I wasn't planning on doing this blog post. However, when my 4 year old son, Jasper, was home sick a few days ago he wanted to bake a cake. He wasn't letting it go, he really wanted to make something together. We always do some sort of halloween baking activity, so I convinced him that we should make halloween cupcakes, rather than a cake and grabbed my camera to snap a few quick pictures while we were in the process. Because this happened on the fly you'll get a sneak peek into my kitchen and what it looks like when the two of us have some baking fun!
Cupcake decorating can be quite daunting for kids, even some adults for that matter. But these cupcakes are easy peasy lemon squeezy (as Jasper would say). You don't need any decorating skill at all, and they still turn out looking fantastic! Not only will you have a fun and yummy snack at the end, but you can be happy you let your child's creativity soar. That's a bonus right?
Here's what you need to get started:
Cupcakes, any flavour. You can buy a mix at the grocery store or make your own from scratch.
Buttercream icing, bought or homemade.
Food colouring, the colours are your choice!
Piping bag and decorating tips. If you don't already have these decorating tools, you sometimes can get a little pack at the grocery store in the baking section.
Assorted candies & eyeballs (check your local hobby shop or bulk food store).
Kitchen tools; bowls & spoons.
Jasper and I made our chocolate cupcakes from scratch, and then we whipped up a batch of buttercream icing. Once that was all done and the cupcakes had cooled we were ready to dive into the fun part. The monster making!
First we divided our icing into four small bowls. We added a bit of food colour to each bowl until we got our desired colours. For our monsters we used yellow, purple, green and orange. Pro tip - use gel food colouring rather than the grocery store liquid colouring. Gels will give you a truer colour and also will not affect the texture of your icing, which is important when decorating.
Fit a decorating tip down into the bottom of your piping bags. What tip you use really doesn't matter for these monsters. You can use any and I'm sure it will still turn out great. We used Wilton #'s, 21, 133, 233 and 352. Fill each bag with a separate colour of icing.
Mom tip - to help little hands you could use an elastic to put around the top of the bag. Then when your littles squeeze the bag, icing doesn't pop out of the top.
Start piping on your cupcakes! You can be creative here with how to pipe the cupcakes. I mostly decorated by putting a little 'dollop' of icing in one spot and then continuing this until the whole top was covered. Jasper however prefers to squeeze the icing on in one big long string, that works too! 😄
Below I am using decorating tip #233, I love this one for fur. It really creates that fuzzy look.
Once you have your cupcakes all iced, grab your candies and start making those monster faces. We used assorted candy eyes, candy corns for horns, spikes and even teeth, jelly beans for ears, and licorice for mouths.
Let your kids be creative. I know I am often guilty of trying to 'suggest' to Jasper how to decorate. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to cake decorating, so I have to admit that sometimes it's difficult to let it go. However, I let Jasper do his own thing and I was super impressed with how his cupcakes turned out! Jasper even got creative with some orange sugar and made a pumpkin cupcake.
Making these cute monsters is also a great idea for an activity at a kids halloween party. I would suggest prepping everything the day before the party. Be sure to keep your cupcakes in a sealed container and your icing at room temperature.
For more of our monster creations keep scrolling down. 😊
Keep scrolling for some more photos:
This monster reminded me of a fraggle:
Scary monster cupcakes make a delicious halloween dessert!
A monster Jasper created:
A little mess but it was worth it.