24/Pkg-Grave and here.

Halloween Cupcakes

All Saints Day, which falls on November 1st, is a celebration dedicated to the memory of our ancestors. It falls at a time of transition: people’s daily habits change and they prepare for the cold months and the growing darkness. Nature, after the summer burst, enters into a period of apparent death: the leaves fall from the trees, there are no flowers and the plants seem to be sleeping. It is not strange that since times of old many cultures have instituted a celebration in memory of their dead at this time of year.

Halloween Cupcakes

A basic custom of this festival has been to visit cemeteries. People go to arrange and decorate the graves of family members and other people known to them or to walk round the cemetery and observe the graves, which are so varied in their form and often reflect the existing social order.

However, the celebration had a clear domestic meaning: the family reunited and remembered their defunct antecedents by eating chestnuts, recanting prayers of the rosary or with small gestures, like leaving an empty plate at the dinning table. They also lit candles or lights in front of the photographs of the lost family members. It was, thus, an intimate and family celebration, in spite of the feeling of fear which was inevitably engendered by the uncertainty of the supernatural world. This tradition aimed to extend the family’s welcoming of their members to the afterlife and request the care of their antecedents, who were seen as protectors of the home and family.

Halloween Cupcakes

One of the most characteristic customs of the ‘castanyada’ [chestnut-roasting party] celebration, which was initially a family celebration, is that it uses one of the autumn fruits. Chestnuts are roasted at home or bought from chestnut roasters in the city. Nowadays, the professional trade of roasting and selling chestnuts has practically disappeared but the tradition, with its characteristic smell, continues to be alive, and is carried on by stalls, which are often run by groups of youths who make the most of this ephemeras commercial activity to obtain economical benefits for the associations to which they belong.

The other grand gastronomic product of the season is ‘panellets’, which is a product of home-made cake making, elaborated from almonds, sugar and egg yolk. They can be topped with pine nuts and are receptive to other ingredients like coco or chocolate. Their origin is not very clear, but they are probably a memory of the old funerary meals and the ‘pans dels morts’ [bread of the dead] which were taken to the church.

Halloween Cupcakes

The motivation of this festival has changed considerably over the last few years. For our antecedents, death was an inevitable and natural event. The death of the elderly was accepted with less dramatics than accidental deaths or the passing of young people. It was an every day event. People died at home, accompanied by their families, old and young, and neighbours. Wakes took place at home and the funeral processions left through the front door of the deceased person’s house.

In spite of this, present day society has ceased to have a close relationship with every day death, to the point that one reclaims the need for a new pedagogy. Natural death has become something that is hidden, which happens outside every day surroundings, and which can go unnoticed by infants. Catastrophic deaths, in contrast, are shown to us continually by the mass media.

Once the sacred sense of our antecedents has been lost, the defunct have basically become fantasy people who cause fear: living dead, spirits and ghosts. The contemporary visions of the after life are built upon a syncretism of beliefs and people.

Without this change in mentality we cannot understand the rapid acceptance of other celebratory models, such as Halloween, which have turned All Saints into a fun celebration that uses elements inherited from Central European traditions, like pumpkins or lights. These festivals do not refer to the idea of defunct family members, but to a series of people who belong to fantastic literature or cinema. It is a celebration that, instead of remembering the defunct, plays with an imagery which has been made banal and lets us cope more easily with death. Source: Culturcat.

Did I convince you? Will you try these tenebrous Halloween cupcakes?


Ingredients for a 12 batch: 115 grs of cake flour, 1 teaspoon of baking power, 115 grs of butter, 115 grs of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar, and 2 eggs.

  • Beat the softened butter together with the two kinds of sugar until you get a creamy and white mixture. Add the eggs one by one and beat until they incorporate to the batter. Add the milk and the sifted flour and baking power. Mix only until you don't see the flower anymore. Don't over mix or they will get hard.
  • Preheat oven at 180ºC. And prepare the paper liners inside a silicon molde and over the oven's wire rack.
  • Pour the batter inside the paper liners (leave a space on top to let them grow) and place in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes (check your oven's instructions too).

You will need: the halloween activity pack I mentioned early in the beginning of the post or something similar, in fact, you only need 3 colors: the black, the white and the orange.

  • Get a piece of the black icing color big as a walnut. Place between two transparent kitchen film. Crush with a rolling pin until you have it as thin as you want. Cut with a cookie cutter in a round shape and place on top of the cupcake. Repeat as many times as you need. If the icing gets sticky and too warm, place inside the fridge for a little while.
  • With the special cookie cutters (ghost and pumpkin), proceed as before and place over the black icing.
  • That's it!!! Soooo easy :D.


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10/14/2013 · 11:59 h by bellini

I was in Italy last year for All Saints Day. The night before on the Amalfi Coast the kids had gone trick or treating in the North American tradition. I did notice many special treats at that time of year.

10/14/2013 · 18:45 h by Núria Farregut

Thanks Val! Kids here adore the American tradition too :D I don’t know about Italian treats but would love to learn ;D What a great country Italy is! I did love it last Summer :D

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