Halloween Pumpkin Spook-Cakes
Halloween is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate then to make these cute…errr I mean, scary cupcakes!
Before you think they look too complicated let me assure you that they are so easy! I have a few helpful hints along the way.
To make this recipe super easy I used Trader Joes Pumpkin Muffin Mix. I am not a fan of packet mix cakes but this pumpkin one is great, I promise no one will even notice you didn’t make it from scratch. If you want to jazz it up a bit try adding 3/4 cup of finely grated carrots, nuts, choc-chips or even dried fruit.
1 Box Trader Joe Packet mix (just add eggs, oil and water to make)
4 egg whites
1 cup of granulated or castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Black icing pen or dried blueberries (to paint ghost faces)
1.) Make the pumpkin muffins according to packet directions. Fill into cup cake pans so they are about 2/3 full. Bake at 350F for about 15-18 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cook completely.
2.) To make frosting, place sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt into a mixing bowl, whisk till just combined.
Helpful Hint: When separating eggs make sure you do not get any yolk in the egg white mix or it will not whip together properly. Also, you cannot use plain egg whites from a carton you must use raw egg whites.
An easy way to separate eggs is to crack the egg and place it into your hand. Allow the white to drip through your fingers and leave the yolk in your palm. Reserve the yolk for another use.
3.) Place a pot filled about 2 inches high with water and bring to a constant simmer. Place the bowl with egg white mix on top of the pot. Make sure the bottom of your bowl does not touch the water. Continue whisking the egg white mix until the sugar has dissolved and the mix reaches about 120F or 48C- takes about 5 minutes. (Should be just hot to the touch).
Helpful Hint: If you don’t have a thermometer to check the egg white and sugar mix, check to see if the sugar is dissolved by watching the sides of your bowl. When the sugar granules are whole you will see them stick to the side of the bowl, as they get warmer, the sugar will melt and you wont be able to see any new sugar granules stick to the sides.
4.) Take the egg white mix off the heat and beat together with electric beaters. Start off slow for the first minute then increase the speed. Beat for about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for about 1 minute more. You know it is done when you can turn the bowl upside down and the frosting does not fall out.
5.) Refrigerate frosting until you are ready to use it.
6.) You can use a piping bag, but to save time and effort you can just use a spoon. Place a thin layer of the frosting on the cupcake using the back of the spoon. Then place another heaped layer of frosting on top and swirl to make a point.
7.) Using a kitchen torch gently toast the marshmallow frosting. If you don’t have a kitchen torch just place the cupcakes under the broiler/griller for about a minute, just until the tops are golden.
8.) Draw on the ghost face using the black icing tube or dried blueberries. You can also use choc-chips.