There's no trick to making these Halloween-flavored cupcakes. By using a convenient cake mix, you can turn them out in a jiffy. Simplify them even more with canned frosting.
- 1 package yellow cake mix or cake mix of your choice (regular size)
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup milk
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons orange paste food coloring
- 12 gumdrops
- 12 black jujubes
- Prepare and bake cake according to package directions for cupcakes. Fill 24 greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 15-18 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 bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, butter and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Stir in food coloring. Cut a thin slice off the top of each cupcake. Spread frosting on 12 cupcakes. Invert remaining cupcakes and place on top; frost top and sides.
- For stems, place one gumdrop on each pumpkin. Cut jujubes into thin slices; use a bottom slice for each mouth.
- From remaining slices, cut one large triangle and two smaller ones. Position two small triangles and a large triangle on each cupcake for eyes and nose. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Sweet Jack-o'-Lanterns in Country Woman September/October 2005, p33
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