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How to create Halloween Spider Cupcakes with the help of Val Stones

Our lovely baking expert and Great British Bake Off alumni Val Stones loves to bake over the spooky season. These terrifyingly tasty orange and vanilla flavoured spider cupcakes are likely to be a haunting hit with your loved ones!

Val says: “On Halloween I get a huge number of trick-or-treat callers and they always love these funny spooky cupcakes. Orange and vanilla go well together but you can simply make vanilla cupcakes if you wish, and the flour can be replaced with a gluten-free alternative.”

Serving suggestions and timings:

  •  Makes 24
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Assembly time: 15 minutes

 Equipment:

  •  A stand mixer, food processor or electric hand mixer
  • Two 12-hole cupcake tins, lined with cupcake cases
  • Three piping bags, then either a 2D nozzle or a 12-point star and a fine plain hole nozzle

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

  • 190g eggs
  • 190g soft margarine
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 190g self-raising flour
  • 4g baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of an unwaxed orange

 For the buttercream

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 20g cream cheese
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 15ml whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • Orange food colouring
  • Green food colouring

For the decoration

  • 1 egg white
  • 200g sifted icing sugar
  • Black food colouring
  • 48 Maltesers
  • 48 edible googly eyes

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 3
  2. Place cupcake cases in a cupcake or muffin tin
  3. Weigh the eggs into a bowl, then add the same weight of sugar and margarine. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl
  4. In another bowl, combine the milk, orange zest and orange extract. Next, fold gently into the cake mixture
  5. Slowly combine the mixture. Then, rest for a minute to allow the sugar to dissolve, before beating the mixtures on high for two minutes. Don’t overbeat as this will knock the air out
  6. Spoon 40g of the mix into each cupcake case and place the baking tins in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  7. The cakes are ready when they are even and lightly golden. My top tip is to listen to them (they whisper, rather than shout!). Place on a cooling rack to cool completely
  8. While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Beat the butter and cream cheese until combined in a bowl
  9. Add the icing sugar one spoon at a time into the bowl, then beat until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add milk and orange extract, then continue to mix on high until the buttercream is soft and fluffy
  10. Colour half green and the other half orange, then place into separate piping bags fitted with a nozzle
  11. Make royal icing by beating the egg white and gradually adding the icing sugar until it reaches a soft piping consistency. Then, add black food colouring until the icing is a lovely deep black
  12. Decorate the cupcakes with the coloured buttercream in a swirled pattern
  13. Place two Maltesers on each cupcake to form the head and body of a spider. Then, pipe legs and feet coming from the spiders’ bodies. Stick eyes on the spiders using leftover royal icing

For more delicious recipes, top tips and a sprinkling of nostalgia, read Val’s generous portion of baking blogs.

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