I woke this morning to a message from a friend of mine with a picture of these enviably gorgeous looking Halloween cup cakes. I jumped out of bed thanking her for the inspiration, I still hadn’t decided what to put on my blog and time was running out. I would make these buns, I decided. But Laura, the baker in Limerick had made the adorable pumpkins out of marzipan, herself. The jelly faces and ghosts come from lollies she bought in Dunnes. The list of things to do so I could make them became longer and longer. Coupled with having to smash up old furniture to put on the local bonfire (I’m too mean to pay for proper disposal) and making a suit of armour for my son out of cereal packets, and make ginger bread bats and and and. . . .
So I asked Laura if I could use her photo and I know the recipe, as these are cup cakes I’ve often made myself. That’s what I really want my blog to be about anyway, people sending me stuff and comments about food they make. I was thinking of making something out of pumpkin but after making the jack-o-lantern on Sunday I couldn’t face the idea of eating the stuff. With rubber gloved hands scooping out the orange innards I felt like a vet at work. In Ireland we don’t have a history of making pumpkin pie or anything else, I’m sure that will change but the smell is just too strong for me.
The cup cake recipe comes from the More from Magnolia cookbook; it’s in my top five list at the bottom of the page. The decorations are up to you. You can give these out for trick or treating but when you are finished you might want to keep them all to yourself
Preheat oven to 200degreesC/350 Degrees F/ Gas 5
1 1/2 cups self–raising flour
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup softened unsalted butter
2 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1 cup unsalted butter softened
6-8 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers
2.In a small bowls, combine the flours, set aside
3.In a large bowl, on a medium speed with an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk. That means flour, milk, flour, milk etc. Beat until well mixed.
5. Divide the mixture between the cup cake cases and bake for 15-20 mins until golden. I always like to scoff a sneaky bun as soon as they come out of the oven. There’s nothing like the sweet steam rising up to hit your nose just before you fill your mouth with warm, soft sweet cake.
For the icing:
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On a medium speed beat until smooth, about 5 mins. Gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until a good thick, spreading consistency. Clour it with a few drops of food colouring if you like.
Carefully smother each bun with the gooey icing and top each one with a cute decoration.