For Halloween, create silly and scary-looking faces with buttercream, candy, marshmallows, and, of course, cupcakes. Decorating the cakes is a great activity for kids and parents to do together: Set out cupcakes and bowls of colored frostings and assorted candies and let everyone create his or her own aliens, monsters, and beasts.
- Yield: 12 standard and 12 mini
- 12 each standard and mini cupcakes, such as Yellow Buttermilk or One-Bowl Chocolate
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Leaf-green, lemon-yellow, forest-green, and black gel-paste food colors
- Assorted candies
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted (optional)
- Tint buttercream desired color with gel-paste food color. For the bright green used on some of the cupcakes, use a mixture of leaf-green and lemon-yellow. Use forest-green for others. For a few of the creatures pictured, mix in a small amount of black food color to make a gray color; leave some buttercream untinted for white.
- Make the candy features as shown. Using an offset spatula, spread cupcakes with plain or tinted buttercreams, as desired. To create the split and filled aliens, use a serrated knife (and a gentle sawing motion) to slice off the top of the cupcake (reserve top), then spread buttercream generously over bottom part and replace tops (leave unfrosted).
- To finish, attach candy features to frosted (or filled) cupcakes. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are decorated; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.