Spooky Spider Cupcakes are creepy—and easy! Make a chocolate cupcake into a spider by adding a half-marshmallow "body" under the frosting, licorice legs and mini M&M eyes. Add chocolate sprinkles for a "hairy" effect. —Darla Wester, Meriden, Iowa
- 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 large marshmallows
- 24 miniature marshmallows, cut in half
- 48 M&M's minis
- 192 pieces black licorice (3 inches)
- Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions.
- Fill 24 paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
- Cool to 110°. Transfer to a large bowl. Beat until thickened and mixture begins to lose its gloss, about 8 minutes.
- Cut large marshmallows in half crosswise; place a half on each cupcake. Frost marshmallow and top of cupcake. Dip cupcakes in sprinkles. Place a dab of frosting on each miniature marshmallow and press on to cupcakes. Place a dab of frosting on each M&M and press on to marshmallows for eyes.
- For spider legs, use a metal or wooden skewer to poke four holes on opposite sides of cupcakes; insert a piece of licorice into each hole. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Spider Cupcakes in Taste of Home October/November 2005, p23
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